Life in Paris

Bagging a Bargain in Paris!

As much as I love Paris, I have often found the price of certain things to be quite baffling. Things that cost next to nothing in England are triple the price here and to make matters worse, these are generally the basic necessities so you can’t decide not to buy them.

As a result, I have searched and searched over the last six years to find the best deals in Paris and to avoid getting ripped off at all costs. I am a self-confessed bargain hunter and I have decided to share my bargain secrets with you! Here are some places where you can save money in Paris…


Hema is a Dutch discount chain that has taken Paris by storm. You can find Hema stores at several locations in and around Paris including: Saint Lazare, Chatelet, Bastille, Opera, Levallois (So Ouest) and in Le Marais. Hema sells a variety of things including:

  • baby and children, house and decoration, jewelry, office supplies, food and kitchen, leisure activities, beauty, bathroom accessories etc.

Personally, I love their make up remover wipes (a steal at €1.75) and their face wash (€2.75). I have really sensitive skin and find their products to be very soft and gentle. I also buy all my notebooks from there, which cost anywhere between 1 and 3 euros and are fantastic quality. The pages are also LINED, not squared, which any expat who has ever tried to buy a notepad knows, is a difficult thing to find in Paris. I also buy any kitchen supplies I need from them, as well as my bathroom towels. They also do cards for all occasions in English and they are a third of the price of WH Smiths. Everything is a bargain!


I recently discovered Sostrene Grene, a Danish store, thanks to my Faroese friend Sissal. Located at La Defense, Sostrene Grene is quite similar to Hema but it focuses specifically on household items (more furniture and decoration items), DIY projects and quality art supplies. They also regularly share DIY videos using their products on their Facebook page and website. I went there the other day for a whisk and left with – a bag, some sweets (the hard boiled ones we love in England), a head massager, a whisk and another notepad. All for under 10 euros! If you are looking to decorate your home or you fancy a cool and creative DIY project, Sostrene Grene won’t break the bank.


If you are looking to shop for your basic necessities, hypermarkets are the way to go. They are SO much cheaper than any supermarket. The only problem is that they are generally outside of Paris; there is a huge Auchan inside Quatre Temps at La Defense and an enormous Leclerc underground at So Ouest (Levallois). However, if you have the time and you have a navigo or even better – a car, it’s worth making the trip. Both hypermarkets are easy to reach via the metro so you won’t have to lug your shopping too far!


In terms of buying clothes Paris has a massive variety of shops for you to choose from. However, some will leave your purse a lot light than others. H&M is one of the cheapest shops in
my opinion, with everything being priced very reasonably and the products being good quality. Cache cache is even cheaper but be aware, the items you buy there won’t last much more than one or two months if you wear them often. Lastly, Bonobo is slightly more expensive than H&M but the clothes are great quality and fairly unique so you won’t spot every other guy or girl wearing the same dress as you on a night out.


Belleville, as an area in general, is one of the cheapest in Paris. There are many stores there (known as Bazaars) where you can find a variety of items for your house or apartment. Bazaars have everything you could ever need to furnish your home and at a cheap price. They even sell face painting and masks for special occasions such as Halloween! If you are looking to have a general shop head to Rue de Belleville and go up the street from the metro, you will find all kinds of bazaars and supermarkets that are very cheap! After all the shopping you can pop into Aux Folies for a nice glass of wine that won’t cost you a bomb!

So there you are, just a few tips on how to save a bit of money in this beautiful but expensive capital. 


  • Mitzie Mee

    Cool that there’s a Søstrene Grene in Paris! When I lived in Denmark, I used to go to Søstrene Grene to buy anchovy-stuffed olives, which are really hard to find in ordinary grocery stores, but I’m not sure whether they still carry those:) I remember when I visited Paris many years ago, and I was sitting next to a French girl on the plane. She told me about all her favorite places to shop, and one of the first stores she mentioned was H&M! I was living in Sweden at that time, and my student wardrobe was 90% H&M so I decided to skip that one, but it’s really one of my favorite high street stores.

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