Shopping in Finland

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Shopping in Finland

As a student in Finland, one basic survival habit would be shopping. There are different supermarkets in the country and they carry a variety of items, However, there are three dominant players in the Finnish grocery markets. These big three include the K-group, the S-group, and LiDL.

The K and S groups are Finnish brands while LiDL is a german brand. Both K and S chains have bigger stores and smaller convenience stores. As with many cities in Europe, LiDL is also spread across Finland and they are considerably cheaper compared to the others because they sell lower-priced import items.

RocApply Tip: As a student living in Finland, do your weekly/monthly shopping in bigger supermarkets to save money as they are considerably less expensive.

The first problem new foreigners encounter while shopping is locating what aisle specific products are kept but this pretty much solved by looking out for signs that show the direction of different items. The second problem students encounter is that basically, all the item descriptions are in Finnish, so it is quite necessary to learn some basic Finnish vocabulary or have Google translate to help you out. But regardless you can always ask for help from the nearest attendant in the supermarket; Many Finns are English speakers as well.

When buying fruits and vegetables in any supermarket in Finland, you need to weigh them yourself. There are separate basic prices for separate items but depending on the amount that is required, you would have to weigh them yourself. There is usually a scale number description on the price tag for fruits and vegetables that show specific scale points within the supermarket. However, in LiDL and other smaller grocery stores, the weighing will be done for you at the cash register.

RocApply Tip: Card payments (local and international) are accepted everywhere in Finland.

Students have found that cooking their own meals are generally less expensive than eating out in Finland. Food items like milk, eggs, cheese are quite inexpensive. Irrespective of individual eating habits or diets, people who prepare their own meals from time to time have found that they save some money at the end of the month. But it is perfectly normal to also eat out and experience the many cuisines, both local and international, available in the country.

Other shopping tips that we can recommend include;

  • Keep your eyes open for discounts: Many chains also put discount information online, so please be sure to check them out before you leave home.
  • Keep your eyes open for best before discounts: Every product has a due date and when this date approaches, stores sell them for considerably lower prices than normal. Look out for items that have discounts marks showing best before discounts
  • Keep your eyes open for timed discounts: Most big chains have discounts during the last opening hour of the day i.e the hour before the store closes the prices reduce.
  • Check out for your local farmers market mainly called ‘Kauppahalli’ in Finland; These are usually located in the center of bigger cities.
  • Keep your eyes open for own-brand products of big chain supermarkets
  • Get a loyalty card for your local supermarket, most especially K and S markets. They offer bonus points and exclusive offers in any of their store locations.

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