High prices of North
For years, since I came to Finland, I have been struggling with prices in local grocery stores. Quite often you are faced with a decision either to keep your body fit or to keep your wallet full. It is not a surprise that frozen or not organic food usually win the price war and push people towards spending money on them. However, this post will show you ways to cut the expenses without sacrificing the quality of the products.
According to Huffpost Business [The list of the most expensive countries in the world to live in], recent studies revealed that Finland is the 13th most expensive country to live in the world. The studies were focused on average price of consumer goods excluding rent and mortgage payments. That once again demonstrates the difficulty of survival in the northern land even if you are just visiting the country for a short period of time.
Fun fact: It is proven that human body burns more calories [Being cold makes people burns more calories] in the cold, thus it needs more of it to sustain body temperature on healthy level. That in turn forces us to consume more food, which usually costs more in comparison with southern regions.
Lapland is definitely a cold place, so you will need a lot of supplies to keep your warmth. Fortunately, there are some ways to bypass higher prices and get better deals.
Guide for Healthy Body and Wallet
Firstly, before visiting the shop it is always recommended to check deals posted in local newspapers (such as Uusi Rovaniemi, available for free) and TV commercials. Customers can also learn about special prices by checking official web sites of grocery stores. Unfortunately, official web sites of K-market (as well as K-supermarket and K-citymarket), Lidl and Prisma are not translated to other languages rather than Finnish, but it is still relatively easy to find special deals on the main page of the sites.
Secondly, if you are already on the go with no ideas about current offerings, try to find the retailer’s magazines devoted exclusively to sales and special deals that you can explore in the shop today and during following weeks. Grocery stores often lower prices for selected products to attract attention of the customers. These discounts usually last for several days and they are shown on the main price tag together with the original price. Almost all biggest brands, such as: Lidl, K-market and Prisma, have their own brochures which are commonly located near entrance and cashiers.
Thirdly, there are many discounts that you can rely on in every grocery store even without checking the “deals” magazine. These are 20-30% discounts on selected products which are expiring soon. For example, if salad expires on 2nd of February it receives “-30%” tag at the beginning or in the middle of that day. Usually these tags are red or yellow stickers which can be found all around the store. The most beneficial products to buy with such discounts are: meat, fish, and dairy products due to their short shelf life.
Nowadays, majority of grocery stores in Lapland have their own product lines that are considerably cheaper than famous brands, because they are not wildly advertised as the latter. For instance, K-market has recently launched its brand k-menu, and these products win customers attention because of price advantage. Another example of low cost product brands can be Pirkka, Rainbow, and X-tra.
To help you to easily navigate in Finnish shops, here are some important words and phrases translated from Finnish to English:
- alennus (ale) – discount (so cheap, they removed “S” from “Sale” :D)
- ota 3 maksa 2 – take 3 pay for 2
- tarjous – special offer
- paljonko maksaa? – how much does it cost?
- hinta – price
- ei muuta, kiitos! – nothing else, thanks!
I passionately looking forward to see your most fruitful buyings in the comment section below.