Another vital topic for newcomers to Norway is groceries. Everybody needs them, and that Meny next to Fantoft is overpriced! Jokes – well, mostly jokes. When I lived at Fantoft I did shop there a lot because I felt the the proximity to Fantoft outweighed the potential deals I might get elsewhere, and there were reasonably priced items to be had. But if you want to go beyond the Fantoft Meny… or just learn more about the scintillating topic of grocery stores here in Norway, read on:
“Cheap” Grocery Stores
Yes, even groceries are more expensive in Norway. But there can be deals to be had. You do have to do some exploring and shop around, but if you’re willing to put in the legwork, you may find some deliciously-priced food items.
Often the stores most touted as inexpensive include Rema 1000, Rimi, and Kiwi. It’s important to also check at international stores such as Global Foods among many others (sprinkled throughout the city), as they sometimes have good deals and often have coveted items not found at the generic supermarkets.
You might also take a look at more than one location of a given store. I have noticed that while some deals appear at multiple locations of one store, occasionally there will be some differences in prices on the same products in different locations. I’ve also noticed that eventually those stores can catch on and products I’d come to rely on being the least expensive at one location suddenly match the prices everywhere else, curses! (I’m looking at you, Rimi kale). I wish I had some simple way to help you find the cheapest deals, but I have not found that yet. I’ve mostly just spend a lot of time comparison shopping (but then again, time is also money… or some sort of American colloquialism).
Perhaps a little color will make comparison shopping more fun? Image: http://colormekatie.blogspot.no/2011/03/you-know-whats-fun.html
If anyone out there has specific recommendations for any type of grocery store, or any ideas for saving that grocery money, please weigh in below. To read some great practical tips for how to save money grocery shopping in Norway, click here.
Hours and Sundays
Of course grocery store hours vary from store to store. Many tend to be open from ~8:00 – 21:00 or even later Monday – Saturday. There is an app that can tell you the nearest stores and their hours, if apps are your thing:
Sunday, however, is it’s own unique story.
As you have likely noticed, and ‘Funny Facts about Norway’ points out, grocery stores must close on Sunday, but petrol stations and kiosks can open (but, I do not recommend doing your grocery shopping at a petrol station if you are concerned about money or want any nutrients). There are a handful of stores allowed to be open on Sundays, and only if they are a certain size – kiosk size, apparently (<100 m2). Why? Good question. Does anyone know why? If you do, comment below! I heard the custom is a holdover from more religious days, but I don’t know why a “kiosk” selling groceries would be allowed to be open but a full-sized grocery store would not. I don’t know about you guys, but I have Bunnpris nightmares – endless looping queues in tight grocery aisles – no, not really, but I do dread entering the Bunnpris near me on a Sunday!
Use the Grocery Store to Recycle:
And remember, you can get a refund on certain recyclable bottles – those that indicate in writing that they have a “pant” (literally “pledge” but essentially a refundable deposit) on the item. This can get you a little money back or towards your next purchase. At most grocery stores there is a machine you can feed bottles, and in return you receive a receipt that you can cash or put towards your grocery purchase at the cashier.
For more information on gettin’ your pant on – check this link. Or take a look at this handy video:
Video from David Nikel’s article, “How to Pant in Norway”