France restaurants not always the best option & neither the only solution to cutting your food bill

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Your France food bill be one of your biggest expenses of your vacation spending. We love to eat at the luxury hotels, yet we have found some nice cheaper restaurants too. However, in our experience there we also found some of the best solutions for saving quite a bit on your France food bill. NOW remember this, everything comes at a price... so a little effort will be needed to prepare your own food of course... it's up to you.

The French Market Experience

The highlight of grocery shopping in France is without a doubt the marché, or market. I love wandering through the produce to decide in the morning what to prepare for that night, an idea recommended by Mireille Guiliano, author of the best-selling book French Women Don’t Get Fat.Twice each week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, my friend and I meet for coffee then walk to the market. We’ve actually established quite a little routine. We know which vendors to see for better prices, finding more exotic items, and buying in bulk....france restaurants not

For the best quality, buy from the French producteurs. These are the real deal. This is the actual farmer who knows the produce like the back of his soil-stained hand. The prices can be a bit higher, but the knowledge they share and the expertise in selecting your produce is worth the extra centimes.

I'll know I'm approaching French-hood when I buy one of the rolling bags or woven baskets the women use to cart their purchases home. For now, I just weigh myself down in bags filled with early summer cherries, sweet-scented melons, fresh goat cheese, white peaches, and whatever else I can’t resist....france restaurants not

On the way home from the market, I buy our daily bread. It is true that French baguettes are unbeatable - with goat cheese or jam, or just plain. A true baguette will only stay fresh for a few hours as there are no preservatives. All the more reason to enjoy a piece as you put away your groceries!

Kari Masson has a very colorful collection of stamps in her passport. She grew up in Cote d’Ivoire, studied in the UK, spent time with the Maasai people of Kenya, camped in the Swedish tundra, worked in a health clinic in Senegal, and currently lives in Lyon, France with her husband. She draws on her experiences to write for travel, cross-cultural, and expatriate-focused publications....france restaurants not

Grocery shopping in France...

French supermarkets are very much like those in the States. The layout is much the same: sections for fruit and vegetables, meat, diary products and so on. But there are some differences that might make you look like, well, a tourist.

Supermarkets are very rarely open on Sundays and major holidays and close between six and seven at night.

Shopping carts tend to be found in the parking lot of French supermarkets; to use one, you will need a one Euro coin. You will need the coin to unlatch the shopping cart; you get your coin back when you re-latch your cart. Click here to see photos of this process....france restaurants not

In France, fruit and vegetables purchased by the kilo (par kilo) are not weighed and priced at the cash register, you have to do it yourself. The scales in France are simple to read and use. You don't need to read French. Each button will have a drawing on it; all you need to do is push the one that corresponds to what is in your bag and it will print a ticket that you will stick on your bag. If you buy fruit or vegetables individually (à la piece), all you need to do is bag them and they will be priced when you get to the cash register.

You will need to bag your groceries yourself when you get to the cash register. You will be given plastic bags to do the job. I have rarely seen paper bags in France. For payment, American credit cards will work or, of course, Euros. Remember, if you used a shopping cart to re-latch it where you got it from, so as the get back your one Euro coin....france restaurants not

Import Grocery Stores in France

It was a very happy day in my life when I discovered the import grocery stores in downtown Lyon. As in many larger cities, Lyon has neighborhoods which are largely populated by immigrants, and thus their grocery stores as well.The Asian and Arab stores are a treasure chest for vegetarians and creative cooks. This is where I go to stock up on dried beans, soy products, herb and spice mixtures, Indian chutneys, wheat germ, and also wander around to see what new products have arrived.

On the way out, be sure to pick up a few specialties from behind the glass counters, like veal kebabs in Turkish Elmek bread, triangular fried fataya pies, tabouleh salad, or spring rolls.

France is paradise for foodies. It isn't just the many fresh produce markets filled with local foods, but even the simple act of visiting a local grocery store is divine. Guest Writer Kari Masson, who lives in Lyon, writes about her experiences shopping the markets and grocery stores in France....france restaurants not

I am a foodie

At first, I wasn't even sure if that was a real word. Then I saw an article on MSN that lists Lyon, my home in France, as number five on their list of Top 10 Cities for Foodies!According to, a foodie is, “a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment, especially good food and drink.” Having lived in Africa before moving to Lyon, I’ve explored some tastes, textures, and smells outside the traditional American fare. In Africa I ate giraffe, ostrich, wildebeest, and fish eyes.

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