Some may view France as an expensive place to live – it can be, but it can also be incredibly affordable. It all depends on where you shop and how you live! We share our top tips on how to live in France on a budget.

Use the markets

One of the perks of living in France is that you’re never too far from a market. Full of fresh, local produce and much more, use your market to find the best bargains. This doesn’t just include food, either! Many markets sell other items too such as household goods, beds and bed linen. As well as being more affordable, browsing your local market is a great way to bump into familiar faces and enjoy browsing – you’ll find it more fulfilling than a trip to the supermarket!

Eat out affordably

You may be living on a budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a meal in a restaurant. Most eateries offer a ‘prix fixe’ menu each weekday with 3 courses, often including a glass of wine and coffee at around €15. Opt for local, family-run restaurants for brilliant food at reasonable prices.

Drink local wine

France is known for its great wine, so if you’re living there, why not take advantage of what’s on your doorstep? In the wine-growing areas, you can buy wine directly from the vineyard and many have the wine literally on tap. Buy a plastic bottle and fill it up each time you go. You’ll find a huge choice of boxes at around €15 for 10 litres.

Explore vide greniers (attic sales) and bric-a-brac shops

For furniture, ornaments and the like, explore bric-a-brac shops and attic sales. If you’re up for reupholstering furniture or giving something a fresh lick of paint, then these sales are a goldmine. Vide greniers can vary in size and the bigger events will often provide a proper sit-down meal for both visitors and participants! Don’t hesitate to haggle for everything – the sellers will be expecting this.

If you would like further advice on the selling process in France, download your free France Guide.

Why not split the cost and double the fun of owning a holiday home in France by buying with family or friends? Read our guide to Buying Abroad with Family.

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