Shopping Tip: Have a Plan and Save Money

Every Monday afternoon I eagerly check the mailbox for my favorite publication: The Migros Magazine. Although I can't read the articles, except for a few words here and there, I do enjoy flipping through the pages to plan my next shopping trip. The one word I can read, know very well, and am on the lookout for is "Aktion," which designates items on special. I'm also looking out for products that will earn me bonus points that will count toward my next set of coupons.

There's no doubt about it, buying goods in Switzerland can be very expensive, but in my overall experience I have found that our family spends no more than what we used to spend in the States on groceries. The key to saving money is planning.

I do realize that planning shopping trips can be difficult for busy families, especially those in which both partners work outside the home, but with a little extra effort and time the savings will be well worth the trouble.

I start out my week by discovering what's on special at Migros and Coop supermarkets and then plan my meals based on what's on sale there. I think this is the most important step I take. Of course, not everything I will need to prepare a meal will be on sale, but it is always my goal to use as many sale items as possible when cooking meals for Isaiah and me. Also, I'll pick up a few things early on in the week, but if at all possible I try to save the bulk of my Migros shopping for Donnerstag, or Thursday, when it is possible to earn double points on your entire purchase. Whatever produce and fresh foods are on special at Migros and Coop are the goods I tend to get in addition to our basics.

Next, I am on the lookout for items that will earn me extra "club" points (I look through the Migros Magazine or online at Migros offers bonus points on new items, like their new cocoa drink mix, which sells for CHF 5.80, and I earned 111 extra points when I purchased it. (Usually you earn just one point per dollar you spend.) Other than new items, Migros offers bonus points on certain brands, such as this week's special on select Max Havelaar Fair Trade products. Coop offers 20X super points on select items as well.

Finally, I look through the Aldi, Otto's, and Denner advertisements in search of deals on non-perishables. (I am definitely among the few people in Switzerland who don't consider these "junk mail.") I'll then add items to my shopping list if I need them immediately or will need them in the near future.

My household shopping certainly takes me to 3-5 different shops per week, but to me it's the thrill of the hunt for deals that keeps me going. Besides, my shopping habits here are not so different from the variety of shops I frequented back in California: Target for toiletries, Vons for double coupons, Henry's for inexpensive produce and bulk spices, etc.

Deals of the Week:
  • This week's Migros Magazine offers cut-out coupons for deals at the Migros Restaurant. Although it is probably the most affordable place to eat out here (except for Döner Kebaps), these coupons make it even more economical. My favorite is the coupon for CHF 2.40 off of the Frühstücks-Hit. I have two sets of coupons so that both Isaiah and I can enjoy a discounted breakfast (one from the magazine that comes in the mail and the other from an extra one I pick up at the store).
  • Despite my diligent planning, somehow I failed to discover that chocolate is on special at Migros. Today while shopping, I needed a chocolate fix so I grabbed two bars (below). On my way out of the store as I examined my sales receipt, I noticed that I got CHF 0.30 off of each bar. It might be a good week to stock up on Bärner Schoggi and the (Fair Trade) Bio Cremant, which are the only Migros chocolates I really care for.


  1. It's not food, but to compare prices for electronic, use and enjoy various special sales on !

  2. M'dame Jo - Thank you so very much for the link. I just registered with the site and found lots of great stuff!! You have all the secrets! Please do keep commenting and sharing...

  3. Unfortunately, I don't know many more secrets, but I'll keep sharing :)

  4. Hi,
    I read from time to time in your blog to improve my english skills.

    For watching the weekly special offer over all i can suggest you:

  5. Hi NoToM!

    Thanks for reading! Also, I will be extra careful to omit any grammatical mistakes so you can have error-free English practice!

    Thanks so much for the link. I just now registered for the e-mails.

    I am loving all these great suggestions and tips!!


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