Saving Money in Germany

Ultimate Guide of Saving Money in Germany

Even though Germany isn’t one of the most expensive countries in the world, it’s always nice to spend your money on things you actually enjoy. So, today we’re sharing our tips on how to save money in Germany! We’ll take a look at how you do grocery shopping as well as making the most of some more administrative hacks.

Saving on groceries – weekly offers

One of the best ways to save money on your groceries at essentially any supermarket is to make use of their weekly offers! You will often find these in highlighted areas at the store, but there’s usually also a paper and digital list of items that are discounted that week! This makes it easy to save a few bucks on your usual purchases, but also to try new things and, if you’re like me, not have to think about what you’re going to cook that week. Just let the discounts determine it for you!

German discount stores

There are plenty of supermarkets around your German city of choice, and most people will often visit whichever store is closest to them. Makes sense, right? Well, if you’re looking to do your groceries for as little money as possible, you might want to make a slightly longer trip to one of the following stores:

Aldi, Lidl & Netto

What makes a discount store a discount store? Well, you trade the perfect-looking tomatoes and apples for their bumpy, grizzled-looking – but just as tasty – brothers. Presentation and service-wise, it’s also lackluster, with rows of products not neatly lined up and presented, but still in the box.

Also, for the Americans among us, be prepared to bring your own bags and to pack them yourself. Just saying. That said, though, buying the ‘real’ products instead of the picture-perfect produce or top brands, as well as the aforementioned weekly deals, can save you anywhere from 10-30% on your grocery bill. The numbers might seem small on a product level, but these savings add up over time!

Local markets

Alongside supermarkets, most towns also have a (bi-)weekly market with vendors that sell all kinds of products.

However, most interestingly for us, this is often where you can get the best prices for fresh produce, fruit, nuts, and even bread. These products often come straight from the farm and aren’t picture-perfect products, but they do often taste better than the perfectly round stuff from the supermarket!

At the same time, it’s also a good place to purchase less perishable products such as rice in bulk. So, ask a local and ask them when and where the best markets in your area take place.

Student discounts

If you’re a student or recent graduate who still has their uni card, you can make use of the special student discounts knows as Studentenrabatte! This nets your discounts at many different kinds of businesses and can save you quite a lot of money. So, whenever you’re going out to a cafe or trying out the cinema after COVID 19 dies down, make sure to ask for the student rates. Did you know that students are usually entitled to free public transportation in Germany? Get in touch with your university if this applies to your university as well!

Here are some examples of German businesses that often offer student rates:

  • Cafés and bars
  • Restaurants (usually have a student menu or discounts on certain days)
  • Kinos (cinemas)
  • Gyms
  • Telecom and software

Cash is king

As a final note, Germany is a country where cash is still widely used and accepted. Taking part in this will actually help you save money! Go to the UTM and withdraw your weekly budget in cash, so you know how exactly how much you’re spending and how much you have left in your budget. We all know how easy it is to swipe our cards when making a payment, making it very easy to lose track of how much you’re spending.

So, now you know how you can make your life in Germany a little bit cheaper by shopping at the right stores and markets and making use of the discounts available to you! Happy saving!

About the Author

Daniel Carter

Daniel Carter is a senior writer and editor at CouponKirin. His work has been featured by The Associated Press, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, and Reuters. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When he’s not writing about money, Carter enjoys traveling around the world.