What groceries do you buy


Shops and businesses in everyday life

There are supermarkets in all cities, but also in some villages in Germany. There you can get a lot of important things for everyday life: bread and meat, yoghurt and chocolate, cleaning products and toilet paper. The supermarkets are usually open from 7:00 a.m. to at least 8:00 p.m. Would you like to buy fresh food? In many places there is a weekly market once or twice a week. It often takes place on Saturdays. You can get fresh fruit, vegetables and regional specialties at the weekly market. You can find fresh meat and fresh sausage in butchers (in southern Germany they are called butchers). You can buy fresh bread in bakeries.

Bakeries, butchers and other small shops are sometimes closed for lunch. In the evening they are usually only open until 6 or 6.30 p.m. The weekly markets usually run from early morning to afternoon. All shops are closed on Sunday.

© Goethe Institute

Delivery service

If you don't want to go out to go shopping, you can use a delivery service: you call the delivery service or fill out a form on the Internet. Then someone will bring you your pizza or mineral water home, for example. However, this service costs more than shopping in the store. In many villages there are no shops, but mobile traders go there regularly. They sell groceries and other everyday items.

Specialty shops and internet

For example, if you want to buy a closet, a computer, or a pair of shoes, you can go to a department store or specialty store. Department stores have many different products. There are department stores mainly in cities. Specialty stores specialize in certain products. There are, for example, furniture stores, electronics stores or shoe stores. The opening times are mostly from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., sometimes only until 6.30 p.m.

You can also get many things on the Internet today. Usually you only have to wait a few days and the products will be delivered to your home.

© Goethe Institute


Different means of payment are common in Germany. You can pay with cash anywhere. If you have an account with a bank or savings bank, you will receive an EC card and often a credit card (MasterCard or Visa). In some supermarkets, department stores and specialty shops you can pay with your credit card.

On the Internet you pay by credit card, but also by direct debit or invoice. If you want to pay by direct debit, you have to enter your account details online. The money will then be withdrawn from your account. With an invoice, you transfer the money from your account.

© Goethe Institute

Prices, guarantees and exchanges

Most shops in Germany have fixed prices for all products. You can sometimes bargain in the market and in specialty stores for large amounts. But that's not usually the case.

Have you bought something and it is defective? Then you have a 2-year warranty for new goods: You get a new product. Or you can return the defective product and get your money back. Or you have to pay less. For used goods it is 12 months. Sometimes there is also a guarantee on products. If the product, for example a television, breaks during the warranty period, it will be repaired free of charge. Or you can get a new television. The warranty period is 12-24 months from the date of first purchase.

Some stores also offer the option of exchanges: if you don't like the product, you can return it. You will then get your money back. On the Internet or in larger shops and department stores, an exchange is usually possible within 14 days. You have to show the receipt or the invoice. Special offers can often not be exchanged.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I find stores near me?

Go to www.gelbeseiten.de. In the “What” window, write, for example, “Supermarket”, “Butcher”, “Bakery” or “Department Store”. Enter your place of residence in the “Where” window, for example “Cologne” or “Hultrop”. You will then see a list of the stores.

Where can I get cheap groceries and products?

Most of the time, the products in large stores are cheaper than in small stores. If you want to save money, it is best to go shopping in supermarkets or department stores. You can also get cheap groceries at the weekly markets. You can also find special offers in many stores. There are also more and more flea markets. There you can buy cheap clothes, used furniture and many other things for the household.

Where can I buy a washing machine?

In some department stores and specialty stores. Department stores and specialty stores will deliver the device to your home. But then it costs more. You can find used washing machines in the newspaper at classifieds. Or you search the Internet. You usually have to pick up a used washing machine yourself.

Where can I buy products from my home country?

Sometimes that's difficult. Some products are not available here. In big cities, however, there are often smaller shops with products from many countries around the world. Large supermarkets also often have international products.

Can I shop on Sundays?

Generally no. In large cities there is usually a grocery store at the main train station. You can buy drinks at a kiosk. Petrol stations also offer drinks and groceries. With a delivery service, you can also order food on Sundays and in the evening.

I bought a defective product. What can I do now?

Was the product defective when you bought it? Then you have a two-year guarantee: You get a new product. Or you can return the defective product and get your money back. Or you have to pay less. Did you notice the error 6 months after purchasing it? Then you have to prove that the product was already defective when you bought it.

What is the difference between a drugstore and a pharmacy?

In a drugstore you can get care products, household items or health products for which you don't need a prescription from a doctor. Often you can also buy food or organic products there.

A pharmacy, on the other hand, mainly sells medicines and medicines, for which you often need a prescription from a doctor.

Which staple foods belong to Germany and where can I find some basic cooking recipes?

These include, for example, bread made from various types of grain, meat from pork, beef and poultry, fish, fruit and various types of vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes, lentils and peas, onions and garlic, sugar, salt and pepper, cow's milk and various dairy products such as cream , Butter, cheese, yoghurt or quark, drinks such as mineral water, juice, coffee or tea, etc.

You can find some recipes here, for example: