2013.08.09 15:13

Not only food prices draw Lithuanians to Poland 2013.08.09 15:13

For several years now Lithuanians have been storming Polish shopping centres in search of cheaper goods. They have been flooding the neighbouring country’s stores in search of food, furniture and construction materials, writes. 

For several years now Lithuanians have been storming Polish shopping centres in search of cheaper goods. They have been flooding the neighbouring country’s stores in search of food, furniture and construction materials, writes.

Internet forums are full of discussions – is it worth it, is it useful to go on such a journey to buy cheaper products? At the start of the epidemic of shopping in Poland, only the inhabitants of border regions would go to Poland to do their shopping, but as time passed, this caught on with those living further away. This mania has reached as far as Šiauliai.

Buy the cheapest goods

When news of lower prices in Poland spread on the Lithuanian Internet, most began to share their good experiences – descriptions of cheaper goods and price comparisons… and indeed they are correct. Most things are significantly cheaper in Poland. After trying out our neighbour’s goods, the quality of the goods and attractiveness of the service sector has become apparent.

When trying to put together a shopping basket you can see that a family could save much by going on a shopping trip to our economical neighbours

Knowing that the zloty costs 0.83Lt right now you can calculate how much domestic necessities cost in Poland. For example, margarine, which is popular in Lithuania, costs only 2.39Lt when you convert the currencies, while in Lithuania the exactly same product costs from 2.86 to 4.09Lt in different shops. Coffee, which is often sold in our markets (12Lt for 500g) costs only 5.64 Lt there, while the better quality coffee here costs no less than 10 Lt. Rice –  1.40Lt, Spagetti – 0.99Lt, instant coffee ‘Three-in-one’ –  only 2.73Lt for an entire box. Our neighbours buy especially cheap dairy produce – milk, curd, yogurt and cheese are significantly cheaper.

Lithuanians also buy cookies, chocolate, juice and mineral water that costs less than 0.80Lt per bottle. Hygiene  products are bought as well – some of the best brands of washing powder, liquid soap and dish washing liquid cost as much as the cheapest brands do here.

Lithuanians have taken  a special liking to the Suvalkai shop, Piko, where you can buy various sausages and chicken for very attractive prices. For example, a kilogramme of fresh chicken quarters costs 4.97Lt in Piko, while it would cost 5.99Lt in Lithuania.

The prices of flour and sugar are surprising. Flour comes at half the cost, while sugar is 0.30Lt cheaper, though during summer, with fruits and berries available, the demand for sugar is lower, so local Lithuanian prices are satisfactory.

Significant benefit and good mood

Jovita from Šiauliai, described how the quality of service fascinated her on her shopping trip.

“Right on arriving in Suvalkai, I saw posters in Lithuanian that invited us to buy and find the cheapest goods. This was a pleasant surprise. The ‘Kaufland’ shopping centre may have been somewhat disappointing. We stopped there at it first because it was at the beginning of our trip, but the prices in it were similar to Lithuanian prices, just with a massive selection of goods. We didn’t save any money, but we pampered our tongues with new tastes. Later our friends told us they bought exceptionally cheap sugar there,” revealed Jovita.

Later on the family from Šiauliai was more lucky – after exchanging their money at a reasonable rate they travelled to the Piko meat store where they purchased far cheaper produce: pre-made cutlets, chicken, sausages, and ham labelled ‘Aukštaičių’. Jovita remembered how a consultant offered to buy chicken drumsticks in a broken accent after a few visits.

Lithuanian speaking consultants approached Jovita’s family in the furniture store as well, the woman rated the service with a ten.

To save even more, Jovita suggests travelling with a bigger car containing several families and buying in bulk – for a month or two. She thinks there’s more to buy there than just the things that will spoil.

You don’t have to travel with your own car

Mothers preparing to buy cheaper diapers (by the way, 100 of them costs only 50Lt) who can’t convince their husbands to go on such a trip, can find announcements on the Internet advertising Polish stores and inviting people to shopping marathons. The carriers have their conditions, however, you can only take 20 kilogrammes of goods with you, the trip doesn’t pay off then and some companies offer really expensive trips.

After looking at announcements you can go to Lithuanian shopping heaven for 30Lt or you may not need to travel at all, there are services that allow goods from Poland to be delivered directly, with loyal clients getting discounts.