Where to buy groceries in Stockholm if I want to save money


Written by Judith

28 Nov 2018

Grocery shopping, that unavoidable task all of us have to do every two weeks, even if it’s just for pasta and tomato sauce. When I arrived in Stockholm, I had no idea about any supermarket in Sweden so I was buying my food at the closest one. It was convenient but I wanted to save money that later, can be invested in other activities.

However, as days go on you find out about other supermarkets from your friends. Stockholm has six main supermarkets that can be found all around the city. These are Coop, ICA, Willy:s, Lidl, Hemköp, and City Gross.

All the stores sell the same products from different brands but it has to be noted that both ICA and Willy:s have two versions of store according to the size. In the case of ICA, the smaller version is called ICA Nära (means next in Swedish) and ICA Maxi is the big store. The same way, Willy:s has Willy:s Hemma (means home) and Willy:s. Normally, big stores are located in the outskirts of the city whereas the smaller versions are located all around the city. However, you can find big (or huge) stores in key locations, such as in T-Centralen.

Price comparison

Below, you will find a table with price comparison per each store for the same product. In order to get an idea of the different prices, each product represents one of the 5 food groups. These products are 1Kg of apples (fruit), 1Kg of potatoes (vegetables, legumes), a box of cornflakes cereals (grain), 6 eggs (meats), and 1L of milk.

Illustration of apples, cereal, eggs, potatoes and milk.
Products representing the basic food groups / Photo: Judith

The table also shows what would cost to buy the five products in each of the supermarkets.

Table comparing the cost of apples, cereal, eggs, milk and potatoes at different stores.
Table with different prices / Photo: Judith

Conclusion: if you want to save some money from your groceries, go to Willy:s, ICA Maxi or Lidl if you can.

Grocery shopping is a task that takes a lot of time. But, with online shopping, you don’t only save in money but in time too. I also investigated the options and fees applied when buying online.

Table listing the cost of online fees at several different stores.
Online fees and requirements / Photo: Judith

  • Google Translator is your friend unless you understand Swedish. This applies for at least the first days until you know what products to buy or you learn Swedish. It happens that most of the products’ labels are in Swedish. In most of the cases, you know what you are buying just by sight, and the difference between the two brands doesn’t really matter (e.g. salt). But, there’s always this product impossible to distinguish one from the other. For instance, after my first time buying groceries, I thought I bought detergent but instead, I was washing my clothes with softener.
  • Bring your own shopping bags because otherwise, you will have to buy plastic or paper bags. Sweden is becoming more sustainable thus promoting reusable bags instead of plastic bags.
  • If you have to take public transportation for grocery shopping, check first which tunnelbana stations have stores connected so you don’t need to go outside to the street. Normally this applies to stations located where a mall is such as T-Centralen, Fleminggatan/St Eriksgatan, and Morby Centrum.

Now you know how to save more money

Stay tuned for learning more tips of living in Sweden

I’ll be posting more content about what is to live in Stockholm and Sweden. Check out also other useful tips from the other ambassadors.


Written by Judith

28 Nov 2018