Moving to a new city or country comes with its own set of challenges. The change of culture, weather, language, routine, travel & commuting and managing with local food can take a little time. The fastest way to feel like home is to have the basic conveniences of home and food available at the earliest. The first place we go to after moving are supermarkets to pick up all the essentials we need to get going.
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 the 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 and of course IKEA.
All of the bigger outlets for these stores are located in the outskirts of the city whereas the smaller versions are located all around the city. However, one can find a big (or huge) store in a few key locations, such as in T-Centralen.
Here is a list of major Supermarkets that are all around Stockholm.
Saving Money & Cost of Shopping
If you want to save some money from your groceries, Willy:s, ICA Maxi or Lidl are the supermarkets with the best deals. Even the same products are priced differently in different supermarkets even though the outlets are of the same chain. The supermarkets inside the city that are round the corner are a little more expensive as they are closer to visit and shop.
Grocery shopping is a task that takes a lot of time. But, with online shopping, you don’t only save money but also time too.
If you are going to cook your food, you can expect to spend at least 500 SEK per person per week.
When I was living alone, I managed to spend 2.000 SEK per month on groceries and only 1.000 SEK per month on eating out.
You can also order your groceries online. The delivery is only around 50 SEK.
One of the most iconic companies in the world, Stockholm has one of the largest outlets in the world. It also is home to the IKEA museum which is a must visit for all. There is a store for every kind of shopping that one might need in Stockholm when moving there.
IKEA is absolutely a one stop shop for everything one needs. From furniture, lamps, kitchenware and home decor. The prices are unbeatable and quality is incredible. Stockholm has the outlets of IKEA on the outskirts of the city. A few new smaller outlets have also opened in the city. Read more.
Tips for shopping:
This tool is your best friend unless one understands 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.
Picture Displays in Self-Checkout
In most of the cases, you can tell just by sight, and the difference between the two brands doesn’t really matter (e.g. salt). But, there’s always this product that makes it difficult to distinguish one from the other initially. For instance, the first time buying groceries, milk and yogurt packaging can look the same with the cow on the package. Easy to get confused for a first timer at the supermarkets in Sweden.
When packaging fruits and vegetables by oneself, the screen shows all of them with images than just written is swedish. Easy to navigate when shopping.
Own Shopping Bag
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.
All of these supermarkets and stores have apps and one can order online as well. Not only the supermarkets, Sweden has an app that connects you to various services that make life much. Read more about Apps to have when moving to Sweden.