Groceries, drinks and cigarettes are more expensive than ever in the Netherlands. As the Dutch government struggles, people can no longer afford to buy their daily things in the once proud country. Infact, in the Netherlands, according to official numbers, more than 900000 people now live in poverty, including 221000 children. The real numbers are expected to be a lot higher. So the Dutch are crossing the border to Germany just to buy their daily needs. German supermarkets are literally flooding with Dutch people right now.

“I live just across the border in Germany and to my astonishment, someone from Rotterdam recently asked where you can do cheap shopping here,” says a woman in the parking lot at the local supermarket in Gronau. “But I get it. When you see the price difference, you’re shocked!”

A liter of petrol currently costs about 1.85 euros and alcoholic drinks are also priced lower. This is emphasized by two men from Spijkenisse, who leave the supermarket in Gronau laughing. “We often buy a lot of wine and then take it with us to Spijkenisse. The same product is more expensive there in the Lidl supermarket than in Germany.” In The Netherlands, the supermarkets Aldi and Jumbo are the only ones attempting to keep their prices as low as possible, but they are struggling to survive.

So why are the German supermarkets so much cheaper than the Dutch? Some reasons:

1. Lower VAT and excise duties:
To start, taxes are a lot lower in Germany. “In Germany they have a general rate of 19 percent and a reduced rate of 7 percent. That makes a difference compared to our 21 percent and 9 percent,” experts explain. In addition, excise duties in Germany are a lot lower. That is why alcohol and cigarettes are a lot cheaper across the border. “In Germany you pay nine euros for a case of beer. In the Netherlands that is easily double.”

2. More competition:
The second reason Molenaar gives for the price difference is the amount of competition. In the Netherlands there are actually only two major players: Albert Heijn and Jumbo. In Germany there are many more. To attract customers to their stores, supermarkets keep prices lower.

3. Greater purchasing power
German supermarkets also have greater purchasing power than Dutch stores. Because more people live in Germany, they can purchase larger quantities of products. They can therefore negotiate more discounts than our supermarkets.

Do you want to keep your money in your pocket too? Continue to Germany, where you can sometimes save as much as half!

Watch: (make sure to put English subtitles on)

By Crahz

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