Where to buy groceries around campus?
Physically going there (arranged in increasing order of distance)
A map of all the places is displayed at the end of the article.
Else (0 km): This is a small store on campus which opens at lunch and in the evening, from where you can get pasta (in bulk), oats and other dried grains, dish washing soap, etc. They commit to sourcing their products from local farms and companies as much as possible. If you want (organic) vegetables/ fruits you have to place an order by Sunday, and it arrives on Wednesday. You can also order bread and cookies. The website shows availability and exact opening hours: ELSE : Horaires (binets.fr) though, as they rely heavily on their suppliers, there are sometimes missing products or orders which don’t arrive exactly on time. Don’t forget to bring your own containers if you can!
Payments are made only through Lydia (if this not possible for you, don’t hesitate to contact Else by email, they are very friendly and can arrange for bank transfers)
Franprix (1.5 km) : This is located near the Telecom, Paris building, about a 20 minute walk from Bâtiment 103. It’s one of the two places people usually walk to if they want to do some little quick shopping. It’s generally more expensive than the other options though. There’s also a cute bakery next to it if you feel like a post-shopping croissant :)
Small Carrefour (2.2 km): It’s about a 25-30 minute walk along the outskirts of the forest, and it’s the other place for quick shopping. I would not recommend doing your monthly shopping here since you do not want to walk all the way back with all that stuff. If you do end up shopping a lot there you should try to borrow a bike. There is also a pharmacy and a bakery right next door.
Vrac Nature, Rue de Paris (3 km): This is a place mentioned for its organic products. If you want to go here it is suggested you bike.
Shopping in Massy (4.8 km): Massy is 8 minutes away by bus (as opposed to the walk to the small Carrefour, take n. 91.06 or 91.10) and you have access to multiple bakeries, Carrefour and Auchan (both supermarkets) , a bio shop, a random gifts/postcards/mail stuff shop, etc… It’s a convenient area with everything in one place and offers a larger selection as well as cheaper prices.
Markets: There is a market in Massy (Sunday mornings, Place de l'Union Européenne) and a market in Lozère, right next to the RER station (Wednesday and Saturday mornings, 1 rue Collet 91120 Palaiseau). These are good for fresh produce, fresh fish, meat you might not find at the supermarket as well as bakery goods (and the people are often very nice!). The one in Massy also has multiple stands for pizza, rotisserie, Lebanese food, etc.
Other: I would not recommend going there (you might have to for the sous-prefecture and visa stuff), but if you end up in Palaiseau Ville (also a bus stop) there are also multiple supermarkets, restaurants, butchers, bakeries, etc.
Auchan: The groceries are delivered in plastic bags, so you'd be accumulating a lot of plastic waste if you choose to regularly use this option.
Personally, I think this is the best option for online shopping. There is usually a wide range of products, and they are delivered pretty accurately to what you ordered (as opposed to Carrefour where I have had some products cancelled or replaced because the original item became unavailable).
The delivery fee might seem quite high if you order alone, but it’s only 5 € for orders over 150€, which will be reached if you shop in groups of two/three depending on how much you order, and you can then split the delivery cost (pro tip: on the Auchan website, go to Mes produits > Mes listes de courses and make separate lists for everyone, and add them to the cart one by one so you can easily determine the amount each of you has to pay without having to go through the bill, which is quite painstaking).
Carrefour: The deliveries are made in cardboard bags that can be recycled.
As I said before, I have had better experience with Auchan, but some people prefer this site for its products, efficiency and much lower delivery fee : 5€ for orders over 100€ and free delivery for orders over 120 €. You can also make a carte Carrefour for free and have access to multiple discounts and offers.
- I also would recommend getting membership cards to the supermarkets! They’re free and you get free stuff (or at least good deals).
- Be careful that pretty much everything is closed Sunday afternoon in France. The exception near campus is Franprix (which closes Saturday instead).
Have fun shopping :)