Unfamiliar shops, brands, and products make the relatively simple task of grocery shopping a real challenge. This guide will provide you an overview of what are available in Ireland and what to expect.

Essential grocery shopping information:
Guide to grocery shopping in #Ireland #moveabroad
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The range of supermarkets and their range of stock is much more limited in Ireland than you may expect to find in e.g. the UK, USA and Australia. They are generally quite small in size but in the suburban areas they have much larger superstores.

You will need to pack your own groceries, which can be frustrating if you are used to being in a country where supermarkets pack them for you! Sometimes there will be a person raising funds for a charity assisting you to pack – so you will be obliged to put some coins into their fundraising bucket.

Tips

Supermarket Opening hours

Many supermarkets are open 24/7 or have long opening hours like 08:00am – 10.00pm everyday. You can access individual store opening times on their websites.

Sale of Alcohol Laws in Ireland

Liquor is sold in supermarkets, however, off-licence sales of alcohol is only permitted between the hours of 10.30am and 10.00pm on weekdays and 12.30pm to 10.00pm on Sundays or St Patricks Day. Sales are not permitted on Good Friday or Christmas Day. This does not affect supermarket opening hours as they just block access to their alcoholic products outside of the permitted times.

Supermarkets in Ireland

Guide to grocery shopping in #Ireland #moveabroad
Aldi supermarket

Aldi

German based chain, very similar to Lidl.

Products: Limited range, with a focus on staple items and a ‘no-frills’ approach to store layout. Mostly stock their own brand; however, they stock more branded products than Lidl. Their beauty product range, Lacura has a cult following. It’s famous for beating its more expensive rivals by winning the 2010 best intensive anti-ageing serum. Since then it has been a popular product for those in need of cheap but effective face creams and serums. Their Florette tampons are a real bargain as well. Read an in depth review of Aldi’s range of Lacura and Florette products.

Similar to Lidl, in addition to its standard items Aldi has weekly special offers. Some of them are more expensive products such as electronics, tools, appliances, computers, through to cheap clothing, toys, flowers and gifts. Specials have strict limits on quantities and are available for one week or until they run out. You can sign up to their email newsletters to get an early preview of the specials.

Trolleys: In order to use the trolleys, you will need to purchase a special Aldi token to insert into the trolley to unlock it from the other trolleys. If you are not a regular customer then this can be very annoying when compared with other supermarkets that only require you to use a €1 coin. However, the stores provide large and small baskets that can be used without a token.

Payment types: Cash. In Ireland they accept debit cards and also Visa/MasterCard with no additional charge.

Customer loyalty scheme: No.

Online shopping: No.

Website: aldi.ie

Guide to grocery shopping in #Ireland #moveabroad
Dunnes Supermarket

Dunnes Stores (AKA Dunnes)

Small Irish based retail chain. Not all of the stores contain a supermarket, so check their website for locations.

It is not always obvious that the store contains a supermarket. Usually the supermarket department is down in the basement or the back of the store – so you usually have to walk through their clothing department to get to it.

Products: Dunnes has a reasonable selection of products to choose from. They also stock their own branded products. The stores usually contain clothing, bedding and home wares but each store can vary what they sell, so check their website first to avoid disappointment.

Trolleys: In order to use a trolley, you will need to insert a €1 coin to unlock it. The stores also provide small baskets that can be used without a token.

Payment types: Cash, debit cards and Visa/MasterCard with no additional charge.

Customer loyalty scheme: Yes, called VALUEclub.

Online shopping: Not for their grocery department.

Website: dunnesstores.com Moving to Ireland: A Practical Guide

Shopping in IrelandEurospar

Dutch multinational retail chain. Small convenience style supermarkets.

Products: A small selection of branded products.

Trolleys: In order to use a trolley, you will need to insert a €1 coin to unlock it. The stores also provide small baskets that can be used without a token.

Payment types: Cash, debit cards and Visa/MasterCard with no additional charge.

Customer loyalty scheme: Yes, called SuperEasy Rewards.

Online shopping: No.

Website: eurospar.ie

Guide to grocery shopping in #Ireland #moveabroad
Lidl supermarket

Lidl

German based chain, very similar to Aldi.

Products: Limited range, with a focus on staple items and a ‘no-frills’ approach to store layout. They stock their own products as well as branded products. Similar to Aldi, in addition to its standard items Lidl has weekly special offers, some of them on more expensive products such as electronics, tools, appliances, computers, through to cheap clothing, toys, flowers and gifts. Specials have strict limits on quantities, and are available for one week or until they run out. You can sign up to their email newsletters to get an early preview of the specials.

Trolleys: In order to use a trolley, you will need to insert a €1 coin to unlock it. The stores also provide small baskets that can be used without a token.

Payment types: Cash, debit cards and Visa/MasterCard with no additional charge.

Customer loyalty scheme: No.

Online shopping: No.

Website: lidl.ie
Guide to grocery shopping in #Ireland #moveabroad
A look inside Lidl supermarket
Guide to grocery shopping in #Ireland #moveabroad
M&S supermarket

Marks & Spencer (AKA M&S)

UK based retail chain. Not all of the stores contain a supermarket, so be sure to check their website for locations. It is not always obvious that the store contains a supermarket. Often the supermarket part is in back of the store.

Products: Known as a luxury food store, they also sell a large range of pre-prepared food. They also sell niche items that you may not find in other stores.

Trolleys: In order to use a trolley, you will need to insert a €1 coin to unlock it. The stores also provide small baskets that can be used without a token.

Payment types: Cash, debit cards and Visa/MasterCard with no additional charge.

Customer loyalty scheme: No.

Online shopping: Yes, but you must collect it in store, they do not home deliver groceries.

Website: marksandspencer.ie

Guide to grocery shopping in #Ireland #moveabroad
Supervalu Supermarket

Supervalu

Irish based supermarket chain.

Products: Supervalu stock their own brand of products as well as branded products.

Trolleys: In order to use a trolley, you will need to insert a €1 coin to unlock it. The stores also provide small baskets that can be used without a token.

Payment types: Cash, debit cards and Visa/MasterCard with no additional charge.

Customer loyalty scheme: Yes, called Real Rewards.

Online shopping: Yes.

Website: supervalu.ie

Guide to grocery shopping in #Ireland #moveabroad
Supervalu supermarket

Tesco

UK based chain store.

Products: Tesco has a broader selection of products to choose from. They stock their own brand of products alongside branded products. Some of the larger stores also sell their cheap clothing range and home wares, electronics, garden items etc…

Trolleys: In order to use a trolley, you will need to insert a €1 coin to unlock it. The stores also provide small baskets that can be used without a token.

Payment types: Cash, debit cards and Visa/MasterCard with no additional charge.

Customer loyalty scheme: Yes, called Clubcard. You can collect points not only with your grocery shopping, but also at other Tesco businesses and business partners.

Online shopping: Yes.

Website: tesco.ie

RelocatingtoIreland.com is a participant in the Find My Past, Clickbank, Amazon EU and Amazon Services LLC Associates and Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to findmypast.ie, clickbank,com, Amazon.co.uk and amazon.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I personally believe will add value to my readers.