The ultimate guide to the cheapest supermarkets in the Netherlands

Anyone who’s been to the Netherlands for more than a month knows that buying groceries here can be expensive.

If you’re on a budget, getting things from your local AH (Albert Heijn) can feel like a splurge, even with all the nice deals you can get from time to time with a trusty bonus card.

And, with inflation on the rise in the Netherlands, groceries have gotten 11% more expensive than in 2021. So, if you’re looking for an affordable grocery haul, now’s about the right time!

If you’re a frugal student or simply held back by the soaring inflation, what alternatives are there for you not to spend half of your money on groceries? And, what are the cheapest supermarkets in the Netherlands? 

What are the cheapest supermarkets in the Netherlands?

There are many alternatives to the inviting blue Albert Heijn sign that’ll save you quite some bucks on your next grocery trip.

READ MORE | Online grocery shopping: a guide to Dutch grocery delivery services

Dirk: the classic Dutch supermarket

Dirk is a Dutch supermarket on the cheaper end of the spectrum. It may not be as widespread as AH or Jumbo, but with 120 stores around the country, you can probably find one close to you. 🛒

You can find almost everything you need, from food to household items. It also has some great promotions, and it’s not uncommon to find food products for as low as €1. The bread there is also great (we confirm this from DutchReview’s daily lunch experiences there). 🥪

Jumbo: a cheaper alternative to Albert Heijn

Jumbo is AH’s main competitor in the Netherlands. You can find the same regular products in both stores, but what gives Jumbo the competitive edge is that it’s slightly cheaper. It also has in-store brand products, which provide a wide range of items for your daily needs. 💳

READ MORE | Dutch supermarkets are nearly a fifth more expensive than last year

Some of their stores are smaller, so we recommend going to the bigger ones if you plan on exclusively doing your grocery shopping there.

Aldi: the cheap and cheerful supermarket in the Netherlands

Aldi is a classic when it comes to cheap supermarkets. The popular German brand isn’t the prettiest supermarket around, as many products are displayed in cardboard boxes instead of shelves. But with these prices, who cares? 💰

It’s great for getting your basics, like bread, pasta, cheese, and general household items. They also have weekly promotions, so you can get products even cheaper. While it might not be fancy, it puts food on the table. 🥖

Lidl: another cheap supermarket in the Netherlands

Lidl is essentially the twin of Aldi. It has a very similar layout, a similar price range, and the same no-nonsense approach to shopping. It is slightly pricier than Aldi, but the upside is that you can find a wider range of products, and the quality is generally better.

Unfortunately, they’re usually not located close to city centres, so you will probably need to travel a bit to find your closest store. Still, it’s worth the journey if you’re on a budget.

What are the alternatives to big-chain supermarkets in the Netherlands?

Okay, so we’ve covered the most popular supermarket chains here in the Netherlands, but what about off-brand, smaller shops and stores?

Family-run or small grocery stores in the Netherlands

Your socialist leanings might lead you to avoid big chains which pollute the environment and give questionable pay to their employees. Or you just want a cheaper alternative.

Well then, small family-owned businesses are a fair and great choice. They can be much cheaper than regular supermarkets, with some local stores being in the same price range as budget supermarkets like Aldi.

Because the Netherlands is such a multicultural country, the advantage of going to local stores is that you can find a wide range of food from other cultures.

For example, you can go to Indian, Asian or Surinamese stores to get more flavour than you’ll find in all Dutch stamppot combined. Heck, if you are looking for cheap alcohol, then a Polish store will definitely do the job.

Farmers’ markets in the Netherlands

Another great alternative to supermarkets is going to a farmers’ market. You can get a kilo of veggies for as little as one euro — the only problem is using them all up before they go bad. Fresh produce at a great price, what’s not to love?

READ MORE | The 18 best markets in Amsterdam: the ultimate guide

So when you’re at a farmers’ market, don’t go overboard because odds are you might commit some food waste if you over-buy.

There’s a good variety of farmers’ markets in the Netherlands. Some of them lean towards more organic and eco branding, others just resemble butchers and greengrocers.

A farmer’s market is a great alternative for grocery shopping, especially regarding vegetables. Image: Elekes Andor/Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0

We strongly recommend the Haagse Markt in The Hague, which is one of the largest outdoor markets in Europe. It not only sells food, but you can also find clothes, electronics, and a range of household items.

It’s open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. If you get there just before 5 PM, you have the chance to get even better discounts on vegetables, as the sellers will give away their remaining produce for an even lower price.

Do you have any other recommendations for those who want to get groceries for cheap? Tell us in the comments below!

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2020 and was fully updated in September 2022 for your reading pleasure. 

Feature Image:Freepik
Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad was born and raised in Brasov, Romania and came to the Hague to study. When he isn't spending time missing mountains or complaining about the lack of urban exploration locations in the Netherlands, you can find him writing at Dutch Review.

Liked it? Try these on for size:

What do you think?


  1. If you live in the North Holland province than by all means check the Bazaar or “zwarte markt” (black market) in Beverwijk. It’s only open in the weekends but you can definitely get amazing prices on just about anything you can think of. Even renowned Dutch brands that are closing their branches send clothes there so you can get good quality suits for a fifth of the price. Also, late afternoon shopping means a big bang for your buck. It’s not as easily accessible by train but it’s worth a look.

  2. There’s quite a few ‘regional’ supermarkets like DekaMarkt, Plus, Eko, Hoogvliet, and many other that you didn’t mention and usually cover holes in the range when other brands are not present

  3. Quality should be the most important consideration when buying food products, especially produce. Price has little bearing on quality, dare I say none. Consistently we find Albert Heijn has the worst produce, by far; they present it better than any other supermarket, with fancy misters and colorful arrangements, but the quality is poor. For top Quality we find Lidl almost always comes out on top; just be sure to get there early on Monday or Thursday mornings when their sales start to get the freshest of the fresh produce.

  4. Try the Toogoodtogo App! It’s a free App that lists shops and restaurants which sell their surplus foodproducts towards the end of the day for a cheap flatrate. Can be anything from supermarket boxes with frueit n veg via big bakery bags to restaurants selling dinners.. I use it quite a lot. And Jumbo has a coller just for reduced food now with big reducations, everything is 50c to €1 , € 2,50 (for ready made meals max) I gte 1 kilo bags of cut mixed vegetables for 50 cents there for example, which makes 2,3 meals as stir fry or sauce- and a big yoghurt for dessert with a 50 cent bakje fruit plus cheap craft beer to wash it down with to boot.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related posts

Latest posts

At this bank you can ACTUALLY earn 4% on your savings

Sick and tired of savings accounts that serve you a big, fat 0% in interest? Well, we've got exciting news for you, as this...

Utilities in the Netherlands: the ultimate guide to gas, electricity, and water

Before you can enjoy your charming new Dutch home, there’s one essential task to tackle: setting up your utilities in the Netherlands.  Having a smooth...

Violence, drugs, and bad hygiene: UN describes Dutch reception centre as “downright worrying”

A Dutch refugee registration centre in Ter Apel has found itself making headlines — and it's not good news. With a large influx of...

It's happening

Upcoming events

The latest Dutch news.
In your inbox.