Cheapest supermarkets in the Netherlands: the ultimate 2024 guide

Save those Euros! 💶

Anyone who has lived in the Netherlands for more than a month knows that buying groceries here can be expensive.

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

Whether you’re a frugal student, held back by the soaring inflation, or simply trying to pinch pennies where you can, you’re probably wondering: what are some cheaper alternatives that won’t have you spending half of your monthly budget on groceries?

What are the cheapest supermarkets in the Netherlands?

In the time since I first moved to the Netherlands, I’ve uncovered many cheaper alternatives to that inviting blue Albert Heijn sign that greets most internationals once they’ve set foot here.

Let’s run through them! 👇

Dirk: the classic Dutch supermarket

If you’re looking for an affordable option, you can’t go wrong with Dirk — a Dutch supermarket on the cheaper end of the spectrum.

In addition to its wallet-friendly prices, my favourite thing about this supermarket is that it’s nearly as widespread as AH and Jumbo. With 125 stores around the country, you can probably find one close to you. 🛒

dirk-one-of-the-cheapest-supermarkets-in-the-netherlands-with-red-and-white-logo
Red is the new blue! Image: Depositphotos

You can find almost everything you need here — from food to beauty household items. It also has some great promotions, and it’s not uncommon to find food products for as low as €1.

Pro tip: Dirk also has great bread (we confirm this from DutchReview’s daily lunch experiences). 🥪

Jumbo: a cheaper alternative to Albert Heijn

In my opinion, Jumbo is AH’s main Dutch competitor in terms of price and general quality. You can still find the same regular products in both stores, but what gives Jumbo the competitive edge is that it’s slightly cheaper.

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

It also has in-store brand products, which can cover a wide range of items for your daily needs. 💳

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

Nettorama: a cheap Dutch classic

If you have a Nettorama somewhere near you, you’re in luck. This place calls itself a “brand discounter” and sells many well-known brands for a fraction of their normal price (often if you buy in bulk).

People generally say that Nettorama is like the better version of Aldi and the lesser version of Jumbo and Dirk.

They have a great selection of products, but their presentation sometimes isn’t the best. But hey, if it can save us money, we don’t care. 🤷

photo-of-a-woman-shopping-for-hummus-in-one-of-the-cheapest-supermarket-in-the-netherlands
Nettorama famously has some of the lowest prices out there. Image: Depositphotos

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. 📦

READ MORE | Best supermarkets in the Netherlands: the international’s guide

What I liked about Aldi is that it’s great for covering all your basics, like bread, pasta, cheese, and general household items.

They also have weekly promotions so that 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 Aldi’s slightly more expensive sister. I’ve found that it has a very similar layout, a comparable price range, and the same no-nonsense approach to shopping.

Whilst slightly pricier than Aldi, the upside is that you can find a wider range of products and the quality is generally better.

picture-of-outside-lidl-one-of-the-cheapest-supermarkets-in-the-netherlands
More and more LIDLs are popping up across the Netherlands. Image: Donald Trung Quoc Don/ Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0

Unfortunately, they’re usually not located close to city centres in the Netherlands, 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.

asian-groceries-can-be-cheapest-supermarkets-in-the-netherlands
Almost every Dutch city has a local Asian supermarket. Image: Depositphotos

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, while others just resemble butchers and greengrocers.

a-dutch-farmers-market-can-be-cheapest-supermarket-in-the-netherlands-with-freshest-produce
These local markets usually have very cheap, fresh produce! Image: Depositphotos

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.


No matter what you’re shopping for, it’s almost guaranteed that you can save some money by not going to AH. So, find your nearest cheap store, and let the savings begin. 💸

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

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.

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15 COMMENTS

  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.

  5. The cheapest supermarkets are all regional, you don’t find them in the whole country. Furthermore is Jumbo NOT cheaper than AH. But that’s maybe because this article is rather old. Last year (2023) Aldi was even the most expensive supermarket.

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