Supermarket Souvenirs from Finland?

Thrifty Travel Mama had a while ago a great post on supermarket souvenirs from Scotland (and after that e.g. great posts about travelling in Switzerland. Awesome pictures and great tips for travelers). I meant to go to a supermarket with those “souvenir goggles” on but never got around to do it. But then Mel, a kiwi living in Finland, did something similar almost at the same time as Nina, a Finn living in Scotland, wrote about the food she misses from home. Both posts are good reads, and quite to compare.

As for the free but fun part: Food is always fun, no need for explanations, but food is heavily taxed here, so in shops it’s definitively not free. However, we still have a lot of relatively pure nature, so happy foraging!


  1. Thanks for mentioning my post! I love food shopping here. That’s my third post on Finnish food and I still have more to write about. Funnily enough most the Finnish words I know now are food related!

    1. You’ve got your priorities right 🙂 Remember Hälsans Kök for vegetarian stuff.

  2. I saw my name. Good idea to do a supermarket post! It’s our favourite place and we love grocery shopping. How much is the tax in Finland? Over here, we are paying 7% GST (Goods and Service Tax). But we do not have free daycare and health care. While we envy Finnish system, we forgot that the tax is heavy.

    1. Yes, your name! Would be fun to have your post as well!

      Gst on food is 24% at the moment 🙂

      To be exact, daycare is heavily subsidized but not free (we pay for two children about 450€/month, so *heavily* subsidized, school is free (which we start at the age of 7), and health care is low cost but not quite free (however, if you are without any means, the state will pay for your treatment).

      1. 450Euro sounds like what we can have here. The private childcare fees can range from 200 to 1000 Euro per child. School from 7 yo is free too. Health care cost is coming down with many measures from the govt. I am surprised that you have to pay 450 Euro. I imagined they are totally free, or depends on public or private operators? One thing for sure, the education system is what we are striving to role model after.

        1. I think we pay 10% of the real price (therefore heavily subsidized), and the 450e is for two children (labour costs are high here, that would add to the real price). Most private ones have a deal with the city, so that people using their services can apply for a refund from the city and therefore they end up paying only slightly more than people using public daycares. Did I mentioned that here it is mandatory for the city to provide a daycare placement for all children in the ages 1-6? Because of that there is not much demand for private daycare without possibility to financial refund. There is a lot of good in the system (e.g. equal opportunities) but there certainly is a lot to improve as well (e.g. the class sizes have grown heavily in the last years, and that shows in the behaviour of the children).

          1. Oh yes, you are paying for labour costs, I forgot about that. Over here, childcare teachers are somehow underpaid. Their work does not yet to be so recognized as a distinguished profession to take care of young ones. I find that ridiculous since they are one of the most important teachers in a child’s initial years. So, we really pay mostly for the benefit of profit organizations rather than to the teachers. Not subsidized as much compared to Finland.

  3. Those were some interesting posts – it amazes me how different the foods are across the world!

    1. They are! Obviously these also highlighted the special ones, there are some things you can buy everywhere, I think. Would you be interesting to make supermarket post to show us your view? I’d be interested in reading it 🙂

      1. I may have to – I had a Canadian blogger friend send me a care package of Canadian goodies, so now I get to return the favor, I think I’ll turn it into a post of all the neat things at our supermarket! Great idea Velma! Thanks!

  4. Ooh, you’re right! I should do a supermarket souvenirs post as well. I’ve heard about the taxes in Finland… so not free, but at least it’s very practical for the price, so sort-of counts?

    1. Yes, please do a supermarket souvenir post! We should ask Christy or somebody else to do it too, could be fun to compare the different views!

      I guess the thing with prices is that you get used to what it cost. The cost only hits me when abroad, especially in other euro countries, and when you can even by Finnish products cheaper than at home.

      More generally speaking I think we like to complain about the high taxes, many compare with the tax rates in other countries, but then they forget that there are also many things we pay a lot less for, e.g. daycare and schools.

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