Seeing as eating out in Norway can be far more expensive than in other parts of Europe and the world, the supermarket can be a good source for more reasonably priced foods. Provided you have cooking facilities in your room/tent/cabin/apartment, you can make most meals at home. If you don’t have the necessary tools to do any actual cooking, you can always prepare breakfast and lunch from store-bought bread and sandwich fillers.
Snacks and drinks should also always be purchased at the supermarkets if your traveling Norway on a budget, NOT the kiosks or the crazily overpriced minibar (they’re even more expensive in Norway than most places).
Some cheap supermarkets are Rema 1000, Rimi, Kiwi and Bunnpris. The first 3 are the best ones. Meny, Ultra and Ica are more expensive chains and unless you need to buy reindeer medallions or any other food that’d you’d only get in well stocked supermarkets, there is no need to go to any of them.
For most things Rema, Rimi and Kiwi will suffice. Most of these are open between approximately 8 in the morning and 9/10/11 in the evening. They are scattered all around Norwegian cities and town and are not hard to find.
A hot tip is to use the bread-slicing machine that is in most supermarkets. Most breads are not pre-cut and this machine will do the job for you if you have a limited selection of knives etc. Here is a list of price examples for some common groceries:
1 liter of milk: around 15 NOK
A loaf of bread: Between 15 and 35 depending on what quality you want.
Cream Cheese: around 20 NOK
Ham: Between 20 and 30 NOK
Sliced cheese: 20-30 NOK
Lettuce: Between 10 and 25, depending on the kind.
Butter: 20-25 NOK
Small bottle (1/2 liter) of soft drink: 15-18 NOK
Pack of 20 cigarettes: 100 NOK
Beer (pilsner) : 26-35 for ½ a liter.
Another thing to remember about supermarkets is that you can recycle your empty bottles and cans there. You get 1NOK for a small bottle or can and 2,50NOK for big bottles. Is does not sound like much, but if your traveling Norway on a budget, every NOK helps.
The ones you get money for are labled with the amount you get for them and they have to be bought in Norway. At the supermarket, you simply put the cans and bottles in a machine (normally at the entrance) and press a button when you’re done. You then get a small ticket saying how much money they owe you and you can collect this at the cashier or exchange it for items in the supermarket.
Drinks with an alcohol content of more than 4,7% can not be sold in Norwegian supermarkets. For and stronger beer, wine or spirits you have to go to the winemonopoly. The winemonopoly is state owned and has sometimes confusing opening hours. They close early the day before any national holiday and are shut on every Sunday + on a few special dates throughtout the year. On Saturdays they shut at 3, and on other days at 6.
The prices are steep on all alcohol in Norway but you’ll probably get the most value for your money by buying a bottle of decent wine. They can cost as ‘little’ as 80 NOK and are never of too horrible a quality. Buy your beers at the supermarket as the stronger and for the most part better beer sold at the winemonopoly is very very pricey. At the supermarket you can buy beer until 6 on Saturdays, 8 on weekdays and not at all on Sundays or certain public holidays.
ALWAYS bring all the alcohol you’re allowed to bring into the country when you arrive. Check this link to see the Norwegian customs’ laws for alcohol import: http://www.toll.no/templates_TAD/Article.aspx?id=195294&epslanguage=EN Don’t bring more than you’re allowed! It’s illegal and can end up costing you. Another thing you should bring and not buy in Norway is razor-blades. The decent ones are extremely expensive for some reason