The residents themselves estimate that they spend at least 100 euros during one shopping trip. Also, people reveal when is the best time to go to Poland in order to avoid standing in queues with other buyers.
When is the best time to go to Poland?
“Many Lithuanians go shopping in Suvalki, when you go there to shop on the weekend, you often hear Lithuanians instead of Polish. Sometimes you have to push yourself in the queues.
But we finally found a way to avoid the congestion. Shops are usually closed on Sundays in Poland, except for the last Sunday of the month. So when we visited Poland last weekend, we were surprised not to find many people in Suwalki stores. Apparently, not everyone knows which Sunday the shops are open in Poland,” said Rasa from Kaunas.
She indicated that she usually tries to shop for a month in Poland.
“We spend most of our money on dairy products and meat. For example, a kilogram of chicken fillet costs 2.5 euros there. That’s why we buy as much meat as we can fit in the fridge,” the woman joked.
At that time, Jolanta from Alytus testified that she found another way to shop in Poland calmly and without queues.
“It is best to go shopping in the morning, but on a working day, then there are the least number of people in the shops,” advised the woman.
She also pointed out that people spend the most at the beginning of the month, when they receive their salaries.
“So at the end of the month, you can also meet fewer people in the shops. We usually go shopping in Poland on certain occasions, for example, before holidays.
This year, Easter will be early, already at the end of March. Therefore, we will go shopping with our family at the end of February, when there will not be big crowds there. After all, before the holidays, there are a lot of not only Lithuanians, but also Poles in the shops,” said the woman.
Costs in Poland depend on the season
Swedbank economist Greta Ilekytė, reviewing the expenses of the bank’s customers when paying with payment cards, commented that the amount of expenses usually fluctuates depending on the season of the year.
“For example, every year we notice that expenses increase in the summer months and this is probably natural – residents, going on vacation to Poland or other European countries, stop at the same time in a neighboring country to shop,” commented the economist.
She pointed out that the attention paid to shopping in Poland in the public sphere is still much higher than the actual determination of Lithuanians to go shopping there.
“Countrymen’s settlements in this country make up about 1 percent. from the total amount of bank payments with payment cards.
And the trend itself, when residents go in search of cheaper goods to neighboring countries, is nothing new. For example, a third of Belgians go shopping in France or Germany. At that time, Finns looking not only for cheaper food products, but also for drinks, are quite frequent guests in Estonia”, observed G. Ilekytė.
Spent millions of euros
The economist calculated that last year Lithuanians in Poland spent about 7-8 million euros in the non-summer months, while in July and August almost twice as much – about 14-15 million euros.
“In December, the expenses amounted to just over 7 million euros. Residents spend the largest part of expenses, about a third, on food products, and about a fifth – on fuel. According to the bank’s data, the average amount of one settlement currently amounts to around 50 euros”, calculated G. Ilekytė.
According to her, despite the fact that cheaper food products can be found in Poland, one should not forget that traveling there also includes opportunity costs.
“For example, if you need to go 100 or more kilometers to the shopping center, you would have to calculate not only the considerable fuel costs of the trip, but also the time that would be spent in the car.
Finally, there is the risk of buying goods and products that may not be needed or have a limited shelf life. In such a case, it would be necessary to carefully calculate whether the desired goal – to save money – was really achieved,” the economist advised.