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Supermarkets in Norway: What are the best loyalty schemes?

Grocery shopping in Norway is amongst the most expensive in Europe. Luckily, there are plenty of generous bonus schemes to help you get more bang for your buck when you hit the shops. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of loyalty cards.

Supermarkets in Norway: What are the best loyalty schemes?
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Æ-Rema 1000

Rema 1000 opened its first store in Trondheim in 1979 and has become one of Norway’s largest supermarket chains.

Rema’s loyalty scheme is a smartphone app that anyone over the age of 15 with a Norwegian mobile number and a smartphone can use.

Unfortunately, the app isn’t available in English, so you best practice your Norwegian if you are going to capitalise on the savings on offer.

On the bright side, the discounts you receive are well worth it, especially if you have young children, as the app offers a 25 percent discount on all nappies (or diapers for the non-Brits reading).

In addition to this, you receive 10 percent off all fresh fruit and vegetables and 10 percent off of your 10 most frequently bought items, meaning you can save money on the things you buy the most.

You can also sign up for their personal price cut scheme, whereby you receive tailor-made promotions. However, you must first approve this in the app under your profile.

To get these discounts, you must have the app and scan your personal barcode at the checkout or register a bank card in the app.

The app is available on both Apple and Google Play stores.

Trumf- Kiwi/Meny/Joker/Spar

Trumf covers three supermarket chains in Norway as well as convenience-store-cum-supermarket Joker.

With Trumf you get cashback, or a “Trumf bonus”, every time you shop. The Trumf bonus/cashback is deposited straight into your Trumf account after making a purchase with a card linked to your Trumf account.

Alternatively, you can present your unique barcode via the app at checkout.

To become a Trumf member, you will need to have a Norwegian phone number and bank account. You will then need to link a debit card to your account.

One perk of Trumf is you can also invite somebody to form a joint Trumf account. This means that you can create a joint pot with your partner, for example.

All the supermarkets affiliated with Trumf offer a one percent bonus on shopping. This equates to roughly one percent cashback value of the items you buy.

On certain days, usually Thursday’s, Triple Trumf is activated, which means 3 percent back on all purchases; you’ll typically receive a heads up via text or email so you can plan a big shop to make the most of Triple Trumf.

Here is an overview of how the bonus points work for each store:

KIWI:

  • One percent back on all groceries
  • Three percent back on Triple Trumf
  • 15 percent back on all fresh fruit, vegetables, and freshly packaged fish

Spar:

  • One percent back on all groceries
  • Three percent back on Triple Trumf
  • Free coupons on selected products
  • 25 percent discount on all baby food and nappies

Meny:

  • One percent back on all groceries
  • Three percent back on Triple Trumf
  • Personal offer coupons

Joker:

  • One percent back on all groceries
  • Three percent back on Triple Trumf
  • Five percent back Monday

It isn’t just groceries either, Trumf can be used on everything from fuel to fashion. You can download the app on both Apple and Android.

The biggest advantage of Trumf is the freedom of deciding how to use your Trumf bonus.

You can choose to receive the cashback directly into your bank account, have the money deducted off of the total next time you shop at your chosen store, convert it to SAS EuroBonus points for your next trip away, or make a charitable donation.

READ MORE: The essential phone apps you need to travel around Norway 

Like Æ, you’ll have to brush up on your Norwegian to make the most of the app.

Coop

To access Coop’s loyalty discounts, you’ll have to become a member and part-owner of the business. The big drawback to this is that to become a member you’ll have to pay 300 kroner to become a part-owner.

However, once you’re a member, it’s worth the initial outlay. 

To begin with you will get a one percent purchase dividend, in the form of cashback, on everything you purchase. The dividend is automatically credited to your member account and you can earn a small amount of interest on it.The dividends are transferred into your account once a year.

As a member, you’ll also get exclusive access to special deals on well-known brands. The discounts cover everything from thermals to kitchenware and electronics.

In addition to this, you’ll get discount vouchers for frequently bought items.

To sign up, you’ll need a Norwegian phone number and D-number. To use your membership, you can use a mobile phone app at the checkout or with a physical membership card.

One problem is that while there are many discounts and dividends opportunities to take advantage of, it can be confusing to know what perk can be used where, as Coop divides its deals up between its Mega, Extra, and Prix stores. Thankfully, we’ve taken care of that for you with this guide for what benefit applies where:

  • Extra: 20 percent dividend on baby products and 11 dividend on fruit and vegetables
  • PRIX: 25 percent discount on all men’s products
  • MEGA: 20 percent dividend on organic food and vegetarian food.

There’s also a one kroner bonus every time you reuse a Coop bag at stores.

Own an electric car? There’ll be eight percent dividend if you use Mer charging stations.

If you’re still on fuel power to get you from A-to-B, then there are also bonuses for filling up with Circle K or YX.

This year Coop paid out 1.3 billion kroner worth of dividends to its members based on how much they spent in-store in 2020.

You can use the Coop app on either Apple or Android.

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FAMILY

‘Barnehage’: Everything parents in Norway need to know about preschool

In Norway, almost every child attends a "barnehage". But what is it, and why are they so popular with parents? Here's what you need to know.

'Barnehage': Everything parents in Norway need to know about preschool
Here's what you need to know about barnhage. Photo by Lucas Alexander on Unsplash

What does barnehage mean? 

Barnehage is a compound word, barn, which means “child”. And hage, which directly translated means, “garden”. In English, barnehage translates to “kindergarten”, or “preschool” or “daycare”, and stems from the German word, kindergarten

How popular is it for children to attend barnehage?

In Norway, there are 5,620 preschools throughout the country. And nearly 93 percent of children from the ages of one to five attend one. 

While it is a popular choice to send your child to barnehage, this is a relatively new trend in Norway’s history. It wasn’t until the 1980s when every municipality in Norway had one or more preschools. And during that time, only five percent of the children who applied were admitted, and children with single mothers were often the most prioritised. However, the demand for childcare grew in the 1990s when it became more common for households to have both parents earning an income. 

Who runs barnehage?

Jurisdiction and control over where the preschools are and how they are run come from the national government. This is to ensure that every child in Norway receives the same standard of care no matter where they live. The Ministry of Education and Research, the Directorate of Education, the County Governor, the municipality, and the kindergarten owner are responsible for the kindergarten’s well-being and daily function. 

It is possible to work in a preschool without higher education. However, most municipalities require a certain percentage of barnehage employees to have the correct degree. 

To be a preschool teacher, you must complete a three-year programme that qualifies as a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. And to be a pedagogical leader in the classroom, you must apply for an extra 60 study points of further education in certain subjects. 

All preschools are required to fulfil a particular employee to child ratio. For younger children, it is one employee to every three enrolled children under the age of three. Over the age of three, it is required to have one employee for every six children enrolled. 

To work in a barnehage, even as a substitute, you need to undergo a politiattest or a “background check” conducted by the local authorities. 

How much does it cost to send your child to barnehage?

Depending on which barnehage your child attends, you pay a set monthly price. However, the government has set a maximum price. As of January 1st, 2021, the maximum price parents or caregivers can pay for preschool spots is 3, 230 kroner a month. Whether the preschool is public or privately run, they must abide by this rule and not charge over the max price. 

Some preschools provide breakfast and lunch, which costs extra. And if you have more than one child attending the same preschool, there is often a reduction in the total monthly price. And if you fall into the bracket of “low-income family”, then there is a national scheme in place to offer your children a preschool space at a reduced cost. 

The different types of barnehage in Norway

Yes, the preschools in this country run under both national and local frameworks to ensure equal childcare for all. But there are different types of barnehage you can choose from, which include:

Halvdagsbarnehage: Or “half-day preschool” which is only open between four to six hours a day, five days a week.

Naturbarnehage eller friluftsbarnehage: These are preschools that are based on conducting their learning and childcare outside for large parts of the day. Rain or shine. Bitter cold days in December or windy days in the spring. The four seasons in Norway are not a reason to go inside if you choose to send your children to a friluftsbarnehage, or “open-air preschool”.

Familiebarnehage: Or “family preschool”, which is most often set up in a private home. However, all family preschools are required to have assistance from an educated preschool teacher.

Åpen barnehage: Or “open preschool”, which is an establishment set up where parents can attend the daycare with their children. It’s often used by parents who are home with their children during the day and want to socialise with other parents and give their children a chance to play with others. There is no monthly payment attached to this type of preschool. Open preschool can be free of cost or charge a very affordable drop-in price.

Useful vocabulary and facts

Nearly 90 percent of preschool teachers in Norway are female.

The barnehage is a central part of many communities. Both in small towns and large cities. It is common for most preschools in Norway to host a dugnad (usually during the autumn and spring). Dugnads encourage parents and caregivers to help with the maintenance of the preschool. Typical tasks include cleaning common areas indoors, painting the preschool’s fences, and raking leaves. 

Norwegian expression of the day: Dugnad

Barnehage tante or “preschool aunt” is an outdated term sometimes still used to describe employees who work in a preschool. Even if you have heard others using the term, try and refrain from doing so yourself. Many who work in a preschool find it to be both belittling and outdated.

Omsorg – care

Sove-tid – nap time 

Åpningstider/stengetider – opening times/closing times

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