Supermarket shake-up

I recently fancied a change from our usual supermarket and thought it might be nice to have another evening free rather than of me heading to the supermarket, so I’ve been taking our son with me to try some out. Thankfully he likes to be helpful but also puts things back if Mummy asks him to.

Last week we tried Lidl. We’ve bought a few things from Lidl previously when we’ve seen offers (one of the upsides and downsides to not having a TV licence – no adverts!) or wanted something Italian, but I don’t think we’d ever done a full weekly shop there before. We love that Lidl has lots of Italian things – Italian olives, Italian olive oil, Italian blood oranges – as well as exciting ham, unsalted pistachios, etc.

Our nearest Lidl has a small car park so it can be touch and go as to whether or not you’ll be able to park. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to do a complete shop and I had to pop to a different supermarket later in the week to pick up the other items. Not such a problem as we were running low on milk and bananas anyway.

This week we tried Aldi. As a teenager I remember going to Aldi once or twice with my parents and my sister being less than impressed with their baked beans. When we lived in north London we tried shopping in Aldi once to see if we could save some pennies but we weren’t impressed with it. One of my sisters-in-law regularly shops at Aldi and raves about it and a friend was going to try one out near her, so I thought we’d give it a shot too.

Aldi is further away but there’s a bigger car park than Lidl and the shop itself is bigger, so there’s more choice. I was totally won over by the fact I could buy brown part-baked baguettes and wholemeal pitta bread, neither of which contain sugar! Of course there’s the additional fact that most things are generally cheaper and there’s the fortnightly ‘Super Six fruit & veg’ for 39p. I managed to do nearly the whole weekly shop there, with a few additional items chucked in the trolley out of curiosity, so I just need to buy brown rice and mixed spice (not for the same dish…). Due to me being sugar free, I had expected to have to buy some things elsewhere but I was pleasantly surprised by what was available.

If you’ve never been to Aldi, the end of the till is in a special shape for your trolley to fit in whilst they’re ‘beeping’ your items through, and you either pack at lightning speed or chuck everything back in your trolley and bag it up afterwards. It means you don’t have to wait long in the queue! But it can cause confusion during your first visit.

I’m going to try Aldi again next week with a different shopping list. After a few weeks I should be able to work out if it’s feasible for us to do weekly shops there. I might have to get hold of one of those 2-wheel shopping trolleys older ladies often have to transport the shopping from the car though as we don’t have a driveway!

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