Newest Review: ... can buy an extra bag for the week. The dairy products and cooked meats are an area Lidl are known for. The yogurts are nice though the... more
Member Name: Madam
Date: 26/02/10, updated on 05/04/10 (82 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap goods
Disadvantages: Too cheap
Lidl is one of the most popular discount supermarkets in UK. They are headquartered in Germany and are present in many countries in Europe.
They are considered one of the cheapest options out there, when it comes to buying groceries and may be compared to Aldi.
My review combines my experience with Lidl in this country and in France (where I have lived for some time) and Spain (which I have visited on few occasions). In each of these countries I have visited Lidl, primarily hunting for bargains.
The first thing to remark about Lidl is that they normally have 1 brand only for each product. In some cases, for example juice fruits, they may have 2 or 3 but this is the exception and anyway, it will most likely refer to different kind of juices.
The second consideration is price. Mostly cheap, but some items are actually not that cheap. You should not assume that everything you find at Lidl is cheap. They also run regular promotions which they advertise on national newspapers. The Lidl nearest to me is middle sized and do not always have all the products they advertise, but for those that they do have in store, I never came across a situation where they had run out of them.
Thirdly, quality. This varies. I love their Parmesan cheese, for example, but a chocolate bar I bought tasted suspiciously too much like recycled cardboard. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also disappointing from time to time. Where they perform better is in my opinion in the range of canned and tinned food.
Fourth. Service. No credit cards accepted, usually at least 2-3 people in front of me at the till and 3p charge for the carrier bag (although surely of better quality than the ones of Tesco or Sainsbury's) and make sure you bring your own Pound for the trolley, because the cashiers may get grumpy if you ask them to change a tenner.
Fifth. Not a one-stop shop. Due to the fact that some items are only sold in one shape fits-all, you may find that if you really want strawberry jam, for example, and you do not like the one from Lidl, either you give up on it, or will need to source it elsewhere.
In conclusion, there are clear savings to be made here, but be smart with your shopping basket. I would suggest you familiarize yourself with your nearest Lidl and try their different products. If you find enough that you like, it may be worth the trip there from time to time, but in my opinion you will still need Tesco or Sainsbury's.
Summary: Mix bag