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Cheap prices ,relaxed atmosphere not great for a decent weekly shop
Member Name: mel2989
Advantages: competative prices, more for your money relaxed shopping atmosphere
Disadvantages: not much to choose for, no staff around to help and pricing confusing
Today I had my first shopping experience at Lidl and I must say I was quite impressed. As I no longer life with my parents shopping on a budget is really important, an on a recommendation of a friend I decided to test out my local Lidl. On first entering the shop it did seem to have a small selection of products but the aisles were wide leaving plenty of space to browse. I always find the browsing part hard in your more popular supermarkets as you do tend to push and shove with other people, so the relaxed atmosphere to shopping was brill.
First of all I will say this was only a quick shop so I didnt really look at every part of the shop but did try and browse around.
I had an idea of what I needed to buy in my head and had a good shop around. first on my list was fruit and veg, Although they did not have a wide selection they did have the basics which were very reasonably priced or had offers on them, Some of the more in demand fruit and veg also came in bumper packs which i took advantage of. A found a big bag of washed white spuds for £2.49, a bag of onions(about 8 in a bag) for 69p both a bargain. Next was bread I got myself a loaf of bread for 49p and a selection of breadbaps 5 for 75p and there was a great selection to choose from. As I made my ways down to the fridges I was quite lost among the unfamiliar brands, there was only a smattering of top brands so I did find this part tricky and didnt get much chilled Items. Most of the items looked like they were either cheap brands or brands from different contries which did put me off a bit. I did pop in a 4 pint of milk for a £1 which is the cheapest I've found anywhere and a pack of childrens yoghurts which I have just tasted and found really yummy and sure my nephew will enjoy. Next was the meat counter which was very small and did not much to choose from but I grabbed a pack of Mince 500gm for £1.99 something else I havent found cheap anywhere else. I did intend to buy some fizzy pop but was a little put off by the lack of popular brands, they did have there own 'freeway' pop but I wasnt brave enough to try, cheap pop lets face it is hard to swallow. In the middle of the store was the shop specials which included anything from furnature to clothes, I had a browse and did see some rather good items for a great price but did not buy anything. I moved onto the tin isle and cooking sauces and agian saw a few branded item but not many. I did pick up some things and consider them but was put off my the own branded items, I think I was being a bit picky with it being my first shop there. I had a browse on the frozen section and was quite impressed I couldnt believe my eyes at some of the things they had, like whole frozen lobsters, cant say I have every come across these at ASDA.
One thing I also noticed was the lack of staff around to help you, although I didnt need any help, there is a certain amount of comfort in knowing of you need it its there, in fact the onyl staff member I remember seeing was at the check out.
One thing that really got me ticked off was the fact that I had to purchase my own shopping bags, 3p a bag for a small bag 9p for a larger bag. Im all for saving the environment, but I think having to purchase your own bags is a bit daft (no I didnt buy my own I remembered I had some in the car). The shop was also quite busy and they only had one till open which made me feel a bit rushed by the people stacking up behind me . Also the end of the checkout had one squre inch of space were the operator left your shopping so I realised that packing your bags as you go wasnt an option, I guess the idea is for you to put your items back in your trolley and pack away from the till, which must be a pain for anyone will more than a few items.
Lidl did offer some good items at a very cheap price, you cant go much wrong with their fruit and veg offers. The wide isles was a bonus and the relaxed atmosphere was good but I would have liked to have seen more staff around. There was not much to choose from which is the ideal for anyone who doesnt like making decisions but for me I like a bit of variety. another critisism is the lack of top brands avaliable to buy, now im not at all fussy on what I eat, I find that the cheaper items are just as good as the branded ones but the packaging of the products avaliable did put me off a bit. Also the way they price the items is completly confusing. When I walked into the store I saw a sign for single peppers for 40p each which I wanted to get but when I found them they were priced at 60p, so I didnt know if the offer was on or off and didnt want to chance buying them. The prices for the item are labelled quite strange, if something is on the bottom shelf the price for the item is above it, which when there is an item above the price label it is quite tricky to work out what price goes with with item and I found myself thinking that the item above was cheaper than it was.
I would certainly return to Lidl again simply for its cheap items but wouldnt consider do my weekly shop there as for me personally did not offer enough products, and next time knowing what the shop is like I will be more prepared such as bringing my own bags and maybe being a bit more adventurous with the items I buy
Summary: good for a quick shop on a budget but not for a decent shopping troley full of money