Saturday, 26 February 2011

Comparison shopping

Food prices are rising. Is it worth shopping at cheaper supermarkets? They don't deliver, they don't always have a complete range and they usually don't take credit cards.

Recently, I have done most of my shopping, on line, at Tesco. Any top ups/things I have forgotten usually come from Sainsburys. Last week, my son made his own menu and own order. He wanted to buy as much as possible for his money so he put the order onto My supermarket. I had stopped using this, as previously, Tescos was always cheapest but to my surprise, Sainsburys was definitely better value.

The combination of half term and my son's menu, meant that I hadn't brought enough for a fortnight which is my current aim. Today, I thought that I would go back to Lidl. I have shopped in Lidl, in the past, but the fact that it doesn't do on line shopping and generally being busy, meant that I hadn't been there for ages.

Is Lidl cheaper? Is it good value and what about the quality?
The answer to the last two questions is very individual but I put my receipt today though My Supermarket to get comparision prices with the major supermarkets. I attempted to correlate volumes/weights and quality. It wasn't always possible to find an exact equivalent, for example, I brought Lidl's jars of Morello cherries but had to use tinned cherries as a comparision. There were the same number of products in each basket.

The results
Ocado £96.64
Tesco £89.95
Asda £83.70
Sainsburys £78.94
Lidl £62.33

Best buys in Lidls
Dried fruit
Bread mix
Jars of cherries
Instant coffee
Frozen vegetables
Free range chicken

Worse value from Lidls
Shampoo and conditioner

I haven't eaten everything yet! When we've used Lidl before, we've found that the coffee and chocolate is better than the equivalent in Tescos. The quality of the fruit and veg varies from store to store.

Downsides of Lidls
-They don't stock everything. I couldn't get soft brown sugar, only demerara and there was no golden syrup.
-My local store doesn't have baby seats in its trolleys. They have the conventional toddler seats but nothing suitable for a tiny baby. This isn't a problem for me now but has been in the past.
-Charges for bags. I take my own.
-Need to take cash or a debit card.
-There isn't much space for packing at the checkout.

Overall, I'm pleased with my shop and how much it cost. In addition, to my grocery shop, I brought an art set for £12.99 which was one of this week's offers. We had seen something, very similar, for over double this price, last week, in an art shop. I'm planning to go back although not for every shop due to the issues with range.


  1. My Lidl bulk buy shop goes something like this:
    Trays of: tinned tomatoes, fruit juice
    Several jars of fruit, mushrooms, peppers
    Whole salamis/cured sausages
    Chocolate - for eating and cooking
    Bread flour/mix
    W5 washing powder, oxi-clean, dishwashing tablets
    Any other cleaning equipment I need

    Other things that are good to pick up:
    Greek yoghurt, butter, frozen whole leaf spinach, cold sliced meat, sauerkraut, and whatever's on offer if you need it.

    I wouldn't try to do a whole regular shop there, but building in a monthly/bi-monthly Lidl shop should pare down the average weekly spend somewhat.

  2. Yipes!
    Thank you so much for this post.
    I always buy from Ocado and occasionally, Morrisons and Sainsbury's. It is very hard for me to get into the grocery store with three kids and push an extremely heavy trolley (whilst trying to keep from inuring other people in the process).
    I have compared shops between Sainsbury's online and Ocado, and found that Sainsbury's was about £15 cheaper for the products, but the delivery was more expensive than the £2.50 I pay every week. Also, I can find some things at Ocado (like the world's BEST houmous and other things) and nowhere else.
    This post does make me think about what I am buying more. Also, if my family does get bigger, it might behove me to shop more cheaply. Our grocery bill is getting bigger than it was last year.
    But yes, my grocery store must absolutely have delivery. It's worth £30 and more. There's no way I can really make it without it ...
    Or is there? Hmmm...

    Beth Fisher