Hello there, all my bargain lovin’ peeps. Why yes, we will bring our own bags if that means saving 50% on groceries. And you’re right, we will shop during off season so we can fill our closets with big names for a third of the price. I know I’m late to the game when it comes to trying Lidl (shame on me), but I have been pushing ahead at 300mph for the last few months between my full time, my writing, and my new consulting company. So yes, I did just experience Lidl for the first time last night.
Not knowing a cotton-picking thing about Lidl before hand, I had several questions before I went, and I really couldn’t find a source that answered them all in one place. So even though this is a break from the usual content of this blog, I am going to give you a run-down of my shopping experience and what you can expect.
Walking up to the store, my first thought was that it was actually quite lovely. It’s almost all windows (the one on Wade Hampton) and the simple, angular design really is striking. Unlike most Aldi stores, which feature only a few windows near the front, Lidl is full of natural light and feels much more friendly.
Same as Aldi, there aren’t buggy corrals out in the parking lot, but just one near the door. But unlike Aldi, no quarter is required to check out a buggy! Yay! Once we entered the store, we were immediately greeted with a fresh foods section. This is a major player in Lidl’s belt against their biggest competitor- Aldi. The fresh foods section carries everything from warm baguettes, right out of the oven, to flat bread pizzas.
The Shopping Experience
Let’s talk about layout. While I am a long-time fan of Aldi, I have NEVER liked their layout. From the moment you walk in, they trap you in a food maze that makes it terribly inconvenient to go back to a previous aisle to get anything you may have forgotten. Praise be, Lidl is NOT this way. Unlike Aldi, Lidl offers an open layout, more so like your traditional grocery store. Everything is still broken up into departments, but you aren’t funneled through the store in a line.
Lidl and Aldi have a similar selection of produce and dry goods. The brands range from well-known labels to house brands, and it’s all very comparable till we get to the meat and frozen foods. Lidl has, by far, a much larger meat section than Aldi. If you need to buy seafood, beef, poultry, or pork, I would definitely recommend Lidl.
However, Aldi definitely has a more extensive frozen food section. Lidl has some really interesting finds, such as tortellini that looks amazing, and honey chicken that had us ready to make it that night, but the selection just isn’t very large.
The Checkout Process
Just like Aldi, bags are not included. While there for purchase for a low price at point of sale, it’s so much easier just to pull out a few bags from your plastic bag drawer (you know you have one) and bring them with you.
At Lidl, you will bag your own groceries, so if you are planning a large hall, I suggest taking someone with you to speed up the process.
All in all, I was very impressed with Lidl. The prices rock, the layout is easy to navigate, and the food you buy there really is good. They carry a variety of fresh foods, organic choices, but they also don’t forget to stock your favorite guilty pleasures like cakes, Poptarts, and loads of chocolate. I was probably too excited over a new bargain grocery store, but with fresh pineapple for $1.33 each, who wouldn’t be?!? Not that I won’t be back to Aldi in the future, but Lidl has definitely made its’ way into my rotation!
Thanks for reading, lovelies. I hope you all get some great bargains this week and cook up something yummy. Sweet dreams and Happy Travels!