I was really excited to see if I could I do my weekly grocery shop in Lidl, get everything I need and save money in the process? Who doesn’t love food and saving money!
I happily agreed to the Lidl Weekly Shopping Challenge at their new concept store in Banbridge which I thought was a really nice space featuring a new architectural design and spacious layout.
I try to eat as much fresh food as possible, so tend to buy food as and when I need it. I know this certainly isn’t the cheapest way to shop, but I do a “big shop” every few weeks and buy essential items. I find it to be the most practical way of shopping especially, with two children who just want to get home to play.
Like many mothers, I am guilty of popping into Marks and Spencer at the last minute and picking up something quick and easy for dinner that evening.
Over the last few weeks, my average weekly spend has been £110 a week (for 2 adults and 2 children).
Let the challenge begin!
I was instantly impressed with the new concept store. I was greeted by a colourful, display of fresh flowers. I bought two bunches of tulips which definitely lasted a few days longer than the flowers I normally buy from Tesco. (I don’t tend to buy flowers on a weekly basis, but I used this challenge as an excuse to treat myself.)
There was a lovely display of fresh fruit and vegetables are at the front of the shop with the bakery beside it, with a large selection of freshly baked bread, scones and pastries. I was very tempted by the croissants but instead I bought a large country loaf. The children love fresh crusty bread and I just couldn’t refuse. I’ve been buying fresh fruit and vegetables from Lidl for a few months having heard great reports from family and friends. Leila and Luke love the melon and blueberries from Lidl and I juice fresh apples for their breakfast everyday, so I always buy the large packet of apples and bananas. My sister told me she does her weekly shop at Lidl but I had never really gone past the fruit and vegetables to see what else is available in store.
Lidl currently stocks approximately 1,600 products – 300 of which are from Northern Ireland and promote the fact that that many of its suppliers have won prestigious food awards for products supplied exclusively to Lidl such as cheddar from Fivemiletown Creamery and bread from Irwin’s Bakery. I bought 2 packets of delicious yogurts in Lidl from Cooler Creamery range, Organic Irish strawberry yogurts (2x£1.49). After eating one of the nicest yogurts I have ever had, I was told the next day that I had to give up dairy for 3 weeks and all I could think of, was the yogurts in my fridge that I wanted to eat #gutted
The children love fish but I have to call in chicken or else Leila would refuse to eat it. Peppa Pig and Goldie the fish have a lot to answer for. I bought smoked salmon (£2.75) and it costs £4 in Tesco saving £1.25.
For dinner that evening we had 2 salmon darnes (£2.75) asparagus (£1.65) and baby potatoes (£0.39). Total meal cost: £4.79 and we still had asparagus and baby potatoes left over for the children the next day.
I bought a Strathvale Beef Joint which was the most expensive item on my food bill. It cost £11.33 for 1.5 kg. I made a roast beef dinner, Matt had it the next day in fresh bread and the children had it with a mild curry (£0.59) and Basmati rice (£1.79) also bought from Lidl.
I would be more of a baker than a cook and I had run out of most of my baking products. I’m happy to say I bought 2kg of plain flour and self raising flour (£1.19 each) saving an extra £1.40 on my shopping bill. That weekend the children helped with making banana bread using all ingredients from Lidl including Irish butter.
I adore macaroons, especially from Marks and Spencer (£5.99) and all 12 could be eaten in seconds. I bought macaroons from the Lidl Deluxe range (£3.49) and I HONESTLY couldn’t taste any difference between the two brands. I will definitely buy these again even though they are not part of my weekly shop.
I bought, 10 breaded chunky fish fingers (£1.39) which actually had more fish than breadcrumbs. Leila and Luke love them, so this is a must-have for mummies that don’t have enough time to cook. Perfect to stock in your freezer for an emergency meal. Tesco Birds eye 12 fish fingers cost £2.25 so that is another saving, and better quality, for Lidl. Another favourite with the children was Strathvale NI meatballs which I made with spaghetti. I bought a large box 12 chicken goujons (£3.75), again they didn’t last very long because they were a firm winner in this household, Leila has actually asked for them again on a number of occasions along with her fine green beans.
I made savings with apple juice (not from concentrate) saving £0.87, dark chocolate digestives saving £1.50, beef steak mince saving £1.01.
When I arrived home I realised I only had one day to use all of the eggs, which was fine because Matt had them for breakfast and I made the children scrambled eggs for lunch. I would suggest checking the dates, but maybe I was too excited about shopping in peace and quiet while enjoying the spacious shopping isles.
My total shopping bill for Lidl was £83.15. (lasting roughly 8-9 days).
I found this lovely recipe from Lidl which I will be making tomorrow Fragrant chicken and coconut milk and for all you Haagen-Dazs fans, this weeks Lidl offer is a good one.
I was extremely impressed with the savings I was able to make with all my usual fruit and vegetables and the saving I could make on the domestic goods. It certainly is possible to buy everything under one roof including some very cute outfits for the children. Although, I may spend all of my savings on the fresh flowers, chocolates and especially on the Deluxe dessert range.