Lidl Supermarket Food Savings
Lidl has landed in Atlanta.
I recently visited one of the new Lidl’s that recently opened in the Marietta region of Atlanta Georgia. I needed a few groceries and thought that I should check out the newcomer to compare and contrast to the ones I’m used to. If you’ve shopped at an Aldi’s then you get the idea behind lots of stacked boxes, products with brand names you don’t recognize, and paying for bags should you require them. The difference is that Lidl opens up space, allows wider aisles, higher ceilings, has a small bakery, won’t ask for a quarter to free a shopping cart, and brings in a certain Dollar General flair.
Lidl is in a Dollar Store Dimension
I liked the fact that things weren’t crowded and that the perimeter of the store carried fresher items. Also, the produce section looks like Trader Joe’s but that’s where the similarity stops. Oh, and I nabbed (2) chocolate chunk cookies that ended up being the best thing about my shopping trip. The stores are new so the shiny glass, gleaming floors, and employees on every corner are sure to change in the coming months. Although I heard someone compare Lidl to Trader Joe’s, it just isn’t the same thing. If you’ve seen the Lidl sales booklet that comes in the mail (whether you asked for one or not), then you’ll open it to half food and half stuff that you would never look for but might end up with. Like hardware and socks. Just so we are clear: take any Dollar General or Dollar type store in the US, quadruple its size, raise the ceiling, build out the grocery area around the perimeter and fill the rest with seemingly unlimited snacks: and presto chango – it’s Lidl.
Lidl Compared to Aldi
I’ve always liked Aldi for one reason: German cookies. I can’t get enough of those gingerbread things. Aldi’s always has them somewhere. I assumed, being a native German business, that Lidl would as well. No. No fancy German spiced cookies. In fact, all those neat German foods you might find in an Aldi are not found in the Lidl. Lidl wants you to see their own brand of foods (many manufactured with a US Virginia address) and how cheap they are. Do you know what else Aldi’s has? The best store brand sweet cream coffee creamer ever! If I go to Aldis, I grab 2-3 of those and freeze them!
Lidl Compared to Walmart
In a recent blog post, I told you about how Walmart was changing the game with their new delivery and pick-up. I’ll also tell you that I’ve taken $25.00 worth of groceries I purchased at Lidl on the 24th of January 2019, and compared to Walmarts pricing. Walmart beat Lidl’s prices most of the time but the overall cost for (9) items was still more expensive at Lidl.
|Organic Avocados (bagged)||$3.96||$3.99||$0.03|
|Roasted Almonds – Bag of store brand||$4.12||$4.99||$0.87|
|Graham Crackers – Box of store brand||$1.28||$1.25||-$0.03|
|Organic Granola Cereal – Box of store brand||$2.93||$3.49||$0.56|
|Organic Olive Oil – name brand||$3.52||$3.99||$0.47|
|Frozen Turkey Meatballs – store brand||$4.52||$4.39||-$0.13|
|Pepper Jack sliced sandwich cheese – store brand||$1.23||$1.49||$0.26|
|Sweet Peas – bag of frozen store brand||$0.68||$0.95||$0.27|
|Organic Bananas – price per pound||$0.68||$0.39||-$0.29|
But that wasn’t the problem with Lidl. It was that as I wandered around the store, I realized that I wasn’t going to find any alternative milk products, non-dairy creamer (like Aldi’s Friendly Farms Sweet Cream), and most importantly, steel cut oats of any variety. Any human within earshot of social media knows that the Instant Pot has boosted the steel cut oats market by leaps and bounds! I even asked a Lidl employee and he pointed to the milk. I could tell that milk was generally less expensive, but no soy, almond, coconut milk were to be found. That meant I had to stop at another store and if my grocery bill had been less, I just spent that on gasoline and time.
If you, like me, are steadfastly devoted to clean eating and attempting to turn your diet into an incredibly healthy one – then I find shopping at Lidl challenging. Okay, minus the cookies! I found it difficult to find the organic produce but I’m sure that was because I was new. I was put off by the stockings, hardware and tools, and other hard/soft lines in the middle of the store. When I found the craft beer section, because we know German beer is great, the selection wasn’t that good and the sale item was gone. I will say that paying $4.99 for a craft-brewed six-pack of an IPA would have been great but sadly they were gone. If I owned a Lidl, I’d stock the middle of the store with budget-friendly wine, craft beer, and some of those cookies.
Lidl may have some sale prices that pull you in, but overall you’ll end up going to another store to find your steel cut oats and coffee creamer. If you want more organic choice, stick with Walmart. Also, bring your own bags, I highly suggest these!