Five reasons I love shopping at Lidl (and none are to do with the cost)

Alright, “love” might be a strong word here. I mean, who loves grocery shopping?

I much prefer shopping at discount-store Lidl to the bigger supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda though.

And it’s not because the bill is cheaper (if it actually is – I’ve never bothered to do a comparison).

Why I prefer shopping at Lidl

Here are five reasons I love (OK, prefer) shopping at Lidl to the major grocery retailers.

Grocery products from Lidl

1. Less choice

Less choice is no bad thing – who needs a choice of brands when it comes to food like pasta, rice, porridge oats and so on. It’s all the same, innit?

The lack of options at Lidl keeps the average store down to three or four aisles at most. And it stops me dithering when faced with a multitude of similar products in a big supermarket.

Which leads me onto my next reason…

2. Speed

Shopping in a big supermarket can feel like a right mission.

First, you park in a massive car park and then traipse what feels like miles to the front door. Then it’s another mini-hike as you make your way around the store.

Then there’s the feeling of vexation when you get to the the freezer section and realise you have to negotiate your way all the way back to the entrance to pick up some bananas.

Finally, you queue at the checkouts for ages because the supermarket wants more people to use the self-service tills but you refuse to use them (just me?).

At Lidl, however, you can park near the entrance and whizz round the aisles in no time.

Forgot those bananas? No worries, just leave your trolley in the aisle and take the 15-second walk across the store to the fruit and veg section. Massive queue? “Till number two is now open…” Sorted.

And even though the staff put you under a little pressure with their quick checkout technique, it’s no hassle to chuck everything in your trolley and then pack your bags by the windows.

3. Great products

Fair enough, you can’t get everything you need in Lidl and you do come across the odd dud product now and again (what the hell are those fish fillets in jars?).

There are, however, many excellent products on the shelves and I’ll always choose the Lidl version of products like capers, smoked salmon, muesli, feta, cheddar, basmati rice, dried fruit and olives over the major supermarket versions.

4. Free-range chicken

Is it me, or is it getting more and more difficult to find free-range chicken in supermarkets these days? I find it’s usually either sold out or not on sale at all at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons. Even the local Co-op stores rarely stock any.

Not so at Lidl.

There’s always plenty of free range chicken in the fridges. And while I do admit to knowing little about where Lidl chicken comes from or its welfare, it’s nice to have a solid option for free range meat when I can’t get to the butchers.

5. Less clutter

In the age of the smartphone, I find it hard to believe the amount of paper supermarkets insist on giving us.

For instance, why do supermarkets still give people on their loyalty programmes paper receipts? They have our details, including our email addresses – why not email a receipt instead? (To be fair though, Tesco have been trialling electronic receipts).

Sainsbury’s is the worst of the lot for paper. I often leave there with a pile of pointless coupons, which go straight in the bin (100 free Nectar points when you spend £100 on cheddar… no thanks). The Sainsbury’s petrol station in Hedge End even has a special bin by the door for these annoying slips of paper.

Happily, a shop at Lidl rarely involves unnecessary coupons or another loyalty card taking up space in my wallet.

Over to you

Do you shop at Lidl or do you prefer to go to major supermarkets or independent stores? What do you look for in a supermarket?