Last updated in September 2020
Aldi vs Lidl, where can you get your groceries for less? Both discounters offer cheap food but which one has more potential for savings? Read this direct comparison of Aldi and Lidl to find out.
To survive, it is absolutely necessary to buy groceries. But this does not mean you have to spend more on food than you need to. Saving money on groceries means you can spend more on other areas in your life or save to retire early.
Table of Contents
Aldi vs Lidl, which discount supermarket is better?
The shopping list
To see whether ALDI or LIDL is the cheaper supermarket, I have created a shopping list with ordinary groceries. After buying everything I need, I will see how much I spent in Aldi vs Lidl. This is my shopping list:
- Wheat flour
- Almond milk
Grocery costs at both supermarkets
Here is the result of my shopping trip:
|2 bananas||£0.14 (offer)||£0.28|
|6 Braeburn apples||£1.15||£1.38|
|10 large eggs||£0.99||£1.15|
|1.5 kg plain flour||£0.45||£0.55|
|1 L Almond milk||£0.79||£0.79|
|500 g pasta||£0.45||£0.45|
|2.5 kg potatoes||£1.09||£1.09|
|100 g milk chocolate||£0.30||£1.20|
|1.0 kg chicken breast fillet||£4.88||£4.91|
|800 g sliced white bread||£0.36||£0.45|
As you can see from the table, Aldi was cheaper by £1.65. I was lucky to get price-reduced bananas at Aldi but even if I had bought them at their regular price, Aldi would still have been cheaper.
Interestingly, the difference between Aldi vs Lidl is most pronounced when it comes to chocolate. With Aldi, you can save £0.90 on ordinary milk chocolate. So chocolate lovers know where to go now! Some products also had identical prices such as pasta and potatoes but there was no item which was cheaper in Lidl.
Aldi is the clear winner of this exercise, being £1.65 cheaper than Lidl. This means on average, each item is £0.17 cheaper at Aldi. You may argue that £0.17 is not much but over time, the savings will add up quickly.
Time is money. Cheap prices do not matter if you have to spend endless hours queuing. Thus, I timed my shopping experience to see how fast I can find products in store and how long I spend queuing. I went on the same weekday around the same time to minimise confounding factors.
Both shops were moderately crowded when I went. Aldi had more self-checkout tills available but the store was also slightly larger. With each store used for this Aldi vs Lidl comparison, there was no queue for the self-checkout tills. The regular tills had small queues with about two to three people waiting.
|Time spent shopping||15 minutes||17 minutes|
A difference of a few minutes will hardly impact your shopping experience and may be due to chance. Thus, in regard to shopping time, Aldi and Lidl can be seen as identical.
Aldi vs Lidl: Location
If there is an Aldi near you, it is not worth travelling to a Lidl faraway to save a few pennies and vice versa. The further you go, the more money you have spend on transport and the more time you lose. In return, wasting time on pointless journeys causes stress and can be bad for your mental health, especially when the product you want to buy is not in stock.
Thus, it may be better for you to go to the closer supermarket, rather than the cheapest. There are currently 11,234 Aldi stores and 800 Lidl stores in the UK. Therefore, you are more likely to live near to an Aldi than a Lidl.
Of course, money is not the only factor that matters. You also want your products to be of sufficient quality. For food items, this would include taste and freshness. In regards to the latter, I could not find a difference between Aldi vs Lidl.
Taste is a subjective matter so I do not want to make a decision for you in this section. For me, Aldi has always been better. I remember my sister and I as we were younger, loving Aldi’s frozen lasagna and chocolate pudding.
Customer service may not be as important as saving money but it may nonetheless a factor when choosing a supermarket. Personally, shopping in Aldi and Lidl always reminds me a bit of home (Germany).
In German supermarkets, cashiers are much faster than in the UK and you get through the queue much faster than the UK. Both Aldi and Lidl seem to have retained some of that speed which I really like.
Otherwise, I have not interacted with the store staff during my experiment. However, I think customer service is highly store dependent and may differ depending to which Aldi or Lidl you visit.
Of course, this Aldi vs Lidl comparison is not perfect. I only bought a few item which may not be representative of the whole inventory of the supermarkets. Equally, my shopping list may also differ from yours.
Additionally, not all items were sold in the same unit between both supermarkets. Some products were sold by weight in one supermarket but per piece in the other. Thus, I had to calculate and convert items from one unit to the other so that I could make a comparison.
Aldi vs Lidl, which discount supermarket is better? summary
My shopping trips have revealed Aldi as the clear winner for the cheapest discounter title. Additionally, Aldi won in regards to shopping time (also not significantly) and location. In regard to quality, there is no clear difference between the two but I prefer Aldi’s products’ taste.
While Aldi may be the cheaper out of the two discounters, you have to take into consideration that both are already cheap when compared to regular supermarkets. Thus, this post does by no means label Lidl as expensive.
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