Quite a few years ago, I reprimanded my Dad for shopping in Lidl and explicitly expressed that he should never use Lidl produce when inviting us over for dinner. However, to say times have changed is an understatement.
I am now a Lidl convert, and while I couldn’t do a weekly shop there, I do look forward to Thursdays. Needless to say, I get that little bit excited because of being able to buy a cucumber AND a chainsaw in one shop and put them both in the same trolley.
My mind is blown!
Do I need a chainsaw? No. But it’s there and it’s on offer so I’m getting it.
When I first started shopping in Lidl, the kids were embarrassed and thought we were there because we were skint. I reassured them it wasn’t because of that, but secretly, at the time, it was. However, now, I’m just addicted.
Needless to say, shopping in Lidl is not for the faint-hearted. You’re in a whole new world. A world where you can’t buy a tin of spaghetti in tomato sauce! I dare you to try! Impossible…
More importantly, the people who work there hate you. They genuinely hate you. For example, they will never show you where anything is in the store, and god forbid if you ask them to check for stock out the back. Despite this, once you get your head around the odd layout, why tuna is next to the eggs, that nothing has names like the brands you are used to and you can also buy kangaroo steaks, you’ll get used to it.
The first thing I found amazing are Lidl customers. My first shop must have taken 2 1/2 hours because for the first hour I was just walking around the store people watching. As an example, you’ve got everyone from the tramp who picks up fag butts outside Waitrose to the fat family down the road who smell of Spam. In contrast, there’s the 85-year-old Grandad who doesn’t like change and regularly says “things weren’t like this in my day”, to the overdressed lady with perfectly curled hair and a head full of botox buying Prosecco. Everyone shops in there, regardless of age, gender, nationality or status. How cool is that?
I’ve got things I avoid, like the frozen minced beef pies, purely because I like to have a bit of meat in my pastry casing rather than just gravy and air. Also, strawberries, because they never last… and then I’ve got my big thumbs up items I regularly buy, like the colossal pack of mince. The meat will be suitable for two meals for 4 people – where else can you get that for under £3? Equally, the large pack of chicken breasts almost stretch to three meals, and that’s a fiver.
To conclude, you’ve had your Lidl experience and enjoyed it, now you’re heading for the tills – but this is where it all goes wrong and will scar you for life. The cashiers throw shopping through the till like their life depends on it. Packing bags as you go? Forget that, just chuck that shit back in your trolley and deal with it later because this bitch ain’t stopping for no one! You’re still putting your shopping on the conveyor belt of the till and she’s throwing it on the floor out the other end!
You want a goodbye and a “have a nice day” farewell? Forget that. The checkout girl is already throwing the next customers shopping at you while you try to slide the change they put on top of a £5 note back into your purse. Plus the customer behind you is wide-eyed, dashing towards you like it’s Supermarket Sweep with Dale Winton.
But do you know what? Despite all of that, I can deal with it because I’m pushing the biggest trolley in the world, full of groceries (and gin). It will last us for the whole week, I’ve got change in my back pocket, plus I’ve got an inflatable kayak, a trumpet and a Men’s kilt.