Cheap Supermarket Shopping

Price isn’t everything in life, the cheapest isn’t always the best and we should always seek to find value. It’s for this reason that I had pre-defined ideas on specific supermarkets. The large chains were always “the safest”, I mean, they are everywhere so they must be the best, right?

I typically shop at Tesco or Asda because they are the biggest and best. I would drive past a Lidl or Aldi en route and never give it a second glance. These supermarkets could only every be filled with disappointment – mainly through poor customer service and quality – so I never entered the premises. Saving money around the house is a topic I’m passionate about and in general money saving is important, but as my old boss always said “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.

Aldi and I Become Acquainted

Aldi and MeIt came as a huge shock when I went into an Aldi last Sunday afternoon. I was in a hurry and needed a bottle of wine for a meal we were having with friends and family. The usual store was 10 minutes further away so I decided to drop into Aldi.

On arrival at the car park I noticed how busy the parking bays were. I also sniggered at the mere 30-odd spaces the shop offered its patrons. “You wouldn’t see that at Tesco, I thought” but parked up and hurried inside. The store was probably one-quarter the size of my usual store so it was easy to navigate.

The Aldi store seemed to have all the essential items. As I passed the tea and coffee section I noticed the “big brands” but at prices almost one-third cheaper than Tesco. Aldi got my attention. The same thing happened time and time again as I walked passed the aisles. Being in a hurry I decided to get to the wine section and come back in the future.

The wine and other alcohol section was smaller than other supermarkets; these days you can expect 3 aisles of booze in supermarkets. However, once again, Aldi had the perfect range of wine for every price range. I love a rioja and they had my favourite plus, you guessed it, at a fraction of the usual price! The same could be said for other alcohol – high quality, low price. That’s just the value a man like me likes!

Supermarkets: Who’s the Best?

Stunned from my visit to Aldi and after feeling foolish for my pre-conceived ideas, I thought about which supermarkets were the best. Aldi has received the “Best Supermarket” award from Which for the past two years. I regularly follow Which because they are fair and honest.

Aldi certainly has an appeal and a fascinating success, with the car park being crammed full and the stores growing. Aldi doubled its UK stores in 2012 and despite the low prices for top quality items, their profits rose 54%. By the end of this year, Aldi will have 500 stores in the UK. The German based company is also expanding worldwide. Aldi also has 1,200 stores in America, with a further 355 Trader Joe’s (their sister company).

There were some likes and dislikes with Aldi:

Likes: The price was unbeatable! The shop is fantastic value for money and has a great range of everyday necessities. The staff were friendly too.

Dislikes: The size of the shop means that a full shop may not always be possible and it may be necessary to go to the larger supermarkets anyway. For the necessities Aldi is fine. The car parking will have to be expanded too, however that’s not too much of a problem.

Tesco is the largest supermarket with 1 in every 7 UK pounds being spent at Tesco. The brand is huge! Tesco has over 3,000 stores from small metro’s through to superstores. The company has everything under one roof – from food to electrical appliances.

Does Size Matter?

Tesco Superstores

It’s human nature to want to feel protected and safe when making decisions, even relatively small decisions such as where to shop. I think size does matter. In the end, we want to simplify our lives and shopping in one store, instead of two can make that a reality. However price is important too.

I’ll be going back to Aldi for my week to week shopping. When I need everyday household items Aldi will be my supermarket of choice. I’ll stick with Asda and Tesco for my large household shopping because it will make my life simpler but Aldi is brilliant too.

Have you ever made an opinion about a product or service unfairly? Do you ever change the place where you shop or is your routine fixed? When was the last time you were pleasantly surprised financially?

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John The Bankruptcy Guy

As an ex-bankrupt, John has experienced the highs and lows of credit. It's with this knowledge that he writes Debt Advice Resource - to help others avoid, or navigate out of, the pitfalls of debt.

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