Sunday, 11 April 2010
Love Affair With Lidl
Could have just showed the Lidl logo here but thought that would be boring so downloaded this cartoon instead. Unfortunately I don't understand German so am running the risk of this being obscene or just plain unfunny. Still, sometimes in life you have to take a chance
The whiter than white LovelyGrey would shop exclusively organic and local, recycle everything and give half of her earnings to charity. Sadly, the real life version reveals tendencies towards the darker end of the spectrum and perhaps shopping at a discount supermarket is one of these. After all, the entry on Wikipedia alludes to the questionnable treatment of Lidl staff and there's always the argument too about the ethics of 'cheap food'.
But I am drawn to the random quality of the bins full of special offers where over the years, in addition to my planned purchase of say, bread flour and olive oil I've picked up a natty pink pair of surf shoes, a TV stand, a big fluffy cream blanket, a set of pliers (more on these in a later post), a bench to put shoes on in the hall, a bike computer, a hot air gun, an electric hand mixer....the list goes on and on.
And so, onto the foodstuff. The fruit and veg is always high quality and supplements my veg box supplies. For example, the other day I was compelled to impulse purchase a beautiful shiny aubergine and massive baking potatoes(as well as a miniature bike pump!). The aformentioned white bread flour makes a consistently good loaf and the extra virgin olive oil is good enough to dunk bread in. Also worthy of mention are the parmesan reggiano, wonderful posh chocolate, the Christmas mini stollen, tinned sardines and mackerel, Greek yoghurt, cereal bars, expresso coffee and their non biological washing powder. This last item is of special note as some eczema sufferers who have previously found they can only tolerate clothes being washed in Persil find that his much cheaper version is kind to sensitive skin too. Money Saving Supermarket gives some extra ideas of items that other people like in all the major discount supermarkets.
For me, cheap meat is a step too far down the path of the devil and, apart from the Prosciutto and Serrano hams and the occasional bit of chorizo, I tend to steer clear. I've also found a few things to avoid on taste grounds, including the recent special of Scandinavian boiled sweets, but these are so few and far between nothing else is coming to mind at the moment.
PS If you're ever in France the 'Master Crumble' muesli that is available there is even better than the one on sale in England that is rated on moneysavingexpert.com.