Can You Be Bothered to Shop at Different Supermarkets?

Written by Karen Bryan

I am beginning to question our habit of visiting several different supermarkets.

At present, I’d say that we do around 50% of our food and household items shopping at Tesco. The rest of the monthly spend is split between Aldi, Lidl, Farmfoods, Home Bargains and B&M Bargains.

The problem is that visiting various shops takes up a lot of time. You could argue that if you have the free time, then why not spend an extra couple of hours a week doing shopping to save money?

It’s hard to quantify how much more money we’d spent in a month if we did all of our shopping in Tesco.

I say Tesco is our main port of call as it offers a good choice of fresh fruit and veg at reasonable prices, I like Tesco’s own seeded bread and some of their value products, such a porridge oats and rice. There’s a Tesco store located under one mile from our home. Tesco also offers a more pleasant shopping experience, with short queues at the tills, and time to pack you shopping at the till, vs your shopping being almost thrown at you at Aldi and Lidl checkouts.

I can do a fair-sized shop at Tesco including driving there and back within one hour. If I go to Aldi and Lidl, then it takes me the best part of three hours. It’s only a few minutes extra drive, but going around another couple of shops, queueing up to pay and then packing the shopping takes up a lot of time.

But then some products are quite a bit cheaper at Aldi and Lidl e.g. you can buy 250gr container of Camembert cheese for £1 there, vs £1.50 at Tesco and a 500 gr pot Greek yoghurt for 68p at Aldi or Lidl vs 85p at Tesco.

You could argue why not do all the shopping at either Lidl or Aldi?

But they don’t have all the products we want, and they aren’t the cheapest for all items e.g. Tesco sell a 500gr pack of grapes for £1.25, which costs £1.45 at Aldi or Lidl. There is also the issue of stock availability at Aldi and Lidl. On occasions, I have gone in to buy a few items and half have been out of stock.

I prefer Lidl’s seeded bread to the Aldi version. My husband prefers Aldi’s rich tea biscuits and oatcakes to those for sale in Lidl.

Then Farmfoods is the cheapest shop for mature cheddar cheese, cooking marg, frozen pork and fish. My favourite crackers, Jacob’s butter puffs, are significantly cheaper at Home Bargains and my husband likes the bombay mix which they sell.

I am going around in circles here. Gong to all these different shops isn’t just about saving money, it’s about buying the selection of products which we both prefer.

I conclude that if I worked full-time and earned more money, then I would do all the shopping at one supermarket, probably Tesco, for convenience.

But as we share going shopping between us (my husband mainly going by bicycle for smaller shops,and me by car for bulkier and/or heavier shops), that we will continue going around several supermarket and shops.