Aldi newbie-what won't I be able to get or at lidl? And what's really good?

(49 Posts)
Molehillmountain Sun 03-Feb-13 12:36:17

I sometimes go to lidl, but never aldi because there isn't a local one. I'm going to visit a friend near one this week so I'm planning a whole weekly shop there. Anything I really should get, or won't be able to? Looking forward to cutting our ridiculous bill and not having offers to suck me in.

robdan Sun 03-Feb-13 13:52:11

Their washing powder is really good and its only £2.99
Their cereal is nice too I try to buy as much as I can really

Molehillmountain Sun 03-Feb-13 16:42:44

Thanks! I might just do a whole shop there this week and cross off things we don't like and do a little shop in between. Assuming we don't like everything, of course.

bootsycollins Sun 03-Feb-13 16:49:49

Magnum washing up liquid it's better than Fairy, it's got a Good Housekeeping sticker on the bottle.
Bin bags 20 for £1.49 thick, strong and perfect size for kitchen swing bin.
Magnum dishwasher tablets.
Ironing water.
Aldi own cleaning stuff is ace, the grapefruit kitchen spray especially.

Food wise they do nice sub rolls and ciabatta for packed lunches, I love their chickens for a roast with their frozen parsnips and frozen roast potatoes.

QueenBoudicea Sun 03-Feb-13 16:59:51

All cleaning stuff.
check out their special offers on the website to help with meal planning.
Plum toms excellent and only 39p
Bread and part-baked
They do an 'extra special' range of tomato pesto which is really tasty. Passata is good too.
Juice cartons - 99p for 6
Eggs/Yogs/cheeses all good.
I'm not so keen on their cold meats/hams as most of it seems to be made from formed meat.
Haven't tried any of the frozen food other than the icecream which is good.

Try and avoid the aisles of crap filled with stuff that you thought you'd never need but can't do without out grin

Bluemonkeyspots Mon 04-Feb-13 15:31:40

Their from cauliflower cheese is amazing, I could happily eat a whole bag myself blush

Only thing I don't like about aldi is I am always the only person in the whole place doing a big shop! Makes me feel like a greedy heifer. Everyone else is either popping in for 2 items or has a tiny amount in the bottom of their trolley, I'm the only one struggling to push a trolley overflowing with stuff hmm

Bluemonkeyspots Mon 04-Feb-13 15:32:02

"frozen" cauliflower cheese

Theas18 Mon 04-Feb-13 15:42:27

Buy everything from aldi and then actively black list the stuff you think it's worth going elsewhere for...even if you chuck something away it isn't going to be more than £1 wasted say if you don't like the ketchup etc

Personally I buy almost all the shop. I go elsewhere for herbal/decaf tea bags and de caf carte noir , oh and knorr stock cubes. Since they started doing all the baking stuff including cornflour , and marmite that has really been it. (but I actively BUY the aldi decaf coffee to take to mums, she like it!)

Branston baked beans from lidl/home bargains though.

Latest aldi find- the greek corner yogs - the kids think they are " way better" than muller ones..

Bakingnovice Mon 25-Feb-13 14:27:09

I'm av recent convert to aldi thanks to MN. UFO about once a month for a few things. Stuff I love and only buy at aldi now include: mayo ( amazing), double/whipped cream, pesto, cheese, fruit on offer, pasta. Some things are a bit naff and I'm still trying new stuff. This month I'm going to try the cleaning products.

Bluemonkeyspots Mon 25-Feb-13 17:41:59

Cleaning products are great, as are bin bags (not the cheapest ones) food bags, foil and cling wrap.

I also use their dishwasher tablets, only thing I don't use is the washing powder/fabric softener as dd has eczema and the aldi non bio/gentle stuff smells a bit like pickled onions to me!

Mozzarella, Brie...their cheeses are good
Chocolate. They have lovely dark and continental choc and their children's stuff is far nicer than Cadburys etc.
Vanilla ice-cream (if you like it with vanilla seed)
Oatcakes
Pasta and rice
Tomato and ricotta sauce/pesto
curry sauces
Spices e.g. Chinese 5 spice
Washing powder/kitchen towel/washing up liquid
Can't go wrong with most of it

Greydog Mon 25-Feb-13 17:55:24

Moser Roth chocs are soooo much nicer than Thorntons

Definitely GreyDog. We will get our Easter chocolate from Aldi this year, for the children and us!

ELR Mon 25-Feb-13 18:01:11

Most things are good but steer clear of the baked beans they are like bullets! The frozen crispy duck and pancakes is delicious. Really like there bacon too

BackforGood Mon 25-Feb-13 18:01:52

What you need to know about Aldi, that fools newbies grin

Their paying is a bit different.
They run everything off the conveyorbelt at breakneck speed, and you load it back into your trolley, then you move to the shelf at the end and pack at your leisure. The system is MUCH quicker than other supermarkets, but throws people who are not expecting it wink
Also - you need to take your own bags / boxes or they charge you (think it's only about a penny a bag though, and you'll save FAR more than that
Also - they don't take credit cards. Cash or debit card only.

Re products - I agree with Thea's18 buy everything there. I don't think I've come across much that isn't to our taste - possibly tinned beans and raviolli - but you'll have save so much, if you waste a couple of items, you'll still have saved. All the cleaning stuff gets 'Which' Best Buy awards all the time - dishwasher tablets, washing powder, washing up liquid, etc.
I also like the fake own brand Baileys, and the choc chip brioche rolls smile

I'm not keen on their baked beans either, or their hummus. That's about it though. DH and I tried one of their sushi packs in the freezer section last month and that was nice.

We sometimes buy emergency puddings too if we have friends coming round for dinner and we haven't had time to make one. Their french apple tart is lovely.

Mopswerver Mon 25-Feb-13 18:08:51

Agree, lots of good stuff including frozen tuna steaks, wild salmon, all claiming to be 'marine friendly'. Their instant coffee is better than Tescos 'Gold' (though their filter coffee is weak!) and best of all, just found out that their 'Choceur' chocolate brand doesn't use palm oil!! (very hard to find choc or bics without it!). I used to love their cured beef product 'Breseola' but it has mysteriously disappeared from the shelves recently...

AnnaBegins Mon 25-Feb-13 18:26:50

Curry sauces are awesome, the ones with the spice mix
Cured meats
Yoghurts - the fruit fools and the posh big tubs that look like onken are amazing - try mango and passionfruit
Lacura (beauty brand) have some awesome body butter on special buy this week - it'll be in the central aisles. Lacura stuff in general is great.
White choc and cranberry cookies - addictive!
Fresh fruit and veg is great - the raspberries are really sweet.
Beef and tomato meatballs
The pizzas tend to be generously loaded!

What most people don't realise is that most Aldi products are matched to a big brand for taste/ingredients/formulation, so just as good but cheaper.
They work on a different principle to Lidl so there is some stuff that Lidl's better for (sweets and nice fruit juice IMO) but Aldi is more like a real supermarket.

Bluemonkeyspots Tue 26-Feb-13 11:37:14

What beans are you lot buying that you don't like?

We buy the "corale" ones that come in a four pack for about £1.30 and they taste great to me.

There is a cheap essential tin but I've never tried them.

We have bought the Corale ones too. Actually, DH doesn't mind them, but he prefers Branston or Heinz. DS1 and I don't like them at all.

Helenagrace Tue 26-Feb-13 23:04:07

The dark chocolate digestives are lovely and they're half the price of even other supermarket own brand ones.

All the cereals are good.

The only horrible thing I've had was a stuffed chicken which tasted oddly sweet.

gaelicsheep Tue 26-Feb-13 23:07:12

Inexplicably you can't get disinfectant. Or small bin liners. Don't buy the coffee, it's even worse than Morrison's coffee.

bumpybecky Tue 26-Feb-13 23:14:50

we like the corale beans smile

we're not so keen on the breakfast cereals though

aamia Thu 07-Mar-13 20:06:50

You have made me want to go - ours is about £5 worth of diesel away (round-trip). Would it be worth it for 2 adults and one small child?

Helenagrace Fri 08-Mar-13 07:28:19

Aamia our Aldi is an 18 mile round trip. I go once a month and shop for everything I can for a month. Last month it was £205 - but that would have been £300 anywhere else. I wouldn't save as much if I was doing it weekly but I think it's worth a drive if you do a big shop there.

I have one more Aldi no no to add - toothpaste. It's runny and horrible.

Pootles2010 Fri 08-Mar-13 16:43:24

Sorry in ours the fruit & veg is appalling - often mouldy. I know this varies massively from store to store, just tread carefully.

Bought some croissants which were horrid, other than that all fine i think.

BanjoPlayingTiger Fri 08-Mar-13 16:50:08

I think if you've been shopping in Lidl you may well be disappointed. I find the quality of things is infinitely better in lidl than Aldi.

higgle Tue 12-Mar-13 12:14:30

Celery in Lidl is lovely - bigger head and nicer flavour for 69p instead of about £1 in Tesco. They had Linda McCartney sausage at "1/2 price" for 99p last weekend, they were £2.25 in Tesco. Lidl jam and marmalade is very good quality too and between 59p and 89p. Bread, milk and margarine also much cheaper and comparable. Lidl is very close t the Tesco I visit and by going in there for about £15 worth of stuff I save about £5 out of total shop.

EMUZ Wed 13-Mar-13 22:54:15

Do not buy the aldi chocolate brioche wink its so horrible you will have to eat it all in one go and possibly buy another blush

Signet2012 Thu 14-Mar-13 17:21:30

Tuna has been my best find. Not to be confused with Tuna flakes which were foul.

Cheese is great as are yogurts, not so fussed on the sandwich meat but probably more so that I'm not fussed full stop on it.

Cereal is fine, tea is ok, sweets n stuff great.

I like the whole meal village bread and the part naked buns

Tin stuff fine, I add a tiny bit of purée and a knob of butter to the beans. Pasatta and pasta sauces are great, cleaning stuff fine, nappies and wipes are excellent.

Hi juice tastes just like ribena. The fruit juices are nice too.

Meat - wasn't keen on the mince at all but had pork, gammon and their chickens and eggs are free range and lovely.

Thingymajigs Thu 14-Mar-13 19:29:08

grin EMUZ, we love that too! It was gone within 5 minutes once we opened it at the weekend.
I've only been buying from there for a couple of weeks but so far we like the peanuts, sweets, cereal, chocolate brioche, tinned red salmon, passata, pesto, ketchup, pasta, ice-cream, crème fraîche, cheese, wine and the fruit and veg is pretty good too. Oh, the Greek yoghurt is lovely. Every morning I have Greek yoghurt with frozen fruits, honey and oats which are all from Aldi. The spicy chorizo sausage has a massive fan club in this house too although I won't eat it.
The sandwich ham doesn't look great but I never eat it anyway so I'm not bothered. The selection isn't always great but I shop around at the market and Tesco so it's not an issue for us.

stargirl1701 Thu 14-Mar-13 19:32:46

Aldi do take credit cards in Scotland.

Dereksmalls Sun 17-Mar-13 20:10:02

Their instant coffee is terrible, the chocolate lovely. Cereals I agree are great. Fruit good but I notice seems to start going soft a bit sooner than from elsewhere. I don't buy their meat.

I stopped buying the icecream as the stuff I'd tried had high fructose corn syrup in it which I'd rather avoid if I can. Apple juice cartons cheaper than everywhere else. Always buy their tinned tomatoes, purée and passata. Dijon mustard is 49p, bargain.

Dereksmalls Sun 17-Mar-13 20:13:24

Lidl goat's cheese is much better, Aldi's is more like normal sort cheese but Lidl has a rind.

I've started chopping and freezing fresh veg as soon as I get it home (where possible). Means it's much quicker to get cooking as well!

marissab Sun 24-Mar-13 18:39:25

Ok so heres a secret that aldi till lady told me. She said that weetabix makes all own brand bix for all supermarkets and aldi chocolate is made by cadburys!

marissab Sun 24-Mar-13 18:41:50

Am surprised people are not buying there meat. We think it's excellent. Cheapest free range chicken of anywhere. Plus they do a pack of ham in an orange packet thats 99p and it's actually real meat with a rind on, not that mush stuff. Don't get me started on the salami....

marissab Sun 24-Mar-13 18:43:30

Oh oh oh and they sell that mega expensive manuka honey for under £3!

Nat38 Sat 30-Mar-13 21:36:27

Aldi cider-Taurus-is excellent!! I normally drink Scrumpy Jack dry cider, but Aldi Taurus dry cider is excellent too at a fraction of the cost!!gringrin

Free range chicken -- 1.5 kilos for £4.99
hot smoked salmon
tortilla chips
bread sticks
olive oil
pasta
red pesto
olives
Toro Loco red wine
white Burgundy
39 p tinned tomatoes
mozzarella

maple syrup

We've recently moved back from Germany where Aldi and Lidl are two of the main supermarkets, as opposed to being the budget supermarkets they are here.
Because of that the products tend to be of a much higher quality than you might expect. The cost of groceries is a LOT lower than in the UK, so what we see is as cheap is standard 'Tesco' equivalent pricing over there.

A lot of the products here are made in Germany and are excellent quality. The cleaning products are made there, as are the Alpenmark cold meats - we buy German salami, Bavarian Ham, German baked ham and Bratwurst. They make me nostalgic (and are great).

All the fresh meat is excellent although I admit I tend to buy the Specially Selected. The veg is best if you go after a delivery - ours is Thursday. I bought my veg in Morrisons a couple of weeks ago and it went off in half the time the Aldi stuff does.

As for savings... Out of curiosity I recently sat and did an online 'shop' of that days Aldi shop on the Tesco website. I did like for like, so own brand for own brand etc.... I saved a over a THIRD just by going to Aldi. My weeks shop for three adults, one baby was just under £60 in Aldi (and I bought treats etc) and in Tesco the same shop would have cost over £90!!!

I do

Oops - trigger happy!

I don't like Lidl though, didn't like it in Germany and don't like it here. Although cheap I find Aldi cheaper. That said their Cien range is good, it's not budget over there, it's more of a known brand. And their in store baked rolls take me straight back to Germany where fresh bread is king. They are the exact same rolls and they are AMAZING.

Willow36 Tue 02-Apr-13 10:55:52

I bloody love Aldi.

I don't like their apple juice, soy sauce, loo roll, kitchen cleaner or frozen fishcakes.

That's it.

Things I really rate:

Fajita kit
Curry sauces (with spice)
Croissants (great for a breakfast on the go)
Ketchup
Mayo
Orange juice
Free range chicken (£4.99 and so meaty!)
Trimmed bacon
Chorizo
Marg
Frozen tuna steaks
Frozen lemon sole fillets
Low fat crisps
Cereal
Sparkling water
Lacura beauty products

and above all....their WINE.

We can easily feed 2 of us for £40 a week and that usually includes at least 3 bottles of wine.

Briony32 Tue 02-Apr-13 16:25:28

I love Aldi, but I can't get hold of some things there:

cous cous
red lentils
live yoghurt
red wine/white wine vinegar
all bran

so I sometimes top up at Sainsburys

but Aldi wins every time for quality and price.

Aldi wines have been winning awards. Red wine 'Toro Loco' very good.
Every week they do 6 items of fruit and veg and a very good price 'Super 6'.

Greek yoghurt to die for and chocolate is delicious.
Washing up liquid and loo paper very good.

I try to avoid all the ready meals and convenience food though as you can get hooked. The crisp/biscuit aisle is always very tempting.

Mandy21 Tue 02-Apr-13 18:08:25

I agree that everything is worth a try. The only thing that I have really hated is the coffee (seemingly the "gold" brand) - just awful.

Really like :
Cereal - their no added sugar swiss muesli is great
Bakery - part baked baguettes, brioche loaf, bagels (not the ones in a pack of 4, 2 on each side - they're really hard, but the plain ones in a stack of 4 that look a bit like the New York bagels packaging), potato cakes, scotch pancakes, naan bread, individually wrapped choc chip brioche
Dairy - milk, greek style yoghurt, lemon fool (sooooo good), individual fruit yoghurts
Orange juice (looks like Tropicana - that has won a Which award)
Deli - cheese (can't remember the name of it but the extra mature in a black packet - think its called David Winstow or something), parmesan, ham - I think the opposite of previous posts - it is not the plasticky ham that you'd expect for the same price at TEsco or whatever, its proper meat with rind etc, but the smoked varieties are quite salty so go with unsmoked)
Other stuff - Thai chicken curry (in chilled section) really good for freezer emergencies, breaded camembert, unsalted cashew nuts, Lacura creams, cheaper for food bags, jams (particularly apricot and sour cherry), red wine, prosecco.

I agree that the fruit and beg is very good value but it won't last a week - you need to use it very quickly I find.

Haven't tried their meat yet.
Hope that helps.

Ellellie Fri 12-Apr-13 06:22:11

Thanks for the tip on the cauliflower cheese. It was fab! DS loved it!

lizzieannejames Fri 12-Apr-13 20:22:20

I don't rate their washing up liquid at all- its much thinner than fairy so you use more and over time it will cost more. I find their bin bags split and you need to double up- but then again I am use to using industrial strength ones. Also annoying they don't seem to do a kitchen cleaner with bleach in it.

Other than that- we love ALDI!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 13-Apr-13 10:15:47

Aldi concentrated washing up liquid beat Fairy in their tests. True fact.

I love the super six too, my fruit and veg always lasts really well from there, I'd never be able to afford sweet potatoes in the big supermarkets.

mamalovesmojitos Sat 13-Apr-13 10:58:07

Love their jam
Poppadums
Butter biscuits (you know those squares with the thick layer of choc)
Indian curry sauce with spices
Free range chicken
Hot smoked salmon
Sparkling water
Fabric conditioner
Dishwasher tablets
Microfibre cloths
Apple strudel (frozen)
Tinned tuna
Freshly squeezed oj
Free range eggs
Pistachios
Toro loco wine
Prosecco

Go to lidl a bit more though as the one near me has a far superior fruit/veg section plus the yummy in-store bakery smile.

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