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Old 09-04-2020, 07:28 PM
 
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Be very careful in Lidl when you are buying beef or seafood. The price where you would normally expect to be listed at price per pound is price per portion so they will show a big sign of 8.99 for a steak that is only 10oz and is more like $15 per lb.
I hate the Lidl checkout system where you have to bag your groceries on a moving conveyer belt. There is no place to stand or get out of the way. I swear they train their employees to never make eye contact or speak to a customer. They all seem to hate their jobs.
Aldi has several specialty items I like, cranberry/almond chicken salad, mango salsa,german chocolate,crackers,several breads, and the best prices on limes,lemons and eggs & milk. Nice people too.
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemming95 View Post
Be very careful in Lidl when you are buying beef or seafood. The price where you would normally expect to be listed at price per pound is price per portion so they will show a big sign of 8.99 for a steak that is only 10oz and is more like $15 per lb.
I hate the Lidl checkout system where you have to bag your groceries on a moving conveyer belt. There is no place to stand or get out of the way. I swear they train their employees to never make eye contact or speak to a customer. They all seem to hate their jobs.
Aldi has several specialty items I like, cranberry/almond chicken salad, mango salsa,german chocolate,crackers,several breads, and the best prices on limes,lemons and eggs & milk. Nice people too.
Aldi's checkout system, where the cashier sits in a chair with the cash drawer in front of her and an empty space to her right*—*you put your cart there, and she scans the items on the conveyor belt right into the cart, which you wheel over to the counter just beyond the checkouts to bag what you've bought — is IMO the most efficient (and probably most comfortable for the cashier, who sits rather than stands) setup I've ever seen in a supermarket. (Save-a-Lot stores have a nearly identical setup, with the difference being that the cashiers stand rather than sit.)

At least Lidl has that setup with dual conveyor belts past the cashier, which allows you to bag your groceries while the cashier checks out the next customer. Once your order's done, your conveyor belt should stop moving, but if you just bought lots of stuff (which most American supermarket shoppers do on their once-a-week or once-every-other-week or even once-a-month trips), I would think you'd want the stuff at the back of the belt to come up to you.

And at least the Lidl I shopped also has one of those shelves beyond the checkouts for self-bagging as well. If you want to get out of the way of the checkout, just put everything back into your cart and take it over there.

Good point about the per-portion vs. per-pound prices, but as with every other item in every American supermarket for nearly 50 years now, unit prices are also posted on the signs at Lidl in smaller type, usually at the bottom left, as at Aldi. Sometimes, however, the unit price is per ounce, which I consider next to useless unless one is buying spices. (But if every unit price for items in that category is per ounce, it's still a usable comparison metric. To convert price per ounce to price per pound, multiply the number by 16. I usually have to whip out my smartphone's calculator a few times when I shop, but since I'm tallying the total anyway, this is no big deal.) You're probably still paying less for that grass-fed steak at Lidl than you'd pay for it at Whole Foods — but as I may or may not have noted on this thread, Whole Foods ain't as pricey as it used to be. I just did a little comparison shopping on the myLidl and Whole Foods Market apps on my phone and found these prices:

Lidl: Grass-fed Angus ground beef, 85/15: $5.49/lb
WFM: Nature's Rancher grass-fed organic ground beef, 85/15: reg. $6.99/lb, on sale this week for $5.99/lb

Organic, of course, still costs more than conventional, but it seems that the price differential here isn't as big as it once was — and it's pretty damn small with the WFM sale price.
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:18 PM
 
16,393 posts, read 30,270,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post

How many of you have shopped at both, and how do the chains compare in your estimation? Here's mine:

Product variety: Lidl. Two of the ways this chain distinguishes itself from Aldi are its in-store bakeries and fresh flowers. Its produce, meat and fish/seafood sections are also larger, and you can get grass-fed beef regularly at Lidl while it's a rare sight at Aldi. Own-brand nuts make up a greater proportion of Lidl's snack selections too. Aldi, however, has much better chocolate, a greater range of deli cheeses, and a wider selection of organic products.

Specialty foods: Aldi. Lidl does have some standouts, like smoked salmon, but the range of specialty items is greater at Aldi, especially in the packaged deli meats and cheeses, and it changes with the seasons.

Product quality: Aldi by a hair. In my case, it was the cream cheese that did it: Lidl's has a metallic off-taste. (You can also get high-protein Greek cream cheese at Aldi. I haven't seen this item yet in any other regular supermarket.)

Store appearance: Lidl, by a hair. Both have the warehouse-chic look down cold. Aldi stores have more attractive wall decorations; Lidl stores, wider aisles and better lighting over the produce. One more point in Lidl's favor: The first things you see at Lidl are the bakery, flowers and produce, more like what you would see upon entering a regular supermarket. Aldi takes you past the salty snacks, chocolate and bread before letting you at the produce.

Price: Tie, but: Lidl has a loyalty program that offers discounts on selected products as well as on your entire bill after you meet spending thresholds.

Overall: Lidl, again by a hair. But since there are two Aldi stores convenient to me, and two more on the way that I can get to easily, while the one Lidl I can get to easily requires an hour-long trip across the city on public transit, Aldi will continue to get more of my money. (It will also do so because I'm a big cheesehead, and Aldi outdoes Lidl on cheese.)

Your turn....



I went to Lidl and Aldi on the same day in New Jersey last October.

1) I do not go to either store for things like flowers and fancy stuff. If i want top of the line chocolates, it will be at a place like Leonides. On the low end chocolates, I can often do better at certain dollar stores.

2) I thought that the in-store bakery at Lidl was better than any of the Aldi bakeries that I have seen in the Midwest. I thought that the variety was pretty good.

3) Product quality - I found that in the 20 items that I bought at Lidl, about half were made at the same place as the Aldi product. Do realize that I bought only dry goods as I was 2500 miles from home.

4) Store appearance. - The Lidl stores were nicer than the local Aldi store in that New Jersey town. However, Aldi's new 2018 California style format that is being rolled out over time blows the Lidl store away. Period.

5) Price - I found Aldi to be less expensive, especially on produce. (However, as a Winco Foods shopper, they are BOTH more expensive on a lot of items other than eggs and milk.)

6) A lot of my North Carolina family has been to Lidl - ONCE. They were not at all impressed. I thought that they were alright.

However, what turns me off about Lidl, is the attitude that they would come to the US and immediately, take over a huge portion of the grocery market. Their early announcements reminded me of the Tesco fiasco called Fresh and Easy which was one of the worst supermarkets I have seen. They would have done better bringing a real Tesco over and selling it on its differences.

Do remember that it took Aldi 30+ years to get it right. Fifteen years ago, I would not have stepped into their stores.
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Old 09-05-2020, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
I went to Lidl and Aldi on the same day in New Jersey last October.

1) I do not go to either store for things like flowers and fancy stuff. If i want top of the line chocolates, it will be at a place like Leonides. On the low end chocolates, I can often do better at certain dollar stores.

2) I thought that the in-store bakery at Lidl was better than any of the Aldi bakeries that I have seen in the Midwest. I thought that the variety was pretty good.

3) Product quality - I found that in the 20 items that I bought at Lidl, about half were made at the same place as the Aldi product. Do realize that I bought only dry goods as I was 2500 miles from home.

4) Store appearance. - The Lidl stores were nicer than the local Aldi store in that New Jersey town. However, Aldi's new 2018 California style format that is being rolled out over time blows the Lidl store away. Period.

5) Price - I found Aldi to be less expensive, especially on produce. (However, as a Winco Foods shopper, they are BOTH more expensive on a lot of items other than eggs and milk.)

6) A lot of my North Carolina family has been to Lidl - ONCE. They were not at all impressed. I thought that they were alright.

However, what turns me off about Lidl, is the attitude that they would come to the US and immediately, take over a huge portion of the grocery market. Their early announcements reminded me of the Tesco fiasco called Fresh and Easy which was one of the worst supermarkets I have seen. They would have done better bringing a real Tesco over and selling it on its differences.

Do remember that it took Aldi 30+ years to get it right. Fifteen years ago, I would not have stepped into their stores.
2) There are Aldi stores with in-store bakeries? Aldi stores, I thought, had no in-store specialty/service departments.

3) What do you look for to determine where an item was made? I know that dairy goods are all marked with a six-digit plant number, but what marker is on the dry goods?

4) Most if not all of the Aldi stores in the Philadelphia market have gotten their makeovers. Didn't realize that there were still unrenovated stores left, and if the stores TexasLawyer2000 shops in haven't been made over yet, then his comment about Aldi stores makes more sense.

5) Here, the Reading Terminal Market, the independent produce stores and the Russian supermarkets in the Far Northeast all beat Aldi on produce prices. You already saw my observation about the organic spring mix.

Your points about Lidl coming in with guns blazing thinking they'd conquer the US and Aldi taking time to find a winning formula are both very valid. I too avoided their stores like I still shun Save-a-Lot now. In Lidl's case, ISTR they had to sack the head of their US division after he expanded too much too soon.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:01 AM
 
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Never been to an Aldi. There are not a lot of them around. From the one store I have seen, they have little selection. Most groceries stores offer coupons, and discounts. So what is the point?
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:42 AM
 
Location: Tricity, PL
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I shop in both stores, in Germany. There are small differences in their brands, but overall they are both pretty much the same. They watch each other prices and specials.
I agree with all you wrote, OP and don't have any particular preference.
While in Germany I buy my bread at a bread shop and cold cuts in a meat deli.
Here in the US I do the same or make my own. Never cared for them here because I grow up knowing how a quality bread and deli taste.
But for an average US customer there is no difference, and both are acceptable.
I watch their seasonal specials and that usually will determine where I will go shopping.
As for the little variety - I prefer it that way, and don't care to see 50 different brands and sizes of the same stuff. Makes shopping faster and easier, especially after you try and know what you're buying.
Both stores are a bit different here vs EU.
The checkout process doesn't bother me at all. The cashiers are sitting, but not a bit slower that those who are standing.
After I put all my stuff on the band, I go around the cashier and place my own bags into the cart they will be using. They will fill the bags fast and efficiently. (Sometimes I help, most of the time I don't need to). I am used to that system so much, that I help to bag my groceries in regular stores too.
Not a biggie - I don't feel entitled.

Unfortunately there is no Lidl store in Texas, but I know them from my visits to East Coast.

Last edited by elnina; 09-06-2020 at 12:51 AM..
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
Never been to an Aldi. There are not a lot of them around. From the one store I have seen, they have little selection. Most groceries stores offer coupons, and discounts. So what is the point?
The point is that their everyday prices are lower than what you'd pay at a regular supermarket even after applying the coupons.

The stores keep prices low by not carrying multiple sizes and brands of products or items that are in low demand (though Aldi and Lidl both carry specialty items that change seasonally). They also keep prices low by stocking only or mostly their own brand (private label or store brand) products. If you really need to choose from 100 different varieties of cereal, you won't like stores like these, or if you want certain ethnic specialties (e.g. Goya products or Asian items beyond the basics), you won't be happy here either. But nothing prevents you from going to one of these stores for the stuff you might buy most often, which in many cases they will have, and then hitting another supermarket for the things they don't carry. And if you buy something at these stores and it doesn't satisfy you, you'll get your money back plus a replacement.
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:20 AM
 
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I feel like I’m cheating on Aldi when I shop at Lidl.
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:49 AM
 
16,393 posts, read 30,270,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
2) There are Aldi stores with in-store bakeries? Aldi stores, I thought, had no in-store specialty/service departments.

3) What do you look for to determine where an item was made? I know that dairy goods are all marked with a six-digit plant number, but what marker is on the dry goods?

When I was in New Jersey, I bought some of the German cookies from Lidl. They were in identical packaging other than the store names. It costs mega-bucks to change the size and shapes of their packages.

When I got home and opened the two packages, everything in the packaging was identical.
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Old 09-06-2020, 11:47 AM
 
Location: On the East Coast
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We got a Lidl in Dover in just the past year or so. I didn't have a great first visit because they didn't have in stock most of what I wanted and they had only been open less than a week. I have been in the Aldi's about 3 blocks away a couple of times. I find little difference in them. Maybe it's the items that I buy. I am on a low sugar/low carb diet and I have never, ever found the no carb bread at Aldi's that a lot of people rave about. We went this week to Lidl's and found a few things, but I will have to see if I like them. I am always a bit skeptical about store brands. And again a lot of the sale stuff was almost out of stock and the ad was only 3 days old. When I lived in SC I went to the local Aldi's only for produce which was much cheaper. But here the prices don't seem that great compared with local sales.

The one thing that I don't like about either of them is that they seem to carry a LOT of non-food items. Especially in proportion to food they carry. I would like to see more food items and less of all the other stuff. My neighbor shops at Lidl a lot, us we go once in awhile, but not often. I don't like to shop that well to have to go to 2-3 places to get everything that I want.
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