Well, on the advice, nay, insistance of my budget-minded hubby I have foregone my weekly ‘click & collect’ shop at Tescos in exchange for a relaxing cruise down the aisles of Lidl. And yes, I do use the word ‘relaxing’ ironically.
Both boys in tow, we set off mid morning Friday (my only full day off work and hubster’s occasional day off) with high hopes of finding some bargains. As we arrived, little JJ demanded to be the one who sat in the only trolley seat available (they do not appear to do side by sides). After umming and erring for a minute I thought ‘sod it’ EJ can go in with the shopping. Fine. Both boys happy as Larry. For five minutes until we picked up our first item and realised that EJ would destroy a packet of eight waffles in about 2 seconds flat if left rolling alone in an empty trolley with said item. Back out the door I go to pick up trolley number 2. It is at this point that I notice that we are the only family in the store, and JJ and EJ are the only children. In fact we probably lowered the average age by about 20 years and we’re not exactly spring chickens ourselves.
I don’t know if you’ve ever visited Lidl but the aisles just about fit 2 and half trolleys side by side. This fact did not go un-noticed by the old people of this particular Surrey town. In an attempt to put the two trolleys one in front of the other it then became apparent that this arrangement would not be acceptable to my three year old who became extremely verbose to the point of minor embarassment. Now, given the fact that we were in a supermarket I would normally expect a degree of silent acceptance from passers by. Sometimes old ladies in Sainsburys and Tescos have even gone out of their way to engage with me and my toddler, a look of wistful nostalgia in their eyes. Unfortunately this habit has not rubbed off on their bargain-hunting peers just over the Hampshire Surrey border. I actually caught one old lady rolling her eyes and gasping “oh for goodness sake” under her breathe.
Right about then I noticed my ever-supportive hubby had disappeared leaving me with the two trolleys while he went of half cocked to the far side of the store to hunt down choc ices. Hmmm.
Two hours later I overheard the other half explaining to a friend that one of the benefits of Lidl is that they have an employee motivation scheme whereby the quicker they whizz your ten-bag shop through the checkout the longer break they get (or something). I’m now left wondering whether that is actually true or if some old dear slipped them the difference from their Waitrose/ Lidl brand match savings just to move us on out of there quick smart.
Gotta love bargain hunting.