Over the past few years Aldi and Lidl have become very popular but as we live in a very affluent area the nearest store is quite far away, whereas I can walk to Waitrose and cycle to Tesco. When I'm in the area I will go in and sometimes make a special trip to do a monthly stock up but it isn't my weekly store of choice. I actually prefer stocking up monthly and then just doing a small top-up shop once a week as this saves time. But I have noticed by the end of the month we are out of lots of things, for instance we have only a tiny amount of milk left and no tomatoes, but I've promised myself to do without until April arrives. There is a small amount of money available in the shopping budget but we had a huge car repair bill this month so I want to save, a few mugs of black tea won't harm me !
Since I was on holiday I was wondering if it was worth the trouble to drive specially to Aldi to do this month's shopping ? I made a list and then went on mysupermarket website to compare prices between Aldi and Tesco and also to see if for some of the more speciality items, for example goat's milk cheese for Mr Shoestring, are cheaper elsewhere, perhaps Waitrose ?
To my surprise Aldi are not the cheapest for everything, Tesco beat them for washing up liquid, flour (if you use chapatti flour) and apples. Tesco could also match Aldi prices on toilet rolls, tinned tomatoes and chocolate. It costs around a pound in petrol to drive to Aldi so that meant the total cost of a nominal basket of shopping would be 15 pounds whereas at Tesco the same basket would cost 16 pounds and 32 pence. The question was now, is my time worth 1.32 pounds ?
Tesco stocks things that I cannot buy at Aldi like organic butter and cheese so I was going to shop there anyway for some things. However, the difference between prices is actually greater than it looks as I will buy 16 litres of milk to last a month and the price differential on that would be 35p a litre making a total saving of 5 pounds and 60p if I buy them all from Aldi. Similarly with crispbread where the difference in price is 30p a packet and I will buy 12 packets giving a saving of 3 pounds and 60p if I buy them from Aldi.
So what shall I do ? I shall go to both stores and cherry pick the best prices in each ! This month it isn't worth going to any other stores as Tesco have also given me a 10% off coupon as long as I spend 40 pounds. If I am careful I should be able to get a month's shopping for around 85 pounds, half spent in Aldi and half spent in Tesco. Aldi v Tesco, no match for Mrs Shoestring squeezing the pennies !
What do you do to lower your grocery bill ?