Friday, 5 December 2014


I wouldn't consider myself a snob, but I must say, it took me quite a while to get used to the idea of shopping in Lidl.  Maybe it was the bright yellow signage that put me off.  The glare of the yellow suggested 'cheap n nasty'.  In the past, if I mentioned that I bought something in Lidl, I would go to great lengths to explain that I couldn't find what I was looking for elsewhere.  I wouldn't use Lidl shopping bags, preferring the more tactile cloth bags from 'other' shops and let's face it, pretending I was shopping somewhere else.

It's funny though, because I love telling people about my bargain-clothes-buying-ventures.  Shameless I am.  The more important the occasion I am shopping for, the more likely I am to seek out the bargain of the century to wear. And then, rather than accept a compliment about my chosen ensemble, I am more likely to say 'This ?  Would you believe that I bought it for e5 ? And it's silk !'

As the years have gone by, I have gotten over my snootiness and will hold my head as high as I head in  the sliding doors of Lidl.

Since the arrival of Lidl in Ireland, I've observed a few things ....

EARLY MORNING SHOPPING   In provincial towns like Athy (and Kingscourt, near where I grew up) some shops don't open until 10am (even on Christmas Eve - As I learned last year !).  Last week, I had an early morning dash to Lidl for a few supplies for school lunches.  I was in the car park at 7.50am.  There were already people waiting for the door to open, tapping their feet.  Did they all buy souped-up alarm clocks in afore mentioned supermarket ?

EARLY MORNING SHOPPING (OLDER MEN)  Following on from my observation above, I've noticed that most of the early morning shoppers were older men.  What was so urgent that they need to shop at 8am ?  They looked more impatient than me for the doors to open.  And when they got inside, they didn't make a dash for the gadget aisle either.  A craving for nougat maybe ?

MEN SHOPPERS (ALL AGES)  It has became okay for fellas to be seen in shops that sell groceries.  With the range of gadgets on display, fellas can pretend that they are buying a drill, or a ladder, when they are actually looking for toilet roll (which they hide behind a 6 pack of cheap beer).

MEN SHOPPERS (IN GROUPS)  This is an odd one.  Clatters of fellas browsing the aisles.  Fellas that you would only expect to see gathered together in the audience of Top Gear.

SPORTS GEAR Which came first - the chicken, or the egg ?  Or in this case, was it Lidl, or sports gear ? Stuff you wear for Triathlons.  Wet suits, running trousers.  Stuff that Joe Public didn't know existed until Lidl opened its doors.  Did the sudden availability of good quality buoyant swim gear encourage people to dive into rivers and become sports addicts ?

BUTTERNUT SQUASH Probably my most favourite thing in Lidl ... well, that and decent mozzarella cheese, antipasti stuff, walnuts and rocket.  And reasonably priced olive oil.  In turn, other local supermarkets have followed suit and the range of food in small regional towns is now positively continental.

TRIPLE PLY TOILET ROLL All I'm saying is, once you have tried it, you will never look back (excuse the pun).  Aloe Vera enhanced and all.  The male shoppers favourite.

WAFFLE MAKERS I bet you all have bought a waffle maker, haven't you ?  I used mine once and then retired it to the Gadget Land Grave Yard, returning to my pancakes on the pan.

I have felt compromised by the large multi national in a small town (and more on the way).  But at least Lidl is usually located IN the town, which you would hope encourages people to 'stay local'.  I seek out the Irish brands where I can.  I have found that Lidl doesn't have 'all of the colours in all of the sizes' on my shopping list, so I do shop in other supermarkets too.  There certainly seems to be better value all around out there.  

Where ever I do go shopping though, I'll go armed with my anonymous sisal shopping bags and my Orla Kiely one too.  Classy bird that I am, butternut squash eating 'n' all.

** Please note that the references to male shoppers and the photo of the butter nut squash are not related.  I promise.

Photo of butter nut squash borrowed from

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