A trip to the shops? Lately, it’s a little bit different for all of us. But these last few months have been a complete game-changer for Karen McMaster. She and her family have put their weekly shop to the test to see how much they can save at Lidl.
With their trio of growing boys (Jack, Adam and Ben) in the house, Karen and her husband Paul can fill a hefty trolley, but they had no idea just how much they were racking up in receipts: “It all really sunk in for me at our casting call (before we even knew what we were getting ourselves in for!)” Karen explains, “because Jack let slip just how much we were spending. I was cringing when he said it!”
Switching up your supermarket might not seem like a big deal, but after their first four weeks of shopping at Lidl, the McMasters managed to save over £240. A few months on, Karen has become even more savvy with her shopping and the savings rocketed to over £340 across four weeks.
Part of the increase has been down to a change in shopping habits. Before lockdown began, NI shoppers tended to be baskets only, just nipping in for top-ups. The McMasters were no different. Karen admits they easily could have been in and out of four different shops throughout the week!
In this age of social distancing, however, everyone’s shopping trips have become less frequent as people return to the days of ‘the big shop’, getting everything in one visit. So, even in lockdown, how have Karen’s shopping skills improved?
“It’s the little everyday things you don’t think about that really start to add up. Like cleaning products. The W5 range is so much cheaper than other brands and does the exact same job.”
Before you think the family has sacrificed standards over savings, Karen is quick to remind people that she’s the toughest judge of all: “I am so fussy when it comes to shampoo and things like that,” she admits, “but we gave the Cien products a try and I couldn’t believe how good they were. We are converted!”
And it’s not just Mum who’s enjoying the switch. The boys were excited when it was time to fire up the grill for the family’s latest advert, which was filmed right in their own back garden! The McMasters were rolling the cameras themselves to show off their Big Save family BBQ and everyone had their favourites covered…
Karen made sure there were plenty of fresh veggies and salads on the table, Paul flame-grilled some spicy chicken wings to keep twins Ben and Adam happy, and a mouth-watering beef burger was the centrepiece of Jack’s plate.
“We’ve definitely saved a lot on getting our meat from Lidl,” says Karen, who used to buy solely from the butchers. “I like to support local, so it was nice to find out that Lidl works with local farmers and suppliers for their fresh meat.”
So, what will be next on the McMasters’ shopping list? Karen says it’s anyone’s guess…
“I always start at the bakery and pick up brownies and croissants for the boys, so I start all confident like I’ve got all the aisles sussed, but honestly, every time I’m at Lidl I find something different to have a go at. I love it!”
Whether it’s summer sips or getting the boys sorted when back to school time comes around, Karen McMaster is gearing up for another Big Save at Lidl. The only question left to answer is… how much could you save?