Is Aldi or Lidl cheaper? We did the same shop at each supermarket to find out

We find out which is the least expensive out of Aldi and Lidl and look at whether cheaper still means tasty, and why these discounters are so popular

Fruit and vegetable aisle at Aldi store
(Image credit: Aldi)
Recent updates

This article has been updating with the findings of a second Aldi vs Lidl shopping basket comparison conducted in June 2024. 

Is Aldi or Lidl cheaper? Lots of families will be wanting to know the answer given how high food prices have been since the cost of living crisis hit. 

When it comes to how to save money on food, shopping at one of the budget retailers like Aldi and Lidl is a great shout. Ed Fleming, managing director at money-saving website Savoo, says: "While you might not be able to find your favourite name brands, discount supermarkets produce their own versions of popular products, allowing them to offer a lower retail price. The warehouse-style supermarket approach in which produce is displayed on its original pallet might not appear as enticing, but this reduces shelf stacking time and allows it to offset staff costs and keep food prices down.” 

We've compared multiple supermarkets to see which is cheaper - from Tesco Express versus Tesco, and even Waitrose versus M&S Food. But the pressing question for bargain-hungry shoppers is which is cheapest – Aldi or Lidl? Back in November 2023, we challenged our personal finance expert, Rachel Lacey, to do a 'basic' shop at each supermarket to find out which was the cheapest for her family of four. Aldi reigned supreme, but is that still the case? Let's find out.

Our Aldi versus Lidl shopping list

Our list is made up of 14 items, including basics like bread, grated cheese, baked beans, eggs and yoghurt as well as breakfast cereal, bananas, bacon and squash. 

We've also thrown in some treats like ice cream and some chocolate (because we're only human).

Is Aldi or Lidl cheaper?

Checking the prices again in June 2024, Lidl worked out cheaper, by 46p. This is the third time we have conducted this experiment. The first time, in summer 2023, the Aldi shop worked out 77p cheaper than the Lidl shop, and the second time (in November 2023), it was the Lidl basket that came in cheaper, by 72p.

 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 AldiLidl
Double concentrate squash (1.5l)95p99p
Chocolate caramel bars99p99p
Grated cheddar cheese (250g)£1.99£1.99
American ice cream (500ml)£2.19£2.19
Bananas78p78p
Medium free-range eggs (6)£1.65£1.35
Farmhouse white loaf85p85p
Ridged crisps (6 pack99p89p
Cinnamon crisp bites£1.99Raisin Granola - £1.89
Premium baked beans (1 can)42p42p
Yoghurt tubes (9 pack)£1.25£1.25
Premium strawberry jam£1.49£1.79
Smoked back bacon£2.19£1.89
Toilet roll (9 pack)£2.99£2.99

Prices correct at the time of writing

Aldi and Lidl are usually the two cheapest supermarkets in the UK each month - in 2023, Aldi was the cheapest supermarket 11 out of the 12 months according to Which?, with Lidl pipping it to the post in October 2023. And Aldi looks set to dominate in 2024, having been crowned the cheapest supermarket in every month so far.

The big supermarkets, Sainsbury’s and Tesco both price match Aldi on many of their essentials and it’s pretty clear that Aldi and Lidl price match each other too. The vast majority of the items cost the same at both Aldi and Lidl.

Rachel's Aldi food shop including cereal, ice cream and toilet rolls, displayed on a kitchen counter

Rachel's Aldi food shop was only 72p more expensive than her Lidl shop

(Image credit: c/o Rachel Lacey)

In all of our experiments, the price difference between the two really was too close to call. The prices for many of our items were exactly the same, likely down to price matching between the supermarkets. Eggs were 30p cheaper in Lidl than Aldi, but the premium strawberry jam was 30p cheaper in Aldi than it was in Lidl. Ultimately, the overall price different came down to a handful of items being about 10p cheaper in Lidl than Aldi on this occasion. 

Rachel's Lidl food shop

Rachel's Lidl food shop was the cheapest this time

(Image credit: c/o Rachel Lacey)

Savoo's Ed Fleming adds: "The years-old question of Aldi vs Lidl is not easily answered and, for most shoppers, the decision will be based on proximity to home. However, those looking to get more from their discount supermarket should know that Lidl runs a loyalty scheme, Lidl Plus, for coupons and discount rewards. Aldi does not currently have such a scheme, instead it says their focus is on ‘high quality food and everyday low prices’.”

There is also the question of convenience - Aldi offers click and collect, which is super handy for parents who want to shop in peace, and not have to traipse their kids around a supermarket at the weekend, whereas Lidl doesn't.

Aldi versus Lidl taste test

With the majority of the items on the list, we weren't able to tell that we were enjoying budget options compared to our normal shop. But there were a few items that were either an absolute hit or a complete miss. 

We all really like Aldi’s own-brand chocolate and their Titan bars are more than a match for a Mars bar, if a bit smaller (but let’s face it, that’s not necessarily a bad thing!). The Lidl equivalent certainly isn’t bad, and would still hit the spot at 4pm with a cup of tea. 

Lidl's bakery section is impressive too - with a surprisingly varied selection of breads, cakes and pastries. I might have sampled a chocolate a hazelnut doughnut while researching this article, and we can confirm it fives Krispy Kreme a run for it's money, at a fraction of the price. 

Titan bars from Aldi got Rachel's seal of approval

Titan bars from Aldi got Rachel's seal of approval

(Image credit: c/o Rachel Lacey)

The ice cream wasn’t anything special at either supermarket though. The Lidl version won the family vote but neither was a patch on Ben and Jerry’s – both in terms of flavour and the amounts of chunks and swirls mixed in.

I didn't really like the baked beans from either supermarket as much as I like Heinz baked beans, but thankfully the kids didn’t seem to notice, or at least they didn’t complain.

Both Aldi and Lidl have had a presence in the UK since the 1990s, but neither store made a huge impact on shoppers in the early years. It’s only since the Financial Crisis in 2008 – and the impact that had on purse strings – that customers have sat up and taken notice, and the pair have enjoyed huge growth.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues, even more of us are turning to the discounters. In fact, in the 12 weeks to 12 May 2024, the supermarkets’ combined market share reached 18.1% according to analyst Kantar.

The business model of the stores has changed in recent years too. Initially, they only stocked a very limited range of discounted products, but now they both stock a much wider selection – including more chilled and fresh food – making it easier for people to do their full weekly shop there.

Lidl sign on supermarket

(Image credit: Lidl GB)

Would I make a permanent switch to Aldi or Lidl?

Our personal finance expert Rachel says: "I can’t see myself fully switching to a discounter like Aldi or Lidl - for a couple of important reasons. Firstly, I prefer to do my shopping online – it's super convenient, and I find it easier to stick to the shopping list. But Lidl is in-store only and while you can order Aldi food online, they only offer collection in-store.

"Secondly, despite each supermarket having approximately 1,000 stores across the UK, neither is particularly local to me. Lidl is a good 20-minute drive away and while Aldi is in my hometown at least, it can still be a 15-minute slog in heavy traffic.

"That said, I wouldn’t mind doing a monthly shop at Aldi, stocking up on things I know I can stockpile and save money on like loo rolls, drinks, crisps, and snacks for the kids. In fact my 14-year-old certainly loves a trip to Aldi - its soft drink, sweets, and chocolate dupes have certainly earned it the teen vote.

"I’d also be happy to try more products and see how they stack up against Sainsbury’s. I might also be tempted to check out the Aisle of Aldi (also known as the Aisle of Shame by some customers), which is where all the Special Buy offers are located. Lidl also has an equivalent called the Middle of Lidl - a centre aisle which the retailer explains is 'for household kit you never knew you needed'. 

"I am, however, on strict instructions from my carb-craving 12-year-old to, ‘never ever’ buy ‘knock-off’ cereal again. We’ll have to see about that…"

If you are looking for ways to cut down how much you spend on food, you can try this app that helped one mum save £35 a week, or if you're partial to the odd takeaway, follow this hack to get free Deliveroo Plus for a year.

Personal finance expert

As well as being a mum, Rachel Lacey is a freelance journalist with more than 20 years' experience writing about all areas of personal finance and retirement planning. After 17 years at Moneywise magazine as both writer and editor, Rachel now writes for a variety of websites and newspapers as well as corporate clients. She is passionate about financial education and simplifying money matters for all.

With contributions from