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I have shamelessly stolen this headline from the ultra low-cost supermarket Lidl’s latest handout. It’s intriguing isn’t it? How can you have breakfast for less than 20p?
Well, you serve yourself 45g Special Muesli (‘Goody’ brand, which includes oats, sweetened pineapple, banana pieces and papaya = 9.6p) and 90g natural yoghurt (Naturis brand = 9.9p). Grand Total = 19.5p. Coffee or tea is extra. It’s not the biggest breakfast in the world but many of us could do with losing a few pounds, so let’s embrace it. Even if you double the quantities it’s still under 40p.
From this you will gather that I have braved Lidl! And I came out alive! It wasn’t that bad – the décor isn’t as sparkling as Tesco or Waitrose but I can live with that. I’d been putting it off for a long time – out of sheer snobbery. But there are many recognisable, premium brands (Heinz, Ambrosia) although admittedly a lot of unknown brands (produced in Germany, mostly).
It reminded me of The Truman Show, or something (please post a comment if you know what I’m talking about, because I don’t!) with totally alien brands – packaging with ocean motifs in navy/blue for seafood/fish, green/red logos for Italian-style tinned ravioli and pastas, and beige packaging for bread (with country sounding brand names like “Rowan Hill Bakery”).
They’re probably all as nice as the next brands but it’s weird seeing all these alien brands in Britain, not on holiday in a foreign supermarket. Anyway, I digress. I jotted down the super cheap saver deals.
Heinz tomato ketchup 570g £1.89 £2.00
Linessa ½fat mature cheese £1.00/200g £3.14/370g (= £1.78/200g)
12 English muffins £2.00 £2.37 equivalent price
apple juice 5x250ml £1.09 £1.84 (5x200ml)
Cauliflower (medium, each) 50p £1.15
Baroni Ravioli Bolognaise 99p/800g £1.94/820g
Anchor salted butter 250g £1.00 £1.20
Crinkle crisps 200g £1.19 £1.65 equivalent price
Parkside gingernuts 300g 45p 65p (Waitrose own brand)
I’ve compared similar products where the exact brand wasn’t available in both stores. Incidentally the Lidl cauliflowers looked really good quality, nice and white, firm, fresh and large. So you can see Lidl is cheap! No excuse for not checking it out.
Lidl also does homewares, clothing, plants, power tools (!) and the usual industrial-sized canisters of detergent/bleach/washing up liquid etc. If you’ve been wavering, now is the time to try it. There’s free parking for 90 minutes (at my local one in Cricklewood, north London) but you do have to get over the barrier of new, unknown brands.
Today’s recipe includes the muesli I mentioned at the top, a very easy way of making flapjack (which, in turn, can be a portable breakfast on the run).
Ingredients: (makes 9 squares)
Sarah Lockett’s new foodie book “The Dish” (described by MSN as ‘well thought out, witty and intelligent – excellent stuff’) is out now (£9.95, Troubador). She will be doing a Q&A and book-signing with her co-author Penny Isaacs on Sat 25th April, 1-2pm, at Borders flagship store at 203 Oxford St, London W1.