The defector

I’ve changed – my grocery shopping habit, that is.

Tesco, my long time favourite food store has reduced the number of lines it carries. At first it was one or two items but it started to seem that every week there was something else I couldn’t find. It got annoying so now I’m using Tesco only for odds and ends. In fact, I’ve only been in there a couple of times during August.  Apart from all else, I’ve been going there for the past 30 years and I’m bored, bored, bored.

It’s no secret that I don’t like Aldi; we will never be friends. It seems, from what I have read in the newspapers and on various blogs, that I am in the minority, but I’ve tried it a few times over the years and I just don’t like it.  I’m sure there are items that are perfectly ok but I don’t rate the quality of the fruit and veg and I have an aversion to shopping out of cardboard boxes.

Morrisons is Ok, but there’s something that just doesn’t hit the spot as a regular shopping venue. Likewise Asda and Sainsbury. I make very occasional visits to these for specific items but it’s not an uplifting experience.  We don’t have a local Waitrose although I do make trips to the nearest branch from time to time.

All of which leaves a bit of a hole. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve shopped with Ocado. I’ve been doing this more often of late. In fact, three ‘big’ shops in the past three months. Yes, many items are more expensive but as prices are definitely rising in Tesco, the differential is not really so large. Added to this, I have received regular vouchers for 15% off my Ocado shop (I have never yet ordered from Ocado without one) plus free delivery. What’s more, where they have offers such as Buy-one-get-one-free or half-price, these seem to relate better to the products that I want to buy.  Now the whole picture becomes more enticing.  I cross referenced my latest shop from Ocado with Tesco prices, and taking into account the 15% discount, saved an overall £1.27. Not an amount that would make me choose either way.

But whilst Ocado wins my vote for the time being, I wonder how it will be when, in 2020, they sever their ties with Waitrose and forge a new partnership with M&S. Personally, I think this is a wrong move. M&S does not currently carry the lines that Waitrose does. Perhaps they’ll change but I’ve always seen it as somewhere to shop for treats rather than the staples. Ocado offer a good choice of such goods but I can’t see M&S filling the Waitrose gap. My predictions are that Ocado will lose a number of shoppers to Waitrose who offer their own online ordering and delivery service, and that many of those who stay with Ocado will replace their usual Waitrose goods with Ocado’s own (which I have to say I have been very satisfied with). This will no doubt please Ocado but I can’t see M&S branded goods selling to the extent that the company might have hoped for. But then, I’ve never worked in the supermarket sector so what do I know? Time will tell.








  1. Nipping in a little late to agree with you regarding Aldi fruit and vegetables, they’re not for me. I help a friend with her shopping once a fortnight, she buys mainly from Aldi so I occasionally buy the odd thing, but not on a regular basis. Booths, a very convenient Sainsbury’s, and a veg box delivery suits me.


    • Booths is a great place to shop. I’ve come across them when we’ve been in the Lake District but we don’t have them here in the Midlands.


  2. My dad says the same thing about Tesco – they’re definitely reducing their range.
    Personally, I like Aldi and always use their range for dishwasher, washing up and clothes washing. I also like a lot of their food and like that there’s not so much choice. Maybe I’ve been lucky with the fruit and veg but there’s never been any problems.


    • Tesco are introducing their budget chain – Jacks. I wonder if that is something to do with limiting their lines in the main shops. I know a lot of people are happy with Aldi, and they are certainly opening up everywhere, but it just doesn’t work for me.


  3. Earlier this year, they opened an Aldi not too far from me. That’s the first Aldi in my area. I’ve driven past it, on my way to visit my aunt, but I haven’t gone there to shop. A bit out of my way for grocery shopping. We don’t have any of the other stores you’ve mentioned.


    • I can see from your own blog posts that your shopping choices and experience is quite different to ours. I like to understand those differences. It’s one of the best things about being in contact with bloggers in other countries.


  4. I’ve stopped shopping so much at Tesco since they started thinning down their stock lines and now find myself shopping more in Waitrose….albeit very carefully.
    Lidl is not one of my favourite places but I do go in once in a while to stock up on tomato ketchup as we do like the Batts brand they carry. I have tried their veg but find the quality appalling. We don’t have an Aldi so can’t comment on them.
    We have an Asda but the only thing I go there for is if I need any t shirts or they have the large boxes of Diet Coke on offer.
    Shopping is an absolute minefield these days isn’t it?


    • yes, a minefield. There ‘s not a single shop where I can get all that I want (not even Ocado) but perhaps that’s an unreasonable want. I do like Waitrose but have to drive several miles of I want to shop in one. We are just not the sort of town to have a Waitrose – we couldn’t even hold onto our M&S.


  5. I’m like you, don’t rate the Aldi fruit and veg unless you’re going to use that day in a recipe. It’s what my dear old mom used to call front of the market stall veg, i.e. it goes off really quickly. Lidl on the other hand, I do rate. Much better quality and their selection of deli stuff is fantastic. I’m really spoiled where I live, Tesco and Co-op both 15 minute walk away, Sainsburys 25 minutes walk, and coming soon to us, a brand new Lidl which will be 20 minutes walk away. So I am a shopping harlot, combine a visit to the shops with my several times a week walk. Walking there and back gives me a purpose to the walk plus it means I can’t impulse buy too much as I have to carry it home.


    • A shopping harlot! Haha. Absolutely right – front of the stall. I will never become a convert. I also hate the centre aisles where all manner of stuff is piled high. There may be a few good bits but it’s so jumble-sale like that I can’t be bothered to look.


  6. I don’t know what it is but I’ve never managed to get on board with Aldi either. For my main shopping I usually visit one of the major supermarkets and Booths.


    • Well, if you have Booths then you’d want to go there. When in your part of the country we always visit Booths – it’s the Waitrose of the north. Fabulous shop….you lucky thing!


  7. If you are in a minority for not liking Aldi, I will join you and together we will be slightly less a minority. Have tried this store twice (you’d have thought once would’ve been enough, wouldn’t you?) and no, it’s not for me. But we know my natural habitat is Waitrose and now that the store has pulled out of Torbay and we’ve tried other stores, I now have Waitrose deliver to my door. Lovely jubbly. I have tried Ocado and it’s pretty good but Waitrose still number one for me. I agree, I think it was a mistake for Ocado to get into bed with M&S, but we shall have to see how that pans out (or should that be “saucepans” out?
    Margaret P


    • Saucepans out – very good! I confess to going into Aldi every now and then to buy a packet of specific smartie-topped biscuits that my granddaughters love, but it’s a case of in and out as quickly as possible. I’ve tried three different branches (just because I’ve been in the vicinity – not a special journey) and I don’t like any of them!


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