Five ways your family can save money when you already shop at Lidl and Aldi

With so much in the media about how to save money simply by changing where you do your weekly supermarket shop, it has started to make us think. Think about how we can save more money, so that we can spend more on days out and family holidays, rather than all on day to day living expenses. 

The smaller supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl don't have as much choice or a large variety of products, but we have always found the produce virtually impossible to tell apart from the more well-known brands, except being cheaper. If you are happy to try out a new brand then you can make substantial savings. But the problem we have found is how do you save money when these are already the places that you buy your families groceries? It got us thinking ...

Five ways your family can save money when you already shop at Lidl and Aldi

Five ways to save your family money

1. Swap School Dinners for Packed Lunches

Up until now, my boys have enjoyed their school dinners. They were happy to eat them and we have benefitted from KS1 children receiving free school meals, which meant we were only paying for one child. So £10 per week for two children is how it averaged out. However, my boys are both now in KS2 and £20 per week for school dinners is a lot of money - £780 every year.

We obviously can’t save all of this money, but simply swapping to packed lunches has saved us around £13 per week – that’s a whopping £507 over the year.

The packed lunches include a ham wrap or egg or tuna sandwich; piece of fruit; a homemade pizza swirl and a homemade date bar – plus a bottle of tap water. For two boys, over the week this costs £7.

It does take a little more time to prepare them, but the boys get involved with making the date bars and pizza swirls on a weekly basis and they like them so much they have no intention of going back to school dinners.

Five ways your family can save money when you already shop at Lidl and Aldi

2. Family Feast not Takeaway

As the boys grow up it’s nice to have a family treat as a meal every now and then. But even ordering takeaway for a family of four once a month could cost nearly £500. 

Takeaways are convenient but can be expensive and unhealthy. We recently tried a homemade Mexican Family Feast cooking some of the food from scratch and adding accompaniments from the supermarket and it cost just £2.50 per person.

To order the equivalent from a local takeaway delivery service would have cost nearly £50.

Five ways your family can save money when you already shop at Lidl and Aldi

3. Actively Look for Vouchers

There are vouchers and discount codes available for virtually everything these days. If you want something specific it may be that you have to pay full price, but if you have a little flexibility then substantial savings can be made. All it usually needs is a quick search on the web.

Before buying something I always google the price to find out where to ourchase it for the best price, and to see if there are any discount codes available. A recent purchase of a hoover saved me £90, a discount code at Christmas saved me £175 on photo albums – it just takes a few moments to check but can be worth it.

Five ways your family can save money when you already shop at Lidl and Aldi

4. Make your own lunch

I currently work from home so I’m making the most of it by making a freshly prepared lunch every day. Now this can vary from simple beans on toast to homemade soup, mushroom quesadillas, salad or an egg sandwich. Add in a hot or cold drink and a piece of fruit or cake (some days you just need it) and lunch is simple and inexpensive.

Even if you are working away from home it's so much cheaper to prepare a meal to take with you. It's amazing how much a shop bought lunch can add up – even if you take advantage of lunch time deals this can cost over £500 a year for each person. Make sandwiches or plan ahead by cooking extra more for your meal the night before and taking the leftovers to work.

Five ways your family can save money when you already shop at Lidl and Aldi
Homemade Sweet Potato and Beetroot Soup

5. Attend Free Events

North East England has some amazing places to go for family days out and not all of them cost money. It's great to have a good mix and support some of our paid-for treasures but do this every week and it soon mounts up. We have an A-Z of free family days out in North East England and also check out the annual passes to some of our top attractions – they make repeat visits very affordable.

And why not check out this fab list of Top Tips for Saving Money when Travelling with the Family

Do you have any more tips for saving money as a family? I'd love to know them.

Deb x


  1. These are fab. I've shopped at Aldi for years now and just love it. When we do a roast on a Sunday, I use any leftover meat to make a casserole or something the next day. I agree about dinners too. My daughter currently gets free dinnners, but when she is no longer eligable I just don't think they are worth the money? We will be doing the same and switching to packed lunch xxx

    1. Yes and the packed lunches really wasn't such an ordeal at all :)

  2. Great tips! I almost always shop at Aldi. There are some other really good ideas here. I need to save where I can!

  3. Some great tips here. I just wish we were closer to Aldi, its a good half hour drive for us so unless we need to a big store cupboard top up we shop in our local Tesco.

  4. Fantastic ideas!!
    We love a fakeaway instead of paying extra for a takeaway!