Lidl Plus app saves on select products, but always read the fine print

Discount retailer Lidl is renowned for its low prices which are more important than ever to many families as the cost of living crisis hits hard. So, using the Lidl Plus app, which offers additional savings on various products as well as rewards and special offers, seems like a good way to go.

Currently, Tesco offers reduced Clubcard prices to its members and other chains, such as Morrisons, also offer points to cardholders which can be used against the price of purchases. So, having never tried the Lidl Plus app, journalist Louisa Gregson decided to give it a try, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Once signed up for Lidl Plus, the user receives discount coupons, special offers and raffles every time they scan their digital card at checkout and the app stores all receipts in one place. Every day the app offers discounts on a number of products for a limited time before the coupons expire and new items replace them.

To get started, simply download the app and register the required details. The account is then activated.

Louisa said: “On arriving at the Lidl store in Prestwich, I immediately approached an employee who was stacking fruit and vegetables and asked him to tell me exactly how I should use the app. He was very friendly and happy to show me around, explaining that there was a full list of products under the individual headings and that each product had a code that could be associated with the label.

“Sounded good in theory, but it took a while to locate the corresponding labels with the first discounted products I tried, namely wild salmon and canned mackerel – but I finally got there , throwing a tin of 57p mackerel fillets in a spicy tomato sauce and a £2.49 tin of wild salmon into my basket, before moving on to the ‘fun’ fruit and veg that was also on offer.”

However, despite searching, Louisa could only find a lunchbox-sized bag of apples in the product list – which included fun-sized bananas, peppers and “tomatowls” and cute sounding “cucumbears”.

“We haven’t had one in ages,” he told Louisa, looking through the items on his phone and staring at the empty shelves of said products, “I don’t know why there’s a coupon for something we give I don’t have.”

The shelves appeared bare as the reporter searched for fruit and veg discounts

The reporter was forced to pick up the full-size (and full price) 92p peppers and a punnet of piccolo tomatoes at the surprisingly high price of £2.89. She added: “I was appalled as I rummaged through the duo color gem lettuce (no discount) – all of which actually seemed to be pretty much one color – brown.

“I opted for a wild rocket bag instead. I walked away from the fun size section – after finding it was anything but.

His spirits lifted when I saw the words “Happy Hour” written on a sign at the top of the bakery section and a decent 30% off. She added two-for-one brownies, as well as a sourdough ball, a French baguette and a few slices of pecans, to her groceries.

Louisa added: “A quick check on my phone and I saw that the discount was indeed in that day’s deals, and feeling relieved, I continued with my shop, filling my usual items until until I get to the next discounted section – chocolate.

“The app offered 15% off a range of Fin Carré chocolates, including dark chocolate, fruit and nut milk chocolate, milk chocolate and milk chocolate with chopped hazelnuts – and a reduction from £1.30 on a £3.29 hen sitting on a bed of chocolate eggs, 70p on a chocolate Easter bunny and 50p on a £1.99 milk chocolate bunny from their premium Deluxe range.

“But my shop took on the guise of a full-fledged Easter egg hunt as I scoured the aisles for these latest items. Coming with a sense of deja vu from the fun-sized fruit fiasco, I finally threw in a bar of Fin Carré fruits and nuts with my groceries and gave up the search, leaving the aisle feeling unhappy, uh, bunny.”

Other items purchased included a 59p pack of original rye crispbread, 99p of sweet chilli flatbread and 99p of cheddar and black pepper flatbread, all with 15% off the price. At checkout, a checkout assistant scanned Louisa’s QR code and assured her that all coupons had been activated.

He explained that the shed would come off automatically at the end. But after adding up the total, Louisa realized she had only saved a measly £1.12 on the app. After studying the receipt more closely, Louisa became confused as to why nothing at all from the bakery section had been discounted with the promised 30% discount.

Louisa's purchases at the store's bakery caused confusion
Louisa’s purchases at the store’s bakery caused confusion

However, she realized that in the rush to finish her shopping, she had mistakenly read the “7 p.m. until closing” sign as being from 7 a.m. The £1.49 Finn Carre fruit and nut chocolate bar was also full price on the receipt – despite being included in the list of items on offer.

The reporter said: “Until I am familiar with the app, I would definitely recommend checking the receipt at checkout. I would also recommend reading the signs correctly – if I had purchased the bakery items in the real happy hour – I would have saved an extra £1.27, a slightly more respectable saving of £2.39.

“The discounted items change regularly and the next day I checked my app again and saw they were offering a free bakery item in store. The next day they were offering 50% off raspberries, 20% off a range of ready meals and a pound of dishwasher tablets.”

And Louisa’s verdict on the Lidl app? She said: “Overall I prefer the Tesco Clubcard where the items clearly display the discounted price available to Clubcard holders on the labels and seem more plentiful, greater saving and on more basics. I also prefer collecting points at checkout as they can be redeemed for items of your choice, while discounted items may not be truly fancy or usually buy.

“But Lidl is known for its consistently affordable prices and the happy hour bakery discount is a great idea – just make sure you get there after 7pm – it’ll be a lot happier that way.”

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Rozella J. Cook