Having spent the last 14 years in the USA we seem to have really missed out on the whole Lidl movement so now back in Europe we are in the catch-up stage. In the USA we had various grocery options but in our last year the prices were just getting more and more out of control. It was costing us way too much to simply eat on a week by week basis, additionally we were Vegan and Vegetarian so it’s not even as if we were buying expensive items such as beef, poultry or fish. Those items would have well and truly destroyed the budget and probably do for many people.
On arrival in Spain we were lucky to be within a mile walking distance to a Lidl, it was even close to our local bus stop. The moment we started buying groceries there we had to pick our jaws up from the floor. After the years Stateside the prices were a tiny fraction of what we were used to. To be clear the US wasn’t always that way, when we first arrived there back in 2004 it was considerable cheaper than the UK where we had just left. Over the years though it has just became more and more ridiculous, it’s disappointing that the most healthy foods there are now by far the most expensive.
As you might may have seen by our earlier posts, during our time in Spain we realized just how easy it is to live on Passive Income when you have a Lidl store nearby, it’s almost like the two go hand in hand. To the extent where we will always now strive to rent slow travel accommodations close to their stores wherever we go. It’s the same here in Portugal, we have an uphill walk about a mile from the place we are staying in Albufeira to the Lidl but the exercise is well worth it.
It’s while we’ve been in Portugal though that we’ve found out how much this company truly does lend itself to the Financially Independent lifestyle. In a similar way that Wal-Mart allows RV’s to park in their lots overnight in the USA, Lidl has the same facility but it even has specific allocated parking spaces. So if you want to drive down to Southern Portugal for the winter in a camper as part of a boondocking lifestyle and need somewhere to park for free for a night or two, Lidl has got you covered. If this tactic attracts them more customers then kudos to them for smart thinking.
While they continue to run their business outside societies norms and expectations we will wholeheartedly endorse them to anyone who is on the path to Financial Independence or is already financially free and retired. We just look forward to them opening up on every street corner back in the US like they have here in Europe and the UK, hopefully triggering the localized price wars that badly need to happen. This way our fellow Americans might also start to finally catch a break on their own frugal path. Can’t happen soon enough.
Thanks for reading,