Archive | February 2014

Shopping at Aldi

A new    aldi_logo   opened near our house a couple of months ago.  I had been to one once, but wasn’t too impressed.  Friends from other areas have swooned over Aldi, though, for their prices and their chocolates.  I decided it was worth a try to see the selection, read ingredients, and experiment with a few items.  When I realized that I save about $50 per visit over the regular grocery store on the same (or similar) items, I was hooked.

Pros:

  • Prices — Most of their brands’ (Millville, Savoritz, Baker’s Corner, etc) boxed items are about $2.00 or less.  I equate prices to buying my main grocery store’s own brand or less.
  • Fresh produce — It is beautiful, and it is cheap.  The manager said they use local and regional sources as much as possible. Where else can you find avocados for 79 cents each? A package of strawberries was $1.19 and lasted 5 days in the refrigerator. Bananas are 44 cents/ pound at my store.
  • Size — The store is smaller, so you take less time shopping and have fewer opportunities for impulse buys.
  • Employees — Everyone has been helpful and friendly.

Cons:

  • Size — Since the store is smaller and has mostly Aldi’s brands, there are fewer choices.  What you’re looking for may not be available that day. It is not a one-stop shop for all things.
  • Payment — Our local stores accept cash, debit, and EBT cards.  If you like to write checks or accumulate credit card points, move along.
  • Time — While you can choose things quickly with only 4 or 5 aisles to navigate, lines can get long with only one or two cashiers.
  • No frills — Bring your own bags or pay 10 cents each for reusable plastic bags there, bag your items after checking out, load your car, and return your cart.

A few tips:

  • Make sure you have a quarter with you to rent a buggy.  There is one area outside the store that has all carts linked.  Put your quarter in to release your cart, and when you return it, take your quarter with you or be a good samaritan and leave it for the next shopper.
  • Try something new.  We’ve only had one thing we didn’t like, and it was a lettuce.
  • Bring your own bags.
  • Don’t be in a hurry on your first two or three visits.  It’s a different world with many items in a 3 foot section versus 10 brands of sauce to overlook.

Aldi is not the place to shop if you want a large selection, require only brand names, are a coupon fan, or need folks to bag and carry out your groceries.  It is the place to purchase most items at a reasonable price.

If you’re an Aldi shopper, what item(s) do you like?

Book Review ~ Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen

Friesen writes of a dystopian society set in the future, where emotions are prohibited. Aquifer has a chosen one, conflict, a love interest, and a need for change through buried hope.  This “peaceful” society is ruled by the Council of Nine and the Peacemaker (PM). Luca, the main character, is the son of Massa, the Deliverer. When Massa disappears, Luca must take over the role of Deliverer and descend following a path known only to previous Deliverers. Luca discovers things are not as they seem and must bring change, regardless of his personal outcome.

The plot pulled my curiosity, and I wondered what would happen next. The story flows, but there were times when I wanted more description.  I couldn’t always picture the characters or situation and had to reread some passages.  As with other novels of this genre, the darker overtone of the human struggle was a little much, and I had to put it down for a bit. The end felt rushed and a little incomplete.  An epilogue would provide good closure, as there are some unanswered questions.

Aquifer is not a favorite book, but having read it, I may investigate others of Friesen’s works.

I give this novel 3 out of 5 stars.

Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for my honest review.