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?

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2 thoughts on “Shopping at Aldi

  1. Love Aldi! Went from 2+ hours a week clipping coupons for my local grocery store to saving more in less time. They have recently added more organic items. I like their organic pouch apple-sauces. Kids love them and they are cheaper than the BOGO at the other stores. Also, love the baby wipes. They are cheaper per wipe than a case at Sams Club. Cant beat it. I don’t like the meat, but I am super picky.

    • I didn’t know about their wipes. I’ll look at them next time. We like the ground beef and the chicken breasts, but haven’t tried many others yet. Thanks for sharing!

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