Anyone else in love with Aldi? I just started shopping at our local store a few weeks ago, and can’t believe the savings. I can get a gallon of milk for $1.49. Even the food lion brand here is $3.29. It takes some getting used to having to bag your own groceries, but I think it’s worth it.
I assume that, because you talk about “a gallon of milk”, you are in the US. Aldi operates in at least 15 different countries, and I’ve been to Aldi supermarkets in both Australia and the US. Yes, the prices are usually competitive, but against that is a more limited product range on sale.
We have an Aldi right across the street from our closest big-chain grocery store (Giant Eagle). We definitely hit Aldi regularly, because what they have is generally much cheaper than at the chain store, and quite often of very good quality. I like their Southwest Veggie fake Hot Pocket. It comes in a whole-wheat crust and it’s quite good. Also, their light instant oatmeal in the blueberry flavor is not bad.
They don’t exist up here, but store brand milk in all the local stores is currently about $1.99. (Shaws is the only outlier, being 30 cents or so more)
Yes, I’m referring to the US. Sorry for the confusion. Although they only have the basic grocery items, we have found they sufficient. The meats aren’t all that impressive price-wise, but the milk and eggs, as well as the cereal items, are very well-priced. The canned items are only slightly cheaper, but are of good quality.
The selection is terrible and the saving are underwhelming, yet somehow it is always really crowded!
Aldi isn’t just cheaper because it stocks its own and brands that nobody has ever heard of. I’ve found that it also stocks a certain amount of German produce that just plain isn’t available anywhere else. It used to have mainly low-quality very low price. Now it looks to have moved more to include a lot specialty stuff at the price of ‘ordinary’ goods
Has anyone ever tried the beer they sell there? I’ve always been curious to try it.
My wife started going to Aldi about two years ago and loves it. She doesn’t get the meat, except the frozen chicken breasts, but all our staples come from there. Instead of spending $140/week she now spends closer to $90.
Our kids don’t like it though, because Publix gives them a free cookie when they go there with Mommy.
I hate the ones I’ve shopped at. The one in town closed after a couple years. They had no selection to speak of and the prices were no better than a certain really large store that has almost anything I want. The problem with that store is they have been remodeling for at least one and a half years and are 30 miles away.
Aldi’s is great, the thing is you’ll have to experiement to see what you find good.
Aldi sells mostly generic (usually the name brands they sell aren’t much cheaper if at all), and some of the generic brands are great. Some are bad.
For instance, I love Aldi’s coffee. But I hate their peanut butter and jelly.
Aldi’s cake mixes and brownie and muffin mixes are just as good as any mix you get anywhere else. Maybe not as good as homemade, but as good as a name brand box mix.
But their chips and cakes snakes, (their version of Twinkies for instance) aren’t very good.
I found their milk, sugar, eggs, canned veggies, rice, pasta and such to be just fine.
But his is just me
Some of the generics you’ll like, some you will not. So if you’re new to Aldi’s it’ll take a few times of buying to see what you like and don’t. I pretty much know what I like at Aldi and buy those things there.
Many years back when I had a cat and dog they both LOVED Aldi’s dog and cat food. But it gave them, let’s just say “digestive problems.” So I stopped giving them it. But both the dog and cat preferred Aldi’s pet food.
There business model is to offer about 80% of what a typical family needs. Saw the CEO or someone talking on Food Network about their business model.
If you can’t get everything you need, they are okay with that, and feel that getting you everything you need drives up the cost of everything in the store.
They just keep it simple. I visit them when I have cook outs and when I am stocking up on basics. Can’t beat 'em for that.
Aldi’s prices are quite good, but I rarely use my local one, because it doesn’t have an express queue at the checkout.
I’m in the Netherlands, so I don’t know how it compares, but ALDI’s beer over here is nothing to write home about. It’s cheap, but I can get discounted good brands in other super markets and it’s worth the slightly higher price, IMHO. On the other hand, you can get a pretty decent deal on wine. Nothing spectacular, but nice enough to drink with your dinner.
I used to love going to Aldi- great food, great prices, random non-food merchandise thrown in. Now, I can’t get there.
I agree with Awldune that it was always very crowded- here in Philly the crowd is mostly ex Soviets. They are apparently used to bagging their own groceries and know a bargain when they see one.
I haven’t been there for a while, but when I was more organized I used to start my shopping there and then finish up with the sales at one of the other supermarkets. Aldi is limited in selection, but the things I do buy there are comparable in quality to other places. Of course, some things I just don’t buy at Aldi.
I like Aldi and tend to go about once a month to stock up on staples. I tend to go less when I’m dieting as I avoid more processed foods, but it’s still a great place to get things like canned tomatoes and whole wheat pasta. Their prices on fish are very fair. I recently discovered that their clam chowder tastes, to me, identical to the Archer Farms stuff (the only palatable clam chowder on the market – smooth and not oversalted), which was a pleasant surprise.
They also get neat items rotated in from time to time. For example, the anise-flavored Italian wafer cookies were excellent. The fake Malibu (coconut rum) tasted just like the original.
Produce used to be terrible but they seemed to have cleaned it up in recent years so I do pick up some fruits and veggies there now.
They have some surprisingly upscale products for a bargain store, e.g. I quite like their dill havarti. Yeah, some of their stuff sucks, but the same is true of the grocery.
I love Aldi. I knitted a tiny little sock that stays on my keychain and holds The Sacred Aldi Quarter (you have to deposit a quarter to get a shopping cart; you get your quarter back when you’re done).
Last fall, when things were really REALLY bad at my house, I found that with careful planning I could go to Aldi and purchase enough food to feed my family of three for two weeks on less than $50 (along with a monthly supplement from the local food bank). Things are a bit better now but I still prefer to buy my staples there - we go through a lot of milk, eggs, cheese, butter, and dry goods and shopping there saves me money. Plus the one in my town sells the best freaking chocolate bars on the planet for less than two bucks for a 1/2 pound bar.
I too love me some Aldi, even though we have to drive 50km to get there, so it’s only a fortnightly or perhaps monthly visit.
I really appreciate the LACK of selection…most staples and cleaning products are just the same crap packaged up in different coloured boxes anyway. If I want rice, for example, I can get long-grain, arborio or jasmine at Aldi. I don’t need fifteen different brands for the same product. Ditto with washing detergents and butter and pasta and milk and tinned tomatoes etc etc etc that confront you at the larger supermarket establishments.
I tend not to buy their meat, just because I don’t like buying packaged meat. Their basic vegies are very good, and their policy is to provide Australian-grown produce wherever possible, which pleases me much. The aisles are wide, and the shopping-trolleys actually run smoothly!
An observation about the shopping ‘experience’ at Aldi:
The first Aldi I went to abutted one of the poorest and most socially dysfunctional areas of suburban Melbourne. The other supermarkets in the region were hotbeds of screaming kids, harrassed mothers and fathers, and disinterested shop assistants. It took me a few weeks to realise what the ‘difference’ was, but at that Aldi, shoppers were calmer, kids well behaved, disruptions few, and the queues at the checkout moved smoothly and without incident.
Since then I have shopped at many Aldi stores, and have found my earlier experiences repeated consistently. I reckon it’s the absence of all that stimulus that is pumped out at you at the regular supermarkets: loud music over the speakers, bright lights and the bombardment of all that PRODUCT with the vivid and enticing colours. Aldi lacks all of these…you go shopping there to get your stuff and you leave. There are no enticements, and no hyperstimulation of your nervous system thrown in for good measure.
Do me a favour, and think of my theory next time you’re at Aldi…see if it’s the same for you. I’d appreciate any feedback if you feel inclined.
Yep, very impressed with Aldi, and yes, it’s dead-cheap too.
There was an Aldi’s within walking distance of my house in Chicago and I used to shop there all the time. I found the lack of choices in most items a plus, as I didn’t have to spend time comparing the prices of different brands to decide which was the best deal. And most of their food was as good as the name brands at the other stores; I particularly liked to stock up on their cream soups, which I used for cooking.
Unfortunately, where I am now the nearest Aldi’s is about 2-3 hours away on public transit, so I haven’t been there yet.