I have been a W-mart shopper for years. But I must be honest and tell you that grocery shopping there is just not very much fun for me. Every time I get to the register I am fearful of what the total is going to be (even if I have tried to keep track), and when I hear it, my heart dives into depression. It usually takes me the whole way home (which is 10 miles, so that’s saying something) to recover…
For the past several months I have been going to Aldi grocery store instead. The closest Aldi is 40 miles away; but thankfully, I have found a way to combine errands, so that the trip there coincides with another reason to be in the area. I only go every two weeks, however; and I stock up while I am there.
And I have come to the conclusion that I. Love. Aldi. How do I love Aldi? Let me count the ways…
Reasons Why I love Aldi Grocery Store:
1) Their prices are considerably lower than W-mart, which previously was the lowest around, for me. I make a habit of keeping track of prices, so that I know which store is consistently lowest in my local area, and then that’s where I do the bulk of my shopping. Aldi is now the winner in this category.
2) They have more organic items than my W-mart. And not just organic produce, but also canned goods and snack items. And all at reasonable prices, not much higher than the prices of the non-organic counterparts.
3) Their produce is good quality. Everything is packaged well and looks fresh, not puny.
4) Though they don’t carry the variety of brands that other stores have, they do have almost every type of item that I can find in any other grocery store. So there is no need to shop many stores to find what I need.
5) I tend to purchase store-brand items anyway (I have never understood why anyone would want to pay the drastically larger prices for Dole pineapple, for example, versus a store brand, when the quality is the same), and the Aldi store brand has the same level of quality as other store brands.
6) Their labels include food sensitivity information. This is worth the price of admission right there. If an item is gluten free or dairy free, it says so in clear lettering. This is a big help to me, so I don’t have to read ingredients all the time and hope that some weird chemical name is not rife with gluten.
7) The lines move quickly. There are reasons for this. First, every item has a HUGE bar code, so that the cashier does not have to scan an item more than once to get that bar code read. Just a quick swipe over the glass and it’s in the cart. Second, there are no bags. Now, this can be a little annoying when you are loading the groceries into your car or getting them into the house, but it makes for a speedy checkout. Many people bring their own boxes and bags and repackage their groceries into them before leaving the store, so it’s really just not a big problem. (And a side benefit of no bags is you don’t contribute to the landfill when you’re done…)
8) Their bread is priced similar to the bread outlet. This used to be the one other store I allowed myself to go to, because the savings on a loaf of bread (and my kids go through a lot of bread) was so considerable. But Aldi’s prices are close enough that it doesn’t make it worth the cost of the gas to go the extra distance to the bread outlet. I definitely like simplifying my errands!
9) The store is always crowded. OK, I know, this can make for some interesting shopping. But what it means is that everyone knows how good of a store Aldi is. I have hardly ever been in there when there were not TONS of people there. It’s kind of like Chick-Fil-A in that respect — you go because the product is good, and it’s worth it to you to put up with the crowds.
10) When I come out of the store I am smiling, not frowning. I have a cart brimming with real food, and I have a LONG receipt with a relatively low total at the end. That makes me feel good!
Do you shop at Aldi? What do you like/dislike about it?
P.S. Check out my Ann-Notated post with a list of articles about more ways to save money on groceries!