It’s no surprise to anyone who really knows me that I like to save money where I can, (which is just about everywhere). Call me cheap. Whatever. Paying full price is painful to me. We work hard for our money and we try to keep as much of it as we can. So, we gotta pinch those pennies.
The one area I struggle with is groceries. I want to keep healthy, high-quality, tasty food in our house and have generally accepted that I probably overpay a bit for groceries. In the past, I’ve clipped coupons and generally found it took A LOT of time and I bought a lot of things that were unhealthy or I normally wouldn’t buy. Now I have no time and don’t see enough value in it to make time. Also, I’m not going to risk my family’s health on expired food or salvage groceries. We’re cheap, but we’re not starving.
I heard several moms raving about Aldi and counting down the days until a store opened near them. There are two Aldi stores near my little town and I’ve neglected them both over the years. For some reason, I kind of had a negative connotation with Aldi and I don’t really know why. They’re generally in marginal areas, they don’t advertise heavily and there are no bells and whistles. But why pay more for bells and whistles when I could be paying a lot less for the same stuff? I had to check it out.
I heard from other local moms that Aldi typically gets shipments of produce on Wednesdays. It’s a small store, so they generally only receive produce on that day. So, if you go Wednesday, you’ll get the freshest stuff. If you go Tuesday, you’ll be getting the least fresh. I went this morning, on a Thursday, and the produce looked great. Before you go for the first time, I’d definitely recommend calling and asking an employee when they receive their produce. I spoke to an Aldi employee and this is actually not true. They receive produce shipments constantly, so shop any time. Also, don’t call them. Their stores are unlisted! This is part of their business model to keep employees stocking the shelves and checking people out rather than answering questions on the phone.
Also, I mentioned “no frills”, right? Frills include keeping carts in the parking lot and the cashier bagging your groceries. Oh, yeah, and free grocery bags. You’ll need a quarter for the cart, which keeps the carts right by the front door and eliminates the associates needing to clear the lot, as well as damage to cars. Take your cart back when you’re done and you get your quarter back. Amazing how simple that is. I brought my cloth bags, which I like anyway because they hold a lot more and are super sturdy (and sooooo cuuuuute), but if I didn’t I would have to dig out some change for plastic bags. This is a perfect Aldi bag. (affiliate link) The cashier sits and rings up the groceries and then puts them back in the cart. Then you roll it over to this low-hanging shelf, which is the designated bagging area. This was a non-issue for me because when I shop at my usual super market, I’m either pretty much forced to self-check and bag them myself anyway or the cashier bags them in the most nonsensical order. So, I didn’t miss the frills much, but it’s good to be prepared.
The store itself was pretty small, especially compared to a big box store, but had all the basics and lots of staples I needed and regularly buy. Most of the products are private labels, but there were also some name brands I recognized, especially with produce. I immediately noticed a nice variety of healthy snacks, like dried fruit without the added sugar, for very reasonable prices. I also found wine for less than $3 and although I couldn’t review it in my certain state, it’s supposed to be pretty damn good. Most of the prices were as if everything was on a really good sale. They weren’t giving it away, but I didn’t hesitate to buy and definitely felt like it was a good deal. Some things I thought were GREAT deals. Overall I was really happy with my haul. Check out what I got…
Here’s the breakdown:
- Organic spring mix $2.49
- Pineapple $2.49
- Honey Nut Cheerios $2.65
- Cottage Cheese $2.29
- Lower Sodium Bacon $3.49
- Veggie Straws $1.79
- Couscous 2 @ $1.49
- Whole Chicken $3.62
- Whole Grain Waffles $1.29
- 2.5 lbs bananas $1.11
- Grape Tomatoes $1.29
- Gouda Cheese $2.99
- Mini Sandwich Crackers $2.19
- 3-pack Cucumbers $1.49
- Blueberries $1.99
- 4-pack Applesauce Pouches 2 @ $1.79
- Large Eggs $1.49
- 2 lbs. Red Grapes $2.89
- Dried Apricots $2.69
- Dried Blueberries $2.45
- Dried Cherries $2.45
- Grand total: $49.70
I was really pleased and knew all that would cost much more where I usually shop. I mean, I spend more than that at Target and couldn’t tell you what I bought. That’s one reason I felt like I really saved at Aldi, there’s not a lot of room for impulse shopping. You don’t mindlessly browse the aisles. My entire trip took 25 minutes. I got exactly what I knew my family would eat and what we needed, which leads to less wasted money and food.
Aldi has a nice organic selection, especially produce. They also have a ton of gluten-free items if you have celiac disease, or you just think gluten is evil. I bought mainly standard stuff, but the organic and gluten-free selection also looked super reasonable.
Overall, I was really happy with my experience and definitely plan on going back to cut down on my grocery expenses. If you have an Aldi nearby, I’d recommend giving it a shot. After just going once, I definitely understand why so many love it so much.
4 thoughts on “What does 50 bucks get you at Aldi?”
I love Aldi! Trips to the store only take me 20 minutes now, rather than an hour at the traditional store- that alone is reason enough to shop. But, every time I have people over they all say “This cheese is amazing!” and they’re shocked it came from Aldi. I love it so much, I also made a post about it! http://maryrosemeyer.com/2014/12/28/my-biggest-secret-to-throwing-an-effortlessly-chic-party/
PS- did you try the Belgian chocolate pudding they have in right now? OMG. Insanely good.
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Um, no. But I will be trying that belgian chocolate pudding now! Thanks!
Big Aldi fan here! It is so quick and painless to shop there! Aldi + Amazon Prime = 99% of my shopping.
YES! Love Amazon Prime too. Aldi has really changed my shopping game.