Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a tiny bit, but James and I are obsessed with shopping at Aldi’s.
It’s where we get the majority of our groceries and household items because the quality and prices are unparalleled.
For those unfamiliar with Aldi – it’s a discount supermarket originating in 1914 Essen, Germany by Anna Albrecht. Originally called Albrecht Discount, the name was shortened to simply “Aldi” after her sons took over the business in 1948 and expanded to four locations.
Specialty grocery chain Trader Joe’s is owned by a German trust established by Aldi’s parent company Aldi Nord.
Aldi is a different kind of grocery store. Mostly private label brands are carried, and the inventory is switched out on a weekly basis. There are no coupons, no shoppers’ club cards, no credit cards accepted (only cash and debit cards).
Each cart requires a quarter deposit inserted into a slot that attaches it to other carts, encouraging customers to return them instead of leaving them in the parking lot.
If you want a bag – that costs extra. The stores are streamlined to run with fewer employees than traditional supermarkets.
In fact, it was only recently that I first saw Aldi running television ads.
So what does that accomplish?
Lower prices for everyone.
No clipping coupons or having to sign up for a discount club. Just straight up affordable groceries.
My first experience with Aldi was in college, but I remember that store being somewhat cramped, disorganized, and not particularly clean.
Then after I met James, he reintroduced me to Aldi. This time, I got a totally different impression. We were living in Florida at the time, and these stores were the opposite – clean and easy to navigate.
Being a chef, James is an extremely picky and shrewd grocery shopper. He has thrown out frozen and fresh food items if they smell funny, or don’t taste quite right. He LOVES Aldi. It’s his favorite place to shop. He also has a lot of respect for the business model.
Aldi carries a solid selection of food and household essentials, as well as a surprising assortment of specialty goods and items such as small appliances, computers, and I’ve even seen generators on occasion!
There’s a gluten-free line called liveGfree, Fit & Active, and Friendly Farms for dairy products.
We’ve had a chance to try lots of private label brands from paper towels to meat, and have never been disappointed with the quality or taste.
I particularly enjoy trips to Aldi around the holidays – when I can pick up sweet treats, name brand toys, bedding, household items, dishware, fancy cheese, and a great wine/beer selection.
Some are favorite things to shop for are:
- Almond milk
- Baking basics – flour, sugar, salt, olive oil, spices
- Fresh fruit (apple prices are crazy good!)
- $2.99 Winking Owl wine
- Paper towels
If I had to name one negative about Aldi is that there are some items they just don’t carry – which forces you to have to go to a mainstream grocery chain to fill in the blanks.
For soda, I prefer Publix brand diet cola. Aldi does carry their own private brand of soda, but the diet version only comes in cans – not 2-liters.
There are also some baking/cooking ingredients that Aldi doesn’t seem to carry.
Aldi – I wish I could only shop at your store but it’s not just not possible right now!
Last time I was there I bought five different kinds of gourmet cheese, and then saw a friend’s Facebook post that she picked up about 20 pounds of cheese herself there!
Did I mention I also got a handheld steam cleaner for $12.99? Well, I did.
And I tried the new frozen sushi (15 pieces for $4.99) and give it two thumbs up!
About once a week, I like to check out the Aldi weekly specials online. I’ve noticed that even the upcoming specials for the next week are usually in stock early – so no waiting.
I’ve turned a few friends onto shopping at Aldi, and they quickly become converts. If you haven’t shopped there before, run – don’t walk to your closest location!
Are you also a fan? Share your favorite Aldi purchases below!
See you next time!