When the first Aldi grocery store opened in my area, quite a few years ago, I gave the store a try. Once. I had small kids. There were very few brands that I recognized on the shelves. The quarter for a cart thing and the bag your own groceries with your own bags thing, just didn’t work for me. And I never went back.

Recently I’ve seen several blog posts about Aldi, praising their low prices and high quality. So I decided to give the store a try again. My first thought  when I walked in the store was, “This reminds me of a Trader Joe’s.” A bare-bones version, but still similar. Which is a good thing. I LOVE Trader Joe’s, but have to drive at least 1 1/2 hours to get to one. I did a little research when I got home and found that Aldi and Trader Joe’s have the same parent company!

As I cruised up and down the aisles at Aldi, I was surprised to see how low some of the prices were. So I picked up an assortment of things, from flour tortillas to frozen fish fillets. Honestly, I couldn’t believe how many groceries I got for what I paid. Then the real test came…how did everything taste? Really good. I would say everything is comparable to name brands, at least what I’ve tried so far. Concerning prices, as with every other grocery store, some deals are better than others. The granola bars were just a bit cheaper than the ones I buy at my local grocery store, but they were smaller and fewer were in the box. On the other hand, the name brand kefir (drinkable yogurt) cost at least $1 less than anywhere else. The trade-off for the low price, Aldi’s only has the strawberry flavor.

After cruising around the internet reading more blog posts about Aldi, I agree with many others. It’s not the store where you will buy ALL of your groceries ALL of the time.  There just isn’t that big of a variety of merchandise for that. However, it is a great place to build your pantry basics, along with picking up a few more gourmet offerings at lower prices. The picture at the top of this post is my latest haul: artisan lettuce, mini cucumbers, avocados, queso fresco, goat cheese with honey, and grape tomatoes. All of those things, plus snacks for camping, a huge orange and almond chocolate bar (really good!), and several bags of sugar for around $25. A very good deal for the trade-off of shopping in a store without fancy displays and bagging my own groceries.

Do you shop at Aldi? If you do, what are some of your favorite items to buy there?

This post is part of Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads. Stop by and check out more foodie blog posts!

19 thoughts on “I’m An Aldi Convert

  1. I’m a die-hard Wegmans shopper and when Aldi’s opened up right across the street a year or so ago, I still didn’t look into it. Now, you and Melissa have made me curious. I will check them out this week.

    1. It’s different, but I was quite impressed with the prices. Every time I’ve gone there I’ve picked up the mini cucumbers and artisan lettuce packs. Much less expensive than Meijer, one of the major grocery chains in my area.

  2. I shopped at Aldi’s when I was just starting off as an adult in a cheap apartment and that was the closest grocery. I just checked and the closest Aldi’s is that same store. It will be a big change if it reminds me of Trader Joe’s, but I’ll give it a shot!

    1. On one of my recent visits to Aldi the 20-something woman behind me had all of the supplies to throw a banana split party, so maybe it’s pretty common for college-aged people to shop there? I’ve heard there are quite a few near college campuses. Definitely not as nice as Trader Joe’s, but the same concept with the multitude of “store” brand products.

  3. There’s been a Save-A-Lot 15 min. from where I live for years, but a few years ago they put the first Aldi in our area, and it is a 40 min. drive. Even with all the added driving time, I still prefer going to Aldi.

    Here’s My Weekend Cooking

    1. I have never gone to a Save-A-Lot, even though those are in my area too. I’m really impressed with many of the prices at Aldi. Wish I would’ve started going there sooner!

  4. I’ve never been to an Aldi’s, but am intrigued. I’m fine with bagging my own groceries (I do this in my regular Stop & Shop because they are SO SLOW), but would not be fine with paying for a cart or bringing my own bags. I have young children and rarely make it into a grocery store without them.

    But, I am going to start keeping an eye out for this…I’m definitely curious!

    1. Well, you get your quarter back when you return the cart (they’re hooked together and a quarter “unlocks” them). Also, they have bags at the checkout. Big, reusable ones. You just have to pay a little bit for them. So, it isn’t too bad to negotiate with kids, if you understand how it all works. Not good if you aren’t “in the know”. 🙂

    1. Only having 2 chains can’t be good. People have to go there and they know it, so can charge whatever they want. 🙁 Kind of like buying snacks at sporting events. Prices are crazy!

  5. Knowing how to shop at ALDI, and what to buy, is a big challenge for people who haven’t shopped there before.

    I’ve tried to make it easier for others by blogging about my experiences there – and I’ve recently turned the blog into a website!

    Stop by when you have a chance – I’m sure you’ll find lots of useful information to make your ALDI shopping trip even more enjoyable and rewarding.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! It looks like there is definitely a technique to shopping and saving at Aldi.

  6. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers raving about Aldi lately. We don’t have them here in New Zealand, but I have shopped there in Australia, and was pretty impressed – for the basics anyway.

    1. Too bad you can’t get to one. Definitely a good place to keep your pantry stocked.

  7. We have to drive about a half hour to get to Aldi’s, which is why I never tried it. Next time we’re in that area, I think I’ll pop in.

  8. We don’t have an Aldi’s store here but I like what you posted about your experience! Also love Cooper’s nose edging into the photo. What a cutie.
    We went to Trader Joe’s this past weekend and I love putzing around there but seems you are finding better prices at Aldis.

  9. I think we’ve only been to our Aldi a couple of times. There aren’t that many brand names, if any, in ours. i don’t mind the bagging my own groceries because we have to bring our bags everywhere in my county or pay 5 cents per plastic bag. I do like that the organic milk is cheaper.

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