In my quest to stretch my grocery money as far is it would go I discovered Aldi. I had driven past it for over a year, but never stopped in. After the urging from a friend, I stopped by one day. It turned out to be a quaint store with just the basics. I decided to try it and see if the products were to my family’s liking and compare prices.
Aldi experiment: I took Hannah, my then high school daughter who did much of our family’s baking and cooking, with me on the maiden trip to Aldi. We had determined to buy our normal weekly groceries, then compare quality and price. It took us a while to shop the unfamiliar store and did not locate all the items on our list, but we filled up a cart. I sat at swim team practice than night with several receipts from Walmart and compared prices. Over the next week we used the Aldi products and were generally pleased.
- Line by line price comparison of like items purchased primarily at Wal-Mart, Aldi was less on everything except canned spaghetti sauce, which was .02 more
- Produce- huge price savings and quality was very good. Sometimes the sizes are a bit larger or smaller than what I usually buy, but not a problem.
- Quality-There was not one item that we decided was not as good as the similar product I had previously purchased. In fact there are several items that we decided we liked better than the items purchased at Wal-Mart, ie yogurt, cheetos, corn flakes.
- Added benefit- Aldi has just 1 of each item, their store brand, so shopping has become much less complicated. If I need peanut butter, there is not a whole shelf to sort through, there are 2 choices: creamy or crunchy. Flour comes in a 5# bag, that is it. Milk is skim, 2% or Whole. Shopping is much faster! I am saving a lot of time and not dreading going to the store. I do not have to look at all the choices and compare prices on each items incase there has been a change from the last time I purchased it. It is even ok if I need to just run in and get a couple of things because I can be in and out of the store in just minutes.
- Downside: Aldi carries the basics, so when I am doing holiday baking or need spices, special vegetables or other special products, I still have to venture to Wal-Mart or Kroger, but those trips are getting fewer and farther between.