If you follow this blog at all, you know that I love Aldi. You may also know, if you happen to look at my "Cost" for making something, that my costs sometimes seem kind of low. This is not because I'm delusional or deceitful. It is because I love Aldi and shop there regularly. It's not a perfect store; it doesn't have everything you'll always need. But it is still worth your love. Here's why.
1. It has all the basics and then some--a lot or organic or unusual foods as specials that you'd pay a pretty penny for at a health foods store.
2. It's pretty fresh. For a discount store, it's practically Eden. Despite it's sometimes ho-hum reputation (the Aldi of my youth was a place my mother went to get canned goods and really wilty lettuce if she was desperate), the produce is usually perky and fresh (usually), the dairy is always fresh, and the meats are the same level of quality (or better) than you would find at a Walmart. They are definitely higher quality than anything you'd find in a Save-a-lot or similar store.
(You can see that this produce isn't packaged any kind of special, but they get new shipments almost every day and the turnover for their produce is generally so quick that things don't have a chance to get really blah.)
3. Double Money Back Guarantee. If you ever buy anything that is not fresh or good, you can return it and get your money back, plus a replacement product. So if I come home and my broccoli turns yellow in two days, I can take it back to Aldi, get my money back and more broccoli for free.
4. Excellent sales.
5. Friendly workers. Usually. I'm sure there are some bad eggs. But none of the I-hate-my-life level employees you'll find at certain inexpensive grocery stores.
6. It's small. Maybe that's a negative to some people, but I can literally walk and shop from every aisle in 30 minutes. If you've got young kids or a tendency to impulse-buy at bigger stores, this smallness is nothing but a good thing.
Yes, you have to bring your own bags. But, whatever, that's the trendy eco-friendly thing to do these days anyway.
Yes, you have to put a quarter in your shopping cart. And tell me if you find any carts left in that parking space you wanted int he parking lot--they're all put neatly away because cheap people want their dang quarters back.
True, it is not everywhere. Aldi is a Midwest thing, though it is expanding itself, so don't despair.
Below you'll see some of the other cheap stuff that makes Aldi great. You'll also notice that they're not spending their money making things look fancy or pretty. Still, I've tried almost all of these products (I'll note when I haven't) and they're very good quality. (Also, pardon the awful pictures--I was trying to be quick and not look like a creeper wandering through Aldi taking pictures of stuff.)
(The cereal's not as good as the name brand stuff, but it's just as good--and cheaper--than other generic cereals.)
(Can anyone beat this???)
These are just as good (or in my opinion better) than Nestle or Hershey.
Haven't tried, but heck--for $.89 you could.
An example of fancy stuff that they sometimes have. You can't count on it, but the truth is that I haven't found farro anywhere else in Evansville ever--including the expensive health food stores. I've had to buy it in cities like D.C. when I've gone to visit family. Here Aldi is running it as a special. And for $1.69
I really have no intention of ever trying Aloe Drink, but if I did I would want to try it for $.99 instead of some fancy health food price.
It's not Charmin, but it sure isn't the generic Walmart bath tissue that I got that took, like ten feet to form a waddable amount.
Aldi's always got some kind of fancy cheeses going on. Some are there consistently; some are not. But they're always SO much cheaper (probably as much or more than half) of what specialty cheeses are at a normal grocery store. And the quality is good.