Cutting grocery bills: Aldi and bulk-food stores

No matter what I do, we're still spending more on food each month than I want to be spending. Two of my weapons in the battle to lower my food bill that I haven't talked about yet are Aldi and bulk-food stores.

One thing I don't like to do is stop at several different stores, so I don't shop at all stores every week, or even every two weeks. Both these stores are small, and I prefer to shop at these stores instead of Walmart or other huge stores. (Does anyone else get exhausted by the sheer number of decisions, people, and products in the huge stores?)

Positives About Aldi

Aldi and I go way back, but it wasn't a pleasant start. As a college student, I shopped there because it was cheap, but I didn't always like the food. I think they have really improved their products since then, however, plus I like several things about the store. But first you have to find one. Aldi stores are found in 32 different states in the US. There are two within driving distance from my house.

Once inside, it looks different than your normal grocery store. Everything about the store has a streamlined approach. First, you “rent” a shopping cart. You must put in a quarter in the shopping cart, and you get your deposit back when you return the cart to the corral. No runaway carts to ding your car in the parking lot, and no employees needed to drive the carts back to the store. Second, you're charged for shopping bags, so most people bring their own. If you forget your own bags and don't feel like buying theirs, you can grab empty boxes from the shelves.

The stores have a small footprint, which cuts down on their utility and construction costs. The smaller store has another benefit too: It doesn't overwhelm me. Still, it's large enough to have a wide variety of products. Most of their items are Aldi-specific brands that may taste different than the brands you're used to; however, as I mentioned, I think their products have improved. If you don't like a product, they offer a double guarantee on most items. In other words, they replace the product for you AND they refund your money.

According to their website, they staff each store with three to five people at a time. This means the staff members need to be efficient — and they are. I have never seen faster cashiers. Since you bag (or box) your own groceries, the (seated) cashiers can concentrate on ringing up your items at lightning speed.

Most stores don't have a phone system, so no one has to answer the phone. They have very few shelves, but instead keep their products in boxes. That speeds up the restocking process, for sure.

This streamlined approach allows the store to operate with a lower overhead. But the customers aren't the only ones who get to take advantage of all the cost-saving measures. I've heard that Aldi employees are paid above the industry average (though I couldn't confirm this).

Negatives About Aldi

They don't accept checks or WIC. In addition, while my Aldi has good produce, I've heard stories from other locations that tell of produce that doesn't last as long or taste as good. But that's not necessarily true. The last time I bought a fresh pineapple, I paid one dollar for it at Aldi and it was as delicious as any pineapple I've had.

Also, they don't have everything. Some stores sell beer and wine; some don't.

Shopping at Aldi is like an initiation into a secret club. You'll know what I mean if another shopper gives you a quarter to take your shopping cart.

Aldi seems to be polarizing: People seem to love it or hate it. Have you shopped there? What do you think?

The Bulk-Food Store

My second weapon is a bulk-food store. I'm not talking about buying in bulk, like getting giant jars of pretzels from Sam's Club. Instead, these small stores get the food in huge packages and then divide it up for you. While I think these usually small stores may be rare, such stores have been within a couple of hours of all the communities I've lived in. Yours may be masquerading as a health-food store.

Not all products are less expensive here; but I have found that spices, oatmeal, and nuts are good buys. Speaking of oatmeal, our family consumes a lot of it, so I buy it often. At 89 cents per pound, this store has been my least expensive source for oatmeal. In addition, they sell specialty items that are difficult to find elsewhere in my rural community — things like different types of gluten-free flours, nutritional yeast, and coconut oil can be found here.

But the “bulk food” concept is found in other places too. I have also seen bulk bins in the standard grocery store. I like these because you can buy as much (or as little) as you need, which cuts down on food waste. And the price is usually the same.

By buying certain products at these two stores, I am spending a little less on my grocery budget. Do you “store hop” to save money? Have you found that some stores have some products that are consistently less expensive?

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Marsha
Marsha
6 years ago

I shop at Aldi about once a month. I usually buy canned goods and frozen foods. The produce at my local store is good, but the selection is very limited.

I’ve also found many good deals at ethnic stores (Asian, Hispanic, etc.). Of course it depends upon the types of food you eat, but ethnic stores frequently have some foods at unbeatable prices.

SAHMama
SAHMama
6 years ago

Since Meijer stopped doubling coupons last year and Kroger is stopping at the end of this month, I’ve changed my shopping routines. I visit Sam’s club about 4x annually. We visit Aldi when there’s a good buy but otherwise the one near me is of poor quality. Now I’m actually doing the most shopping at Target. Last week they had a $10/50 grocery purchase coupon that could be combined with Cartwheel, manufacturer’s and Target.com and target mobile coupons. I visited 5 times (!!!) and stocked up on basics including products from their natural and organics line.

Jon @ Money Smart Guides
Jon @ Money Smart Guides
6 years ago

It’s surprising that Aldi doesn’t accept checks or credit cards. I’ve only been to an Aldi once or twice. There aren’t any close by me so I never do in them. When I did go in one was 5-6 years ago and I wasn’t impressed. But, in the time since, I’m sure they have changed and made improvements.

mary w
mary w
6 years ago

Well, sometimes checks bounce and credit cards charge the merchant 2-3% of the transaction. It’s cheaper to just take cash and debit cards.

Jane
Jane
6 years ago

We eat Aldi produce. I haven’t found the failure/quick spoilage rate to be any higher than other grocery stores. People often complain about Aldi. My sister – who is on SNAP nonetheless – refuses to shop there because she thinks the quality isn’t good enough. I really don’t get it. Sure, there are a few things I don’t like there and don’t buy, but for staples, the price can’t be beat. Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed a shift in the type of people going to Aldi. This is a little bit of stereotyping on my part, but… Read more »

Thegooch
Thegooch
6 years ago

I used to hop between Costco and Target, but I switched back to traditional grocery because they are open 24hrs, the drive is 30 minutes shorter, and their selection blows the other two out of the water.

I’m going to try going to Costco for bulk items that I can use for months, but the local grocery is now my go to place. I leverage the loyalty card and American Express blue cash card to save money.

Being single in a small apartment definitely does not lend itself to bulk stores! Also, no Aldi’s in my area.

Thegooch
Thegooch
6 years ago

I forgot to subscribe to replies. You can ignore this post

Regan
Regan
6 years ago

Our local ALDI accepts a Discover card with a $0.25 surcharge. They accept bank cards as well. I have found that their produce and dairy products are really good deals. With my food allergies, I can’t eat much of their processed foods, but my husband seems to like them just fine.

Helen
Helen
6 years ago

While they don’t accept WIC they do accept food stamp debit cards. They carry almond milk regularly, and just now started carrying unsweetened versions, which I’m happy about. I believe some Greek yogurt is there. Coconut milk is a special item offered sometimes. I will say their small appliances have been great. We have a kitchen scale, dehydrator, mini food chopper, ice cream machine – all are excellent! We also buy hanging baskets of flowers for our moms each year and they are superb. It’s definitely a ‘try it to see if you like it’ place and they have a… Read more »

Christof
Christof
6 years ago
Reply to  Helen

Finding products from Trader Joe’s at ALDI isn’t surprising, given that ALDI owns Trader Joe’s.

freebird
freebird
6 years ago

I’m lucky to live a couple of blocks from a medium-sized independent grocery store that is willing to mark down items very aggressively on the date they expire. Most of our major chain stores would rather throw it away than offer a discount, but this place takes 80-90% off the regular price on refrigerated perishables that are usually pretty expensive. The trick is that you never know what items will be on special when you walk in the door, and half the time it’s not something I like. They also carry surplus inventory from other chains at pretty good (30-50%)… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 years ago

Aldi – much of their private label products are exactly the same name brands but with a different label. It requires a bit of experimenting to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. We don’t like the mayo, but ketchup, mustard, all other condiments are exactly the same as Hellman’s or any other name brand. Just a bunch cheaper. Bulk food stores – My family had one in the 90’s and discovered one stunning fact: name brand spices have ridiculous markups. Like 8,000% – 10,000% markup, or even more. We would buy 10 pounds, repackage into 5oz. packs… Read more »

Becky @ RunFunDone
Becky @ RunFunDone
6 years ago

We don’t have Aldi where I live, but I’ve heard it’s great. I do most of my grocery shopping at Target to save money. Some of my friends think I’m crazy, but it’s because they don’t realize that Target actually has produce. Target doesn’t have everything, but they have most of the “core” items I need, and for less than they cost at most other stores. I sometimes have to stop by other grocery stores for certain items (For example, kale…target never has kale), but we’ve got a traditional grocery stores just a few blocks from our house, so it’s… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago

There’s no Aldi in my state, and I’ve never seen one in my life, so I have no idea. We shop in bulk once a month at Costco for meat, eggs, dairy, produce, nuts, and some household supplies. We tried Sam’s Club long ago, but they mainly sold a bunch of processed food and we didn’t go back– plus Costco is way more decent to its workers, so I don’t feel I’m getting low prices in exchange for someone else’s misery. For small tasty stuff, frozen berries, chocolate, wine, etc, we go to Trader Joe’s. Lastly, there’s our food CoOp.… Read more »

Wendy
Wendy
6 years ago

RE: “Does anyone else get exhausted by the sheer number of decisions, people, and products in the huge stores?” YES! I thought it was just me. I don’t know when my thinking changed, but I now firmly believe that it’s possible to have TOO much choice, and that it can also be problematic. This is a direct result of what I see at the grocery store every week. On top of that, just the volume of people is enough to make me shy away from general grocery times (Fridays, weekends) and do my shopping any other time of week that… Read more »

Hoping to Adopt
Hoping to Adopt
6 years ago
Reply to  Wendy

I also get overwhelmed. I quit using coupons because it was an added challenge to find the exact product that the coupon would work on. Instead, I just go with the store brand item. Over the past couple of years, I have transitioned to fewer processed foods as well, so there are fewer products with coupons that even interest me.

I like Aldi’s because there are fewer decisions to be made. But, much of the products are heavily processed and I skip right past those.

lmoot
lmoot
6 years ago

I can relate to not being interested in coupons. I eat a primarily whole foods diet and there are almost never coupons for the foods I buy (which are produce, and bulk nuts/seeds, grains, and oats). I do need to jump on the ad-matching bandwagon though and there are a few name-brand toiletry and beauty products that I think I could benefit from coupons for. It’s a pain to find circulars though and I don’t like them mailed to me because they are huge and I have a wee tiny mailbox that I have to walk a ways to get… Read more »

mike
mike
6 years ago

H-mart if one is near you

Meredith
Meredith
6 years ago
Reply to  mike

H-Mart is awesome! Their prices for fresh produce and fresh fish are outstanding! otherwise, they cater to Asian foods which is great if you are also looking for those. I tend to go there just for the produce and fish and then shop bigger chain markets for things like dairy, bread, cereal, etc.

Ceecee
Ceecee
6 years ago

Absolutely love my local Aldi. Cut about $20 a week off my already low grocery bill when I started shopping there. Ours does carry Greek yogurt, no coconut milk but they do have almond milk. Regular yogurt always .39. They do carry some trendy products, they are just slower to adopt them than some other stores. Some of their chocolates are better than name brand.

Kurt @ Money Counselor
Kurt @ Money Counselor
6 years ago

When I realized that by devoting the time I was spending standing in line at Aldi to one of my side hustles I could easily make more money than I was saving at Aldi, I quit going to Aldi. 🙂

Jane
Jane
6 years ago

This doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve been in many Aldis over the years, and their cashiers are the quickest I’ve ever seen. I actually choose to go to Aldi when I am in a hurry, because I know I can get out of there quickly. Target, on the other hand, is routinely a nightmare. The check-out lanes really aren’t equipped for large scale grocery purchases.

Michelle at Making Sense of Cents
Michelle at Making Sense of Cents
6 years ago

We store hop all the time to save money. We are actually getting ready to go to Sam’s Club right now. They sell a few things there (such as protein bars) that we can get for MUCH cheaper than at the grocery store. For example, the grocery store charges $4 for 5 bars, whereas Sam’s charges $7 for 40 bars. That’s a HUGE price difference.

Mortgage Free Mike
Mortgage Free Mike
6 years ago

I have shopped there before and I would suggest sticking to pantry staples. One time I brought sweet potatoes to the register and noticed they were spoiled– before I even left the store. Food is about health and your health is too important to just put anything into your body. Now, I will buy olive oil, sugar and rice from Aldi. Those types of things seem much lower-risk.

Amy
Amy
6 years ago

I’ve heard very mixed reviews of the Aldi my area, so I haven’t tried it. I divide my grocery shopping between my local chain (Price Chopper), which doubles coupons up to 99 cents), BJs (where I save more than $0.50 on every half gallon of milk I purchase), and Target. It’s taken me a little while to warm to the idea of grocery shopping at Target, since, as a previous commenter mentioned, their produce, meat and dairy offerings are a bit limited. But because Target is so generous with letting shoppers combine manufacturer, store, and mobile coupons, plus Cartwheel, it… Read more »

Life After FI
Life After FI
6 years ago

Another negative about Aldi that you have missed

Their store timings – In my area, they close at 8 (From M – S) and on Sunday, they close at 7. Quite early for my schedule – Because of this I mostly end up in Walmart.

Also because they don’t accept credit card and don’t provide poly bags, the experience is not very comfortable.

kelstones4
kelstones4
6 years ago

i have to admit i’m a big ALDI fan. I tell my friends and acquaintences about it frequently. I find it fascinating that they are a german product – which kept the parent company name when setting up shop in America. The sibling of the ALDI owner also ran ALDI stores throughout Europe and Germany, and named his stores Trader Joes when he set up in the US. You can read more about it here: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/12/02/aldi_grocery_store_best_in_america_related_to_trader_joe_s.html I find their house brand quality to be high, their prices to be very reasonable when compared with my leading grocery chain and YES… Read more »

Lauren
Lauren
6 years ago

I love the Aldi’s in my area. I can complete my entire shopping trip in 20-30 minutes and get nearly everything on my list for the week, with amazing savings!

Kristi
Kristi
6 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

Yes, I love the time savings at Aldi. I can run in and out in 20 minutes. The same trip to Kroger always takes me an hour.

There’s an Aldi that I drive past everyday going to and from work, so I’ve gotten into the habit of running in a couple of times a week.

I can never run into Kroger or Meijer, and Target is just a vast time-suck for me.

Hooray for Aldi!

Kingston
Kingston
6 years ago

I like Aldi very much, especially for cold cereal; mozzarella, goat and other cheeses; sugar; maple syrup; coffee; butter; walnuts; Greek yogurt; sometimes produce; sometimes bacon. In other words, less-processed staples. The chocolates can make nice gifts. I’ve seen people buying nice-looking pumpernickel bread, though I haven’t tried it myself. I’ve also been happy with occasional frozen-fruit purchases there. Between shopping at Aldi and buying store brands at my local Hannaford supermarket, we’ve reduced our grocery bill by quite a lot.

Pat
Pat
6 years ago

I grew up shopping at Aldi in Europe and loved it. I like the German stores better than here but they are okay. Whenever I visit my girlfriend in MO I always shop there. The closest one to us in AR is almost 3 hours away and it is not feasible to shop there. I do most of my grocery shopping at Target and Kroger. Using coupons and shopping apps I save a ton. At Target you can use a store coupon, text coupon, cartwheel coupon and then a manufactuer coupon top of that and don’t forget the gift cards.… Read more »

Carol
Carol
6 years ago

I am a huge Aldi fan. My family is pretty picky, so we tend to eat the same things week in and week out. Because of the limited choices, I can do our shopping for the week in half an hour (it took at least an hour in a traditional grocery store). Also, the staff at our Aldi has been incredibly friendly and helpful. I like that I can rely on the fact that I won’t spend more than I plan to and I can still try new items.

Ramblin' Ma'am
Ramblin' Ma'am
6 years ago

There are no Aldi’s near me. I shop at Hannaford, which is a New England chain. It is much more like a standard grocery store than Aldi, based on the description here. But the prices in general are lower than most chains. They don’t have a store loyalty card or store coupons, but prices are lower across the board.

Also, even though Whole Foods has the “whole paycheck” nickname, their 365 store brand is very affordable for stuff like pasta sauce, cereal, salad dressing, etc.

Mrs PoP
Mrs PoP
6 years ago
Reply to  Ramblin' Ma'am

With any shopping, it’s usually best if you know how much things are at all the stores you’re willing to trek to. If you know that, then Whole Foods doesn’t become Whole Paycheck because you limit yourself to the items where Whole Foods is a bargain. There are definitely items where Whole Foods’ everyday prices meet or beat the everyday prices elsewhere in our area. I’m thinking of some bulk/bin items like oatmeal (organic for the same price as full-priced generic conventional at our local Publix), tofu & tempeh (normal price same or cheaper than everywhere else), frozen edamame (WAY… Read more »

MC
MC
6 years ago
Reply to  Mrs PoP

Huge Hannaford Fan here! And yes, Whole Foods can be ok for certain foods… but if Hannaford stocks it they usually beat Whole Foods. (even for stuff like tofu where you’d think Whole Foods would be cheaper) The bottom line for any shopping is KNOW YOUR PRICES! At almost any store, a few items are cheaper, if you get them while you’re there you’ll do much better.

Sally
Sally
6 years ago
Reply to  Ramblin' Ma'am

I find Market Basket to be superior to Hannaford in selection and about 1/3 the cost in price for buying dairy and meat. The only time I’ve saved at Hannaford is when buying beans 30% less! Market Basket is a mob unless I go early Saturday morning. Interestingly, that’s when I see all the parents with young kids like me.

Ramblin' Ma'am
Ramblin' Ma'am
6 years ago
Reply to  Sally

I have heard good things about Market Basket, but I don’t have a car and don’t live near one.

Laura
Laura
6 years ago

I love Aldi! I can get a cart full of groceries for $90, whereas in the chain grocery store it would be upwards of $200. Maybe the foods aren’t identical, but they’re close enough for that much savings.

K D
K D
6 years ago

An ALDI opened about a mile from our house last year. I buy a lot of our produce there: avocados (usually $.99 or less), organic bananas (2#s for $1.38), baby carrots ($.99 bag or less), pineapple (as low as $1.39), sweet potatoes (3#s for $1.79 or less). Sometimes the strawberries do not look very good and I suspect they were rejected by other stores (when the are in Giant sotre brand packages). Overall their produce is good and usually a good price. Their milk is cheaper than the grocery store or SAM’S Club (but they only carry 2% organic milk).… Read more »

Abby
Abby
6 years ago

Love Aldi, but agree that quality can vary store to store. The one in my old neighborhood was not as appealing as the one we shop at these days. I have had great experiences with their produce, especially fruit (they often sell grapes for less than $1/lb and they last forever). I also like them for crackers, chips, assorted cheeses, milk, and random specialty items. Amazing how much I save on some of these products.

Scott
Scott
6 years ago

Our family, even our college students, love Aldi. I am such a nerd that I have an Excel grocery list of Aldi setup by aisle. :o) I have never found Aldi produce to be inferior, if not fresher due to their fast turnover in product. Is it the Fresh Market? Nope But we are a family on a budget and we choose Aldi. Less impulse purchasing at Aldi. Also, take your Aldi advert to other stores when they are selling avocados/4.29, strawberries/$.99 or cherry tomatoes/$.99 so you can price match. FYI, I have never made a meal yet for guests… Read more »

Katie
Katie
6 years ago

I am a single woman in my 30’s and I love to be thrifty. Additionally I am on step 2 of Dave Ramsey’s baby steps so an doing everything I can to save a basic emergency fund and pay off debt… Aldi is pretty much my favorite store… I like to call it the Ikea of grocery stores… I typically work with a budget of $120-$150 per month for food, and Aldi helps me accomplish this. I love their cereals by Millville and snacks by Clancy’s. Millville Corns Squares is usually about $2.50 versus $3.59-$4.00 for it’s General Mills competitor… Read more »

Cath
Cath
6 years ago

We don’t have Aldi, but we have WinCo. Great prices, huge bulk food section… It’s the best of both worlds.

Aldo @ MDN
Aldo @ MDN
6 years ago

We have an Aldi near my job but I have never shopped there. I just like the name because some people call me Aldi.
I will stop by to check out the prices and to compare quality of produce. We just joined a CSA program though and will start getting fresh organic produce next week. I’m excited about that.

Michelle
Michelle
6 years ago

I love Aldi’s for the basics. I stay away from the processed stuff. I hop between Aldi’s, Costco or Sams Club, the regular grocery store and My local Co-op, which has bulk items, produce, and meats – all organic. My biggest challenge when store hopping is trying to avoid the impulse buys (like oh, I don’t know when I’ll be back at Costco – I better buy 10 lbs of carrots now….) It’s hard to stick to my list sometimes 😉

melanie
melanie
6 years ago

I do a couple of things to save money on groceries. I actually buy the majority of my groceries from a CSA (I wrote about that here: http://love-library.com/2013/08/21/why-i-dont-coupon-and-how-i-actually-save-money-on-food/) I also occasionally shop at Aldi for staples. I’ve never had any issues with the quality of their products. Just like all grocery stores, I check the produce before I put it in my cart. I also buy things that are specialty items on Amazon! Coconut oil, for example, is much cheaper on Amazon than at my local big name grocery store.

Jenne
Jenne
6 years ago

We generally use Aldi’s as well as several other stores, but then I have a mental list of staples. Aldi’s is very good for a bunch of staples and for certain kinds of processed food (but never buy Bar-S meat anywhere). Their German stuff is quite good and I’ve always been satisfied with their Little Salad bar line. Frozen juices, also. The quality of the produce varies, but in general go for stuff that either looks very fresh or doesn’t suffer from not being refrigerated; if you find out your local Aldi’s delivery day, that’s the best day to shop.… Read more »

Even Steven
Even Steven
6 years ago

When it comes to food, I prefer to keep it local.
I do not like Aldi for the quality is lower than I prefer. It’s harder to go crazy on spending money in your local grocery store with planned meals and natural foods, so we stick with that.

steph
steph
6 years ago

So much to identify with. Yes, I get overwhelmed, do store hop to get best prices,and stockpile staples to get through until the next sales.

Ellen
Ellen
6 years ago

The Aldi closest to us is just gross. Nasty nasty nasty produce. I don’t even go in there anymore.

clara
clara
6 years ago

There is a chain grocery in the NY/NJ area called Shoprite. Their loss leader products consistently sell for less than the warehouse type stores, especially for their own brands which are generally quite good. I rarely buy any processed foods there, but eggs, cheese, milk, baking products, produce, etc are very good prices. If I am buying processed foods I hit up Trader Joe’s. No Aldi’s in this area. I have a Shoprite near my office that always sells a gallon of milk for a dollar less than any other place I know of (including the warehouse store). So I… Read more »

Sue O
Sue O
6 years ago

Here in Oregon we have Grocery Outlet, which is a most awesome store for random groceries and amazing deals. I’ve been to Aldi when visiting my daughter in NC and I liked it, but G.O. has it all over Aldi. I’m also lucky enough to live within driving distance of Bob’s Red Mill, so about once a year my friends and I put together an order bug enough to get wholesale prices and we stock up on grains and such.

Carla
Carla
6 years ago
Reply to  Sue O

We had Grocery Outlets in California too. 🙂 Its very hit or miss but if you have nothing else to do it can be pretty fun. I have scored several times (the one here in Portland) with natural products that I can only find elsewhere.

Jo
Jo
6 years ago

We do Aldi’s for most staples, a halal butcher up the street for beef and chicken (no hormones and low prices), and the West Side Market for produce – it’s a European-style market that’s one of the best thing about Cleveland, OH. My great-grandmother shopped there. Also get spices at the halal store (halal is like Muslim kosher).

Crystal
Crystal
6 years ago

We generally shop at Kroger simply since it is literally across the street. We keep a list of staples that we are low on though so we can stock up at Sam’s Club or Walmart, but we only go about every other month. I like Aldi’s enough to stop there if I am driving by, but the savings wouldn’t justify the 15 minute drive and back vs the 2 minute drive and back from Kroger for the 1-2 times per week trips for things like bananas. But you are right about the “secret club” feeling of Aldi’s. I always have… Read more »

Hilde
Hilde
6 years ago

Aldi is a German company, so I´ve known it for more than 30 years. Their quality has improved much over the years, and the customers have changed, too. Now, you find BMW and Porsches in their parkig lot. I think their quality is generally good, but I don´t like the fact that they employ only the absolute minimum of shop assistants and try to pay their suppliers extremely low prices, sometimes too low for them to make any profit. Btw, the Albrecht brothers, the founders of the company, used to be the richest persons in Germany.

Kristin
Kristin
6 years ago
Reply to  Hilde

I shop at Aldi every week, and this week, I parked next to a Porche Cayenne. (Maybe they had to shop at Aldi after that huge car payment?) Aldi has greatly improved in the c. 10 years they have been in my area. There are two within reasonable driving distance for me, but only one of them carries 1% milk in gallon jugs! I need three of these a week, so I have to shop at that one. I showed a friend of mine a receipt I had in my purse and she was shocked at the low prices! She… Read more »

Meredith
Meredith
6 years ago

We have a Market Basket near us which has amazing prices and great selections. The only problem is that it is always crowded. I have tried going at 7am when they first open and 8pm (an hour before they close), I try different days of the week – no dice. It is always a mob scene. I have to say though that the price is right and the produce is very high quality.

Cal
Cal
6 years ago

I love Aldi. Yes, you have to remember a quarter for the cart, and some bags. We shop at one 3 miles from our house and it’s got a decent selection. In my GLUTEN-nous days, I loved the Mama Cozzi’s rising crust pizza. Nowadays, I’m a spinach and walnut salad girl, and it’s quite affordable. Something I didn’t see anyone else say in the comments, is the abundance of decent stuff in the dumpster. I’ve gotten decent produce, bread for my co-workers, and even one of those robot vacuum cleaners. My motto is: Check the dumpster, and then head in… Read more »

Rail
Rail
6 years ago

I haven’t been in a Aldi store in years. Grandma would go there to get some staples from time to time. God bless her, she and Gramps LIVED the Great Depression, and lived GRS their whole life. I try to give our local grocery store as much business as I can. Only one mile away and it is handy to get on the bike and ride to store vs. 8-15 miles to the big chains, so costs of using car and the time used have to be considered in the comparing of prices.

Tina
Tina
6 years ago

We don’t have Aldi. Do most shopping at our local Kroger affiliate as it close. Some at Costco although it always ends up costing more than planned. Most of our meat from Zaycon https://zayconfoods.com/refer/zf19971

Excellent quality bulk meat that you can portion yourself (or split with another family)

Sandra
Sandra
6 years ago

As a German I grew up with Aldi. It started with a bad rep, but now everybody goes shopping there. We even saw the CEO of a big German/International company shop there. We shop there every week. If I’d shop what I’d shop there in a regular grocery store, I’d pay double, if not more. Sure we can’t get everything we need there, butu I’d say about 85% of what we like. We also buy most produce there, sometimes you don’t get everything you want, but we are flexible then. Or stop at the famers market. Their weekly specials here… Read more »

Taylor
Taylor
6 years ago

I like that you brought up waste and the fact the bulk isn’t necessarily cheaper. I’m scared to set food in a bulk supermarket because of this reason. With only two people in the household we’re already trying to be more waste conscious. It feels like fruit goes bad as soon as we step into the parking lot! I’ve been hearing a lot about Aldi lately and I just noticed they have one in D.C. I’ll have to check it out!

Carla
Carla
6 years ago
Reply to  Taylor

@Taylor – I feel the same way. We shop every few days for that reason. With two adults in the home I fear buying something that will go bad before its consumed. Also living in a small apartment with no storage, buying household items in bulk won’t work either.

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