ALDI 101: Why I Shop At Aldi

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series On Shopping At Aldi | gimmesomeoven.com

Ok, I’m interrupting our regularly scheduled recipe programming to hop on a little soapbox and share a 3-part series with you about one of my favorite places as a foodie — ALDI!

Over the years, countless friends have been surprised and intrigued when I tell them that I do at least half of my grocery shopping at ALDI.  Yes, I also frequent Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s (did you know they are owned by the same company that owns ALDI?), and our local Kansas City grocery stores.  But about eight years ago, I set foot in my first ALDI and have been a happy and loyal customer ever since!

So for something different, I thought I would do a brief ALDI 101 series because:

  • as a foodie, I have grown to really love and appreciate the store for what it does (and does not) offer
  • as someone who loves business strategy, I have studied and come to really admire their business model
  • as a blogger, I’m all about sharing any great tips I know to make cooking (and shopping!) fun and affordable

That said, I do want to say right off that this is not a sponsored post, and has not been written in any sort of collaboration with ALDI.  I just thought it might be cool to offer a little behind-the-scenes glimpse of why this food blogger likes buying affordable groceries there.  And I am really hoping it might spark some discussion and that some of you might share your  tips about ALDI too!

So today I’m sharing “Why I Shop At ALDI”, and then the next two days will include How To Shop At ALDI and What To Buy At ALDI.  Thanks for indulging me, and I hope this might be fun and helpful!  :)

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series on Shopping At Aldi | gimmesomeoven.com

How I Began Shopping At ALDI

I have to confess that my first impression of ALDI was not a positive one.  When I was in elementary school, I remember one of my best friends telling me about her mom took them to “the poor people’s grocery store”, where there were no name brands and the food was really bad.  Yes, ALDI.

Ok, I’m pretty sure we were both 5 at the time.  But for some reason, that description stuck in my mind for decades.  Our family never shopped there growing up, and it wasn’t until I moved to an apartment nextdoor to an ALDI in (a very nice suburb of) Kansas City right out of college that I decided to venture in and see what the tiny “poor” grocery store was all about.  I was out on my own for the first time, and low-priced anything sounded good!

What I found in my first ALDI experience completely surprised me!  The store was incredibly clean, the food looked great, it was all perfectly organized, and holy smokes — those cashiers moved at lightening speed!!!  But of course, I made plenty of first-time rookie mistakes.  From only bringing a credit card, to giving the cashier a blank look when she asked if I wanted to “buy a bag”, to asking if they carried tahini — I realized that there was a bit of a learning curve to the store.  And I realized there was also a ton to learn about the store’s business model once I learned they have 8,000+ stores worldwide!

But as I continued shopping there, I began to learn what ALDI is and what it is not.

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series on Shopping At Aldi | gimmesomeoven.com

What ALDI Is:

Consistent Selection

In a nutshell, I believe that ALDI is an awesome place to buy low-priced basics.

Clearly, ALDI grocery stores are only a fraction of the size of traditional larger grocery stores.  On average, they are each only about 10,000 square feet of retail space.  So there’s no way they are going to be able to carry an enormous selection!  But the inventory they do carry of their basic grocery food and and non-food items is consistent, as are the low prices and the quality.

I will talk more about the specifics of the selection of groceries and non-food items that ALDI carries in my upcoming What To Buy At ALDI post.  But from pantry items, to frozen foods, to baked goods, to dairy, to produce, to meats, to beverages/wines, and everything in between, I think that their selection of the basics is fantastic.

They also have a sizeable non-food section, with everything from TP to dog food to cleaning supplies and makeup. But one of my favorites is the “Special Buys” section that adds in new fun and seasonal items each week, usually with a theme.  It can be anything from SuperBowl specials (footballs, to sporty paper plates, to green sprinkles, etc.) to summer camping gear (actual enormous tents, to sleeping bags, to tiny grills, etc.).  Then don’t forget to also check out their clearance section, where a lot of the special buys go on sale at even more ridiculously low prices!  I have bought so many random things there that I love!!

Consistently Low Prices

Most of the time, I find that ALDI’s prices beat even the sale prices of most larger grocery stores.  This is because they have fine-tuned a business model that eliminates the crazy overhead costs that come with large store buildings, large inventories, large staffs, and large advertising budgets.

Be sure to keep an eye out for their low-price signs too.  If something is clearance-d, or on sale that week, they put a special sign to mark down the prices.  Then you’re really in for a treat!

Consistent Quality

Contrary to the assumption I have heard people make about low prices equaling low quality, I have actually found the quality of ALDI’s products to be as good as the larger grocery stores I frequent.  I have read before about their rigorous test kitchens, and their high commitment to quality products, but I judge by what I buy.  And 95% of the time, with the occasional produce fluke or their version of Cheerio’s (I’m a name-brand girl there), it’s great.

Here’s the thing, though — you have to be smart about quality with what you buy.  Just like at the normal grocery store, if you notice that the lettuce is looking wilty, it’s probably not going to last you for more than a few days.  The same goes for ALDI.  Sometimes particular pieces of produce there may look a little past their prime, so just be wise about what you choose.  I happen to love their produce section, and buy most of my thick-skinned produce there all the time.  (I buy thin-skinned produce organic.)  But if it looks iffy, ask if they have more in the back or just wait a week until the next batch arrives.

The one thing I will say is that if you ever do get something home and it’s not up to par, ALDI has an amazing thing they call The Double Guarantee.  It reads that “if for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with any product, we will gladly replace the product AND refund your money.”  Um, I don’t know of any groceries stores that refund and replace.  I think that says something.  Way to go, ALDI.

Consistent Store Designs

One of the other things I love about ALDI stores is that they are all similarly designed!  So if you get to know your neighborhood ALDI layout, chances are it will be a breeze finding your way around a new one, which I LOVE.

The inventory is also similarly organized on simple pallets in the store, kind of like a Sams or Costco.  Most items are organized in cardboard boxes, which you can also take with you to help carry your groceries once the box is empty.  And each cardboard box is color coordinated to go with the item.

A Great Business Model

Ok, I know that I seem to keep coming back to this with every point.  But as someone who loves to study business development and entrepreneurship, I am SO impressed by how ALDI has developed and stuck to their business model.

The store was founded 100 years ago this year (in 1913!), and now has over 8,000 stores worldwide.  Crazy!  But across the years and across the countries, from what I can tell, they really have kept a consistent model as they have grown.  And clearly it has worked!  From the innovative cart check-out system, to minimal building size, staff, operating hours and inventory, to bring-your-own or pay-for-them grocery bags, to minimal advertising, and more — I think the model is smart and sensible.  I think of them as the IKEA or the Southwest Airlines of the grocery world.  ;)

A Great Employer

This final point is one that I have read and heard over the years, but can’t confirm with personal experience.  (So if any of you have worked at ALDI, I would love to have you weigh in!)  I have heard that ALDI takes good care of their employees.

If you have ever been to an ALDI, you know that they clearly only hire the super-speediest-of-speedy cashiers, who also do double-duty stocking and cleaning the store as well.  But they can hire the best of the best because they pay them 50% more than the standard rate for grocery cashiers.  And ALDI employees are also eligible for full benefits if they work 20+ hours/week.

So no minimum-wage workers at ALDI.  Their employees are well-paid for being the superheroes they are.

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series on Shopping At Aldi | gimmesomeoven.com

What ALDI Is Not:

Your One-Stop Grocery Store

I think the #1 complaint I’ve heard over the years about ALDI is that people can’t find everything on their “list” there.  But I always tell them that’s kind of the point of the store — it is not meant to be your one-stop-shop!

As I said, I do about 50% of my grocery shopping at ALDI on average.  I stock up on the basics, and then catch the rest of my “specialty” items (organics, name brands, or anything that’s not a basic ingredient) at a larger grocery store.  On occasion, ALDI might be out of stock of a popular item, especially some of the hot produce buys that can fly off the shelves.  But on the other hand, often they surprise me by carrying a new specialty item I never knew they had (like I found natural almond milk this week!).

Still, they will never be your one-stop-shop, especially if you are cooking recipes from my site and might want some truffle oil.  ;)

So if you happen to be doing your grocery shopping all in one day at two different stores, I recommend going to ALDI first.  Then you can hit up the bigger grocery store to finish off your list afterwards.

You may ask — is it worth the time and two trips?  Well, that will depend on your budget.  But for someone like me who goes through tons of groceries in a week, I believe the considerable savings to hit up ALDI and an additional grocery store is always worth it!!

Always Speedy

As I said, ALDI’s cashiers are lightening-fast.  They hire the best of the best to be sure that they can run efficient stores and checkout lines.

But in order to keep overhead costs down, there are typically only 1-4 cashiers on staff at a time.  So if you happen to show up at a busy time, the lines can get lengthy and you may have to wait a little longer.

Most of the time, I zip in and out.  But it’s always wise to allot an extra 5-10 minutes for standing in line if you’re on the clock.

Open 24/7

Clearly, ALDI is also not open 24/7!  For years, I worked a job where I was off work at 8pm each night, and was always annoyed that I couldn’t swing by the store on my way home from work.

But currently, I believe that most ALDI stores in the US are open from 9am-8pm Mondays-Saturdays, and 10am-7pm on Sundays.  Those are peak shopping hours, so they are trying to keep overheads low by not staffing the store during low traffic hours.  But plan accordingly!

A Total Health Food & Organic Grocery

Finally, ALDI is not a Whole Foods or the health food section of your grocery store.  The majority of the items there are not organic or natural, or even all healthy, as is the case in a typical grocery store.  (Apparently Americans must buy a ton of potato chips, because they carry a zillion!)

But that said, they do have a large produce section, more and more organic and natural grocery items, and they also have a fantastic grocery brand called “Fit & Active” that displays the healthier nutrition facts on the front of the package.  That brand is all across the store from snacks to frozen goods to cheese and more, so be sure to check it out.

So the store is kind of as healthy as you make it.  You can buy the junk food, or you can buy the fresher healthier side.  But if you’re an all-organic-er, or are looking for specialty gluten-free or similar items, your selection will be very limited.

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series on Shopping At Aldi | gimmesomeoven.com

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love ALDI:

Finally, because I’m a list-maker, I thought I would end with a few of my favorite reasons why I heart ALDI:

  • 10. ALDI was “green” before green was cool, with low energy costs and fewer shopping bags.
  • 9. You can shop at ALDI literally all around the world.
  • 8. ALDI cashiers are ninja-fast.
  • 7. ALDI carries my favorite razors that I used to buy at Target for half the price.
  • 6. I never have to ask for help finding an item, since they are always in the same spot.
  • 5. You have the chance to make someone’s day by being a “cart angel” and leaving a surprise quarter in there for them. (Try it!)
  • 4. ALDI’s low prices help me fit even more produce and juicing into my budget.
  • 3. ALDI’s incredible double guarantee.
  • 2. ALDI’s unapologetic low overhead business model.
  • 1. $0.99 pineapples!!!

(Ok ok, their pineapples are sometimes — gasp! — $1.99.  But either way, they are cheap and fabulous and often on sale.  I buy one every single time I go!!)

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series On Shopping At Aldi | gimmesomeoven.com

Coming Next:

Be sure to check out the final two posts of this series coming next:

What is your favorite thing about ALDI?

Aldi 101: Why To Shop At Aldi | gimmesomeoven.com

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265 comments on “ALDI 101: Why I Shop At Aldi”

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  1. Love it! I can’t wait for the next post!

    • I too hated Aldi until recently. Thought it was the poor peoples store and was very influenced by the basic interior and smallness of it. I live in an upscale area of huge, amazing but expensive grocery stores. However due to an encouragement of a friend I gave it a fair chance and I love it. I like that it is not a monster store and you can get in and out fast. I have not had any problem with quality and things are really cheap there expecially basics and produce which you do have to check over. I do not do all my shopping there, I rotate one week Aldis, one week Whole Foods another week a regular chain. The money I save at Aldi is incredible its about half to one third less than at the expensive stores.

  2. My mom went to Aldi around the holidays to buy her holiday hams. She still claims they are the best!

    • I’ve shopped our Aldis for years – they are clean, well-staffed and have the BEST chocolate for crazy good prices. And the wine will surprise you too. Yes, they have limited selection, but I have been as happy with their quality of items as anywhere else. They also get seasonal items that are terrific. I have bought Kerrygold cheese there for less than half of the other stores. And the organic butter is CHEAP. I love that I can get in and out in about 20 minutes. I am to the point where I do most of my shopping there, and hit BJs 2 times a month for the other items I need. For those of you who have not yet tried them – give it a shot. Even my college-age son, who was EXTREMELY skeptical, is a loyal convert. He eats more of the convenience items then we do, and he says they are better than the name brands he had been buying.

  3. I LOVE Aldi, too! It is my first choice, and first stop when I head to the grocery store. I save at least half of what I would spend if I were to buy the same things on my list at a regular grocery store. Plus I actually prefer there cheese, bread, and produce compared to what I can buy else where! I love to see others loving Aldi as much as I do!!!

  4. I loved this post! I have been shopping at Aldi for about 2 years now, and I love it for all the same reasons you do. I think the biggest reason why I shop there is their low prices and good quality, sometimes even better taste than name brand – no joke! On a side note, I finally stepped into a store after I found out they own Trader Joe’s. I always wondered what the TJ faithful would say when they heard that?! Blew my mind! :)

  5. Great post, Ali! My favorite thing about Aldi? Their Baker’s Corner brand – because everything is peanut & nut-free. I can’t tell you how hard it is to find some baking supplies, in particular chocolate chips, that are safe nowadays. In fact, they are the only brand of white chocolate and butterscotch chips that I know are safe for me, so I am always stopping by to stock up on those. Love Aldi!

    • This is so good for me to know! I was reading this post and wondering about their allergen labeling because I do have peanut/tree nut allergies. We tend to stick with brands we know for that very reason… and that’s one reason I’ve not gone out of my way to go to Aldi. We don’t have an Aldi’s too close to us, but it would be possible for us to make occasional trips there. Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  6. I love this. I shop at Aldi weekly. I LOVE that the store is small and I can get in and out with my 2 year old so quickly without having a meltdown. It’s the perfect size for a quick trip of basics & necessities. Sure, I’ll need to stop at a larger selection store occasionally, but overall, they really meet my needs, are friendly and fast. I have a friend that works there and will confirm that it is a positive work environment and a good company to work for. Thanks for the post. I’ve introduced several friends to Aldi, who have been skeptical, but have found some of their favorite brands to be Aldi’s off brands.

  7. The closest ALDI to my house is in the same parking lot as a HyVee (well, I can work my way through 2 parking lots to get from one store to the other without having to get back on the busy street). It’s perfect. And I love shopping there (especially yogurt, cheese and avocado)! I do the bulk of my shopping at Aldi (and/or Costco), but for the few other things I need I stop at HyVee on my way home.

    I haven’t been brave enough to try the wine at Aldi so I’m curious to hear about it from you. I think I read that you love their Sangria (from comments yesterday, maybe?).

  8. I miss not having an ALDI near me. That was the first place we looked for when we moved to our new town! When we lived in Minneapolis, the neighborhood kids would sit around Aldi hoping to get the quarters from the carts. I loved it because they woud help me with groceries! I told them they could have the quarter if they would help me load everything in the car…and added bonus when it is -40 degrees outside!

  9. I shop at Aldi weekly as well as Sam’s Club. We go to Cub Foods only for certain ingredients as we need them. To think of how much money I used to waste there.

    Who can argue with a cart full of groceries for under $80?
    I think Aldi is a hidden gem and if you don’t like to shop at Aldi, it means you don’t like your money and prefer to pay more for the same thing elsewhere.
    Our Aldi is testing organic products!! I buy it every time I go there to do my part to help keep it there all the time!
    P.S. Did you know that Aldi is a division of Trader Joes? Brothers own each store.

  10. This rocks! I am a total foodie and I looove cooking and I love Aldi! My husband and I actually usually do our grocery shopping at three (OR MORE?!) places in the name of saving money and getting what we really want. (I have a CSA share, so a lot of our produce comes from there, but obviously, not everything!)Our shopping strategy goes something like this: 1. Aldi first – Get everything that we can possibly get on the list here, because its cheap and its GOOD. 2. Trader Joe’s – Any produce or grocery items that Aldi doesn’t carry, or stuff I want to buy organic. 3. Regular grocery store – if I need something like smoked paprika that they don’t carry at other stores. This saves us SO MUCH money and we have never been disapointed by the quality at Aldi. I get so annoyed when people ask me if the food I get there is “rotten”. Great post! Looking forward to the next two!

    Oh, and my fav thing about Aldi besides “everything”? Their Fit and Active brand. And that this brand has several varieties of soy milk!

  11. I love Aldi! I admit I don’t go there as often as I’d like because there isn’t one super close to me. Between checking the ads at the local stores & getting the basics as well as cheap produce (19 cent avocados?) it saves us so much. Aaaaand I believe they were one of the first places to have milk products with no growth hormones, so that’s awesome!

  12. Ha – I remember your friend’s mom taking you to Aldi for a shopping adventure when you were young. Who knew?!!

  13. Yay for Aldi! I have been shopping here for about the past 5 years now. I had my reservations at first. Until I went in. I tend to buy the bulk of my groceries here. And the one I frequent has started carrying tons of “specialty” items and ‘upscale’ items – cheeses, oils, etc. I bought gorgonzola, marinated mozzarella and some infused olive oil! LOL. This is the place to go if you do a lot of holiday baking – butter, sugar and flour are super cheap. I have never had a ‘bad’ product from Aldi.

  14. I am an American expat in Germany. Of course, we have Aldi here. However, all German “discount” chains are just like Aldi… Lidl, Penny, etc. Here we have these chips that go on your key chain to put in the cart. It is quite genius! Also, I just keep my bags in the trunk at all times. Almost no one gives free bags in Germany.

    • Amanda how does one get those chips, that would be so much handier than making certain we have the appropriate euro handy?
      We will be traveling to Germany this fall and look forward to shopping Aldis and the other markets . Simply love the frozen plum torte which I think we bought at Lidls and I love Europes yogurts and of course who can pass up brotchen and butter…yum!!!

  15. I friggin’ love Aldi. It’s a great way, as you said, to get basics without breaking the bank. I do the bulk of my shopping there and will hit Kroger to finish up. (I do not live somewhere cool enough to have WF and TJ.) One of the big things for me is that the selection is limited, and I don’t veer from the list. They also have some organic stuff on occasion at a price I can afford. Our Aldi even has Fage and Kefir.

  16. Great post & I look forward to the next two! We’re fortunate to have an Aldi close to our house & it is one of the two stores we stop at every weekend. You can’t beat their prices & I love their surprise specialty items.

  17. I love Aldi for most of the reasons you listed. I came to start shopping there right after I got married and moved into my own home. We go through a ton of milk, and even buying the store-brand at Walmart just seemed crazy expensive. I bought milk last week at Aldi for $1.99 a gallon. I about died and wanted to buy a month’s worth!

    I have two complaints about Aldi:
    1. The smell. One of the stores I go to smells like rotten food. The store itself is clean and there is no food wasting away on the shelves, but it reeks.
    2. In being “ninja fast” the cashiers THROW food (including glass wine bottles and produce) into the cart. I have had to stop multiple cashiers and make them slow down in order to have produce worth using once I got home. They got a tad pissy, but if they want my money they will not throw my food. I now have learned to arrange my items on the conveyor so that the tender items are last and will end up falling on top of my more sturdy items.

    • Yes you are correct in keeping an eye on your breakables and save until last to put on the counter. As far as the speed and attitude of the cashiers. They are required and evaluated on a regular basis by store manager and district manager, to scan so many items eyein a one hour period. The corporation is very strict with their cashiers regarding the speed of their scanning per/customer. That could be why the cashier seemed to have an attitude. Slowing down is what is considered tabu for them..If they had an express line, which they don’t, they may be able to reduce their speed. So watch your breakables.

  18. I can not imagine my life without Aldi. Love their fit and active brand. Love their prices. Love the ease and quickness I can get in and get out. Love seeing my receipt total. I would not be able to feed my family on the budget we need to without them. Can’t wait to read your favorite items…maybe I’ll find something new I didn’t know they carried!

  19. I’m so glad to read this post! I have never shopped at Aldi (didn’t even know it existed until I moved close to one!). We didn’t have them where I grew up, but my husband and I just moved close to one here in Dallas. I’ve been so curious about it! This was an awesome post and I’m so looking forward to your next 2! We are really trying to be more budget conscious with our grocery bill, so this is super helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  20. LOVE Aldi, for certain things. It is the only place to stock up when the grandkids are coming, and they actually like the Cheerios substitute :-). Also like the produce, bag salad for less than 1/2 the grocery store price, some of the cheese, most of the canned vegetables, and pantry items like flour, sugar, etc.

  21. They have some fancy coffees (nothing whole bean that I remember?) and chocolates that are fun treats for a great price! I’m so glad you are sharing this. In an effort to eat healthier I have stopped shopping at Aldi so I look forward to see your grocery list of items and definitely plan on tryomg them out again! I kinda miss it. :)

  22. Good for you, you should become their ambassador. I shopped at Aldi once, but I cannot remember what state I was in. It just doesn’t exist in Utah so I haven’t been back since.

  23. I shop at ALDI’s weekly. I make a lot of healthy lunch boxes, and majority of the produce in my lunch boxes are purchased at ALDI’s. I have also made a point of introducing my readers to ALDI’s and informing them of how great their products are. GREAT POST!!!!

  24. I’ve never shopped at Aldi and have been very curious about it for quite some time. As a newly single mom I’m ready to give it a whirl. So hurry, hurry, tell me HOW to shop at ALDI!!!!

  25. I used to shop at Aldi every week when we lived in Chicago. Now that we have moved our Aldi is not terribly close so I’ve stopped going. I really need to make a point of going in there when I’m nearby.

  26. I never, ever walked into an Aldi until I met my wife. Why? Its the POOR PEOPLE’S store! So for all the years I’d been within blocks of one, I wouldn’t go in. Then, I went with Chelle and found it to not be that at all. And granted, we do what you said; buy part of what we need there then jet across the street to HyVee. The prices are insanely low, but thats not what changed my mind.

    I have a close friend who was a rep for DelMonte. She told me from her insider point of view, she did not have a single client with higher standards than her buyer for Aldi! From the quality of the product to the time on the truck, no one was more strict, higher demands on a vendor than Aldi.

    And, its shows in all the other items they carry. Chelle drug me with her, first time, kicking and screaming; now I’ve actually gone on my own!

    Great series, I look forward to the other two installments!

  27. What an amazing post! Thank you! My sister is the general manager of the Aldi where I live. She loves her job and they take very good care of her. I have been shopping at Aldi for years and everything you said is absolutely true. Can’t wait to see what else you have to say!

  28. I love Aldi’s prices! I shop there for the basics, rarely buying anything from the center aisles, just like at a regular grocery store.
    What I like is, if you need mustard, there is only ONE choice. No looking at all the brands available at what price per ounce. It is truly a no brainer!
    If my pantry is stocked up on the basics and I have some meat in the freezer, we always have something to whip up a fantastic dinner. I also stock up on frozen veggies and fruits.

  29. I love shopping at ALDI’s. I used to do about 50-75% of my shopping there as well, but we’ve recently moved & our new town doesn’t have one. Such a bummer.

  30. The place I live (NE Florida), and the place I’m moving to in August (Colorado), doesn’t have an Aldi, so unfortunately I’ll have to pass on this series.

    In general, though, how much money does someone really save by shopping there if you have to drive and go to other grocery stores just to complete the list? I personally have never understood the people who will take trips to two, three and sometimes four different grocery stores to shop “sales” or whatever. You’re spending 3x as much time and who knows how much extra on gas.

    • Hey! My family of 5 shops at 4 plus stores for sales and the like. My husband and I make les than 25,000 dollars a year and get no assistance from the government for food/healthcare/housing. Yes I will admit that it does take more time, however we couldn’t afford to feed our family if we didn’t shop all the stores. For example Marsh a regional chain here carries broken bags of flour for 84 cents a bargain we can’t afford to pass up, but their produce isn’t as cheap. The trick is to take one day and shop for either two or four weeks at a time. We also bike to stores when we can and swing by the foods section when we are out at other stores.

    • I am fortunate to live within 3-4 miles of two different Aldis. Both Aldis are located right next to great stores. One is in the Sam’s Club parking lot and across the street from a Hy-Vee and the other is right behind a brand new Hy-Vee. I don’t waste gas to go there. I plan my routes and stop in when I am going by there which I frequently do for my kids’ schools and activities. I do shop multiple stores with coupons after I check the weekly flyers. If you are going by them anyway then you are not wasting gas.

      When I made the decision to try Aldi the first time about 8 years ago, I took my receipt from Aldi to the grocery store where I had alway shopped and priced the same items. I would have spent $25 more for the same items at my grocery store. That did it for me. I became a true Aldi convert.

  31. Thank you for writing this series! I’ve been meaning to write a post like this because I seriously LOVE Aldi and I want other people to know how great it is too! Can’t wait for the rest of it.

  32. Sorry if you get this comment a couple times.
    We love Aldi… my kids love it because of the whole put the quarter in the cart thing. I love it because it is always consistent and fits my budget! Plus, in MO, they have a great wine selection!

  33. I also like to shop at Aldi and am lucky to have two very close by!

  34. I also didn’t like Aldi at first site but there are great bargains and quality to be had if you give it a try. Aldi and Trader Joes are part of the same company and have similar business models with Aldi being the discount sister store to the department store. Looking forward to see the products you like at Aldi.

  35. Their chocolate is by far the best deal I’ve found… and I am a huge chocolate snob. It’s not only cheap, but it is high quality, two of my favorite things all rolled into one!

    That said, that’s one of the few items I buy there, so when I go, I stock up. I have a kiddo with a corn syrup allergy, so we read labels very carefully, and unless it’s the plain chocolate or fresh foods like produce, nearly everything else I’ve looked at buying there has corn syrup in it, so I’ve just stopped wasting my time hoping to find a product without it there and shop elsewhere for most things.

    I have found some of their seasonal special buys to be great. I got new cushions for our patio table last summer for a fraction of the cost of anywhere else, I’d I’d been pricing them out for close to a year.

  36. This is great! I have one close to my house and have never been there because of some of the previously mentioned pre-conceived ideas. Can’t wait for the rest of the posts and to give it a try! Thanks for sharing!

  37. I love this post! I know people that think ‘I just have to shop at xyz for something else so I go there for everything’, and we’ve had times when we’ve done that, but honestly, with the economy the way it is, and we’ve got young kids that need fresh food items, oh the bananas we go through!…it’s just plain smart to shop at Aldi!

  38. I have experience with their guarantee, too! I called about a product (brownies) that had been recently changed that seemed to poof! all over when you went to use a mixer to stir them up. Not only did they call me, they sent me 2 free boxes (thus the 2xguarantee) of the product. In the meantime, I tried other name brand brownie mixes, and honestly? The aldi ones are WAY more consistent. The name brand ones left gross chewy/hard spots that made me gag.

  39. I have lived in SWMO after growing up in KC and living in Brooklyn. There are only Walmarts here and a run down regional chain in my town. I loathed giving Walmart my money. We do have a lovely farmers market, but when I started shopping at Aldi a year ago…hallelujah! I ONLY shop there now, unless I’m in KC and hit some specialty stores (Penzey’s, Trader Joe’s, World Market). My favorite thing is their refrigerated “deli” section. Tzatziki sauce, cilantro hummus, cheap gourmet cheeses. To die for. NONE of those things are anywhere else remotely close to Carthage, MO! And their vanilla almond milk. I can’t say enough about it. The limited items is actually better for my mental health than a big box store. I think it’s absolutely appalling that regular grocery stores have entire aisles just for cereal. I just don’t get it. Spirit fingers for Aldi!

  40. Okay, now I’m super jealous. Because we don’t have that here! :(

  41. My Mom and I both love shopping at Aldis. Every Wednesday night is family night and we have hot & spicy chicken. We cook a minimum of 6-7 lbs but up to 15 lbs or more if my teenage nephew brings his baseball team over. Aldis is the cheapest place to buy frozen chicken and we’ve shopped a lot trying to find cheap frozen chicken. Thanks for sharing how great it is.

  42. Love Aldi’s! I love the Clearly Organic tomatoes, marinara sauce and other organic products. Love the Fit & Active brand. Love the Greek Yogurt, I usually buy 12 and bring the cardboard container home. Stores perfectly in my fridge and we can pull it out to easily select the yogurt we want. Love not collecting more plastic bags. And love the fact that there are no carts in the parking lot! We are all a bunch of cart angels here, often passing our cart to someone entering the store. I don’t think I’ve put a quarter in for a very long time. We just “pass it on”, our little random act of kindness. I seldom have to go to any other store but when I do, I pass 2 grocery stores on the way home and WalMart is just across the street from Aldi’s so there’s no extra cost involved. I like being able to pack my own bags so all my refridgerated items are together in the insulated bags and easy to put away first when I arrive home.

  43. I love Aldi’s for all the same reasons!! Problem is, I retired to a lake region and the closest Aldi’s is 45 min. away. How do we petition to get an Aldi’s in a closer town?

  44. Ok…I’m listening…
    I’ll give Aldi another chance. Looking forward to the next two posts!

  45. Hi..Thanks for this post..We have an Aldi’s here in Rhode Island and I do shop there quite often..The only problem that I have encountered was with their fresh broccoli.It was full of sand! I ended up having to throw away my whole shrimp and broccoli dinner!
    :( I usually just give my veggies a quick rinse,before preparing them, and that’s what I did with the broc, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.I do find some really great deals in there, I just don’t buy the broccoli ;) karen..

  46. I love Aldi. I used to have a prejudice against it that really can’t be explained, other than I didn’t like sacking my own groceries. But once I gave it a fair shake, I realized that the quality of Aldi’s food is GREAT. And the prices are unbeatable. I mean, milk is like HALF the price of the big stores. I’m in!!!

  47. I’m so glad you posted this. Aldi has always been referred to as the “poor people’s grocery store” around here too. Remember when i picked you up from the airport and we were talking about Aldi? They actually JUST opened one near my house – i must go check it out after reading your post!!

  48. I love their frozen fruits for smoothies and also their frozen fish, shrimp, and scallops. I do not like name brand 90 second brown rice packets but I love Aldis. I will always be a fan of theirs.

  49. Your article on Aldis very good and informative. My daughter worked for Aldi for 7 years. Yes, they pay their cashiers very well. They have full medical coverage and a retirement investment package. Believe that they all work very hard and earn every penny. I shop for several items there and save alot of money by doing so. But there is a great misconception to their, “non-name” brands. At Aldi you really are buying most name brands. Aldi contracts with many major corporations and pay them to buy their product and package it under the Aldi label. We are a society drenched in name brands and people are leary of trying something that doesn’t say Nabisco on the label. An example…….Aldi frozen chicken breast and tenderloins are Tyson chicken, from the Tyson factory packaged for Aldi. Their milk and dairy product are delivered daily in NYS by the Byrne Dairy truck. All milk is Byrne dairy product,labeled as friendly farm, an Aldi brand. Byrne dairy milk at even walmart is almost 4.00/gal. same milk at aldi is 2.29. I laugh when it’s called poor mans grocery store….I prefer to call it the smart mans grocery store. 4.00$ vs.2.00$ for the same milk will for certain make you a poor man much quicker :)