I know I have blogged about Aldi before, but my husband got me to thinking about blogging about it again. There are so many people out there who live near an Aldi, but do not visit it. They have their reasons-they do not trust generics, they think it is a hassle to have to use cash or only certain debit/credit cards, they think it is annoying to have to have a quarter for the carts...and many other reasons. Some, I think, even feel the quality of the food might not be that great.
Aldi is a store that is owned by a German company-so they often have German foods-some they keep on hand at all times-other are just seasonal. They are really very good. I grew up with a German mom and let me tell you, the quality is just as good as what I am used to getting from expensive German stores, or even received from my Opa (German for Grandpa in case you didn't know-lol :). Their regular foods are just as good in quality! If you do not think so, return it! They have a double money back guarantee. I put this to the test one time when I bought a different brand of burgers than I usually buy. My girls and I thought they were disgusting-the boys loved them. But, I was not going to be able to stomach eating one more of those burgers and it was a big box that still had many left, so I returned what I had not cooked (that would have been 7 less in the box). Aldi gladly refunded my money and let me go pick out the burgers we usually buy. That is their Double Your Money Back guarantee!
If you didn't shop at Aldi before due to them accepting only cash or certain credit/debit cards-don't worry about that anymore! They now accept all credit/debit cards. They do not accept checks. But, once you shop Aldi a few times, you will be able to judge what your cost will be for each trip. I know my trips will pretty much be between $120 and $160 depending on how much I have to stock up, extras, etc...
Aldi does not sack your groceries for you. And, they do not provide you with free bags-you must bring your own, search the store for empty boxes, or buy theirs. They are 5 cents for paper and 10 cents for plastic. They have freezer bags for 99 cents. All these bags are really pretty good quality. We have used their plastic bags for months before any tears or wear start happening. We did this until I built up my reusable bags :) I use a freezer bag, from Aldi, in the warmer months, and I have had these for well over a year now!
Here is what my trip to Aldi might be like...I will leave out the parts that include my kids...Im sure you don't want to hear that and if you are a mom, well, then you already know what it is like ;)
I park, go up to the cart return and place 25 cents into the little gadget that locks the carts. I place my own reusable shopping bags in the bottom of the cart (this is just my own convenience-we usually fill up the basket of the cart), and I head into the store. There are no shelves, really. Most things stay in their boxes they are shipped in and set on something like tables (it looks nice, don't think it would make the store look filthy). I pull from the boxes and, well, place the item in my cart-lol. Anyway, shopping, shopping, shopping...done...I head to the front of the store, put my items on the conveyor belt. At this point, the cashier rings up my items and places them in another cart she/he has setting beside her. Don't think I have lost your quarter...I will take this cart when I am done paying, leave my cart with the cashier and head to a table with my groceries to sack. If I need bags, at the conveyor belt is where I will get them. I just throw how many I need up there and the cashier will add them to my bill.
Sack my groceries and I am done with the inside of the store. I head outside, usually grabbing an ad for the next week on my way out. I pack those groceries up in my car and take the cart back to the cart corral. I do the opposite of what I did when I first got the cart-place the chain into the lock mechanism and out pops a quarter-see I told you I didn't lose it :) Then, I head on home.
I estimate I have saved about $50 per shopping trip. Aldi's milk is hormone free, and so are their eggs. There are times I can get things for less somewhere else, of course, and so, I buy those items elsewhere, but most of my grocery bill is spent at Aldi.
Hopefully, this helps you if you were hesitant before to check Aldi out. Check out Aldi's website. They even have a terrific recipe section using items from the only Aldi :)