Friday, November 4, 2011

Frugal Friday

I want to tell you about my new favorite store, Aldi!  That sounds really funny considering I drove by the Aldi store daily for about a year and a half, until recently when I decide I had to check it out.  My curiosity peaked after reading one of my favorite blogs, Blue Chateau Interiors.  Carole, at Blue Chateau, shares how she cut her family's food budget drastically without using coupons just by shopping at Aldi.  After that endorsement I had to give it a try.

I stopped in one day just to look around and figure out the system.  See, at Aldi, things are a bit different than at traditional American groceries.  1st off, you have to "rent" your shopping cart.  This really isn't a big deal because the quarter you deposit to receive a cart is given back to you when you return it.  Also, you have to bring your own bags or buy bags from them (my local Aldi sells paper or plastic bags for .10 a piece) and bag your own items.  Fortunately, the Aldi folks have a nice counter space right past the checkout lines so you can sort and bag yourself as needed.  I take my own re-usable shopping bags and 1 large clothes basket (which I leave in the car) if I am doing a large shopping trip.  Then I bag up can goods and such and then put all the rest in the basket at the car and then return my cart.  It is a bit different from traditional stores but not much different from your warehouse club experiences (well, except for the pricing!)  Also, I like that Aldi carries all the seasonal specials and even some household and gift items.  You can also preview their sales ads in advance online to see current specials.

But why  has Aldi become my favorite?  Quite simply the price and value!  Over the last few weeks we have tried many different products from Aldi and have been pleased with the quality of each and thrilled with the pricing. 

In the past year or so, it seems grocery prices have climbed and continue to reach new heights every week.  Our grocery bills were out of control and I found myself frustrated and discouraged every time I had to do a shopping trip.  I know a lot of folks are dedicated couponers and in the past I have used a lot of them (but I am no ultimate couponer) and just couldn't seem to get into the swing of it after our move a year and a half ago.  So, when I found Aldi...I felt like I finally had some control over our grocery bill!  It was such a relief to see an actual difference in pricing! 
This is an example of a quick stop in Aldi for some odds and ends.  I got all this (including the fresh and so yummy pineapple) for $8.35 including tax.  I guarantee if I had gone to my traditional grocery I would have spent somewhere between $13 & $15 for the same items. 

Check out Carole's post on "How to Shop at Aldi"
for more encouragment to jump on the Aldi bandwagon!

So I am an Aldi convert!  Have you tried it yet?


  1. I love Aldi! I am a couponer, so I do shop at Harris Teeter a lot (I also shop there because I really like their store and they have great customer service, not just because things are free or under $1 with coupons, and my husband feels like they have the best meat in town).

    But, I do love Aldi for fresh produce! Plus their seasonal selection is great- cans of pumpkin for $1, baking chips for under $2, I'm in! Not to mention the bags of apples they have for $2.99. You can barely get 2 apples for that at the Teeter. And, I like how they encourage bringing bags or using boxes, because that's good for the environment. More and more places are giving discounts if you do that.

    I live in WestFlo, so I don't get to Aldi as much, maybe every other week, but it's definitely on my grocery store rotation with the Teeter :).

  2. I have not because there isn't one that I go by regularly. But I've heard many talk about it in a positive way.

    Here's my money saver for the week. From Whole Foods, no less. {insert shocked expression} Bulk grains. Particularly steel cut oats. Have you ever priced them in the grocery store... yikes!! I have bought them but it would be quite expensive if I was buying for a family. Not sure why I hadn't looked there before. Probably because I assumed in Whole Foods it would not be cheap. I went to the bulk grains bins looking for bulgur. Because my grocery store doesn't carry it. And there were steel cut oats... cheap!!!

  3. It sounds a lot like our Save-A-Lots. I will have to check them out!

  4. I'm in love with Aldi, too. I was just there yesterday, as a matter of fact. I just leave two boxes in my trunk and take the cart straight to my car and fill the boxes.

  5. I loooove Aldi - esp. their seasonal treats! - but we don't have one anywhere in south GA, (which I find surprising - seems like a perfect fit?) I'll stock up there (as well as at Costco & Trader Joe's - my other two ultimate beloveds!!!) when we go to ATL or home to Charlotte. :-)

  6. This is interesting. We have one here, and I've never been. I am glad you told me about the bags and cart rental or I may would have had a shock.

  7. I have tried Aldi a couple of different times, but the store near me is so crowded and congested I absolutely couldn't breath in there. Also, the isles were so small, if anyone stopped to look, you were holding up traffic.

    The prices are great, but I just can't get in the mood to fight the crowd.

    I wonder if it is like that at other stores?

  8. I have had several people tell me that Aldi is a good place to shop. I am going to have to check it out! Carla

  9. Thanks for the reminder. I have not been in ours in a while.


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