The first time I shopped at ALDI, I was hooked! I had heard mixed feelings about it before going, some loved it and some didn't. The main reasons I heard for not loving it was that it wasn't a "one stop shop", they didn't have name brands and their wasn't a wide variety. All of which are true, and more of a reason that I liked it!
1. I love that it isn't a "one stop shop". Sure, I do have to go to Wal-Mart to get a few things, but because it's not a huge store, I can go right in and grab what I need quickly. It's great when you just have to run in and grab a couple of things too! (I usually got to Wal-Mart for things such as makeup, TP, and larger packages of items we use a lot of such as flour and rice.)
2. Most items are off brands. Sometimes you can find name brands of certain items, though! Things I have seen recently are Crest toothpaste, Bounty paper towels, Coca- Cola, and name brand candy such as Reese's and M &M's to name a few. Normally though, all of the items are off brands, which I think still taste great and make them much more cost effective! (the only things I have found I don't like are their off brand paper towels, TP, Doritos and Cheetos.)
3. There isn't a wide variety, but that's actually a good thing when you are on a budget and crunched for time! Not having to choose between several different types or brands of a particular item saves both time and money.
4. PRODUCE! They usually have a great selection of produce and for cheap! This summer my favorite things were the strawberries for $0.99 and the watermelon for $3.00! I've also gotten bags of baby carrots for $0.25 before.Their bananas are good too, but usually really over ripe or under ripe, so you just have to plan accordingly. Make banana bread or just set them out for a couple days until they are ripe enough to eat.
5. Fit & Active is their healthy brand. They have everything from yogurt, cereal, snacks, lunch meat, beverages and more.We like their turkey bacon a lot! There are several other turkey options available throughout the store as well. They do have a few whole wheat options too such as bread, spaghetti, and some cereals.
6. The Double Guarantee - Don't like a food item you bought from ALDI? No problem! Just take it back and they will refund you the money AND replace the product!
7. It's an energy saving store. Because ALDI doesn't have a huge variety, they have smaller buildings which saves on energy. They also don't have cart retrievers which helps keep the prices low. Just put a quarter in, shop and get your quarter back when you return the cart. They also encourage you to bring your own reusable bags, or you can use a cardboard box from their store or buy one of their reusable bags at check out.
8. Only cash or debit. ALDI doesn't accept credit cards because processing fees are expensive and this allows them to keep their prices low. I always make sure to bring cash along! I love this because if I have a certain amount in cash I know I can spend, I know I won't go over budget. When my cash is gone, that's it.
9. They have recipes online that only include items you can buy at their stores! Perfect for planning meals and making one stop to get all of your ingredients!
10. They have weekly specials that come out in the paper. Don't get a paper? Just grab an ad on your way in the store and be sure to grab the next week's ad as you go out the exit door! You can also view it on their website. Their weekly specials consit of the regular food items, but also speciality items that they frequently change out. Specialty items are usually in a theme such as camping, back to school, kitchen gadgets etc. You can find some really neat things sometimes! Also, don't forget to check out their clearance bins for even better deals!!!
P.S - Almost EVERYTHING is labeled if it is lactose and or gluten free! Big plus having a sister with Celiac Disease!
I'm sure there are more great things about ALDI, but that is a pretty good list! Hopefully I have convinced you to at least TRY it! I promise you will be amazed when you go to check out and your cart FULL of items is half of what you would pay at another store!
What do you love about shopping ALDI? If you haven't gone yet, be sure to let me know how your first shopping experience goes!