(Closed) does anyone shop at aldi's?

posted 8 years ago in Cooking
Post # 32
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

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@VossinatorsButterfly:  I shop at the one in AA. It is pretty good! Come on over! The Aldi in Chicago was just depressing. I had to shop there when I ws broke and it was so barren and like the other bee’s say, stay away from meat and produce. I am sure there might be something good there. Go check it and see, you never know…

Post # 34
Member
519 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We shop at Aldi’s – everything that I’ve gotten from there has been pretty good quality. We get their chips, condiments, spices,bread, and Fit & Active pasta. We also have gotten milk, eggs, sour cream, yogurt, and cheese. I actually prefer their chips (at least the bbq) over name brand – to me, they have a much better taste. And all of their dairy has been great tasting. We do get their produce as well because it is so much cheaper than other supermarkets in the area. It’s kind of a hit and miss with produce. Sometimes, fruits and veggies from there are excellent quality and I can’t tell a difference. But we bought some veggies from there that weren’t as good tasting. We dont’ really buy their meat because I’ve only heard bad things about it and none of it is really cheaper than other stores. I did get porkchops from there once and they were good. As another bee said, there really aren’t many choices as far as low-fat dairy products, but other than that I have no complaints.

I saw where a bee said that the Aldi store she went to was dirty. Our Aldi’s is always really clean, neatly stocked, and workers are really friendly. I guess as with all stores, some Aldi’s will be dirty while others are super clean. But definitely try it out – it has helped our grocery budget tremendously!

Post # 35
Member
4581 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My Father-In-Law “shops” at Aldi. I’m not sure if they deeply discount out-of-code products or if he dumpster dives but he’s always trying to send me home with questionable produce and expired dairy products from there when we visit. :/

I’ve never been in the store, myself. I’d probably buy shelf stable items there but I’m not sure about perishables. It’s not in a part of town I frequently visit so I never think to go there.

Post # 36
Member
519 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Also, make sure you have a quarter. You have to put in a quarter to get a shopping cart, but you’ll get it back when you return the cart. And our Aldi DOES accept credit cards. When we first started shopping there, we always took cash because I’d read that they didn’t take credit cards, but everyone else was using them. 

Post # 37
Member
3696 posts
Sugar bee

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@VossinatorsButterfly:  Aldi & Trader Joe’s are owned by the same company but cater to different demographics. As a PP mentioned, Trader Joe’s caters to a more upscale market. It kind of pitches itself as a competitor to Whole Foods – cheaper compared to them, but isn’t *everybody*?

Anyhow, Aldi has a much more utilitarian vibe to it, and doesn’t sink nearly the same kind of money into advertising, etc., but in general their products are excellent quality. I think that because they have a wider clientele that includes more low-income people, sometimes there’s a perception that they have lower-quality products, but in general that’s not true. I’m sure that there might be a dirty store here and there, but it doesn’t describe Aldi across the board. I do think that people sometimes tend to stereotype Aldi (especially locations in lower-income neighborhoods) because of class prejudice – which is a shame.

The main differences between Aldi and other grocery stores is that they just carry one basic version of each product, and they aren’t going to have the deli and the sushi bar and all the fancy extras. As I mentioned above, they are very utilitarian. While other grocery stores carry ten-plus different competing brands of everything, Aldi just has one basic Product X. You want peanut butter? In another store, you choose between Jif and Skippy and Smuckers and Old Dominion … low-salt, low-fat, reduced-sugar, the 6oz. size, the 12 oz size, the giant 32 oz family size … At Aldi, you buy: peanut butter. There’s one option. But it will generally be a good-quality option.

Also, because they are a European-owned company, their products are made according to EU standards and regulations – which are *stricter* in most cases than the FDA and USDA regulations in the US. The PP who said that everything they had was overly processed, etc., frankly doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Their dairy is hormone- and antibiotic-free … they just don’t sink a ton of money into advertising that fact, because Aldi doesn’t do things that way. They keep overhead low by sticking to just the basics. But they also carry some cool European products (check out their cheese selection and their chocolate!) thanks to their German ownership.

There are a handful of things at Aldi that aren’t always up to par. I always look carefully at the produce – some of it’s fine, some of it’s great, some of it is sketchy. And I’m really not a fan of their coffee. On the whole, though, they do a really good job with the basics. Definitely worth checking out. And they do accept DEBIT cards (not credit cards) in addition to cash. They will charge for plastic bags (that’s also a European thing) so it’s smart to bring your own, as well as a quarter to unlock a shopping cart (you get it back when you return the cart).

Post # 39
Member
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I used to shop there, but couldn’t get EVERYTHING there. I’d have to supplement certain products at the “regular” grocery store. I would still do that, but I’ve moved and the Aldi’s are kind of out of the way, and I have more disposable income, so the convenience is worth the extra cost to me.

I bought all my staples there. I loved their hummues but couldn’t eat the yogurt. I bought frozen veggies and sometimes, if it looked good, fresh produce. You have to bring your own bags and a quarter for the shopping cart. You should definitely go check it out.

Post # 40
Member
2716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

LOVE Aldi! Their meat prices aren’t that great, but everything else is! Definitely buy staples there and canned goods! Bakery stuff has great prices!

Post # 41
Member
1561 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Another Aldi’s shopper.  I will buy pasta, rice, flour, sugar, oil (really cheap EVOO that is good), and eggs, cheese, ground turkey, and frozen fruits and veggies.  Everything else I go to Wegmans for – their chicken is actually cheaper.

I will say, though, that when Aldi’s first opened, I tried it and was horrified.  This was a decade ago, and I got green beans and canned tamales.  The green beans had stems and leaves, and the tamales were wrapped in wax paper, then covered in sauce.  GROSS!  But if you know what to buy and what to avoid, Aldi’s can be a great cost saver.

Post # 42
Member
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

+1 to everything KCKnd2 said!  I LOVE Aldi!  We shop there and eat the produce and the meat.  We have to supplement at another store because I have a dairy allergy so we have to get some of my cutomized things at Whole Foods (ex: tofu cream cheese, earth balance butter) which they don’t carry at Aldi and sometimes a specilty fruit when I am in the mood for off season stuff 🙂  Our store is very clean and organized and I love that there aren’t carts floating around the parking lot dinging our cars and they aren’t wasting bags.  The lines are so quick since you bag your own grocieries.  I used to hate grocery shopping but now I actually look forward to going and seeing what new products they have each week.

Post # 43
Member
808 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

We are Aldi shoppers.  It took us a long time before we actually went in, but once we did, we were hooked!  We do the majority of our shopping there, but head to Harris Teeter for the meats.  The eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese and produce is what hooked us, along with the flour, sugar, olive oil, baking products!  The french fries don’t crisp up in the oven the way ore-ida does, but we still buy them!  The produce lasts much longer than it does when we buy at Harris Teeter.  The prices are great!  The generic brands are actually brand names with just different labels.  Once I got over the stigma of having non-brand name items in my house, I am 100% on board with saving money by just having a different label on it.  Also the fruit cups and kid food (goldfish, crackers, fruit snacks) are so much cheaper at Aldi- we stock up and take a bunch of stuff to daycare every month.

Fun story- Trader Joes has an incredible maple cookie in the fall but for $3.99 a box- we buy them maybe once or twice while they are out.  I found the same ones at Aldi for $2.50 a box.  Same wording, same ingredients, same nutritional contents, same identical cookie but for $1.50 less per box!  I actually took a picture and posted on facebook a while back!

Post # 44
Member
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@VossinatorsButterfly:  It depends.  I can’t really rely on Aldi as a regular grocery store because they don’t stock some of the staples we used regularly.  Their sales on fruits and veggies are great if you use them quickly (I find they go bad more quickly but they also tend to taste better because they are more ripe.)  Their hot dog buns and hamburger buns are a great deal for BBQs and I have even picked them up on sale for 25 cents (yes a quarter!) per pack of 8 buns.  Eggs and milk are way cheaper at Aldi and I really didn’t find a difference since I usually buy store brand anyway.  I also think the prices on garbage bags, ziplocs, and foil are way cheaper than most other stores as well.

I would say to check it out and see what products work for you and your list.  My biggest complaint would be that when I shopped at Aldi I always ended up having to go to a second store to buy certain things on my list that weren’t at Aldi.  Make sure you bring your own bags or you will get charged per bag at the register.  Bring a couple of quarters for the cart if you end up using a cart.  I usually carry a big blue Ikea bag in with me and once it’s full it’s time to leave.

Post # 45
Member
920 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I literally despise Aldis.

My first and only experience was awful. FIrst of all, you need a quarter for the cart.  Well I don’t carry cash.  A man saw me sifting through my bag and put a quarter in for me.

The isles are completely unorganized.  (huge pet peeve)

If you have a grocery list with specific ingredients you will only be able to find 80% of the list and you will have to go elsewhere for the rest.

You can only pay by cash or debit card.  My husband and I use a credit card and pay it off each month for the points and cash rewards.  There was NO sign at the front stating this so I had to leave my entire cart and go get cash at the bank and go back.

You have to buy your own bags.  ANOTHER thing that is clearly not posted or I would have brought my cloth bags.  I normally  bring those bags but when I am just running after work I sometimes forget.

All in all… if you are on a very tight budget – then get a new cable company or a new cell phone plan… maybe get quotes from area insurance agencies but DO NOT waste your time with Aldis… spend the extra 25 dollars that you may save on these mediocre but mostly terrible groceries.  I understand most of the things I hate are what makes their groceries so inexpensive, but I still hate those things.

P.S. I know I sound like a snob, but i just hate that place.

Post # 46
Member
3696 posts
Sugar bee

 It’s unfortunate that

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MrsB1015 had such a bad first (and, as she points out, ONLY) experience shopping at Aldi, but … she’s basing her judgement on a sample of one, and I hope the OP (and other readers of this thread) will be more open-minded and give Aldi a chance, especially because you will be armed with foreknowledge about needing your own bags and a quarter for the cart, needing to pay with cash or debit, etc.

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