I have a secret to admit – I don’t think I ever shopped at Aldi before I had kids. And oh how I kick myself now. I guess maybe it was ingrained in me that inexpensive equates low quality but that could not be further from the truth when it comes to this store. Aldi has amazing products at insanely low prices and they even accept credit cards now!
Shopping at Aldi will differ slightly from your general grocery-shopping experience. For one, you might wonder what the catch is when you see prices like $1.49/lb for spiral sliced ham (yum!!)
You might also be taken aback when you only see one or two checkout lanes open and think “Ugh. I do NOT have time for this…” Give it a minute, though, and you’ll be amazed by how wonderfully fast the Aldi clerks are.
You will also have to pay for your own bags and bag your groceries yourself, but you’ll be too busy giggling with glee at all the money you saved to even notice the extra minute spent bagging things up.
When you walk into the store, you might notice that Aldi seems to have less of a selection than you’re used to at some of the bigger stores; believe me when I say – this is a WONDERFUL thing! Much of what Aldi tends to offer is under their house-brand, which usually consists of a traditional product and a variation, like organic or gluten-free versions. There’s no analysis paralysis to worry about so you can just grab what you need and get goin’!
Their house-brand is also wonderful because now they’ve banished trans fat, high-fructose corn syrup, and non-natural food dyes from their products. This means even their processed products are better across the board, whatever it is you might be buying. For example, their organic pasta sauce is literally just vegetables and spices – no sugar or preservatives, as is often found in other jarred sauces – and it’s less than HALF the cost of what you’d pay elsewhere.
And when it comes to purchasing your household staples – eggs, milk, cheese, butter, etc. – I cannot imagine a place that has lower prices than Aldi. You might come close if you clip coupons and partner those with Ibotta rebates, but is it really worth the time if you’re only saving pennies? Plus you could use Checkout 51, they’re a rebate app that accepts Aldi purchases!
Aldi is also super efficient when it comes to clearance items. When food is approaching it’s due-date (like meat, for instance) it gets INSANELY marked down. We’re talking $2 – $3 off for steak that is about 2 days out of its sell-by date. That means it’s still good to eat immediately, or freezable, and at a ridiculous discount. This goes double for seasonal goods, like holiday decor, treats, and food. It’s a great opportunity to stock up for next year!
If meat’s your thing, Aldi runs a fresh meat deal that is usually out of this world. For instance, last week it was top sirloin roast at $2.99/lb, where the local Hy-vee has it at twice that price. Same cut of meat, half the cost of other grocers. A few weeks ago it was boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.29/lb.
Then there’s things like the oh-so-wonderful Kerrygold butter (a guilty pleasure – it’s an Irish butter made with milk from grass-fed cows, and it’s the BEST). It’s generally around $5, but when Aldi has it, it comes in at about half that. The same goes for exotic cheeses and desserts. All delicious and all significantly cheaper than you’d find at a health food or specialty store. So if you’re going to treat yourself, why not do it while also saving money?
Speaking of guilty pleasures, Aldi has delectable candies, imported chocolates, and baked goods that are certain to make your mouth water. In addition, you can usually find name-brand (think Reese’s or Hershey’s) for less than other stores. I try to stick to a fairly healthy diet, but if I’m going to indulge in some sweets, I’m definitely picking up some German chocolate from Aldi.
Perhaps you prefer your indulgence to be of the liquid variety? No matter how you care to wet your palette, Aldi has what you need at a fantastic price. We go through a lot of tea and coffee in our house, and at $3.99/lb, Aldi has fair-trade coffee of several flavorful varieties. In addition, their green and blacks tea are set at prices that I’ve literally never seen duplicated in any other grocery store.
And if you’re looking for beverages of the more mature variety, Aldi has a great selection of beer, wine, and liquor. I thought my days of $3 wine were behind me after I graduated college but oh no! Thank you, Aldi, for your exquisitely inexpensive selections.
Once you’ve shopped at Aldi for a while, you’ll notice there are usually a few spots in the store that house rotating stock that is unique, seasonal, or one-of-a-kind. I found frozen samosas a few months back that were absolutely SENSATIONAL and last time I was there, they had sweet potato crusted cod that was quite incredible.
And finally, did you know Aldi offers a DOUBLE your money back guarantee?? As if they couldn’t get any better! I’m not sure any other store anywhere offers this deal: if you get a product and you don’t like it (bad produce, stale taco shells, etc),
Aldi will replace the product AND refund your money
Did you jaw just drop like mine? Crazy, right?
Do you have an Aldi success story? Something you love and can’t do without? Let me know – I love raving over Aldi and their amazing deals!