Aldi’s, Aldi’s, Aldi’s. I’ve heard many praises of Aldi’s, recently. The closest Aldi’s isn’t exactly close, or should I say, I have to drive by many a grocery store to get to the Aldi’s. My first experience with Aldi’s was as a small store in rural southeastern Kansas and I think there was a store in Wichita, but that is digging through the cobwebs of my mind. A decade or more later and I’m shopping at Aldi’s in Germany; a much different experience.
This Aldi’s did have the shopping carts that you place your quarter in as a deposit. In Germany, it was a Deutsche Mark and then a Euro coin. I’ve always thought this was a fantastic idea & one that America should fully embrace … eliminates the abandoned carts in the parking lot (a MAJOR pet peeve of mine). It doesn’t matter that it is only a quarter…it is the principle involved here….because nobody is going to shop on my quarter. I used to take carts, that were close to my van, back to the storefront, but I’ve given up….there will always be one in the same spot when I come back out of the store. Anyway, I chat too much…on with it.
Is it worth the drive? Will it indeed save my money because it’s hard to beat the commissary, Kroger specials, and don’t make me say it …..ssssshhh, Walmart.
Look for an excuse to go to Aldi’s: 99 cent/lb Butterball turkeys
Back up excuse: looking for real chocolate from Germany
Shop and run as many errands in the area as possible. (the bigger & better library, Old Time Pottery, Bass Pro, KFC because we will not eat at the one in our ‘burb).
COLLECT DATA – Pick a sampling of the Aldi offerings:
rings w/meatballs … 79
chunky clam chowder … 1.39
onion soup mix … 59
fruit & grain bars … 1.99
instant mashed potatoes … 89
rice squares cereal … 2.19
apple cinnamon crispy oat creal … 1.89
deluxe mac & cheese (Kraft) … 1.59
macaroni & cheese … 35
saltines … 89
oyster crackers … 89
navel oranges … 1.99
whole milk … 3.29
colby cheese … 1.99
american cheese slices … 89
butter, unsalted … 1.99
whipped topping … 69
bacon, premium … 2.69
cotto salami … 1.18
bratwurst … 2.29
(2) Butterball turkeys … 99 cents/lb
Strawberry Cream Cake (Germany) … 6.99
Fruit of the Forest strudel (Italy) … 2.69
pork schnitzel (not specified) … 5.99
chocolate bars (Austria) … 59 (these passed the hubby test)
mini pretzels … 1.29 (loved these, much better than WM/Sam’s)
plain potato chips … 1.19
corn chips … 99
mini marshmallows … 79
Gummi bears (Germany) … 89
peanut butter & cheese crackers … 95
12-pk root beer … 2.29
fudgesicles (fit & active) … 2.99
lime/pineapple fruit bars … 3.49
garlic/cheese toast … 1.64
“Fresh” meats were gas vacuum packed. Yuck!
I was not impressed with the small & lacking produce section, at all. Everything was in bags, which is fine for some fruits & veggies, but the apples were very bruised, looked old, and I don’t like my bananas in plastic bags. I really didn’t look at the rest of the produce. I bought a bag of oranges.
If you’re hoping to find some German brand items here, I’d recommend that you not bother. Deutsche Kuche is their “German brand” and I’ll have to investigate that a bit further.
I didn’t try any of their paper or plastic products. I really have my favorites and would probably not change.
Normally, I wouldn’t buy that many snacky things, but this is an experiment and we wanted to get a proper sampling, ya know. In fact, the only thing we actually needed was milk, the turkeys, and the bag of oranges. I could have gotten out of there for $30.91 plus tax, but in the name of The Great Aldi Experiment, I laid down $103.21 including tax. For the record, sales tax is 7.75% on food items and 9.25% on the nonfood items, I bought (2 – 6 cent plastic Aldi bags and a very nice, roomy Aldi recycle bag for $1.99)
I will edit this post as needed and post Part 2 when we’ve tried most of what we bought.