Aldi – Our First Trip
I wrote this back on June 19, 2019 on my old site, but check in tomorrow to see what we bought on our second trip!
I have been meaning to check out Aldi for years and we FINALLY made it there today. I did some googling to see what I could expect and I’m glad I did!
First, the quarter for a cart thing is pretty cool. My kids were fascinated by how the quarter unlocked the cart. It was nice to not have carts all over the parking lot, too. Funny how 25 cents will get people to return the cart. On our way out, I offered our cart to a guy, who handed me his quarter. I left it on the next cart for someone else. Apparently that’s a thing, according to google.
I knew to take my reusable bags. Also funny how Aldi’s expectation made me remember them. They had boxes for free (I think) and bags for sale, but everyone I saw was using their own bags or the cardboard boxes. All stores should be doing this. I guarantee if they start charging for bags, we’ll do a better job of remembering them.
Checkout is where I’m glad I did my research because the cashiers quickly ring up your items and put them into the cart of the person that went though before you. Then you push your empty cart into that place and take your items to another area to bag or box them up. The cashiers at my store all have chairs and there was a bit of a line, but I knew to expect it because there aren’t many lines open. They aren’t as friendly as at Trader Joe’s but I’m terrible at chit-chat anyway so it’s fine with me.
I didn’t have much of a grocery list when I went in so my expectations for finding specific items was low. I had hoped to find cashews but they didn’t have any. No big deal there. I needed vegetable oil and they had a big container for $1.85. Score! I mostly wanted to check out their liveGfree brand of gluten-free items and we were not disappointed! My daughter picked out some gluten-free key lime cake and gluten-free angel food cake. I had no idea those even existed! We got some crackers, bars, bread, granola, and wraps that were all gluten-free. I also go tomatoes, lettuce, avocados, sandwich meat, grilled chicken, a chocolate bar, vanilla dessert hummus, and coffee. The coffee was especially exciting because it was $4.49 for the FANCY kind.
All told, we spent $56.27 and about an hour looking around. I set out not to buy stuff for the freezer or fridge because they are pretty full, but we looked at the ice creams and such for next time. Our store has fairly wide aisles and wasn’t crowded at 10:30 am on Wednesday. The produce section was better than I expected so I couldn’t resist getting some salad stuff. There was an aisle of clearance-type deals and another of camping and pool gear. I saw rice for half of what I’m used to paying and the spices were all around $1 a jar. They have a good selection of cereal and baking stuff but I was trying not to buy too much today.
I don’t think I could make Aldi a one-stop grocery store, but we will definitely be back for gluten-free stuff that’s much cheaper than any of the other stores around here.
One last observation is that, at least at our Aldi, the vast majority of shoppers are retirees. All of the handicapped spots were filled! I say good on retirees for trying to stretch their dollars. I used to do serious couponing but as the kids have gotten older and I developed food allergies, I haven’t done as much coupon-clipping. I spent way too much on food (mostly too much at Sprouts – they aren’t cheap!) so it’ll be good to buy things for less money when and where I can.