I admit it; I've become an ALDI groupie. If you like saving money on your grocery bill, you owe it to yourself to visit one of their no frills locations. They can be found in 31 states. It's hard not to love their concept of low prices focusing on selected family staples.
When ALDI entered the Atlanta market, I pretty much ignored them. A year ago I stopped in to see what they were all about, lured in by one of their Sunday circulars. My shopping was tepid at first, primarily because ALDI doesn't carry a huge selection of national brands.
Over the past year my shopping has gone from buying an occasional item to buying 50% of my groceries at ALDI. In addition to fresh produce and fresh meats, these are some of the reasons to love ALDI:
- You won't find fancy store displays and exotic cuts of meat, but you will find prices you haven't seen since gas cost $2 a gallon. The last time I shopped there a 5 lb bag of potatoes cost me less than $3 a bag. Those same 5 lbs of potatoes cost double at their competitors. Maybe ALDI coffee shop style ground coffee for $3.99 will interest you, or perhaps buying a dozen oranges by the bag instead of by the pound!
- Their private label brands are very good. Their products are made by national companies in packaging suggestive of the real manufacturer. Some are easy to guess. I prefer several of their private labels brands over their high priced cousins. Plus shoppers get ALDI double guarantee.
- Their stores are as streamlined as are the types and quantities of foods they carry. The stores occupy a smaller footprint than the big box supermarkets. Instead of carrying 30,000 items they focus on 1,400 of the basics. What that means is you can shop and be in and out in 30 minutes or less.
- When you shop ALDI it is strictly BYOB. This is a corporation that does more than talk green, its operations have stripped away giving away single use plastic bags. Since 60% of what occupies our landfills comes from redundant and unnecessary packaging. This is a very big deal. If you forget to bring your own reusable bags or boxes you can still purchase plastic bags for a nominal amount.
- Bring a quarter if you want to use one of their shopping carts. Know up front you will be bagging your groceries. It costs a quarter to get a shopping cart, but if you replace the cart to its original location, your quarter is returned.
Here's a last minute tip. Keep an eye for their specials, there are some slick items that quickly come in and move out. What's not to love? Did I mention there's a double chocolate cake that is to die for?