Friday, July 14, 2017

First Trip to Aldi - Will I Ever Go Back??

I've been wanting to try Aldi for YEARS.

I had heard so many good things and good deals were happening there so I knew I had to check it out for myself.  We are fortunate enough to have one in my city so we planned a wild Friday night date nigh to Aldi :)

There was lots to love, some things to like and only a few things to give a thumbs down to at the store.

PROS:
-Double seats on their carts (although Olive didn't love sharing her space)

-Lots of food to pick from

-GREAT prices on a lot of things

-Interesting assortment

-Tons of great frozen foods and cheeses

-My total bill


CONS:
-Quarters in the carts make it super difficult to get a cart near your car for moms with little kids.

-Also a pain to return said carts when you've loaded your food and kids in the car.

-My store is arranged in a very strange way.  No clear organization so I have no idea how to make my aldi lists - normally I write my grocery lists out in the order that I walk through the store.  Is this normal??

-Very few name brands

-The store doesn't carry everything I buy

-You have to hunt for the prices a bit - are they listed above or below an item?  I wish it was easier to glance and know the price without reading the fine print of a sign.

-Rushed/slightly stressful check out.

-No free bags to bag your groceries with

-The check out process is so fast so I'm trying to watch my kids, watch things as they ring up and get thrown into my cart.  I always check my receipt before leaving the store.  We got one pack of diapers (which was the most expensive item I bought) and the cashier accidentally scanned them twice.  Luckily, I caught it and got a refund right away.

Here's how we spent $60:
I thought I'd share my Aldi Haul with you to give you an idea of what you can get.  These were our groceries from a few weeks ago so I can give a full report on the taste of these items.

I'll * our favorite items and list a little description by the items if we didn't love it.

1. Popcorn - gross - kernels were too hard and nothing like Skinny Pop.  Won't buy again.
*2. Puree pouches - amazing!  the kids loved them
*3. Fruit twists - really yummy and comparable to Target's
*4. Trail Mix granola bars - really good and really cheap!
*5. Aldi diapers - AMAZING!  We are BIG FANS.  I'm usually a bit of a diaper snob using Pampers Swaddlers because they never disappoint, but these are so good and much cheaper.  They seem to run a little small.  The size guide on the front is similar to Pampers, but I think I'll size up
6. Trail Mix - great price, but not much flavor.  Won't buy again.

*7. Kale & Quinoa - frozen - such a good side and easy lunch option!
8. Spanish rice.  It was fine.
9. Veggie straws - taste very similar to regular veggie straws.
*10. Olives - much cheaper and good
11. Hummus - same consistency as name brands, but has a bit of a funny taste.
*12. Sweet Potato Chips - amazing.  Will definitely buy again!
*13. Dry pasta - great!
* 14. Succulents - $1.99 with a great selection!  Wish I'd bought more!

*15. Milk - cheap!
16. Trash bags - great price, but they don't fit my 13 gal trash can very well
17. Carrots - had an off taste
*18. Cucumbers - great price
19. Brussels Sprouts - I think I prefer the frozen version since they cook faster.
*20. Mixed Greens were great!

 *21. The cheese selection was IMPRESSIVE.  We loved it all - cheese sticks, shredded cheese, block cheese, etc.  And it was all at least a $1 cheaper per item than our usual store.
*22. Turkey pepperoni - great for pizza, but had a slightly off taste for snacking on them cold.
*23. Montreal Steak Seasoning - the only name brand item I found at Aldi to buy - and it was $1!
*24. Black beans - delish
*25. Baking ingredients have been great so far


Overall, we loved way more than we threw out.

We have tons of great things on our favorite Aldi product list.  A lot of my CONS were based on my unfamiliarity with the store and how things work.  I'm guessing I'll feel a little more at ease and in the Aldi club every time I go.  I do not envision myself shopping at Aldi weekly, but I'll definitely go every few weeks to stock up on our favorites.  I'm excited to try some new things every time I go so that my favorites list gets a little longer.


What are your favorite things to buy at Aldi?

What did I miss out on??

Any Aldi insider tips for me??

Hope you have a great weekend!!

Linking up with

18 comments:

  1. Man, I love Aldi! You just can't beat genprices. I usually buy all of our produce there and it's so worth it.

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  2. It's funny because as weird as the store is laid out, they are all exactly the same, lol! 1 tip, NEVER buy the mac and cheese, ever. We love to check for the weekly produce sales too. I think if you continued going you would get more familiar even with the hassle of it all. I can't think of anything off the top of my head but will be sure to let you know if I do.

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  3. It's not strange at all to make your grocery list in shopping order. All the stores in my area have remodeled and I about had a melt down the the first few times I went shopping! I had gotten use to knowing where everything was and marking thinks off the list in order. I might have a slight problem. :)

    Milk, cheese and produce are my go to items at Aldi.

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  4. I wish we could have gone to Aldi together so I could have shown you everything I love and I buy!! Too funny about the popcorn- we LOVE that popcorn- I actually have to restrain myself from eating the whole bag! HA!
    Maybe next time- try to plan a trip without the kids so you can wander the store a little bit more and become familiar with the layout?? Because I know the store and the products so well- it doesn't bother me to take all the kids...but even still...I much prefer going without them! HA ;) Have a great weekend friend!

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  5. Great post!! I agree I can't get everything I need there. We usually take our list to Aldi and then immediately head to our favorite store to get the rest. It's a bit of a hassle to do that, and probably not one I could do with toddlers! But the prices are just so good!

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  6. This is my one con and the reason I don't shop there at all... I think their cold food - anything that is put in the fridge - makes our fridge smell especially their produce, even if I've washed it before storing. It's so strong and everyone comments on it when opening my fridge. It makes me wonder why which then makes me question the quality so I don't shop there much. Every once in a while I get a handful of things but for the most part I shop Kroger.

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    Replies
    1. I shop at Aldi weekly and I have never noticed any type of smell. I wonder if it your particular store. Have you ever tried a different location?

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  7. I've been meaning to try out Aldi! I've heard great things, but we'll see!

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  8. Yay! I'm so glad you had a pretty good experience with Aldi! I agree with all of your cons! I don't enjoy the shopping experience at ALL, but the prices are just too good to make me quit shopping there. :)

    I really like their Organic Spring Mix (the one in the plastic container). It's a great price and lasts longer than the bagged lettuce. I also recommend their chicken sausages for both price and taste. Loved your haul!

    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort

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  9. I'll chime in. I love Aldi! I took forever to try it, but once I did...well, I just love it. Some of my favorites: Eggs (they had them for .45 a dozen a week ago at the one near me), Dishwasher Detergent (keeps my dishwasher clean too, so much better than brand name), Greek Yogurt (DH loves them), canned mandarin oranges (kids lunches), their cheese/cracker combos (kid lunches, again), orange juice, specialty cheeses, mini chocolate chips (I use a TON of them), Capri Sun style juice pouches (school lunches), tuna fish, cereal (their brand of Rice Krispies and Fruit Loops are good), peanut butter (but not jelly), salad dressings, condiments, lunch meat, plastic baggies, bagels, bread, veggie, chicken and beef stock for soups, cream of something soups (for cooking). Oh, and they have sea salt chocolate covered caramels that are delish! My husband likes their wine...it's fine for everyday wine and for making sangria (I don't drink alcohol, so I can't comment...but he likes it).

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  10. 2.97 winking owl wine is DELICIOUS! We also LOVE that popcorn, hahaha! I also love their almond milk and spring mix. Love supporting Aldi because they pay their employees well, unlike Wal Mart, and they have so much Organic!

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  11. The last time I went to Aldis I bought some Corn Salsa that was really good. It was a little bit hot though, so you might not like it if you don't like spicy foods. I also buy their small potatoes. They come in a package with white, red and purple potatoes. I don't care for the purple potatoes (they're a little drier than regular potatoes) but my niece is so fascinated by the purple color that she always eats them.

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  12. I haven't shopped at Aldi in a while, but I did shop there before a freezer meal workshop and saved a TON! I still had to hit up the regular store for a few things, but it was pretty good overall. I need to go back sometime.

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  13. The layout can be weird, but once I got used to it I could at least write my list out based on where things were in the store again!!

    We but almost everything at aldi (except meat and greens). While they don't have name brands, I very rarely miss them (exception - I'm a mayo and ketchup snob!). Some of our favorite things there are cheese, diapers, eggs, crackers, nuts, milk, frozen veggies, and baking supplies. If you weren't super happy with your produce quality I'd recommend checking out another store near you - I've found that the quality can really vary depending on location!

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  14. Love your post! I've been an Aldi shopper for 6+ years and buy 80% of our groceries there. I can't understand the layout either, but all our area stores have the same layout so once you figure it out you can apply it everywhere. Keep trying the different items and figure out what you like. We don't like their frozen pizza rolls, but aside from that we eat almost everything else from Aldi. I love their Naan bread (4pks) and use those for pizzas (even funky ones with goat cheese, ricotta, etc) Keep shopping, once you find what you like you'll save big $$$!!

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  15. We like Aldi for somethings too, but can't do all our shopping there. I'd have to agree...they've got a great cheese selection. We get some snacky things too (nuts, crackers, etc). Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

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  16. I shop at Aldi every couple of months. Like you, there's some things I don't like. But, for the most part, their stuff is just as good as any other store. I always get my minced garlic, parmesan cheese, and heavy whipping cream there when I'm making homemade alfredo sauce. It's way cheaper than any other store.

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  17. I definitely agree with your general assessment! I don't go often because at this time in my life I prefer to get everything at ONE store instead of having to go multiple places to get everything on my list- and I just can't get quite everything at Aldi. That being said, their prices seriously just can.not be beat!

    and yeah- the cart thing is particularly annoying. I always start praying when I get to the parking lot that some poor soul will give me their cart and/or ask for mine so I don't have to take it back haha!

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Smiles, Whitney