thursday, july 22, 2021

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I gave Aldi another chance. I have more time in the summer to do crazy things like shop at multiple grocery stores. I was really impressed with the re-vamp of my nearest store. I love many of the concepts they use! I love that it is German. Tom was born in Germany and I have German ancestry. I have been there 3 times and it’s a great country to visit. If you don’t have an Aldi, maybe you have a Lidl? I have heard these are becoming more commonplace here in the U.S. Also, Trader Joe’s is related and many of the products might remind you of theirs.

Let’s get started…

First, you have to have a quarter. The quarter gets inserted into the cart to release it from the chain of carts. I have seen Aldi devotees that have a quarter in a pouch that stays on their keychain. Apparently this is the first aspect of shopping here that saves us, the consumers, money.

The produce comes first.

3 beautiful looking zucchini for 99 cents. That is a good price. I love to go to farmer’s markets and support farmers, but dang, they charge a lot. Do you feel the same?

They do name name brands, but there is not much selection. I have one kid who loves Cheezits but not the “extra toasty” variety. Here are some other examples of name brands:

Some of the prices are good and some a more expensive than the on sale prices at my Kroger. I also live in an area where the cost of living is fairly cheap.

You see lots of the Aldi Clancy’s brand. They make the packaging look very much like the big national brands.

Wheat Thins are Thin Wheats – haha! Doesn’t it look just like the big name brand box? I have not tried all of these to compare.

They have a great cheese selection. I bought this Havarti again because it was delish. $3.00 for a block of a good cheese is pretty good. I went with the blue label because I knew we loved it but I was really curious to try the jalapeño.

I found these wraps that are zero WW points. There is regular and everything but the bagel flavor. I really like them.

Here I used one as a bun for my turkey dog.

Here I used one as a bun for my Trader Joe’s Quinoa Cowboy veggie burger.

This is a decent price on the fresh mozz I use on my pizzas. These are also great with grape tomatoes and balsamic glaze.

I like the jarred salsa for my Mexican Lasagna and some dips I make. This is a great price on a giant jar. See how the stuff is shelved? Another money saving measure is that they don’t remove the items from the boxes and do the neat or not so neat shelf stocking as they do in regular supermarkets. Smart, I think!

My cart was starting to get full…

You also have to either bring your own bags or buy the bags at the check out. I bought 3 paper bags for this trip at 8 cents each. They are very cheap and I don’t mind this because it is standard in Europe and I think it’s smart. This is another way they save money. They don’t bag for you which is another cost-cutting measure.

I spent $70 and got quite a bit. I think the price would have been at least $100 at Kroger.

I bought Keto one point buns for me and mini whole wheat pitas for me. I plan to make homemade pita chips using olive oil Pam and some salt.

The boys have been enjoying bagels for breakfast and they report that these brioche bagels are really good. They love mini muffins so I buy those for quick breakfasts. Jack leaves the house at 8:15 and is gone until 5:00 now for his Shakespeare project. He spends four weeks getting ready and then will spend the fifth week performing in our Central Park.

This is the produce I got.

During the pandemic I started making food for Ernie to supplement his dog food. He now gets cooked chicken, green beans, and carrots on top of his food. He is spoiled. So, these cans were great for that. I got a can of potatoes for a recipe and broth for soup. And, here is the salsa.

For snack items, I got these. Our friend told us the cookies taste just like Girl Scout Tagalongs. Why did I buy these? I put them in the freezer and only tried one but it was yummy!

The chicken was about the same as Kroger.

Below the chicken is an example of the German influence. My family liked these when we went to Germany so I bought them.

And, these are the sandwich and charcuterie items I bought, along with some butter for under $3 for baking. There is spreadable cream cheese under the butter. Don’t judge the cheap-o packs of beef. Jack loves the 80s appetizer my mom made where you spread cream cheese, roll up, and cut into 3 logs.

By the way, I took these photos on the long counter they have after checkout for you to bag your own purchases with the bags you either bought or brought. The cashier scans your items and puts them back into your cart. Also, the cashiers are seated, not standing, and are known for being super speedy and efficient. And, there is no small talk. It is quite German in the sense of no nonsense and efficiency. I like this because there are some cashiers in my Kroger that I avoid when I shop in store. They are slow, talk too much, and want to ask me about what I’m buying. Sometimes I’m in the mood for that, but sometimes I just want to get out.

Funny side story: I love going into grocery stores in other countries because I feel like it’s such a great way to learn the culture and not just be a tourist. During my semester abroad in Spain, my roommate and I would go to the grocery weekly to get our snacks. In Germany in 2016 I got in trouble by the cashier in a grocery for not being ready with my purchases on the belt quick enough. It felt like a “Soup Nazi” moment.

A better look at the cookies:

They may even be better than a Tagalong. And they don’t cost $5 a box!

So, I am trying to only do Aldi this week along with what I have in the freezer. My freezer is really full and I need to shop there!

Any recommendations? Are you an Aldi shopper? If you have a Lidl, how much resemblance is there?

Also, I heard that many young adults and college students shop at Aldi. My niece is one of them. I love that the younger generation is learning to be frugal and smart with their money.

I am sure there are much more informative posts about Aldi out there, but I hope you enjoyed this!


19 thoughts on “shop with me – Aldi

  1. How fun! As you know I have an Aldi close by in Fort Lauderdale – promise you make another post like this next summer!
    So that long counter is for packing, I didn’t get that… And we never brought quarters… They don’t even have baskets as I recall it!
    Germany is close to Sweden I think (I’ve never been there) when it comes to efficiency and cleanliness you know, but Swedes are softer people – we would never say anything about someone being slow in a line, probably the opposite, we would act as if we didn’t notice… 😀 Internationally famous people love Sweden because we pretend that we don’t see them… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was intimidated at first because I didn’t know about the quarter, the bags, packing, etc.
      I wouldn’t say Germans are rude about it but you can tell they want efficiency!
      That is funny about Swedes. I know I love them after our exchanges students I have met and YOU!


  2. Thanks so much for doing this! I went to Aldi this past weekend to have a look around and I was kind of impressed. I bought those same cookies and they really do taste like girl scout cookies–only much cheaper! I agree with you about farmers market prices. I love going and I love supporting family farms but dang they are so expensive. Also, I wasn’t aware that you could buy bags at Aldi so you taught me something today! Those bagels look delish. I’m gonna try them when I go again. Hope you’re having a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome! I should have said the bags are right below the conveyer belt and you can choose paper or plastic. Our bagels are now gone but boys liked them! Thank you and you too!


  3. This is such a timely post cause Dave came back from an Aldi shopping trip last week raving about it- 60 dollars for dinner for 6 and some extras like smoked Gouda, off brand Nutella etc.!

    He urged me to give it a shot again and I went yesterday- excellent prices if you don’t mind supplementing at other stores for certain items.

    Great (as always) post!

    P.S. I got their cheese wraps and made a great bread less sandwich with one!


    1. I’m so glad! Like you said, I don’t think I can make it my only store, but I think I can save some money if I take the time to go to Aldi once every week or two? That is great that he was able to do the dinner for 6. I wonder if the one by his office is better than the one closer to me? Maybe I will check it out and compare.
      Thank you so much! I love a wrap – that sounds delish! Looking forward to seeing you and maybe we will have more Aldi stuff to talk about! lol!


  4. Oooh, I need to go check out those egg wraps. I love Aldi, don’t go near enough but I am always impressed. I bring my own bags and just load the stuff in them in my trunk (or at check out). I find it funny that Trader Joe’s is so popular and then Aldi seems to be the store that everyone turns their nose up at! We especially love the German food when it comes out – they have a fabulous selection and my family loves it but they only have it twice a year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really like them! That’s smart about your own bags. I know, right? Maybe Aldi will become more in favor?
      The German products are so cool – they even have candy and chocolate!


  5. I love this post! So many awesome goodies! I need to go there for those tagalong look alikes…or maybe I shouldn’t 🤣 I want to go there for the wraps, cookies & the cheese. We have an aldis and I go a couple times a year. Now, I might go next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad! The cookies are in my freezer and I’ve enjoyed one at a time. My kids are now boycotting frito lay because of their work conditions so I’m gonna try a few more of their store brand chips! Let me know if you go!
      Miss your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to shop at our local Aldi’s store when my boys were taking morning karate classes as the Aldi’s was only a few minutes away. I tend to hit the store early in the morning and our local Aldi’s opens rather late… plus I just can not seem to buy enough food to get us through the week! I did love supplementing with Aldi’s items though as their prices are really reasonable. My only complaint would be that I would find an item I loved and buy pretty faithfully and then they’d just stop carrying it. If we had one closer to us I would shop there more often.


  7. I need to give our Aldi another chance. I wasn’t impressed when I tried it before, but some of the prices are so good. The seated cashier and no bagging reminded me of grocery shopping in the UK. They cashier scans the items (while seated) and puts them on the belt. You have to bag them yourself right then. It took me awhile to get used to it, and I missed watching the prices for possible errors. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Let me know what you think. Someone told me they revamped all the stores. Yes, so European. That is a way smarter way to bag. But, I guess our bagging gives people jobs. So…. I’m not sure! Thank you!


  8. I like Aldi, but I often forget about it. They do have the best appetizer/charcuterie section for so much cheaper. I love the cheese selection. Their salmon is really good too. And, my guys love that giant $5 take and bake pizza. I also like their frozen fruit for smoothies. Wow, maybe I need to go back more often. Haha. Thanks for the reminder! Have a great weekend!


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