Thursday, February 26, 2009

My First Aldi Family Experience

Finally, I get to spill the beans on my first huge shopping trip to my local Aldi's. I am so excited to be able to review some items and compare shopping prices! I love a bargain and I love food......

I took some time a few months ago to research Aldi's and was totally engrossed in what I found. First of all, Aldi's is related to Trader Joe's (one of my faves)...secondly, they are store based on simplicity. No fancy ads and commericals, no music, no over the top displays, no staying open 24 hours....they cut back so they can help us cut back a few dollars. The stores close at 8pm and you have to put a 25 cent deposit into the grocery cart to use it. You also have to bag your own items ( or box them up). To get your quarter back, you have to return the cart yourself which saves Aldi's on replacing carts and paying someone to retrieve the ones that get abandoned in the parking lot. I mean...GENIUS! They are totally thinking ahead..I was uber impressed and I think you will be as well. I am attaching a link to my fave friend wiki who can give you the secrets of Aldi's success. Not to mention, some of my fave things are german like....brats, The song “99 Luftballons” by Nena. Forget the English version, the original rules, and Beethoven.

So I knew it was meant to be a match made in heaven when I get there and suddenly realize..I don't have a quarter! Lo and behold, there is one on the ground next to my car! Cha~Ching! INSPIRATION! I slowly figured out the cart deal which is totally rad once you don't look like a retard figuring out the cart chain blueprint. I immediately found things I needed ~ olive oil, artichoke hearts, ketchup, canned olives...everything I needed was right there. Sure, it didn't have my favorite brands or any flashy labels but the prices were right. I paid:

$1.29 for a giant bag of sharp shredded cheese
2.49 for quality brand hard salami cubes
5.49 for a cup of real crab meat
7.72 for 2 super nice looking ny strip steaks
5.99 for a family sized giant bag of frozen beef crumbles
1/2 gallon of milk was 1.59
bread was 79 cents
and a 12 pack of mt frost (knock off of mountain dew) was $2.29.

All in all, my cart was piled high with 51 total items and my grand total was $105.05. Now please take note of several things ~ I had real vegetables, lots of meats, lots of dairy and some unique more costly items (crab meat, artichokes, etc), this is for a family of 3 for 2 weeks including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and drinks, and I had a lot of "staple" items that needed replaced due to moving. I still feel that a cart full of the stuff I had at a regular store would have cost me easily $140-$180. Especially Giant Eagle or Weis. Now for the fun part....some recommendations on what we have liked so far~ EVERYTHING!

My SO claims that Aldi's Mt Frost brand of soda is even better than the real Mt. Dew! And cheaper too! The butter, sour cream, olive oil, garlic and other condiments taste just like the usual. The vegetables were fresh and clean....mushrooms were awesome. The 2 NY strips were fresh and pink..tasted great (had them for dinner tonight), the salami cubes are banging, and the tortilla chips (99cents) taste just like Tostitos. We also grabbed 2bags of boneless in mild and one in barbecue. My SO said he thought they tasted just like boneless wings from KFC..which I guess is a good thing. Each bag has plenty of servings and would be awesome for a party appetizer...the bag was $7.49 which to us is way cheaper than going to KFC! The Granger crumbled beef was also fantastic and I have enough for a family pot of chili and a taco night!

I also broke down some of the meals we had recently....for anyone who hasn't been convinced yet maybe this will help!

Homemade chili with sweet corn muffins ~ 7 servings @ $1.08 each
NY Strip steaks and sauteed mushrooms with broccoli and baked potato sides ~ 3 servings at $4.00 each
Elegant Crab dip and chips ~ 8 servings at 96 cents each..perfect for a party ~ we still have tons leftover!
Bag of boneless wings ~ 4 large servings (meal sized servings) at $1.87 each
Spaghetti with spinach and cheese sauce and garlic bread ~5 servings at 65 cents each

We calculate our servings as in it feeds the 3 of us plus we get x amt of leftover servings out of it. Usually we take leftover for the lunch the next day.

Very impressed with Aldi's ~ will be going back again!

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