[UPDATE 2018: I now LOVE Aldi! The produce quality is much better where we currently live, and in my area it’s a challenge to get great deals with coupon matchups — plus, I’m just not willing to put the time in to find those deals and keep up with coupons.]
We recently had an Aldi Grocery Store open in a neighborhood near us. I had heard such great things, so I went in this week to check it out.
I have one word for you…
First of all, you have to put a quarter deposit in to use a buggy. I was a little taken aback, but since I planned only to scout out the store I didn’t bother with it. As I entered the store I checked the prices of items I typically buy. Here is a summary:
Dry Goods-I noticed that snack foods were priced about $.20-$.30 cheaper than Walmart, but many of the packages are smaller than the ones at Walmart. Most other foods were about the same or even more than Walmart prices. Pudding was $.49 a box, which is a little higher than Walmart when I last checked ($.44). Peanuts were the same ($1.99), coffee was regular price and canned vegetables were around the same price. I did notice a great price on 30 gallon trashbags- 20 for $2.49 which is at least $1.00 cheaper than Walmart.
Dairy- They did have very good prices on milk ($1.49/gallon) and eggs ($.79/dozen). The cheese was about the same as Walmart and the butter was marked cheaper than Walmart ($1.89) but rang up at $1.99.
Produce– The prices were good for the most part, but the produce was VERY poor quality. Strawberries were marked $.69 but EVERY package had mold or rotten strawberries. I was glad that I had picked up my strawberries at Kroger for $1.88. Avocados were $.49, but they were either too soft to be eaten or so rock hard that I was afraid they might not ripen. I did pick up a 3lb bag of Golden Delicious apples for $1.69 and a 4lb bag of navel oranges for $1.19.
Meat and Frozen Foods- About the same as Walmart with a few items being priced higher (bacon for example). The exceptions were the 16 oz bags of frozen vegetables at $.95 each. The Walmart price is around $1.09 to $1.19 at my store.
Check out: Aldi is so low cost that they don’t provide bags for you. Not a big deal to bring your own (especially with all the free ones Publix has been giving out lately with coupons), but something you definitely want to know ahead of time.
They also don’t take credit cards, debit cards or checks-cash only. It would have been nice if there were a sign to this effect when I entered the store. Thankfully I had cash on me. The cashier, however, did not. She could not make change for a $20 after only 2 customers.
Conclusion: If you are in the area and need milk, eggs or cheese curls stop by. Otherwise, don’t bother. The prices are not low enough to make up for the inconveniences.
NOTE: I was informed that they DO take Debit Cards. You can read my Aldi Update here.