Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Testimonials.......Part III


       This weeks obsession focuses on shopping smarter. As the economy continues to play teeter totter, I'm always looking for ways to get more for less. About a year ago I decided to give ALDI's a try and I was beyond pleasantly surprised. 

      Now for those of you not familiar with ALDI they are a chain of stores that feature very low cost grocery items. In order to do this, they have to be a little different from typical grocery stores. For instance they have very little advertising, don't take coupons and offer a very limited amount of name brand items and most of those seem to be buy out items from bigger name stores. In addition they don't take credit cards - cash or debit only. They don't offer bags for your groceries (you can buy their reusable bags or you can make due with an empty cardboard box that you take from their piles of leftover packaging.) Oh,and you pay a quarter for a shopping cart. Don't panic, you get it back.... when you return your cart. This pretty much ensures that you'll return the cart to its home, so they also don't have to pay anyone to chase carts in the parking lot. Pretty smart huh?

Where else can you get can you get so much for such a low price?
Recent shopping trip netted me 34 items for $45.79 (not one item over $4.00).

Highlights of the list included:

Bag of baking potatoes
Coffee Creamer
Pita Chips
Baby Carrots
Pint of Blueberries
Bag of Spinach
Dill pickles (spears and sliced)
12 cans of tomato sauce (Donation for our church's food pantry.)
Cottage Cheese
Shredded Mozzarella
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Blue Cheese Crumbles (yes there is a cheese obsession in my house - please try not to judge)
1 lemon
Aluminum foil
Bottle of Fish Oil Capsules

I've found that buying a majority of my food purchases here cuts our monthly bill substantially, thereby meaning I only go to the major grocery store for the items I can't live without.

      I've also found that there are many items that I prefer from ALDI. I love McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning, but I'm the first to admit it can be a little pricey. ALDI has their own brand which is about half the cost of the name brand. I find the same with their crackers, olive oil, pita chips and ground turkey. For you chocolate lovers, they have a huge selection of really good quality European chocolates. In addition they carry whole wheat pasta, frozen fruit, salmon filets, steak, shrimp and spring salad mixes. They also have their own line of healthier options known as Fit and Active as well as their very own skin care/beauty line know as Lacura.

    Now they do have their limitations. For example if there is a specific name brand item that you are attached to, you're probably not going to find it there. If you do, it's most likely a buy out item (like my recent find of an organic granola cereal that was half the cost of the regular grocery store price. I stocked up on it knowing it won't be there the next time I go.) My wish list for items I'd like to see them carry would be Greek Yogurt, veggie burgers, broccoli slaw and all natural peanut butter. But for the everyday staples of milk, eggs, bread, vegetables and fruit, you can't find a better deal. 

Next week I'll tell you about my love affair with Wegman's (where I go for the things I can't find at ALDI and when I want a little pampering. :)


  1. We don't have an Aldi near us, but I have heard great things about them. My go to for quality and savings is Trader Joe's.

    I'm a cheese hound, too, and they have the best cheeses for the least $.

    Wegman's is amazing but VERY pricey. I need to have a strict list when I got there... they know how to suck the $ out of you!
    I'll be interested to hear your review.

  2. @ Barbara -

    I'm really glad I gave ALDI a try. Buying a majority of my staple items there means that I can afford to go to Wegmans for the few things I can't get at ALDI. They are pricier but I love their quality and customer service.

    Oh and we'd love to have a Trader Joe's too. :)

  3. We have been shopping at Aldi's now for some time. I too have discovered the Lacura face cream (for mature skin) and absolutely love it! I may try some of their other products as well. To treat ourselves we will have an "appetizer" of shrimp cocktail and use their own brand of cocktail sauce. The shrimp are very inexpensive. We do the bulk of our shopping at Aldi's and then get some items at Wegmans that we can't get there. Love their chocolate selection too. BTW...you should really have that cheese addiction looked at....

  4. BTW.....who are the fish oil capsules for?????

  5. @ Jackie -

    Their dark chocolate is the best :) I've tried their leave in hair conditioner (which I liked) and their lip balms (which I didn't really like.) But I haven't tried anything else in the makeup/skin care line but the prices seem really great. I saw a review on the line once in USA today and they loved it.

    The fish oil caplets are for me silly. They're good for you!

  6. I do like their dark chocolate...the milk chocolate is good too. I will have to try the rest of the Lacura skin care line (except the lip balms).

    I didn't realize that fish oil caplets are good for you????