Aldi grocery stores seem to have been popping up all over our area and I’ve been anxious to visit one. I’ve read that they’re supposed to have very good prices and was anxious to compare them to my normal grocery store.
Tips Before You Go:
*Bring a quarter as you need one to get a cart. You get the quarter back when you return the cart and I actually got another quarter when I put another cart away.
*You can’t use credit cards to pay. They take debit cards and cash (I’m unsure about checks). This is an issue for me as I’m one of those people that uses a credit card for almost every purchase, then pays it off at the end of the month so I don’t have to carry much cash.
*They don’t take coupons. They carry a lot of off-brands, so there aren’t coupons available for most of their brands anyway.
*Bring your own bags to bag your groceries.
My first impressions of the store were that it was a “no-nonsense” store. (This is NOT Byerly’s/Lund’s!!) There’s not a lot of choice. Mostly, there’s one brand of each item and it’s typically an off-brand. (I’ve read that their off-brands are good quality, though I haven’t tried most of them myself). The lay-out is not logical to me, but it could be that I’m just not used to the store. It’s a rather small store, but since there’s only brand of each item they carry, they don’t need a lot of room! They don’t carry much for specialized items either. For example, I needed bread flour. They didn’t have it. They just had all-purpose flour.
Having said all that, their prices were lower than my typical grocery store if I didn’t use coupons. For example, a gallon of milk (any kind) was $2 and a dozen eggs were .99. Their produce was good also with strawberries $1.69/pint (though when the employee brought out a case of them, they disappeared in 30 seconds, so they had a very limited supply). We also got bananas for .49/lb. That’s a whole lot cheaper than I can get them anywhere else, besides Sam’s Club. Their brown sugar was $1.19, which in my area is an excellent buy, but they only had the light version.
Would I go back? Probably, but not on a regular basis. If I just needed produce, eggs, and/or milk, I’d consider it. But, for my regular grocery run, no. I can get name brand groceries and pay with coupons and save more than what I’d pay at Aldi’s. And, I tend to be a brand name snob. Also, it’s location is somewhat out of the way for me. I pass Rainbow Food, 2 Cub Foods, Super Target, 2 CVS’s and a Sam’s Club on the way, so I’m more apt to stop at one of those stores instead. If I was on a restricted budget and didn’t use coupons, then I would consider frequenting Aldi’s on a regular basis.
Have you been to Aldi’s? What has been your impression?