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Can Someone Explain Aldi's to Me?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
We don't have them in our area, but I'm completely curious. Wikipedia has a big write-up of Aldi's, but I'm still left wondering what I'm missing. Before I started reading about it here all I had ever heard about it was a mother on another (non-parenting/non-frugal related) board ducking her head to admit that she shops there. But mamas here don't seem to have any shame at all. Is it like Save-A-Lot? We have one here...but I get the sense that Aldi's is better than Save-A-Lot. Is it?

Supermarketly yours,
Totally Curious
post #2 of 56
Lets see, you put a quarter deposit for use of the shopping cart. They have some cheap items (often the same price as WM) you bag up your own groceries and you bring in your own boxes or bags or you pay for them 5-10 cents depending on paper or plastic. I do like their produce and dairy prices but that's about it.
post #3 of 56
sav-a-lot and aldi's are basically the same tier of grocery stores, low overhead, private label merchandise, no advertisings, bring your own bags, pay with cash, etc, etc
post #4 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denvergirlie View Post
sav-a-lot and aldi's are basically the same tier of grocery stores, low overhead, private label merchandise, no advertisings, bring your own bags, pay with cash, etc, etc
When you say Private Label Merchandise--do you mean brand-names that you've never heard of? That was what turned me off of Save-a-Lot...I just don't do well with off-brand name stuff. That, and everytime I walk in the Save-a-Lot I feel like I've entered a city-warp...that I'm not in my same progressively cool town, that I'm in some scary nightmare shuffly-old-man scape that I've never heard of.
post #5 of 56
Yes, on the name brands never heard of...

I do some shopping at Aldis (or will when the one closest to me re-opens - closed due to flood damage). I can get some staple items there for less than any other store in my area - olive oil, parmesan cheese, butter, some jar/can goods. Sometimes they have clothing or toy items. They always have good dark chocolate. They are not my favorite store, but they make my budget feasible.
post #6 of 56
I just moved to an area with Aldis. They seem to carry one brand (theirs, I think) of items. So, there is one box of cornflakes, frosted miniwheats, frsoted flakes, etc. - not Post and Kellogs and Quaker and etc. Same with everything in the store, one brand of peanut butter, one brand of salsa, one brand of crackers, etc. Everything is out in bins or pallets for the most part. They have produce (bagged - not weighed at checkout) and dairy, frozen, canned, boxed, etc. stuff. Very little household stuff like cleaners, detergent, etc.

The price and quality seem very good, IMHO. I have made 2 trips in 2 months and have stocked up on pantry items while there.
post #7 of 56
They are a German-owned company (I think?), so they have all kinds of German specialty items at different times of the year. Around the holidays there are lots of fun items (yummy chocolates, almond roca, stollen, spice cookies,etc.). I also love the German dark flat breads and the herring in sauce. They also carry some good wines and beer that are very reasonably priced.

Re the offbrand thing: oftentimes the off-brands are made by the same producers that make the more well-known brands, but just with the Aldi label. For example, at the Aldi where my folks live, the local "Swiss Valley" milk producers provide their milk, but it has the Aldi "Friendly" label.
post #8 of 56
I love Aldi. I shopped there when we lived in Germany and I shop there now. I think their products are great for the price. If someone feels like Aldi is beneath them and ducking their heads to go in there, then the joke's on them. Sure, people who cannot afford name-brand items shop there for the deals, but the quality is excellent. They have a double-guarantee where if you find you don't like something, you return it and you get double your money back. No, it's not organic, yes things like flour are bleached white flour, but they have some really great items. I get my oil, eggs (when I can't buy local), produce (when I can't buy local or it's not in my garden), coffee (sooooo delicious), frozen veggies (you can buy haricot verts for 99 cents and elsewhere you'd pay $3 for a bag!!!), frozen fish, canned items. We certainly don't "have" to shop there, from a financial standpoint, but we love saving money and getting good quality. Aldi has that. They also pay their workers a living wage. Part-time job (not sure if it was stock or cashier), I saw several months ago in an ad, was over $15/hr.
post #9 of 56
Not only are they a german owned company, but they are the same partent company that owns Trader Joes.
post #10 of 56
I love Aldi's too. I also don't "need" to shop there because of finances, but I'm frugal by nature. I'm not hung up on name brands and I don't feel strange going there.

There is some name brand stuff, but most of their stuff is house brand. But it's generally very good, and they have an awesome refund policy if you don't like it, or so I've heard. I've never gotten anything I didn't like.
I can't comment on Save A Lot, as we don't have them. Aldi's doesn't have a huge range of things.

But I go there every other week or so and stock up on basics. I love the baking supplies, cooking oils, vinegars, canned tomato products, spaghetti (they have great whole wheat pastas) and sauce, butter, eggs, rice, beans, tortillas, ice cream, condiments, coffee, coffee filters, frozen fish, and some produce. They have absolutely the best chocolate ever. The trash bags, aluminum foil, food storage bags and cat litter are great.
post #11 of 56
I am familar with Aldi's from living in Germany as well as having one in our area since 1991-ish.

My mom loves Aldi for the produce, which is crazy cheap compared to the more traditional grocery stores.

I don't find much when I do stop (it is out of my way, about a 20-25 minute round trip) but once in while find oil or such.

I don't buy a lot of packaged foods like box mixes, frozen meats, etc. so I am probably not Aldi's target customer.

The store is very popular in my area and has a reputation as a good employer.
post #12 of 56
I like our Aldi's, too.

They have great chocolate, and at Christmas time, they sell the best chocolate truffles ever. For like $2 a box. It's a great bargain.

Around here, they sell Atlanta dairies milk. I see the AD truck in the Aldi's parking lot--it's just packaged as Aldi "friendly" milk. And the buttermilk has the Atlanta Dairy label. I'm sure many of other their products are identical to name brand ones, too.
post #13 of 56
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post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
They have great chocolate, and at Christmas time, they sell the best chocolate truffles ever. For like $2 a box. It's a great bargain.
OMG how could I forget to mention the above. 2nd the cholocate recommendation.

In fact, after my parents divorced, my aunt was thinking aloud one day about missing the chocolate my dad would always have around the house. She couldn't believe it when I said "you mean the stuff he buys at Aldi's?"

She thought is was something terribly expensive and hard to get as opposed to being available at a store she drives by 2x per day.
post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogWife View Post
When you say Private Label Merchandise--do you mean brand-names that you've never heard of? That was what turned me off of Save-a-Lot...I just don't do well with off-brand name stuff.
Off brands are often (though not always) the exact same product in a different package...as in they're made by the same people and then sold to different distributors.
post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogWife View Post
When you say Private Label Merchandise--do you mean brand-names that you've never heard of?

Depends on what you mean by "never heard of"....

Since I shop at Aldi's weekly, I have heard of Friendly Farms Dairy, Fit & Active, Cambridge, Clancy's, etc.

I find that while most of their products are not identical to the name brands, I prefer the texture and flavor of Aldi's products. Not to mention the price.

I : Aldi's!
post #17 of 56
Since someone mentioned it, their fit and active brand is a health food brand that is actually pretty good. It's nice to see lower fat/healthier options in a non name brand price.

I agree with everyone that they are really good for stocking up your pantry. I don't go as often because I've found a surplus store I can do all my shopping at at once, but I still go into aldi's from time to time when running low. It's true that they aren't always the most eco friendly choice in terms of being local or organic, but they are friendly as in you bring your own bags, etc. And a lot of products are lower packaging.
post #18 of 56
We buy all our alcohol at Aldis. DH loves beer and wine, but we cant afford it, but they have wine called Winking Owl for 2.99 a bottle, and I can usually make an exception for that here and there. I dont like wine, but DH does and he is totally happy with it. We have also bout their knock off bottled beer and everyone seems happy with it.
post #19 of 56
aldi's is SOOOOO much better than save a lot.
post #20 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
aldi's is SOOOOO much better than save a lot.

That's what I'm thinking, I wish we had one! It doubt Aldi's sells 3-liter bottles of Diet Bubba Soda like at Save-a-Lot. /hurl/
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