New Englanders: Aldi or Market Basket (Aldi unfamiliarity question) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 09-04-2011, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just wondering, because I have been hearing so much about Aldi, and found out there is one about a half hour away from me. I usually shop Market Basket and haven't ever been to Aldi. I'm curious, for instance, how much do they sell pasta/pound, toilet paper per roll, that kind of thing.


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#2 of 18 Old 09-05-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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Aldi posts their weekly fliers on their web site: http://www.aldi.us/

 

 

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#3 of 18 Old 09-05-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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I love Aldi!! Very few name brand products, but it is pretty easy to tell from the packaging who the manufacturer is. I haven't tried the frozen "convience" food type items, but I have good luck with the other things they have. Check out the prices in their ads.

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#4 of 18 Old 09-05-2011, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I saw the ad, I just wondered in general if I ought to save up all my grocery-type items for a monthly shop or something!


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#5 of 18 Old 09-06-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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No Market Basket near me so I can't compare...

I went to Aldi's once & hated it... primarily because I filled up my cart and went through checkout before I realized they don't take credit cards & had to put everything back!! (I don't carry cash, have no debit card, use credit for everything & pay it off at the end of the month...) So make sure you bring cash and a quarter for your carriage. I don't remember if you had to pay for bags.

It is a very small store (at least the one near me is). There were 4 aisles... the first was all junk food. The produce section was minuscule (about 8' square section in the back corner of the store), but the prices were very comparable to other low-cost groceries around here (Price Rite, for ex.) and looked to be in good shape. It looked like they had a lot of frozen/canned stuff. I don't know, we're vegan & don't really buy much prepackaged stuff, so I tend to buy mostly produce -- so there just wasn't much in the store that I was interested in. It was almost like a large convenience store. I can't imagine driving 1/2 an hour to go there, it just wouldn't be worth it, there are lots of similarly-priced stores around here with much wider selection.

Also, they put their produce in individual packaging (i.e. a 3-pack of zucchini). I've heard they are owned by the same company as Trader Joe's which also does that... It drives me crazy that they do that lol. But I have also heard (but not confirmed) that you can get some TJ's items at Aldi -- minus the TJ label, and a bit cheaper -- if that's a draw for you!

So basically, I was not a fan, but also never gave it a second chance since I don't like cash. If you plan a trip there, you may want to plan a trip to another grocery store on your way home, in case you aren't able to get everything you need. But maybe you will have better luck than I did!!

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#6 of 18 Old 09-06-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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I find their prices on many foods very cheap compared to other off brands but if you are concerned about high fructose corn syrup and such, you will need to watch the ingredients.

 

We buy the following from them:

butter

black olives

cereal

cheese

some specialty foods like water chesnuts and sauces (they don't always have these things)

crackers

chips

milk

fruit leather

frozen pizza

fruit popcicles

tomato paste

 

I use Aldis for when money is tight and I need to stock up on stuff. I find most of their products to be a good quality and it can save me a lot of money. I am not a fan of their meats but will buy salami and a few other prepackaged stuff. I love their chocolate. I think it is worth checking them out. Make sure to bring reuseable bags, a quarter and cash. I spend between 60 and 120 depending on how much stocking up I am doing.


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#7 of 18 Old 09-06-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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There has been an Aldi's in my area for years and years and I was familar with the chain from my time in Germany. 

 

I know a lot of people who absolutely love it but they all also shop somewhere else, like they will go there for bananas, milk and juice on the way to the "real" grocery store to get the rest of the stuff they need. 

 

I get good reports on the fruits and veggies but as cruncy mentioned, all produce is packaged which turns me off as I don't need or want to manage an entire bag of peppers when I know I will only use one.  (Apparently this practice is to reduce bruising and waste.)

 

The one in my area is small and I stop in occasionally.  The bags are 6 cents each and the store does accept debit cards, not sure about credit cards.  I like their chocolates, nuts, trail mixes and some of their house brands for pasta, crackers and such.  There is lots of packaged, prepared foods, side dishes in boxes,


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#8 of 18 Old 09-06-2011, 08:22 AM
 
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I like Aldi's when I'm going to bake a lot, as their prices on baking staples are good.

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#9 of 18 Old 09-06-2011, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting. So it's cheaper than TJs but you also have to deal with some annoyances. I lived in Italy and actually loved the quarter for the cart which returns to you when you return it, and I love paying for bags, as that encourages bring your own.


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#10 of 18 Old 09-06-2011, 11:25 AM
 
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I love Aldi's in the summer for kid snacks. Granola bars (junky ones and Kaski knockoffs), popsicles, fruit leather, ice cream cone treats and berries. The produce is really cheap and as long as you eat the blueberries and strawberries quick, they are great.

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#11 of 18 Old 09-06-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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what are the name of the kashi knock off granola bars?


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#12 of 18 Old 09-06-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosemaryS-F View Post

and I love paying for bags, as that encourages bring your own.


Very true, I tend to forget mine at many stores but almost NEVER forget them at the bag-your-own places (and when I do forget them, we load the food into the car bagless lol).

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#13 of 18 Old 09-06-2011, 08:56 PM
 
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I just shopped at Aldi today.

They accept debit as well as cash.

I am a from scratch cook with mostly whole foods and I get most of my animal products from a local farmer. I use Aldi for
Pretzels
Organic blue corn chips
mozzarella
cheddar
havarti
cream cheese
Smoked salmon
Frozen slender green beans
Dried pinto beans
Tortillas
crackers
Some produce
Alaskan salmon
Flour
sugars
Baking soda
Vinegar
Chocolate chips
pecans
Marshmallows and crispy rice for treats
tissue
Garbage bags
foil
zip bags
Chocolate bars and assortments
White German wines

The prices are incredible and they guarantee satisfaction.

I'd try it if I were you.
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#14 of 18 Old 09-07-2011, 05:44 AM
 
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Our Aldi is too small and far away to justify making a trip for us. Although I thought their prices were good, they were not significantly cheaper than the store brand at our local grocery. Also it was heavy on packaged and frozen foods so like a pp said we would still have to go to another store, which with our gas prices pretty much negates any savings. Since you mentioned yours is 30 minutes away I don't know if it is worth it unless you go to that area frequently, but maybe the once a month idea would work.


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#15 of 18 Old 09-07-2011, 06:48 AM
 
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The cans of black beans are super great. I think they are $.59 a can and they are super good.  When you dump out the can into a strainer, there isn't all that gloppy glop in the bottom.  The only thing in them is beans, water and salt.

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#16 of 18 Old 09-07-2011, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cool. Is anyone here familiar with Market Basket who can compare the two? We have a nice (new) MB where I live and I shop there exclusively because the deals are great. Sometimes people complain that MBs are run down and "dirty"--some actually really are, but ours is new and quite nice, plus it is in a comparatively small town. Any comparisons would be great! For instance, at Market Basket, I get extra sharp cheddar for $3.33/lb, beans are .60/lb, pasta .99/lb, apples .99/lb, whole Springer Farms chickens are $1.89/lb (I try really hard to buy natural meats that are humanely raised. Can't always, but try.) What is their meat like? Thanks so much for all the info so far!


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#17 of 18 Old 09-07-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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I do almost all the shopping and cooking for my family, and I absolutely LOVE Aldi!

 

As others have already said in their comments, there are some great buys there, but some pitfalls as well. In talking with other Aldi shoppers, I've found that the quality of produce and store cleanliness varies from store to store.

 

And while I've generally been pleased with the quality of the products I've bought there, there are also things that I've been greatly disappointed in and would never, ever buy again.

 

I've recently started documenting my experiences at Aldi on a blog - check it out when you have a chance...Cheers!

 

http://aldishopper.blogspot.com/

 

 

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#18 of 18 Old 09-07-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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I've found that fresh meat is one of the things Aldi doesn't do so well - they have a very limited range and the quality is generally not what I can get at other stores. Their prices are not really that competitive with other stores also.

 

I DO buy ground beef there, and their boneless fresh chicken breasts are usually, but not always, a good buy.

 

I'll also occasionally run across discounted packages - such as "$1 OFF", "$5 OFF", and so on. These packages are usually still 2 or 3 days away from the "pull by date", so I'll stock up when I find them. They've been perfectly good.

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