Let me tell you a story about the first time I went grocery shopping at ALDI. It began as I’m sure most trips do there- at the grocery cart coral, as I tried to figure out how to retrieve my cart after inserting a quarter to, essentially, rent it. Momentarily, I felt really stupid and a little frustrated. That is until a kind older man approached me with a smile on his face, “You trying to get that buggy out?” “Yes, I’m new here. Obviously,” I smiled back. He showed me how it worked and gave me a knowing “we’ve all been there once” look.
Now, this sponsored post is supposed to be all about my experience in the store, buying, and using the products, and I’ll definitely get to that, but I think it’s worth noting that so much of my first trip through those aisles was peppered with genuinely kind interactions with other customers and store employees. And, no, nobody knew I was there to report back to all of you.
So, as I mentioned in my last post about ALDI, I know a lot of my friends and family and readers are big fans, but despite one opening near us not too long ago, I just never got around to visiting our local ALDI. Safe to say, though, I’ll be going back regularly now.
I mean, you guys, even just for the savings on stuff we pack for the kids’ lunches! We make 13 school lunches a week, and stuff like organic fruit snacks really add up when we shop at other stores.
Who am I kidding? Like these are only for lunches? The kids go through fruit snacks and cheese sticks like water, especially when their friends are over.
I was also so happy to see organic milk for much less than we’re paying for it at any other store in our neighborhood because we go through a lot of that, too.
I wound up getting nearly a week’s worth of groceries for just a little over $100. We already had meat for the week and some produce, so I didn’t have to spend on that, but I did stock up on a lot of pantry staples like sugar and muffin mixes for breakfast. Um, and also some chocolate candy. For me.
Quick newbie note- in addition to needing to bring a quarter to “rent” your cart (you get the quarter back when you return the cart), you’ll either need to bring your own bags or pay to buy theirs.
Per usual, I forgot my own bags because my brain is practically pouring out of my head lately (it’s like pregnancy liquidates the cells), but I was able to buy paper bags for a nominal cost. You do have to bag your own groceries, but there was a convenient area right near the checkout in my store.
A reader actually had a great suggestion to bring laundry baskets with you. I will definitely have to (try to remember to) do that next time.
I’ve said before that I don’t like to sacrifice the quality of our food to save money, and I really don’t think that I have. We’ve been eating what I purchased at ALDI all week, and I haven’t noticed a difference. Their sparkling water is a perfect substitute for my (other fancy name brand sparkling water) addiction! We are going to save sooooo much money.
In some ways, the quality of the food is probably better than the name brands we’re used to purchasing. Their SimplyNature line is free of 125 artificial ingredients, all organic and non-GMO. Plus, ALDI is continuing to expand its organic options and is removing all pesticides and growth hormones from their private label products.
So yes, we will be back! Often. I’m glad I finally got through those doors to give it a try, and that next time I’ll be a pro at renting my cart and bagging my own groceries. Now, if you’re an ALDI fan, you need to tell me what I absolutely have to add to my next shopping list. Go!