Monday, November 5, 2012

I heart Aldi's...

YEARS ago (before the 'joys' of shopping with kids) when Jake and I bought our first house in OKC we lived very close to this grocery store called Aldi's...I had heard it was super cheap so I thought I would give it a try one shopping didn't go so one had explained to me how it all worked.  I walked up to the store and tried to pull a cart out, but I couldn't because they were chained together! WHAT!? how the heck was i going to get a cart!  Finally someone walked up with a cart, let me have theirs and explained to me about how you needed a quarter to get a cart but as soon as your done, if you hook the cart back up then you get the quarter back....ooooooooo K...whatever. So I continued on with the shopping trip.  I was very confused, I wondered why the there was NO one there, why the aisles were so wide, and why the store was so simple that there was only 3 aisles to the whole store!? (did i mention this was before having kids...since then I have learned how AMAZING those facts are about Aldi's is).  I had a huge list of all sort of items, food, toiletries, cleaning products, etc ..and sure I found most of them there(all 'off' brands I had never heard of)...but I was frustrated by the fact that I still had to run to walmart across the street afterward for the items that were not available at Aldi's...and kinda had decided that the trip was a waste and that I would not be coming back...and that was even before I got to check out and realized that they ONLY took cash (that was before our 'cash only' days...and they actually now DO take debit cards) AND that I had to BUY my own bags! (that was also pre environmental days when the only people bringing their own shopping bags were the crazy hippies;) Lets just say I didn't go back to do my shopping there...and in turn became a Target-obsessed grocery shopper, and have been buying my 'archer farms' brand food (and an occasional cute tank top or shoes) for years.  Well, a few months ago Jake and I decided that it was time to re-work our budget and the two places we agreed needed cut back was grocery and eating out.  I had never been a couponer (although I am getting into it now!!) so my only thought was to try out Aldis again...I remembered all the 'rules' so I was prepared and ready!!  The first thing I noticed was the double seats in the shopping carts!!!  You can not find those anywhere! I also noticed that my fairly large shopping trip was done in a matter of minutes and hardly any stress (which is a normal thing shopping in a LARGE super market with a 1 and 3 year old).  I was super impressed that the milk was hormone free and they had a number of select certified organic products!  The produce selection was AMAZING (although no organic) and although everything is 'off brand' we have found everything (but their yogurt...we were NOT fans)  is very comparable!  Even after such a great experience ..I still had to run to target for a few things (I just cant bring myself to step away from our Target organic meats, yo-baby yogurt, etc) i really wanted to know if I actually was saving any money and if it was worth going to 2 places.....SOOOOO for everyone's convenience (and of course for my reference) I made up a pretend grocery list (with normal things we buy) and went up and down the aisles of both stores and wrote down all the prices! I was so pleased to see that I WAS saving money at Aldis!  So, with no further adeu...

Item                               Aldi's/Target(all target 'off brand' items)
wheat thins                    1.29/2.54
veggie straws                 1.69/2.99
graham crackers            1.49/2.99
4-pack orange cups       1.59/1.84
cinnamon crunch          1.99/2.99
gallon of milk               2.39/2.69
dozen eggs                    1.39/1.69
24-pack water bottles   2.29/2.99
carton of strawberries    1.79/2.59
bananas                        .44 a lb/.52 a lb
bag of red potatoes        2.99/4.49
carton of red grapes     2.79(0.99per lb)/4.99
box of eggos                1.29/2.99
popcorn(6 bags)          1.49/2.99
sugar                           2.29/2.69
brown sugar                1.39/1.49
baking soda                .49/.69
baking powder           .99/1.59
cream cheese(8oz block) .99/1.99
butter                           1.99(on sale)/2.49
bag of baby carrots      1.19/1.79
iceburg lettuce              .99/1.24
loaf of wheat bread     1.39/1.99
laughing cow babybell 2.99/3.49
'    ' spreadable cheese  2.49/3.59
frozen peas (16oz)      .99/1.14
ice cream                    2.69/3.29
apple juice                 1.49/2.44

Total bill difference    47.27/69.20
(without taxes)