After writing my post on Store Brand vs. Name Brand I have been dying to get into the Aldi that opened just down the road from us in March. Yesterday I had my first opportunity to visit and here is a little bit about Aldi and an explanation of my experience there.
Aldi is a discount grocery store chain that started in Germany somewhere around 1913. Aldi operates in the US, UK, parts of Europe, and Australia. There is over 1,000 stores operating in the United States carrying approximately 1,400 items. The majority of the items at Aldi are store brands owned by Aldi. There were a few name brand items like pringles and grape nuts.
When you first pull up to an Aldi store you notice the small size of the store and the lack of cart return areas. All of the carts at Aldi are stationed by the front door and are daisy chained together. In order to obtain a shopping cart you must first insert a quarter into a small recepticle on the cart to release it from the chain. When you have finished shopping and return the cart you get your quarter back.
The food in Aldi is basically just stacked in the boxes it came in. This particular Aldi funnels you past the chips and snacks to get into the store and you are then free to browse the five or six aisles they have. They provide a limited supply of meat, eggs, and dairy. In addition to food they carry some sundries and other random things. They had trees and some small electronics on this particular visit. When you go to check out be prepared to pay for bags or bring your own, you are also going to have to do all of the bag filling. The pressure was on for me at this point, the lady at the register moved faster than Flash Gordon and just tosses the items directly into the cart, at least she was gentle with the eggs. Paying required the use of cash or a debit card, no credit cards allowed. In all it was a good experience, just crowded due to the small size of the store and we haven’t actually eaten anything we bought there yet.
After we finished at Aldi we went and completed our shopping list at Walmart, while we were there we checked the prices on the items we were able to get at Aldi.
|Item||Aldi Price||Walmart Price||Variance|
|Generic Corn Chex||$2.19||$2.16||+ $0.03|
|Chunk Pineapple||$0.89||$1.00||– $0.11|
|Shredded Mozarella||$3.29||$2.98||+ $0.31|
|Unsalted Butter||$1.49||$2.50||– $1.01|
|Large Eggs||$0.49||$1.46||– $0.97|
|1 Gal 2% Milk||$2.19||$3.22||– $1.03|
|Cream of Chicken Soup||$0.49||$0.78||– $0.29|
While there were a few items we picked up which actually cost me more at Aldi, overall there were significant savings for things like milk , eggs, and butter. If you live near an Aldi and have never been in before I recommend stopping by and at least buying your milk and eggs there.