Monday, May 28, 2012

My First Trip To Aldi: Why I loved and hated it

Can you believe I've never been to Aldi? For those of you not from theses parts, it's a grocery store. Two reasons why: 1. I have always lived closer to other grocery stores and 2. I have always lived closer to other grocery stores. 

Well, I was talking with my girlfriends about milk prices, because once you are married with children that's the sort of thing you talk about. Anyway, my one friend says "I get milk at Aldi because it's always under $3."   Two days later, I was pulling a gallon of milk from The Boutique cooler, quite pleased because that it was on sale, when a co-shopper says "I hate that I don't have time to go to Aldi. Milk is never this high."  It's not like I go around wondering if I've been given a sign, but clearly, you can see that I was being told "Go to Aldi."  So I did.

First off, if you decide to go, take a quarter. You have to stick a quarter in your shopping cart to get it out of the line, and you don't get it back until you return it to the cart rack. It's really quite slick because the quarter contraption in right on your cart handle. No loose carts in the parking lot (that's one of the 28 reasons I hate that other discount store with the blue carts. They have carts all over their stinkin' lots. There are not enough cart returns so people just leave them wherever- which seems to always be right along side my car door). If you do not have a quarter you will be crabby that you drove right by the very close grocery store to try out this new mysterious one. Luckily, I found one on the floor of the car.

Second, don't get all excited that you are going to find hummus and that delicious pre-made Wholly Quacamole or fancy olive oils or maybe even pre-made turkey sausage at extra low prices. They don't even have those things. Also- no need to take coupons. They don't have brand name stuff that coupons are made for.

What they do have is one kind of each product. You want ketchup? One kind. You want salad dressing? One brand.  What they also have is the same produce that The Boutique has at HALF the price. WHAT?! That's right. They don't have fancy displays, they don't have a bakery. They don't have a deli. But you know what, I'll go back. In fact, I think I'll try to go back the entire month of June just to compare my monthly spending.  My guess is that by shopping somewhere that doesn't also sell really cute kids clothes, that my "grocery" bill will be cut in half.

And the last thing I loved, besides no brainer decisions, great prices and a clean parking lot? No plastic bags. You have to bring your own. I didn't bring any. We had a good laugh at the weekly load just piled in back of my go-getter. This totally appeals to my inner granola girl that has bought countless re-usable bags that have been eagerly awaiting use, while collecting dust in the laundry room.

So, I guess I loved more than I hated. I can see that this isn't for everyone (specifically, I'm thinking of one of my favorite people whose motto is: I don't care if you make me drive a mini-van- just don't make me shop at a big box store).  But I totally dug it. And dig it. And so forth....and whatnot.

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