Dec 06 2007

Aldi only?


A few months ago, I was shopping at as many as four groceries: Giant Eagle, Kuhn’s, Shop n’ Save, and Aldi.

To catch all stores, it took about 2 hours, including driving time. That’s an awful lot of time!

The last few weeks, I’ve just gone to Aldi. Now that there’s a new store near me, it’s really been worthwhile to visit it.

I’ve found that the prices are low, quality is high, and since the store is small, it doesn’t take as long to get everything on my shopping list.

Today, it took me 23 minutes from the time I walked in the store to the time I walked out.

I didn’t have to mess with coupons or try to calculate the best value for similar items, since Aldi usually carries just one variety of an item.

I’m going to continue looking at sale fliers for my three other stores, because sometimes meat or other items go on a supersale that even Aldi can’t beat.

But I think I’m going to scale back my grocery couponing, and just stick with cutting coupons for things I can get at the drug stores.

While it’s possible that I would save more money by going to several grocery chains, I don’t think it would amount to all that much. My time is important, and if I can save a few hours each week, that’s worth it to me.

What about you? Do you go to just one grocery? Do you go to Aldi only? Aldi and another grocery? What’s the situation?

Posted under Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Aldi only?”

  1. I mostly just do Aldi. I hit up Wal-Mart every few weeks for organic skim milk, though. I only have one local chain of supermarket near me, and there is not much that is a great deal there. Time is definitely a factor! :D

  2. I’ve mentioned before that our Aldi isn’t really close (30ish minute average depending on traffic). We have gone, and will go again, but we stick to our main grocery store (Giant) which is just minutes from our home. Even if we had and Aldi closer though, we would still end up doing both. We have cut out several common ingredients from our diet like high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils, so having selection is a huge help for me.

  3. Our Aldi’s close, but it’s also really small. I can’t get everything we need there, so I tend to opt for Giant instead. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s also a one-stop deal.

  4. I don’t have an Aldi near me but I’m fortunate to live in a very small town that all the grocery stores are only 10 minutes away from home. So, I drive to all of them and cherry picked the sales.

  5. I go to 3-4 grocery stores almost each week, This week I went to 6 (crazy I know). At Aldi’s I buy all my baking needs, canned stuff and boxed foods. I stay away from their meat and produce though. And since there are a few things we are brand loyal to I go to the other stores when they are on sale.
    I haven’t ever had good luck with their produce, it always goes bad before I can use it, I have used their frozen bagged chicken, but I decided I like fresh chicken better, so I am willing to pay a little more for it. I bought their ground beef once and after I got home I realize it cost more per pound there than it did at the local stores here.
    If I didn’t need to save money, I would probably just go to one grocery store and then hit up Aldi’s for canned goods. I hate running around like that!

  6. I spent two days going to all the grocery stores in my area doing price comparisons. I found out that Aldi’s is about half the price (on average). To me, it seems more worth my time to drive the 30 minutes to get to the store (the gas station by Aldi’s is cheaper than gas is near me, too), than to spend my time cutting coupons and trying to do multiple transactions. I always have to go to another store to finish my shopping, but it’s on the way home. That seems to work out better for me.

  7. I go to Aldi and Walmart. There are a few things I can’t get at Aldi I get at Walmart. Walmart is on my way home from Aldi though so it only costs me a little bit of time.

  8. I’m curious to know if people have found things at Aldi that are less than good? Most things are fine but I did buy some canned biscuits (like the Hungry jack ones) last week and they were HORRID. I threw them away. Also I bought a bag of carrots last week that went bad in two days–all brown and slimy. I’m certain they were fine when I picked them up. Also bought a box of their little debbie type brownies for the kids’ lunches. They were BAD! Anything else people have found that’s just gross.

    I guess it’s a matter of trial and error.

  9. As Jen said, there are a few sub-par products at Aldi, but I do the other 85% of my grocery shopping there. I, like Ashley, made a price book, and discovered typical Aldi prices beat out other grocery store sales. Thanks to my price book, I know when it’s worth going elsewhere, on the rare occasion.

  10. I want to like Aldi, I really do. Unfortunately, in my neighborhood, they are only a few cents less per item than the Walmart across the street and the quality of their stuff is lacking. Add in the fact that almost nothing in the store is kosher and I’m not going to waste the extra trip.

  11. I hit Aldis about every 4-6 weeks for canned goods, ground turkey and “other.” I have sav-a-lot right by our public library so fill in gaps there, although overall it’s not as good as Aldis. Sav-a-lot does have a few necessities unique to our family at a great price like frozen 3 pepper stir-fry mix, raspberry jam, and frozen greens!! I shop Kroger and our local “affiliate” for the sale items most weeks and grab marked down meat as it appears. Ditto our “Thirftway.” I hit Wal-Mart as seldom as possible, but stock up on the “walmart” items when I do. These include original Open Pit bbq sauce, Sweet Baby Rays bbq sauce, the “generic” Salsa Ranch dressing [the best on the market by far], muffin mixes and a few other things. I rarely buy meat there. Produce is hit or miss. Most of it comes at a premium at Krogers. I round this off with an occasional voyage to Whole Foods–which a co-worker rightly calls “Whole Paycheck” for the delicious stuff! I hit the bulk isle for spices, flours etc, and get whatever the budget allows. I haven’t renewed my Sam’s Club, but probably will soon. Meat and produce are just awful anywhere else. Krogers “in the city” has GREAT produce, but here in sticks-land it isn’t always good. I also order from some months–$25 for a box of groceries. If you eat conveinece food it can be great! I usually get the box and a meat box [generally $18 extra] I am also looking into a CSA [community supported agriculture] share for this Spring. Farmer’s Markets near hear tend to be for the overspending Huge-SUV-driving crowd.

  12. My daughter has food allergies, which has complicated my shopping routine quite a bit! There are some items I can only get for her at Trader Joe’s (little known fact: owned by Aldi or so I’ve heard) like her gluten-free rice milk (yum! not.), brwon rice bread and some finger foods. There are some items I can only get at Meijer (allergen free choco chips, rice chips, allergen-free cheerio type cereal ), where I generally do shop (they have double coupons all the time). I do go to Aldi’s to stock up on canned/boxed staples, and it can’t be beat for the “quick trip” for milk, eggs, etc.

    But I’m often faced with the dilemma of what do we need most/how much time do I have, because hitting all three stores gets really tiring and time consuming. Thankfully, all three stores are within 5 miles of home.

  13. I prefer shopping at local places, as opposed to chains, and luckily I live in an area where this is possible.
    My usual stops:
    –downtown (walking distance!) farmer’s market for almost everything except cans; it’s often cheaper than the discount grocery (example: I priced bell peppers at .75 a pepper this week and at my grocery, they were sold by the pound and the one I got was $1.41)
    –local discount grocery for cans, OJ, bottled stuff, cereal
    –occasionally the local regular grocery store for great meat specials or things the wacky discount store doesn’t have

    I combine my errands as much as possible and I have a pretty good knowledge of prices, so I will stop at little mom-and-pop stores out in the country for bulk food, meat, etc. if I’m running another errand.
    For our little family of 3, I rarely drop more than $40 at a time on groceries and usually less – I never do a major haul at one store.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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