One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

JOURNAL

Do you Shop at ALDI?

39 Comments 1144 views

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 2.09.14 PMI love when a brand I know and love reaches out to work with me.

I’ve been shopping at ALDI for years! I was lucky enough to have one in my college town and when I moved to Maryland I was happy to find a few locations here as well.

Actually, 6 YEARS ago I did a video showcasing my favorite products. Click here the original post and my written out list. Wait to see how young I look with my long hair…

It was the hair right? Not the fact that 6 years have passed. ;)

Anyway, when I first starting going I was a little intimidated. ALDI doesn’t work like a traditional grocery store. It has systems in place designed to keep its overhead low to keep prices low. For example:

  • Locked shopping carts. To get a cart at ALDI you need a quarter deposit. This unlocks the carts from the rest and “guarantees” you return the cart to get your quarter back. If you are an ALDI veteran you usually intercept a person who is about to return their cart and hand them a quarter for it. At least that’s what I do. 
  • Accepted forms of payment. ALDI does not accept credit to reduce fees. So make sure you have a debit card or cash with you. 
  • Less inventory. One of the first things you’ll notice is a lack of traditional brands  on ALDI shelves. That’s because it only stocks its own brands and things that are in high demand seasonally. 
  • Bring your own bags. You have to bring your own or buy brown paper bags from them when checking out. Shouldn’t we be doing this anyway?

Once I figured out the culture of ALDI, I was hooked. They have great prices and lots of items I like to keep in stock in my pantry anyway. They are also starting to carry better and better options. Their Fit&Active brand has been expanding and more recently they launched SimpleNature, which are products with natural, basic ingredient lists and some are even organic!

I can’t express how excited I am to be working with a brand like ALDI. I think so many people feel as if eating healthier and lighter has to cost more money and it’s just not true. You don’t HAVE to shop at a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s to make simple changes to your diet that can result in big results. Sure, those stores are fun and cary a lot of great options but I shopped at ALDI regularly while losing weight and many of their products helped me make big changes to my diet.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to share a few more posts as I share some of their newer products. I’ll also be visiting its test kitchens next month and we’ll be able to ask more questions about its products and eating healthier overall.

So I’m curious…. Do you shop at Aldi? 


Full disclosure:
This post is sponsored by Aldi. All opinions expressed are my own.



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discussion

There are 39 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.

    SuzanneU

    February 20, 2014

    Is Aldi’s owned by Trader Joe’s? Maybe you can find that out. I love Aldi’s. I did an experiment and bought the same groceries one week at Martin’s and the next week at Aldi’s. I saved $75 on the exact same items at Aldi’s. LOVE IT!

    Reply

      RoniNoone

      February 20, 2014

      I think they used to be but aren’t anymore?? I’ll find out for sure and let you know!

      Holly

      February 20, 2014

      I read somewhere that they used to be one company, owned by brothers. And now they’re separate I think.

      Jeff the ALDI Shopper

      February 21, 2014

      The connection between ALDI and Trader Joe’s is not quite as direct as many people think. Trader Joe’s doesn’t own ALDI, and never has. ALDI was founded by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht, who split the company in the 1960s over a disagreement about selling cigarettes. The split created two separate entities, Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud. Here in the US, Aldi Sud operates Aldi while Aldi Nord operates Trader Joe’s. SO, while there is a family connection, to say that Trader Joe’s owns ALDI is incorrect.

    Carol Belles

    February 20, 2014

    I was just there last night! :)

    Reply

    Tina

    February 20, 2014

    No Aldi’s in Canada (where I am, anyway). Roni, you are so stinkin’ pretty – short hair or long hair!

    Reply

    Brenda

    February 20, 2014

    No I haven’t but one opened up recently in my area I think I will check it out.

    Reply

    Michele

    February 20, 2014

    I don’t “shop” there per say, but I will stop there maybe once a month or so for produce. It’s kind of hit or miss since they don’t always have the same things so I can’t go there planning on getting something in particular. The store definitely has pros and cons. Prices are great but they have one register open and long lines. I don’t buy anything packaged because I think it is poor quality. I don’t care for their Fit and Active stuff. Anyway, bottom line for me is if I can get the produce I need, its about half of what I would pay in the regular grocery store so its worth it every once in a while.

    Reply

    Jenn@slim-shoppin

    February 21, 2014

    Lucky job Roni! I shop there every week. Their milk prices are half of a regular store, and I get the fit and active brand stuff, the frozen chicken tenders, the artisan lettuces, huge bag of potatoes for 99 cents. I have 3 in my area, so sometimes I’ll visit another one to see if there is any variety. It’s expensive to feed a family of 5 – especially with 17 and 15 year old boys! Tell Aldi if they need an ambassador in Chicago – I’ll be happy to help!

    Reply

    Shannon

    February 21, 2014

    We have loved everything we ever tried at Aldi! I find it a challenge to plan meals around their produce offerings of the week. I love their chocolate, nuts and cheese. Best price on kefir. I can’t stand to shop in standard grocery stores except for items not carried by Aldi- the prices seem so high!

    Reply

    Shannon

    February 21, 2014

    I mean a fun challenge, not a “problem” challenge…

    Reply

    Lori

    February 21, 2014

    I heard they were owned by Costco.

    Reply

      Gail Burdick

      February 21, 2014

      I believe the parent company is the same one that owns Trader Joe’s, NOT Costco.

    Fiona

    February 21, 2014

    I try to do as much of my shopping at Aldi as possible. I’m in Ireland so they have different own brands over here, but the quality is usually as good as or better than mainstream brands for a fraction of the price. One of the things I really love about them is that they source a lot of their products locally.

    Just on the locked shopping carts and bring your own bags – that’s how it works at every supermarket here. The government brought in a tax on plastic bags about 15 years ago and most people just bring their own now, which I think is great. We’ve had locked shopping trolleys for as long as I can remember.

    Oh and Aldi just started accepting credit cards here, so maybe that’ll change in the US too.

    Reply

    Shauna

    February 21, 2014

    Dorky aside: over here you have to put a £1 coin ($1.65 USD) in the shopping carts and I never seem to have a £1 coin on hand! So always end up staggering around the bloody shop with armfuls of veggies and feeling like my biceps are going to explode. ALDI workout! ;)

    Reply

      Dana

      February 23, 2014

      Shauna – you have to put a quarter in here. I’ve seen people using their shopping bags to get their groceries and then unload them at the belt.

    Kim L

    February 21, 2014

    We’ve been shopping at Aldi for years. It’s funny, we always add an “s” to the end of the name, always call it Aldis!

    Reply

    Imacrazymomof4

    February 21, 2014

    I am an Aldi’s virgin…never been there. Probably because it isn’t as conveniently located as the Wegmans I shop at. There are also Walmart supercenters and Giant Eagle between the closest Aldi’s and my house. We don’t have a Trader Joes or Whole Foods around either. I have shopped at Trader Joes a few times but really didn’t think there were things there I couldn’t live without. I have a friend who goes there regularly, maybe I will check it out. Produce and milk alone would be reason…I rarely buy things in a box unless it’s pasta or cereal. Looking forward to your posts about them!

    Reply

    Sara Halverson

    February 21, 2014

    Yes, I shop at Aldi. Every single week. I LOVE it. Mostly because I’m cheap…er frugal:) It was difficult at first as they don’t always have everything I need, but it’s close. Now I just make a run to another grocery store every other week to get the non-Aldi things. The bulk is from Aldi!

    Reply

    PnHl

    February 21, 2014

    The US headquarters of Aldi is literally just down the street from me. We have been shopping at the local store almost exclusively for years, only stopping at Trader Joe’s or another large chain for items that Aldi doesn’t carry. We grocery shop as a family and it’s where we taught our children how to shop. They have shopped and prepared their own school sack lunches since they were 5 years old (with supervision). In about 2 years, we will be empty-nesters, so that gives you an idea how long they have done this. Even though it is not happening soon, our retirement plan MUST include a location that has a local Aldi. So, YES, we shop there and will always shop there.

    Reply

    Erin Downing

    February 21, 2014

    I love love love Aldi. I’m like a born-again convert, in that I want to tell everyone I meet about it.

    Reply

    Carol

    February 21, 2014

    I don’t do all my shopping at Aldi, but I’m there pretty frequently. I like their store brands and prices, but I do get frustrated that I can’t get everything that I need there. For example, I wanted fat free evaporated milk for a recipe and they only carry regular evaporated milk. I don’t like their milk, but I do like their meat. Produce can be good or bad at my store. Overall, I like it well enough to keep shopping there, but I don’t think it will every be my main grocery store.

    Reply

    LisaM

    February 21, 2014

    Aldi is my primary grocery store. Since they don’t have everything, I find I’ve gradually changed my diet to fit the store. My trips to other stores are becoming less frequent! Since I started buying all my salad ingredients there and prepping a week’s worth for lunches, I’ve saved a ton of $$. Their pouch tuna is a perfect topper, and the Fit & Active string cheese saves me from the chocolate drawer of death in my office every afternoon. And I love browsing the special deal aisle for an occasional guilty pleasure bargain. I just bought the last over-the-door bungee cord strength trainer – marked down to $10!!

    Last thing – their wine selection is very good for that price point…

    Reply

    Tiffany Walker

    February 21, 2014

    I have only been to Aldi a time or two…I had a bad experience a number of years ago where I bought some kiwi there and they never ripened. However, for awhile my mom was buying a honey mustard salad dressing from the Fit&Active line that I LOVED…but of course now they haven’t had it in awhile. I watched part of your original post from 6 years ago, and I think I am going to make a trip there this weekend to see if they have those bacon-wrapped turkey mignons you mentioned…they sound delish!

    Reply

    Carrie

    February 21, 2014

    I shop at ALDI quite often. My son has been off High-Fructose Corn syrup for over a year now and I was surprised to find many of their products do not contain it. I find their meat to be great. Unfortunately, the produce at the store near us tends to go bad too soon for it to be a good choice for our family unless we’re going to use it right away.

    Reply

    Jeri Lyn

    February 21, 2014

    I live in Southern California & I’ve never seen an ALDI. I searched on their web-site & there doesn’t appear to be any close to my zip code. Too bad.

    Reply

    Marina

    February 21, 2014

    There are Aldi here in Madrid, but no one is close my home. I think is going to a new store opening near my home soon, so I am very anxious to visit it! Anyway, in 2 weeks I will visit the States, and my favorite grocery store: Traders joes, i love it.. Ahhh i also want to visit a Costco..

    Reply

    nancyabc

    February 21, 2014

    We have Aldi here in the Cincinnati area. I go about once a month and stock up. Once I had forgotten to check my cash before leaving –so I had to run to the bank before going in (at least I checked before going in!)

    Reply

    Asma

    February 21, 2014

    I love aldi

    Reply

    Gail Burdick

    February 21, 2014

    I love their steel cut oats, their fit and active flat wraps and thin crust pizza kits. Their dark chocolate is fabulous…all flavors. In the fall, their butternut pasta sauce is so good, I stock up so I have enough to last thru till the next time it comes around. Fire-roasted diced tomatoes are also a stock up item…and all of this is MUCH less expensive than most chains around here. I LOVE Aldi(s) … I too add the “s”…I shop there at least once a week, and just fill in from Costco and Garden Fresh Market.

    Reply

    Sarah

    February 21, 2014

    So many of us live entirely too far from Aldi, myself included. I’m usually in Chicago about once or twice a year and Aldi is generally one of my first stops.

    Reply

    Paula

    February 22, 2014

    You bet I shop at Aldi. Mine offers organic baby kale & baby spinach. I can get 3 Romaine hearts for $1.99 Their blackberry price is great (Can you tell the 4 things I pick up every week? Now that my husband is into avocado’s I get them there so cheap. The canned beans are the cheapest around. I am so glad our area offers and 2 Aldi stores!

    Reply

    Christine

    February 23, 2014

    Yes! My family LOVES Aldi here in Australia. We were drawn to it after spending time in Switzerland and learning the culture of Aldi there. Now I find it frustrating going to a regular supermarket! Prices are great and quality is great! And it often stocks European products which we miss greatly!

    Reply

    Dana

    February 23, 2014

    Hoping to see an updated video post of Roni shopping at Aldi :-) I don’t shop there as much as I should. Daughter shops there all the time and will rarely shop at the big stores due to prices.

    Reply

    Lori F

    February 24, 2014

    I am so shocked that people don’t shop at Aldi if there’s one by them that is. I do the majority of my grocery shopping there. I do have to run to another grocery store here and there for either really good sales or just things Aldi doesn’t carry ( or carry year round). At my store if the lines get too long another one opens quickly. The employees are all really friendly. I am loving that they re getting more organic choices as well.

    Reply

    Kate Sloan

    February 25, 2014

    I’m so jealous you have an Aldi near you. When I lived in Ireland I shopped there regularly but here in Canada we only have one them out east and I’m on the west coast so not good for me. Maybe someday….

    Reply

    Rob Sorbo

    February 26, 2014

    Yes. I don’t even know how we afforded groceries before we discovered Aldi.

    Reply

    jody

    March 4, 2014

    I have been shopping at Aldi’s for about 5 years. PREACH! I also love Crossfit! Preachx2. I just found your blog thru AIM on findingradiance.com…..hmmm, so glad I found your blog. You rock!

    Reply

    stovey

    March 11, 2014

    I shop at Aldi, I love it. Our grocery bill is cheaper than anyone I know who goes to Asda and Tesco, we eat healthy and wholesome food AND save tons of money. I’m so excited to see Aldi on the price comparison n mysupermarket.com
    I wish they came to me to promote them, but I do already anyway! Lol

    Reply