I recently became an ALDI addict, and I’m mad no one got me hooked sooner! If you aren’t familiar with ALDI, it’s a German supermarket chain with nearly 1,800 stores (and rapidly growing) in 35 states, known for low prices and their no frills approach to a grocery store.
Ok, I’m going to be brutally honest – I’ve always known ALDI existed, but I had an image in my mind that ALDI was a discount grocery store that offered poor-quality products and served a less fortunate population. I’m embarrassed (and mad) that I spent most of my life misjudging their smart, low-overhead business strategy for low-quality. It wasn’t until my sister-in-law practically harassed me into going with her to ALDI that I saw the light. My hope is that after reading this you will give ALDI a try, experience the shockingly awesome savings, and convert your friends too. And no, this is not a sponsored post, I simply want to share my personal reasons why I now shop at ALDI and pass along the proof that you can save BIG by shopping there!
Before we get to the top 10 reasons why I shop at ALDI now, I want to share with you one of my biggest reasons for my love for ALDI –The cost savings without compromise on quality! As a health coach, I get a lot of questions about how you can shop for healthy and organic food on a budget, because not everyone can afford to shop at Whole Foods. ALDI advertises that you can save up to 50% by shopping with them. To put this advertisement to the test, I decided to model the cost savings I typically realize by shopping at ALDI by comparing my most recent shopping trip bill to the cost of buying those same foods at some other popular grocery store chains. So how did I do this comparison? I took the foods I bought at ALDI and built a replica of the grocery list in an online shopping cart with Harris Teeter, Kroger, and Walmart. To do this as accurately as possible, I made sure that the packaged items and produce were the same number of ounces or pounds or as close as possible and I also made sure that if I bought an organic item at ALDI, I compared that to an organic item at the other grocery chains, etc. I also looked for the lowest cost item at the other chains, which was usually their store-branded line. Read on to see the cost comparisons!
My ALDI Shopping Trip Bill = $77.32
Harris Teeter Cost Comparison
- Harris Teeter Cost = $120.88
- Savings vs. Harris Teeter = $43.56 or 36% savings
Comments about Harris Teeter: This was a very compelling cost comparison for me, especially as I used to pretty much exclusively shop at Harris Teeter! While they do sometimes have some great VIC specials for BOGO, ALDI still won out with the cheaper option on every item on the list! I still shop at Harris Teeter for some things on my weekly list (my favorite brand of sparkling water, their brand of garlic hummus, their fresh baked breads, etc.), but more on that towards the end of this post.
Kroger Cost Comparison
- Kroger Cost = $92.63
- Savings vs. Kroger = $15.31 or 17% savings
Comments about Kroger: What is interesting about Kroger, is that they are a part of the Harris Teeter family, but they typically have lower prices. I shop at Kroger A LOT and consider the grocery chain a cost-effective option for buying healthy food, especially with their line of organics (Simple Truth Organic), so it was interesting to see a 17% savings with ALDI in comparison. Despite Kroger being more expensive, I will say that I LOVE the coupons they send in the mail. They are one of the smartest grocery chains in my opinion because they send you coupons for the foods you buy regularly (what an idea, right??) and they send specialty coupons quite regularly for large bulk savings. For example, right now I have coupons for “save $10.00 of of your grocery bill of $100 or more.”
Walmart Cost Comparison
- WalMart Cost = $89.50
- Savings vs. Walmart = $12.18 or 14% savings
Comments about Walmart: I never shop at Walmart, but I wanted to include a comparison to a grocery chain that has a brand synonymous with rock-bottom prices. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to find with this comparison and thought that there was a chance Walmart might be cheaper; however, I was pleasantly surprised to find ALDI still less expensive. It’s important to note that there were a few items on the list that were less expensive at Walmart, like their 5 oz. organic salad mix, so if you are a regular Walmart shopper, it might be worth it to do your own comparison for some of the food items you buy regularly.
I also feel compelled to comment on a few items that I regularly purchase that were not purchased on this past ALDI shopping trip where you can realize major savings.
- A whole, organic chicken for around $10.00, or $2.19 per pound. Options at Kroger and Harris Teeter were between $1.00-$3.00 more expensive. By the way, I highly recommend buying an organic whole chicken, as it’s awesome for low-cost, time saving meals for our family. I roast one at the beginning of the week and shred it and use it for various meals throughout the week.
- Organic grass-fed beef – $3.99 per pound. I challenge you to find cheaper organic grass-fed beef anywhere.
- Organic pizza for $3.59. When I don’t feel like cooking or on a Friday when we’re craving pizza, this is a go-to for us. It’s nearly impossible to find a pizza that can feed the family for under $5.00.
- Fruit pouches for $0.69 each. While my son isn’t quite ready for food pouches, I know many of you mamas buy these regularly for on-the-go snacks for your little ones. It does look like Walmart has the same size fruit pouch (GoGo Squeeze) for around $0.50 per pouch, which is a better deal. Kroger sells the same brand of pouches for $0.80 per pouch!
Now that you’ve seen the cost savings are real, I encourage you to do the same comparison with the foods you typically buy for your family. Simply take a shopping trip to ALDI and then compare to your usual grocery store or the multiple that you may frequent each week. Still not convinced? Below are my top 10 reasons I continue to shop at ALDI.
1. Cost Savings
As I mapped out above, the savings are not only real, but compelling. But you may be wondering how ALDI can provide such low prices and good quality? Business Insider wrote a story on this very topic, which you can find here, but to save you the time of reading the article, the main reasons are:
- Private labels – About 90% of the products at the grocer are private label. By eliminating the middleman, ALDI can pass the savings on to consumers.
- Efficiency – There are too many efficiency strategies they use to mention, but the net-net is that ALDI has designed a business that is so efficient that it needs fewer workers than the average grocery store.
- No frills design – For example, Aldi uses boxes instead of shelves when possible
- BYOB – Which stands for “Bring Your Own Bag.” Customers have to bring their own grocery bags (or they can pay to purchase some there) and bag their own groceries, which saves an immense amount of money and labor for the chain.
2. Their Large Quality Organic Selection
Aldi’s has it’s own organic and all natural brand called “SimplyNature.” While not all Simply Nature products are organic, they carry over 70 different organic selections in their stores. It’s also uplifting to learn that their SimplyNature brand products are free of over 125 Ingredients including: Artificial flavors, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Trans fatty acids, Nitrates/nitrites, Propylene glycol, etc. You can find the full list of all 125+ ingredients here.
3. ALDI FINDS
ALDI FINDS are their premium food and household products that are only in stores for a limited time. The excitement of not knowing what you are going to find each trip is part of the fun of ALDI. One trip I left the store with a heat tower, garden gloves, and an orchid. It doesn’t get more random than that! So if you like the thrill of finding products that you want but definitely don’t need, at bargain prices, then ALDI FINDS will be your jam!
If you’re like me, you spend wayyyyy too much time at the grocery store comparing all of the options for a given food product you need, only to feel extremely overwhelmed by all of the choices. Comparing nutrition labels, cost per ounce, assessing quality, etc. can be mind numbing. With ALDI, they keep it simple with limited, but quality food choices, which is so freeing! Usually you see an organic and non-organic option or maybe a few flavor varieties of a given packaged food. On average, their stores are only about 10,000 square feet, so they purposefully don’t carry an enormous selection.
5. Their “Double Guarantee” Customer Service
If, for any reason, a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with a food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the customer’s money. Now that is great service!
6. They Have an Award Winning Wine Selection
A good quality wine at stupid low prices? SOLD! Whether it’s the occasional (ok, weekly) bottle of red for me and the hubby to drink at home or the bulk purchase of champagne I bought for my Galentine’s Day brunch earlier this year, I’ve made out like a bandit on good wine at ALDI. You can check out their award winning wine selection here.
7. Speedy Checkout Process
If you’ve ever been to ALDI, then I guarantee their freaky-fast checkout method was memorable. They actually go so far as to specifically design the bar codes on their packaging to make it easy to scan their products as quickly as possible. If you didn’t know this, then you most likely just assumed that all employees were in a contest to see who could check out their customers quickest (that was my guess). This reason may not make your list of reasons for shopping at ALDI, but it’s high on the list for me since becoming a mother. I usually have my son in tow, so the quicker we get in and out, the less of a chance of him having a meltdown mid shopping trip.
8. Massive Shopping Carts & Large Aisles
I already mentioned above that I’m a new mom, so that is why I love their behemoth sized grocery carts and large aisles. When my son Anderson was a newborn and wasn’t yet fond of babycarrying, I would put his car seat in the cart and there was still plenty of room for all of my groceries. This, plus large aisles is grocery shopping heaven for a mom, especially if you have a herd of a family you are trying to get through the aisles without taking down every display and bystander along the way.
9. Elimination of Certified Synthetic Colors, Partially Hydrogenated Oils, and Added MSG From all its Private-Label Products
This is a BIG deal for me. With synthetic colors lurking in almost all packaged foods it seems, and food makers getting increasingly sneaky about how they hide hydrogenated oils in their products, I applaud ALDI for their big decision to eliminate these ingredients from almost all of their products. As I mentioned above, private-label products makes up 90% of their food selection, so this is a significant move on their part. Not to mention that the average shopper sometimes isn’t educated on how to properly read ingredient labels to identify these lousy ingredients, so by doing this, ALDI’s customers can feel confident that the products they are buying are quality, healthier options for their family.
10. They’ve Added Instacart for Even More Convenience
Major cost savings + the ultimate convenience of not having to physically go to the store? That is WINNING my friend! If you aren’t familiar with Instacart, it’s essentially a service that delivers groceries from your local grocery store in two hours. Check out ALDI’s website here if Instacart is available yet in your city.
While I’ve spent this entire post practically coercing you into jumping on the ALDI bandwagon with me, I’m going to share some quick real talk about what ALDI IS NOT. ALDI likely isn’t going to be your one-stop-shop for everything on your grocery list, and it isn’t for me. I still frequent my local Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, etc. for specific items that ALDI doesn’t carry or for food brands that I simply prefer. Also, if you like the cushy, high-end grocery shopping experience, ALDI may not be for you. (I’m talking to you, gal who is used to drinking a beer and testing out clean beauty products while strolling the aisles at Whole Foods).
If you are already a fellow ALDI fanatic or are excited to try it out, share this post with a friend on social media or pin it! Friends don’t let friends spend too much money on groceries!