Thursday, November 12, 2009


We have a new store in town. The name is ALDI.
We (the children and I) stopped here today after pictures at Sears. (this is a google image picture, I did not take out my camera for this store:) This little store just opened and we wanted to check it out. My impression of the store is....STUPID. I don't know, maybe it was the mood I was in, with Babycakes constantly pushing and pulling the cart and then crying when I put her in the basket. (Sweetie Pie took her old place in the front) Maybe it was the fact that we can't go anywhere without going potty. (which is no easy task with 5 kids) Maybe it is that I was in a bad mood or something, I don't know, but I did not really like the store. Maybe I don't like change. I love my Wal-mart. I love my grocery store. I love my Sam's club.

I didn't like that fact that I needed to find a quarter in the diaper bag, while holding the baby carseat and holding onto Babycakes' hand to keep her from running away, just to get a cart. (sure the woman there guarding the carts explained that we will get our quarter back when we return the cart) SO WHAT? She also explained to us (and everyone asking "why?") that in Europe they do this everywhere. SO WHAT? I think maybe if you have no kids or only one, maybe you'd like this store. It's small and you need to buy your bags. I think it's the cart thing that really bugs me. I don't know, don't you bring the cart with your groceries and kiddos to the van (or car or truck) get the kiddos in, unload the groceries and then put the cart in the cart rack, if close, or leave the cart? Who, with any little kiddos, during the winter (or anytime) is going to get those kiddos out of the vehicle after unloading and bring the cart back to the store for their quarter back? (not me)

What happened to "The customer is always right"? attitude? I think that I felt like we, as the consumers, the customers, were not important. Like THEY were the ones doing US the favor by having low prices or something. That's why I like Wal-mart. They have low prices and still treat you like you are important. They let you put your cart in the cart rack and they come and get them. Which is another job for someone. The cashiers were sitting in office chairs at the register! What's that about? I didn't have time to ask, as Babycakes was starting to run away and Sweetie Pie had enough and Mary Hannah had to go potty.

I came home and looked up ALDI (which sounds like a dog food, doesn't it?) and it's a German store, I guess.

They did have a really good price on ham...$1.49/lb for a spiral ham.
I'd go back by myself or with one kid...maybe. Maybe I'll just send my husband to get that ham.


  1. Well people like me that have used the store often over the years, knows we need a quarter for the cart, and well, the quarter is handy in the center consul of the car, unless hubby raided my car for change for a pop! I had to seriously tell him to STOP taking my "aldi" quarter! LOL Also on the bag front you can bring your own with you to the store, if you do that you aren't buying bags. I keep bags in my trunk just for that. :)

    As for the kids, I leave them in the car while I go return the cart. They get buckled and the car gets locked. I return the cart and go immediately go back to the car.

    My are 7 and 8 now, but that's something I've always done with them...thus I also try to park as close to the door as possible.

    I know from watching the Duggars show that's where they shop with all 19 of their children. :) Of course she's got the older kids now, but I'm sure they had the same struggles with the kids were younger. :)

    Oh and Aldi's isn't the only one that has you buy bags, bag your own food, and put quarters in the cart. We have a few save-a-lot stores around here and they are the same way.

  2. Not a fan of Aldi either...that's all I'm sayin!

  3. Weird.
    But, if you have baggers working for tips, you're going to pay more. At the gov't commissary there is a 5% flat rate surcharge; then, you have to tip the bagger who may or may not do a great job, who may or may not be kind. I'd probably go to ALDI just to bag my own stuff. I'm sick of my eggs cracked and smooshed bread.

  4. Sam's and Cashwise. That's all I'm saying... :)

  5. As you go through the store, look for empty (or nearly empty) boxes to pack your groceries into. You can definitely take your own bags, too.

    We love Aldi's, and make a list of Aldi's items and "other" items that we pick up, like produce or yogurt. But that Aldi's stop is the way we make our grocery budget stretch.

    They save money with the carts, the bags, etc--they staff with only a few employees at a time and use pallets rather than shelves--and because of that, they can offer high quality items for way less than even Sam's or WalMart can.

    I'd say.....give it another chance. I didn't like it at first, either, but I really like the cereal, the baking ingredients, the spices, the apple juice, the frozen pizzas........I could go on. Try again. :)

  6. Thanks for the heads up with the quarter thing. Will have to check it out.

    I still like going to the stores I know and like.

    I agree with the bathroom and going all the time. Seems like every store someone needs to go.


  7. Not a fan of Aldi either. Too many processed foods, not enough fresh and pantry basics. And the produce at our Aldi is stinko! I'm fortunate that we have a discount grocer in our small town where I can get great prices and good produce and dairy products.

  8. I've gone to the one in elk River a few times. I'll have to check out your new one - I didn't realize they opened one over there. I'm not overly fond of shopping there, but you cannot beat their prices on milk and canned goods.

  9. Thanks for the heads up on this...while I completely agree with you on everything they seem to 'offer' that is unlike 'normal' stores, I may have to check it out.
    It's funny because I've had friends rave about the store, who live out of MN. I also just saw one of their commercials this week and wondered 'where the heck is that store? Never heard of it!'
    I checked their store locator and have an idea where the one near you is, but will have to drive around to find it for sure.
    At first, I was thinking that they just had groceries, but it doesn't seem so. I was thinking that they were like Trader Joes (which we've only visited once)where everyone seems really crunchy/fruity and seems to be shopping with a certain la-ti-da kind of spirit, as in 'I'm SO MUCH better to shop here and not one of those lowly grocery stores'. Again, just my feeling. May have to check out the prices there the next time I'm in your area...but, like you, I'm betting I'm still gonna like my Sam's!! :)

  10. I love Aldi! It's the only store I shop at! If they don't have something I need I make a quick stop somewhere else, but lately I've been learning to adapt our families diet to the foods available at Aldi because it's all I can afford! Where else can I feed a family of seven for under $150 a week!

    Here's what I hate about Aldi. It's so small that everyone there seems to think they have the right to comment on your purchases. Just this week I told my favorite cashier that I am ashamed to grocery shop because the whole world criticizes me for my overflowing cart. With three teenage boys, we go through 10 boxes of cereal, 5 gal milk, 3 doz get the idea. Last week the question was "What are you doing, shopping for an army?" I wish I would have answered "Yes, God's army!"

    Anyway, I'm sure I'm speaking to the choir on the large family grocery shopping issues. Try Aldi again. You might get used to it. My favorite tip: don't buy bags. Gather up some of the banana boxes. They are nice and sturdy and you can bring them back and forth each week-that's really recycling!

  11. All I can say is that I miss ALDI. I lived in Germany for almost nine years and shopped there as a rule. They don't have any AlDI stores here in Canada so far. Up here in Canada, where we live, we have to put quarters or loonies ($1 coins) into our shopping carts almost everywhere we grocery shop except Walmart. In many of the stores, you have to bring your own bags or buy theirs. It is better for the environment and I always get frustrated that they use more bags than needed at Walmart. I prefer to pack my own groceries, too. I guess it is from living in Germany. Germans are effecient and time saving sort of people. When I first moved to Germany, ALDI was the only store that didn't allow any other method of payment than cash and they had shorter hours than any other store. It was always packed and always had the freshest produce and a great selection of affordable organic veggies. Give it another try. It can save you a lot of money and being prepared can save a lot of stresss. Once you know where things are, you are quickly in and out of the store. They don't tend to move things about as much as they do in the regular grocery stores. Also, if it is like in Germany, they have weekly sales down the middle aisle. They sometimes have great deals on kids pj's, socks, books, household goods, etc. that even beat Walmart prices.

  12. Have to say that we think Aldi is a beneficial addition to our Walmart experience. On a weekly basis I shop at Aldi first and then head on over to Walmart. Most of the people I'm shopping with in Aldi do the same thing!

    You can't get everything there, but you sure can save money on a lot of things - even compared to Walmart. I find that it REALLY helps my food budget to go there first.

    Try it by yourself or with a small group and see if you feel differently. I have to agree, when I had to take the gang, I couldn't do two stores...One was more than enough. Now that I can leave them home, it is definitely a benefit to going to both.

    Hope this helps.
    God Bless.

  13. lots of different perspectives on this fr4om your commenters. hmmm. I think it would get old pretty fast having to pay for a cart every time you go to the store. I've got enough going on with one toddler and a diaper bag and her hat, and my wallet and purse and phone and grocery list ... that I wouldn't want to also come prepared with a quarter. then run the cart all the way back in order to get your quarter back? I might end up purposely leaving the cart blocking a few car stalls -- just to make a point (not really). nope, I'll stick with walmart and sam's club and target thanks. :)

  14. Oh, Gardenia!!! You wrote my exact feelings yesterday!!! I SO wanted to leave the cart and protest and tell everyone to leave their carts just to be mean...but I didn't! But I did think it!


    After thinking about it, I DO get it, I know they do those things to provide the best prices...but cashiers sitting? Still don't get that one.

    I think I was thinking it was going to be a fancy Byerly's or something and was disappointed it was not a fancy store....dumb, I know, because I'll use a cheap store much more!

    Barbara-I thought the same thing you wrote, the produce was not that good.

    They also had a limit on their milk of only 2 was only 20Cents less than Sam's club, but we get like 8 gallons every 2 weeks!

    I will give it another chance, without ALL the kiddos and with a quarter...but might have to leave that darn cart anyway!! :)

  15. We do visit Aldi here and there. I go in spurts where I go a lot and then take a break. I always have a quarter and extra bags on hand. (And seriously, in most parking lots for large groceries, the cart corral is further away than Aldi's cart return anyway! And I do have four very young children in tow.) They used to take only cash, but now they'll take cards, which helps. Some Aldis have terrible produce, but as a rule, ours is very dependable. I bought the most amazing strawberries this season for $1.19 a pound. I just bought cheap oranges and they are scrumptious! Cereal is cheap. They have great baking items--my mom only buys Aldi chocolate chips now. And if I buy tortillas anywhere but Aldi, I always feel I'm cheating my family--they're only 89 cents there and they're the best I've ever had. Give it another try.
    By the way, my sil is German and she said that the man who invented Aldi is now the richest man in Germany.

  16. Aldi gives me the creeps. I would much rather shop at Costco for money savings. I can't do Wal-Mart either after seeing a DVD from Netflix about how their employees are treated and how they really are out to put small businesses out of business. I know you don't have a Costco where you live. Our nearest one is 30 min away so I usually just shop at Cub and do an organic buying club.

  17. As far as produce it really depends on the location..some locations have better selection then other locations. Also as far as the quarter and cart go: I can't tell you how many times I've had someone say "here's my quarter for your cart". Of course WHEN that happens you don't have to walk all the way back.

  18. I just found your blog from the "Praying for Grace" blog and wanted to comment!

    The first time I went Aldi, I was newly married. My husband and I had the habit of paying for everything with the discover card and paying it off at the end of the month. At the check out, I swiped my card and was told "cash or debit only". We didn't have our debit card with us that day so we couldn't pay. Oh. I was so embarrassed.

    After I got over the embarrassment, I went back and found that for things like canned goods and milk, the prices can't be beat. Some of the stuff isn't much different then our local Kroger store, so pretty much we use the Aldi to stock up on the canned goods.

    For the quarter situation, we keep one in the van that is just for Aldi use and only Aldi use.

  19. I can understand why you might have been put off by your first experience at Aldi's. I thought it was over-hyped too at first. Of course I didn't have 5 children with me, so I guess my opinion doesn't count. They do have some good bargains and specials. Now that I'm used to the procedure, I'm happy visiting from time to time. Nerm

  20. Nope. I LOVE ALDI and it saves me up to 400 dollars a month (compared to wally world). The trick is to ONLY bring ONE HELPFUL CHILD. A quarter. A LIST. Some cloth bags that hold a lot more than plastic or paper. I know, now, which items they may not have and I will have to go to another store for, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the products and the prices. I have not had ONE bad thing from there. I make the menu for the week (all three meals, all 8 people) and make the list of things I don't have to make all that food for the week (and ONLY that food...that way, I don't overbuy). The kids love knowing what we'll have and that I won't have to "run to the store" and waste family time (and MONEY!). Stick with it, follow my advice, you might be pleasantly surprised. I've found MANY things at my (formerly) beloved walmart that were sub-par.

  21. Oh, I forgot to mention: I did the week's shopping at walmart and spent 230 bucks...the next week at ALDI? 110 dollars. Uh huh. Stick with it. The meat is very very good and fresh and the cheese prices can't be beat (good quality, too!), also, the baking basics for holiday baking...oh man, I COULD go on and on! Our ALDI (Elk River) has an amazing freezer selection and really great produce (I think it varies from week to week, but I've never seen it junky or old). A lot of the products are just brand names re-branded for ALDI. OOOOOoooo, and they have those chocolate calendars for Advent that St. Nicholas always brings. Call me if you have any questions. I really can't say enough about ALDI. (I used to be a skeptic and went a few times and didn't like it, I know both sides!)


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