Anyone who is close to me knows how much I love Aldi.
Yes, you read the title right- “5 reasons why you SHOULDN’T shop at Aldi”. Bear with me.
Growing up, my parents often shopped at an Aldi near our house. Without looking at packaging, I could always easily identify what had been bought at Aldi. The graham crackers tasted like cardboard. The marshmallows weren’t spongy. In reality, all the items probably weren’t that bad, but I had it in my teenage mind that anything bought there was truly sub-par.
My friends, this is no longer so. Aldi has changed GREATLY for the better, even in the past year.
So without further ado, here’s my backwards plug for Aldi-
5 reasons why you shouldn’t shop at Aldi.
You shouldn’t shop at Aldi if… you love artificial dye, added MSG, and partially hydrogenated oils in your food.
As of late last year, Aldi has removed all of these from its exclusive “Aldi” brand products (which are over 90% of its products!). Certified synthetic colors have been replaced these ingredients with natural, plant-based ingredients such as beet juice or turmeric for coloring. 96% of Aldi’s products already did not contain additional MSG; this percentage is now up to 100% as of 2016. Partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, are a source of trans fat which the FDA has recently mandated be removed by food manufactures by 2018. Aldi is ahead of the game! Here is Aldi’s official press release announcing the above mentioned official product reformulations. ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff ffffffffffffffffffffffffff
You shouldn’t shop at Aldi if…you dislike inexpensive generic brands that taste just as good, if not better, than the originals.
Here’s a secret I’ve discovered- Aldi exclusive Millville brand’s Crunch Granola Raisin Bran cereal has more raisins than the original Kellogg Raisin Bran Crunch. I’m not going to go as far to say that all Aldi brand items are comparable or better than their original competitors because I have not tried all of their products. However, I have found this to be true of most products I have tried. The cardboard graham crackers and hard marshmallows are a thing of the past! If you’re not satisfied, they will not only refund you for the item, but they will replace it, too, with their Double Guarantee policy. ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
You shouldn’t shop at Aldi if… saving money on organic and gluten-free items makes you cringe.
(picture taken from WWW.ALDI.US)
Aldi’s “liveGfree” brand offers tons of gluten-free options. From pancake mix to frozen items to pasta to dessert items, there really is a surprisingly wide variety of extremely reasonably priced gluten free items, which can be browsed here. Also, Aldi is adding more and more organic products to their “SimplyNature” (organic) line. They carry USDA approved organic almond butter, canned goods, fresh greens, salsa, chicken broth, and many more organic items.
(picture taken from WWW.ALDI.US)
They also have an organic produce section, as well as a selection of produce grown by local farmers. To be honest, their produce can be hit or miss. Which leads me to my next point… ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
You shouldn’t shop at Aldi if… you can’t tolerate doing slightly more work to save large amounts of money.
It’s true, I usually have to visit another grocer in addition to Aldi. A large typical grocer carries approximately 30,000 items. Aldi carries a fraction of the amount of items, narrowing in on the most commonly bought items. So while you may not find Thai chili paste, matzah ball soup, or other niche items, you can probably still complete about 80-90% of your shopping at Aldi because they do carry the basics. I was very pleased to see recently that they started carrying items like barley and quinoa, which I used to buy elsewhere. It seems like they are always adding new items to their shelves that I used to have to go elsewhere to purchase. A caveat to this is my aforementioned comment about produce. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s not. I can’t always get all of my produce from Aldi. Veggies are usually fine, but fruit can be questionable at times. However, when I do go elsewhere, I still save by using my favorite money saving app ever!
In addition to usually having to make two grocery shopping trips to complete my shopping for the week, know that at Aldi you have to bring your own bags (or else you will have to purchase bags), bag your own items, and also bring a quarter for the use of a cart. The first few times you shop at Aldi, these can seem like a pain (especially if you’re not prepared!). However, these minor inconveniences cut costs big time at Aldi, which make it more affordable for you and me. Also, encouraging consumers to bring their own bags is very eco-friendly! While it is nice to have someone bagging your groceries for you while you check your email or respond to texts on your phone, the damper of having to bag your own groceries into your own bags really pales in comparison to the money you can save by shopping there. Which brings me to my last and final point… ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
You shouldn’t shop at Aldi if… you hate saving money in general!
(In case you can’t see a trend here on saving money…) It hurts my brain thinking about all the cash I wasted on grocery shopping prior to a year and a half ago, when I started shopping at Aldi. I kid you not, our grocery bill used to be over $100 every week (for 2 people at that time!), and now with pretty much the same items (and also some additional items since we have added a member to our household), it falls between $50-70/week, depending on what we’re cooking. These are crazy savings! Canned black beans are 59¢. Huge bottles of spices are 99¢. You can’t find those deals anywhere else. The money we spend on groceries each month is pretty much half of what it used to be shopping at Mariano’s or Jewel-Osco. I’m never going back to my old money-wasting ways!
In conclusion, if you have fallen into the trap of turning your nose up on Aldi under the assumption that its products are sub-par just because they cost less, I beg of you- GIVE IT A CHANCE. The money you will save is convincing enough, alone, and the products will speak for themselves. Do a blind taste test comparison if you really want to put their food items to the test! Then you can be the judge. Whatever you do, at least give it a try. It’s silly financially not to. You won’t regret it.
**If this post didn’t convince you to try Aldi, read this article that I came across shortly after I finished my post. It came out YESTERDAY from Yahoo! Finance, entitled, “Why Aldi is the Grocery Store of the Future”
**EDIT** Since writing this post, I have found a great grocery rebate app that CAN be used at Aldi! You can read my tutorial on it HERE.
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