I recently had the chance to check ALDI Food Markets and was really impressed. I checked out the Rego Park, Queens, NY location. The store isn’t that large, but I later found out there’s a reason for that. The company has smaller stores to save energy. To go further on their green initiative, they encourage bringing your own bags to take their products home. You can buy bags for 11 cents each — which is a great incentive to bring your own.
And the prices were really great. So great that I will be shopping at ALDI on a regular basis. While they do carry some national brands like V8’s V-Fusion, they offered a lot of their own brands, which did look similar to brands that everyone knows.
I found foods that were similar to things I would normally buy; like fat free vanilla coffee creamer ($2.49), yogurt tubes ($1.99) and orange juice ($2.69).
I really liked ALDI’s Fit & Active line — items with lower fat, zero trans fats and higher protein. The turkey cost $2.49, the lite whipped topping was $0.89, the lite string cheese was $2.49, and the lite Meatball Sandwiches were $1.89 (and that includes 2!).
I would have liked to see some organic produce and some more organic products. I was able to score frozen organic strawberries for $2.39 (which was the best price I’ve seen for them), but that was about all that I saw. However, if you stick to buying the “Clean 15” at ALDI, you’ll get great prices.
There were also personal care items and some housewares items offered.
I ended up filling my stroller’s under basket with products to buy. I actually had to stop shopping, because I really would have bought a lot more. My purchases totaled $50 and I had a $25 gift certificate to cover 1/2 of it. In a regular supermarket, without coupons, my bill would have been at least $75, so I was pretty thrilled.
Here are some more ways ALDI is different:
- The Carts: Put a quarter in the cart, shop and then return the cart to get your quarter back. This helps to keep prices low because they don’t spend time retrieving carts.
- Checkout: Credit card processing fees are expensive. ALDI only accepts cash, debit and EBT cards, it helps keep their prices low.
- Bags: ALDI doesn’t add the costs of bags to their prices. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, you can bring your own bags or pay 11 cents per bag. Everyone I saw brought their own.
- Pack Up: After paying, you move your cart to the bagging area. There you can pack your bags exactly how you’d like.
Thank you to ALDI for providing a $25 gift certificate for the purposes of this review. As always, all opinions are my own.
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