Monday, February 17, 2014

A Sunday Shopping Trip At Aldi

by Meghann on February 17, 2014

You may already know this, but I’m a self proclaimed grocery store nerd.

I get it from my Dad. He loves food as much as I do and grocery stores equally as much. I’ll never forget the time we stopped at a grocery store in Italy just to see what it was like (only my family!), then I did the same thing when I visited Ireland on my own a couple of years later.

Some folks hate grocery shopping, but I love it. Some weeks I spend hours going up and down the aisles, exploring new foods and scoring the best deals. I rarely write grocery lists, I usually have my staples then find inspiration in the store. That method doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for me.

Given my fondness for grocery stores, I was extra excited when Aldi reached out and asked if I wanted to join their ambassador team for a four part series – heck yeah! Where do I begin?

I first discovered Aldi when they started popping up in Florida a few years ago. Aldi stores are a little different than your typical grocery store as they take the “no frills” approach, which allows them to cut costs on their end to ensure savings on our (the customer’s) end. The stores are a little smaller, the shelves are stacked a little differently, and they mainly stock their own branded items, but their savings are also insane.

Derek and I took a mini road trip across Tampa to put Aldi to the test on Sunday. When I lived in Orlando I had an Aldi about a mile from my house, but unfortunately the closest one to us now is across town.


First up, we needed a cart.



Yep, you need a quarter for a cart, but don’t worry, you get the quarter back at the end. The quarter acts as a deposit, once you return the cart, you’ll get the cart back. It’s Aldi’s way of encouraging customers to return the carts once they’re done with them.

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Alright, time to shop.


First thought, the aisles are really wide. Considering how much smaller the location is than what I’m used to, I never felt squished or packed in. I think the lower shelves may have also helped with that open air feeling. Instead of traditional shelves, most items are stacked in their original boxes, which keeps the shelves low and up keep minimal.



I was immediately drawn to the produce section as that’s typically my favorite part of any grocery store. Granted, the Aldi produce section wasn’t particularly large or full of exotic fruits and vegetables, but it did cover all the basic needs and offered some great savings.


Exhibit A:


Ummm… yeah. Hella great deal. We’re at peak strawberry season in Florida and all of these babies came from up the road in Plant City. Still, I haven’t seen that price anywhere else. That’s worth the trip right there!


There were also the blackberries and blueberries.



And, yes, they have organic options.



I rounded out the trip with some hummus (a priority!)


And meat. Aldi carries “Fit & Active” brand, which reminds me of  what you would see from Jenny O.


We easily filled our entire cart. Mainly with veggies and fruit. I still can’t get over that strawberry deal!


Check out time!



Be warned, Aldi does charge for bags so be sure to bring your own to save a few cents.



The cashier loaded all of the groceries directly back to the cart.



Then there was  a bagging area to load up our bags ourselves.






Once everything was loaded in the car we returned the cart



And got that precious quarter back.





Honestly, I was really impressed with the quality and price of Aldi’s produce. I loaded our cart up with fruit and veggies and can’t wait to cook with them this week!

Have you ever shopped at Aldi? What do you think of the store? 

This post is sponsored by Aldi. As always, all opinions are my own.


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