My Five Favorite Things About Aldi
Linking up with Hallie!
So, I know a lot of people don't care for it, but today I want to share with you my Five Favorite Things about Aldi.
I'll admit it...I used to be anti-Aldi. I just had all these wrong assumptions about it! But now, I love it and it makes it possible to feed my family good food on a small budget.
(If you're like I was and you don't know anything about Aldi, here's a primer.)
"Sometimes your want to go where everybody knows your name..."
Okay, so everyone at Aldi doesn't literally know my name, but it feels as if they should. I've been to all kinds of different grocery stores in my day, and I've never felt as welcome at one as I do at Aldi. I remember reading that they claim to have a "small town grocery store feel" and I was super skeptical. But, for the record - I'm originally from a small town, and Aldi is even more friendly than a small town grocery store, if that's possible. People smile at each other, making conversation, and look out for each other. On more than one occasion, while shopping with both daughters in tow, I've had people (mainly older people) offer to help me unload my cart, bag my groceries, or get things out to the car. And I take them up on that offer! The store is so small that you can't help but notice when your fellow shoppers could use a hand.
Friendly, fast, helpful employees.
The people who work at Aldi are really top notch. They seem so much friendlier and happier than any other grocery store employees I've ever seen. They seem to be a team! And they're so fast. I was amazed the first time I went to Aldi and watched them whip my groceries from the conveyor belt to the cart before I even knew what was happening! At a normal grocery store, I'm usually standing there and waiting for them to finish ringing things up - but not at Aldi! I don't know how they do it, but usually I'm rushing just to get to the register to pay because they scan my groceries almost as quickly as I can unload them! And they're so pleasant about it! They always smile at my girls and offer to let them stay sitting in the cart (you bag your own groceries at Aldi, so usually they give you a fresh cart full of your paid-for groceries, ready to bag, but they make an exception when you've got small children already comfy in your original cart). They keep the store so clean and the employees just give the place a pleasant vibe.
They're owned by the same people that own Trader Joe's.
Yep, Trader Joe's and Aldi have the same parent company! While that doesn't mean that Aldi has the same products as Trader Joe's I actually have been surprised by how many healthy and organic and hormone free products are actually available at Aldi. I couldn't afford products like that normally, but with the help of Aldi prices, I actually can afford some of these kinds of products. Aldi gets a bad rep for being "unhealthy" but I think it's like any grocery store - they sell unhealthy food and healthy foods. If you are selective and choose well, you can certainly fill your cart with healthy, wholesome food. In fact, if you're like our family...Aldi might be the ticket to making fresh produce and meats affordable! Aldi helps us stay true to our budget. :-)
The quarter thing is actually kind of cool.
I have to admit, one of my initial hang-ups about Aldi was the fact that you have to pay a quarter deposit to use a cart. I'm mean, that's weird, right? And I'll admit, sometimes when it's raining and I'm trying to shuffle children from point A to point B, I do wish there was a cart corral right next to the car. But do you know what? At least at my Aldi, the quarter deposit system creates a camaraderie among shoppers. It's kind of an unspoken rule that if you park your car and see someone who is finishing unloading their cart into their car (especially if they have small children, are pregnant, or elderly) that you'll swap them your quarter for their cart. I've had so many people save me a walk back to the cart corrals this way. It's just another little thing that makes the whole Aldi shopping experience so much more personable.
It makes groceries affordable no matter where you live.
When we were graduate students at Notre Dame, we lived in South Bend, Indiana. The cost of living was way cheaper there than it is in the city we now live in. It used to be that I didn't have to think about shopping around with groceries. Yes, there was a grocery store that was cheaper than another grocery store, but still...things were generally pretty affordable. Then, we moved to Missouri and oh-my-goodness-sticker-shock. Every time I went grocery shopping that first summer I would be so discouraged because no matter what I did, I could not stay on budget. Then, I tried Aldi. Problem solved! Not only could I stay on budget, but I actually could buy more food!!!
So, Aldi doesn't carry everything you need (although, I've found that the more familiar you are with their stock you can certainly curtail your list so that you can find most things there). But it doesn't carry most of the things on the average grocery list. So, with a little creativity, Aldi can meet most of your needs.
I'm an Aldi fan. Are you?