A new Aldi just opened 3 miles from my home. If you’re unfamiliar with Aldi it’s a discount supermarket that sells primarily generic groceries at prices lower than the average supermarket. They keep their costs low by very little advertising, locking up their carts to prevent theft and not providing free grocery bags.
My first experience with Aldi was in college. I had never heard of it until I moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania my freshman year. At first I thought it was the shoe store Aldo which led to much confusion initially. As a broke college student I was attracted to the low prices. But as an immature 18 year old I was slightly weirded out by the generic products which I thought were knock offs of brand names. The labeling on their generic products was very similar to popular brand name packaging. Toaster Tarts instead of Pop Tarts or Aunt Maple’s instead of Aunt Jemima.
However, now being a bill paying older adult I have a totally different view of Aldi. Also they have really made an effort to sell more than processed junk. They now have many organic products and fresh produce. Don’t get me wrong some of their products are not very healthy or natural. And contain artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. This is where label reading is a must — which you should do in any grocery store.
Check out this innocent looking box of ‘Quinoa Blend.’
It contains Yeast Extract, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors (not really natural – they are produced in a lab) and Maltodextrin (again created in a lab). No thanks!
I do not do the bulk of my grocery shopping at Aldi but I have a few favorites that I found which are truly natural and healthy. Some of my Aldi favorites are their organic dried herbs and spices, nuts, organic tortilla chips, canned organic beans. Also their fresh produce including avocados, pineapples and organic salad mix.
Here are some photos from my last Aldi trip. I did not purchase all these items but I wanted to show you some of their selection.
If you do not have an Aldi in your area now, you might very soon. According to their website, they plan to have 2,000 stores in the US by 2018. So give them a try, you might save a few dollars. And be sure to read those labels carefully!
Have you ever shopped at Aldi?