You all have asked for it and it is time for me to deliver! If you know me, you know I am deeply in love with Aldi. I even waited outside for two hours at 6am pregnant and with my 18-month-old for the grand opening of the new store near me last year. I also cried tears of joy and it was the highlight of the decade for me.
If you have never heard of this incredible grocery store, then you are in for a treat! Aldi is an award winning budget grocery store that, once you get used to it’s quirks, might just become your favorite grocery store ever. And it can save your family a ton of money, too. Let me tell you why you need to try it out:
Aldi is the cheapest grocery store you will find.
This is #1 on my list because it is what Aldi is most known for. They’re not known for their flashy storefronts or giant selection, but their prices.
I debated going to multiple stores and doing some price comparisons for you on store brand products at HEB, Kroger and Costco with some picture evidence, but this point is just so true that I feel I don’t even have to do it to prove it to you. Many times I have pulled up HEB curbside, Kroger Clicklist and Aldi Instacart up and filled my carts with the exact same items. Every time, Aldi takes the cake. By a landslide!
A few money-saving crowd favorites:
- Baking Items – All very very cheap.
- Avocados – usually around $0.30!
- Grass Fed Ground Beef – Under $5 per pound
- Almond Milk – $2.49
- Chips – $0.79 per bag. Great for parties!
- The Nuts – Cheaper than bulk at most stores
- All Kids snacks – String cheese, pretzels, raisins, peanut butter crackers, etc.
- Diapers (No, my kids do not blow out of these) – $0.12 to $0.15 per diaper. That’s cheaper than Walmart, Target and Costco!
- Anything Organic or Gluten Free will be cheapest at Aldi!
The produce is even cheaper than Walmart! The meat is an amazing price. Every week, we are sure to pick up the 5lb ground beef roll or the family pack of chicken breasts and it really cuts our grocery bill down. Even when we are feeling fancy and buy organic and grass-fed, we know we are getting a great deal.
And don’t even get me started about the comparison between Costco and Aldi prices. Costco is so expensive. If you are wanting to get a good price on name brand items, then Costco is wonderful. Or if you are hosting a party, want to have a lifetime supply of plastic wrap or need new tires, Costco is the place to be. There are many awesome uses for Costco, however, it is not cheap and almost no items are cheaper at Costco compared to Aldi.
Week after week, I am stunned that my total is under $150 for our family of four nine times out of ten. Under $100 on a week when I’m really being budget-conscious. Our grocery budget dropped from $800 per month to $400 per month when we switched to Aldi, even when we were in a season of buying diapers, wipes and baby formula. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t see a good enough reason to not have an extra $4,000+ a year. I sure love how Trader Joes and Target make me feel, but that feeling is not worth $4,000 to me. Aldi is life, y’all! This was a combination of Aldi’s low prices, fewer impulse buys due to the smaller selection, and cutting out specialty ingredients that we used to stop at Whole Foods for, etc. (We have recently been eating more of a Paleo diet, so we don’t always stay under $100 like we used to)
“Why is it so cheap? That sounds gross to me…”
This is the biggest question we get. People wonder if they are sacrificing quality for the prices, and I am here to tell you, you truly are not. Just like any other store brand, you are able to cut the cost of the middle man. By selling almost all store brand products, Aldi saves a huge amount of money and is able to let their customers in on that.
Aldi stores are much smaller than your average grocery store. That means they have lower bills for everything. They also have a smaller inventory. They have almost only one of each item, so they need less of everything.
Aldi also has very very few employees. The same guy who is at the cash register is the same guy loading up the fork lift and stocking the shelves, as well as taking out the trash and mopping the floors. Smaller store, smaller inventory, less to do, less people to pay…and you get to save the extra cash, too. They also make you return your cart instead of leaving it in the parking lot and having to pay someone to go bring it back for you. It’s just all brilliant.
People are always worried about the quality of the meat…it grosses them out. People think since they pay less, they are getting rotten meat. You. are. not!! We aren’t going to go into all of the factory farm stuff but…if I am getting the same mass produced chicken that they are sending to Kroger, you best believe I’m not going to pay the big bucks for it. If I wanted really quality, free range, grass-fed, organic meat, I’d go to a farmers market or find a local place I could buy directly from. You are not getting that at Kroger anyways, so I choose not to pay as if I am. Rant over. 😉
People often ask me about the quality of the diapers as well. I have never had an issue and I LOVE that they are pretty flat and small in your purse, yet I’ve never had a blowout. There was a rumor going around at one point saying that the Aldi brand diapers (Little Journey) were just the off-brand of the Honest Diapers…don’t fact check me but I sure believe it.
So, if you are worried about the quality of your food, rest assured that it is no different than the store brand at your regular grocery store, which is usually just a big name brand product from the same exact factory, but with a store name slapped on it.
Aldi is the quickest grocery shopping trip you will make
You can quote me on this. You will not find another store that gets you in and out in record time. Because of the low inventory and small building, it is very hard to waste time in there. There is only one size and one brand of almost every item. This is great for you, because you do not waste any time deciding and weighing your options- there’s only one option! You came for a can of black beans, great! You just grab the one can they have.
The cashiers are also trained to be lightening fast. They don’t hold a conversation with you, but that’s not their goal. Their goal is to get you in and out as fast as they can so that you can do what you need to do and they can keep their store running efficiently. (Remember, they have a lot of jobs to get back to!)
After getting used to shopping at Aldi, when I go into HEB I am so overwhelmed that it takes me SO long to go across the entire store and get all that I need. Even if I run into a normal store for 2 items, I seem to be there for an hour every time! And, the decision! There are so many brands, options, sizes…it’s all so stressful to me now that I’ve been changed by the simplicity that Aldi offers.
Aldi is the easiest grocery store to take your kids to
Oh boy, never could I have anticipated the anxiety that comes along with taking small children to the grocery store. At a regular grocery store, if you have a full week’s worth of grocery shopping to do, you will be in there for so long trying to get everything and pace back and forth between all of the aisles and the massive building. Don’t forget that if you have chosen Target for this week’s groceries, you will get distracted with the toys, the dollar section, the Hearth and Hand line…
At Aldi however, there are no frills. The aisles are a one-way, and you go through each aisle to go through the store. You pass everything so that you won’t forget anything, and you’re out in a flash. The small store, the double seated cart, the lightening fast cashiers…ahhh even thinking about it vs my local mega-grocery store makes me take a sigh of relief. I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t completely switched to Curbside Pickup since I had my second baby, but back when I used to go inside of the store, it was such a breath of fresh air!
The Aldi Finds aisle rarely has tons of toys, if any, so you can’t waste too much time fighting with your toddler. You can also easily skip past this aisle as it is not part of the up-and-down, one-way system they have going on.
A pro tip: If you have little ones, push the cart with your un-bagged groceries to your car. Buckle your kiddos in their seats and then bag your groceries in peace with your trunk popped open. This way you are not stress-shoving your groceries in bags at the counter while your toddler is throwing everything out of the cart and your baby is running away. (Not that this has happened to me ever…)
Aldi’s limited selection makes you only buy what you need
This is a great selling point for me. When I walk into Whole Foods, everything looks so nice and healthy and fun and an hour later I’m walking out with 3 things costing $100 and couldn’t even find the ingredients I came for. And don’t even get me started on Target. If I go in there for groceries, you know I’m not only coming out with groceries!
You can’t buy (much of) anything but groceries at Aldi. So you won’t get caught up in the home improvement things you need to grab, the toys, the cute home decor, etc. And if you do find yourself getting stuck in the Aldi Finds aisle, it won’t take long to just take a look and be on your way due to how small it is!
If you are someone who also gets distracted when grocery shopping, Aldi can help you focus on what you need and help you save the extra cash.
The Quirky Aldi Rituals
The quarter for your cart, the bringing your own bags, the waiting each week to check the weekly ad’s Aldi finds…it’s a lifestyle, y’all. And it feels like you’re in a secret club of people who are hacking the system. I love that going to Aldi has become a hobby because of how easy and fun it becomes!
Once you get into your Aldi groove and start to notice all of your extra cash each month, you will drive by your old grocery stores and shake your head at all of the people in there that you now feel are being scammed by Kroger. Welcome to the good life!
- Bring a quarter to “rent” your grocery cart. You just pop it in and when you return the cart, it pops right back out.
- Bring your reusable grocery bags. And if you forget them, don’t sweat it, they have paper and plastic bags available for purchase.
- Go slowly the first time to get yourself familiar with the placement of everything. Make sure you follow the flow and go up and down each aisle so that you don’t miss anything!
The Aldi Finds Aisles
The most dangerous part of Aldi. Beware: If you are trying to switch to Aldi to save you money on groceries, just don’t even go in here. However, if you need to ease in and still get your fix of coming home with something extra and a little fun to curb your Target cravings, then this gives you just enough variety to stay the course and not go to other stores.
The Aldi Finds Aisle is a single aisle in Aldi that changes every week depending on the season. It will have home decor, toys, candles, home improvement items, laundry baskets… you name it. I love browsing this aisle on the way out to see if there are any great deals. I recently got my laundry baskets that I love from here for $3 each. That is a steal! The items that do pop up here are usually extremely affordable, yet give you the thrill that you may be seeking for at a store like Target.
They have Aldi Finds that are food items that switch seasonally as well. I really appreciate this because if you need halloween candy for instance, you don’t have to go to another store. Aldi really does think of everything.
Aldi offers Curbside Pickup and Delivery through Instacart
This is the best news I have to share with yall. Aldi finally offers Curbside pickup. This was one of the biggest hang-ups for people was that they didn’t offer this. As a mom of small children, I now understand why this is crucial in many, many seasons of motherhood.
I have tried both delivery and pickup, and I love the Curbside Pickup even more than the delivery. Delivery is done by Instacart employees, while Curbside Pickup is done by Aldi employees. No matter how many orders we made, the Instacart shoppers always missed something. Unless you know Aldi well, you may not find something like the international section. They never found the chopped green chilis, y’all! It drove me nuts because I knew exactly where they were in the store, but for someone who is unfamiliar with the layout, they just missed them.
The Aldi employees however, have nailed it every time. I have tried three different Aldi locations for Curbside Pickup and each time, they have never missed an item. The produce has always been awesome that they have picked out, and the quantity has been exactly what I ordered. Especially since this is something new they are offering, they are really trying to get it right and do it well. I am extremely happy with my Curbside experience thus far!
***Curbside Pickup and Delivery are both offered through the Instacart app, even though one is shopped by the Aldi employees and one is shopped by the Instacart employees. It’s just the platform they use.
Is Instacart worth it?
For us, delivery was worth it. We started getting Instacart Delivery when our second was born during the second week of the Corona lockdown. It definitely spoiled us and we kept it for much longer than we anticipated…
We had an Instacart membership which was a gift to us after the new baby which is $99 per year or $9.99 per month. Even with the membership, once you added the service fee and the driver tip, it was about $10 extra dollars once it was all ordered. This was worth it in that season, but an extra $50 a month spent on groceries eventually became not worth it to us.
However, now that Aldi has recently added CURBSIDE PICKUP, this is even better news. It is only $1.99 without an Instacart membership and FREE with one. Spending only TWO extra dollars to have someone shop for me and bring it to my car while my kids stay strapped in their carseats the entire time and don’t have to beg for the cereal or candy? Yeah, that’s worth $2 extra dollars to me.
Have you tried Instacart? You can get $10 off if you want to try it out with the code HWILSON29A171. If you signed up with my code, you would basically be giving me a penny for my thoughts. This is not sponsored in any way, they just have a referral program that you can use once you are a member as well!
So what do we do about the things we cannot find at Aldi?
This is another question we get asked a lot. Since we know we will shop almost always at Aldi, I simply don’t make meals with specialty ingredients. We eat relatively simply, and repeat meals often. You can find all of our breakfast and dinner recipes in the blog posts mentioned below! I also love Mashup Mom’s stuff. She makes all-Aldi recipes and meal plans for families of four for under $60 per week. I love her stuff!
For instance, we make smoothies every morning with chia seeds, flax seeds, spinach, natural peanut butter, unsweetened almond milk and protein powder. We can find all of those ingredients at Aldi except for the specific protein powder we like. We just order it on Amazon, because we don’t like getting sucked in at other grocery stores when we go looking for one item.
Aldi Simplifies Your Life
Ah, the simplicity. This is really what keeps me coming back. Anything that makes my life lower-stress, makes me have less decisions to make, and reduces friction in my life is something worth sharing. I know it may seem silly how much I love Aldi, but I think that finding ways to simplify the mundane tasks of life really gives me the freedom to use my energy elsewhere where it matters more.
So those are my top reasons to make the switch to Aldi for your groceries! If you’ve never been, I hope I have inspired you to at least give it a shot!
Do you shop at Aldi? What are your favorite things to pick up when you go? Let me know in the comments below!
Blog Posts Mentioned: