So, I had my first shopping experience at Aldi today. I didn't really know what to expect, but had seen commericials about new stores opening up in North Texas and heard about their great deals. I went in with a decent list - everything needed to make my Aunt Neva's chicken pot pie, plus a few other items.
I've started doing some price comparisons (something my mom and sister have been doing for years) and had comps for Wal-Mart for at least some staple items. Aldi does beat the Wal-Mart price on most everything. The hard part is it is a small store and the selection very limited. Plus it is almost exclusively off-brand. Nothing wrong with that. Just different from the big grocery stores. And they only take cash or debit (non Visa/MC debit). Which since I don't use much cash, would make it necessary to plan ahead.
I found out the cash only thing as I was walking in the store. Good thing my mom taught me how to keep a running tab as I'm shopping to make sure I know what the finally tally will be. Not that I normally do that, but I can. So, I evaluated the amount of cash in my wallet and set out to see how much of my list I could get checked off.
Here was the damage:
1 lb fresh strawberries = 0.99
1 lb bag frozen peas = 0.95
1 lb bag frozen corn = 0.95
quart chicken stock = 1.29
gallon skim milk = 1.79
quart half & half = 1.99
green bell peppers (3) = 1.79
bag yellow onions = 2.69
garlic cloves (3) = 0.89
3 lb frozen boneless chicken breast = 5.49
2 lb carrots = 0.99
4 lb sugar = 1.79
5 lb flour = 1.19
5 lb potatoes = 1.49
Grand total = $24.28
Every.single.thing on my list. Plus, paying with cash made me stick to my list. I *KNOW* I would have spent more at Kroger, because I would have just tossed anything that looked good into my basket.
A couple of other interesting notes....you have to pay a deposit of a quarter to use a basket (they are locked together and you get the quarter back out when you return the basket and lock it back in) and you have to bag your own groceries. You have to bring your own bags or they do have reusable bags for sale or you can pay 0.10 cents each for plastic bags.
Don't know for sure how often I will do my grocery shopping at Aldi. It is on my way home from work, so I might just use it for the quick little runs, but I'm also giving up on the perks of my credit card by paying with cash up front at the store, rather than just paying off the credit card bill in full.
Oh, and before I made it to Aldi this morning? Found a vintage egg basket at an estate sale for $1.50 that I plan to use for those onions in my pantry (been looking for one for a while). Also picked up a Scrabble game for my house (50 cents) and Scrabble Junior for Emily ($1.00) at garage sale. Now each household in my family has a Scrabble game we can whip out anytime!