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The joys of Aldi

In preparing to learn the area that my new house is at I discovered the Aldi across the street. So I had to investigate.

What is Aldi?

Here’s the official bio on the grocery store.

ALDI Group It is one of the world’s biggest grocery chains, running about 7,500 stores worldwide. Offering deeply discounted prices on about 700 popular food items (a typical grocery store has 25,000). No frills ALDI (short for “Albrecht Discounts”) buys cheap land mostly on city outskirts, builds cheap warehouses, keeps a tiny staff, and carries mostly private-label items, displaying them on pallets rather than shelves. ALDI has nearly 800 stores in 26 US states, but Germany (where ALDI has a 40% share of the grocery market) accounts for about two-thirds of sales. (taken from http://web.archive.org/web/20060618233016/http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/54/54910.html)

Translation: It is a small grocery store with where you can find many of the items you purchase on your shopping trips to Publix, Winn-Dixie or Walmart but for much cheaper. While most grocery stores focus on customer service or other slogans, Aldi focuses on saving you money. It’s a no frills store with piles of products on every aisle.  Prices are clearly labeled and everything is within reach so there is no need to have to ask for assistance for something on a top shelf.

Who came up with the concept of Aldi?

(taken from http://momadvice.com/food/aldi_supermarket.aspx)

The frugal ways of Aldi actually came out of its post World War II beginnings in 1948 when customers at its first store in Essen Germany wanted only the lowest priced staples. These stores were started by two brothers, Theo & Karl Albrecht, and they named the store Albrecht Discount. Albrecht Discount is now known as Aldi (for short).

Where is Aldi located?

Geographic distribution

Aldi has various locations in the United States, Europe and even Australia.

Country Name Aldi group Since Outlets
 Germany Aldi Nord 1946 2,400
Aldi Süd 1946 1,790[8]
 Australia Aldi Süd 2001 260[8]
 Austria Hofer Süd 1968 430[8]
 Belgium Aldi Nord 1973 380
 Denmark Aldi Nord 1977 244
 France Aldi Nord 1988 680
 Hungary Aldi Süd 2008 78 [9]
 Ireland Aldi Süd 1998 91
 Luxembourg Aldi Nord 1990 12
 Netherlands Aldi Nord 1975 406
 Poland Aldi Nord 2008 63
 Portugal Aldi Nord 2006 29
 Slovenia Hofer Süd 2005 60[8]
 Spain Aldi Nord 2002 227 [10]
 Switzerland Aldi Suisse Süd 2005 130[8]
 United Kingdom Aldi Süd 1989 421[11][12]
 United States Aldi Süd 1976 1,140[8]
Trader Joe’s Nord 1979 355
total number of Aldi Nord stores 4,771
total number of Aldi Süd stores 4,291
total number of all Aldi stores 9,062

(taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldi)

When is it open?

Most Aldi stores are open from 9am to 7 or 8 pm Monday through Saturday and have shorter hours on Sundays.

Check out the  store locator for the hours at your local ALDI.

How is the shopping experience different?

Right away you’ll notice it’s a much smaller grocery store  than what you are used to, it’s about the size of a CVS or Walgreens if all the shelves were arranged the same way.

Everything is stacked in piles so you can move quickly and efficiently from one product to the next without having to hunt for it.

Tips when going to shop at Aldi

(taken from:http://www.momadvice.com/food/aldi_meal_plan_fall.aspx)

  • No coupon clipping is needed for your Aldi shopping experience. Aldi sells, primarily, only off-brand merchandise saving you some time on coupon cutting. Aldi carries only one brand in one size in each of their product category. Just because these products are considered “off-brand”, in actuality, many of the private label products are made by well-known brand manufacturers and are simply shipped in different packaging to their stores.
  • Aldi only accepts cash, debit cards, and the electronic benefits transfer cards (formerly known as food stamps).
  • The store offers a shopping cart rental program. Basically, this means you will need to insert a quarter into the cart to use it. Upon returning the cart, you will receive your quarter back, but be sure to tuck a quarter in your purse before you go. Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait in line for change so that you can get your cart to start you shopping trip.
  • Bring your own grocery bags or you can pay for their bags. Paper bags will cost you five cents a pop and the plastic bags will run you ten cents. Along with bringing your own bags, you will also need to bag your own groceries. The cashier will set the groceries in your cart and then you are responsible for the bagging. Aldi provides a long counter where you can bag your groceries. Also keep your eyes out for empty boxes because these are perfect for storing groceries in your car and make carrying your groceries easier.
  • Aldi offers a double guarantee on all of their products. If you are dissatisfied with any of their products, they will replace the product and refund your money too!
  • Join Aldi’s mailing list to receive regular information about their special offers. You can sign up for their email newsletter through http://www.usa.aldi.com

And as always I have to include recipes..

Banana Crumb Muffins

(Taken from http://www.momadvice.com/food/aldi_meal_plan_fall7.aspx)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cups white sugar
1 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 T butter

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease ten muffin cups or line with muffin papers. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut the butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins. Bake in preheated oven for eighteen to twenty minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean.

Baked Potato Soup

(taken from http://www.momadvice.com/food/aldi_meal_plan_fall6.aspx)

Ingredients

4 large baked potatoes (use the four extra that you prepared)
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
6 cups milk (whole or two percent)
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
12 slices bacon, fried & crumbled
2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

Cut potatoes in half. Scoop out the pulp and put it in a small bowl. Melt butter in a large pot. Add flour. Gradually stir in milk. Continue to stir until smooth, thickened, and bubbly. Stir in potato pulp, salt and pepper, & ¾ of the cheese. Cook until heated. Stir in sour cream. Top with remaining bacon & cheese.

Makes four servings.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Want more recipes visit http://www.momadvice.com/aldi/.

More on Aldi

another blogger made a list of things to buy and not buy at Aldi, very good list in my opinion though I do disagree with some of the list, I approve of the fact that she noticed how her family is eating more produce since it is cheaper at Aldi.

Check it out here http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2010/03/what-to-buy-and-not-buy-at-aldi/.

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