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Is Aldi worth an extra trip?

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Is Aldi worth an extra trip? Yes, and here is why.

Philosophers and pundits have pondered the question “Is Aldi worth an extra trip?” since time immemorial. There are lot of expenses in your life that you cannot control.  However, The cost of groceries is not one of them.  Even though Americans are very fortunate in that we spend a very small fraction of our income on food, there is no reason that you cannot save by shopping around.

aldi store front
Is Aldi worth an extra trip?

I know which stores in my area have the best deals and best departments.  At Trader Joe’s you can bet that I am stocking up on cheese.  At Wegman’s I am definitely getting some steak and probably some fresh fish.  If I am at the Co-op, I am getting nuts in the bulk section.  At the Dollar Tree I am getting personal care stuff. (After all, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.) The Fresh Market in Cheltenham has the best produce.  Why not get the best values your area has to offer?

To this rotation you can definitely add Aldi. Aldi is a bit out of the way for me, but there are several examples that prove that Aldi is worth an extra trip once in a while.

Related post: “Top 7 Grocery Store Rip-offs

Is Aldi worth an extra trip? Yes, if you are stocking up.

I am not saying you need to drive for hours, but there are several reasons why Aldi is worth an extra trip if it is available to you.  Fortunately, most of these reasons are shelf stable, so you will be stocking up.

You don’t have to be an extreme coupon-er to take a page from the extreme couponing handbook. I tried extreme couponing for a while, but decide it wasn’t a good use of my time. The main way that coupon-ers save is by stockpiling shelf-stable products. Therefore, Obsessing over clippings, codes, apps, and combining offers is not required.

stockpiling food
“Don’t smile like that while massaging my olives, Mildred. It’s creeping me out.”

You can get similar savings buy stocking up on good deals when you find them; you just need to figure out a storage solution.

NOTE: I am not saying that you should to have a doomsday bunker full of deodorant (and I am not saying that you shouldn’t.) You might start your stash with a few extra boxes of pasta, cereal, or olive oil – you don’t have to go crazy.  In the olden days a stockpile was simply known as a pantry.

is aldi worth an extra trip stash 1

is aldi worth an extra trip stash 2

I use this ugly, old hutch for my stash.  (Hey, it came with the house.)  Whatever you decide to use, make sure it is convenient and comfortable to access and organize or you won’t use it.  Boxing stuff up is a mistake.  If you are using open shelving, consider putting only cans on the bottom so that you don’t attract vermin.

vermin
VERMIN!

As a bonus, you will be amazed how often your stash will bail you out when you are under-the-gun to come up with a dinner.

Amazon link: stash storage solution

Is Aldi worth an extra trip? Top 10 examples :

Honorable mention: random non-grocery stuff

I don’t know why, but Aldi always has a random selection of household goods.  Sometimes they have tools, plumbing fixtures, patio furniture, slippers, small appliances – you name it.  Just be aware that these items rotate quickly.  I wanted to get a second step-stool one time, but I acted too late.

Is aldi worth an extra trip camping sink
On this last trip, I found this neat collapsing camping sink thing.

10) Gluten free products at Aldi

I like my food to be gluten-captive, but I am not prejudiced – some of my best friends are gluten free.  I was pleased to see that Aldi has some cheap, gluten-free products now, so I picked some up for company.  In fact, Aldi has a lot of products for people with different food concerns.gluten free at aldi

9) Dressings and marinades

A large bottle of salad dressing for 89 cents!  What else can I say?  These things are usually three bucks.

is aldi worth an extra trip dressing

8) Whey protein powder

I exercise religiously – every January 2nd, without fail.

When I do exercise, I like to be able to function the next day.  I find that a protein smoothie soon after exercise makes a huge difference, but protein powder ain’t cheap.  If you ever buy whey protein, you know that a huge jug for 14 bucks is a great deal.  This would be my number one answer for “Is Aldi worth an extra trip?” but not everyone needs it.
whey protein at aldi

7) Flour (and other baking staples)

My wife is a serious baker and will only use King Arthur flour.  I am not so picky, so getting a sack of flour for $1.39 is right up my alley.  I can save the three bucks and get some fancier toppings for my homemade pizza.

Related post: “Gourmet pizza for the kneady

6) Cooking oils and sprays

Whether it is cooking spray, olive oil, or regular corn oil, Aldi is the place to stock up.

“Is Aldi worth an extra trip?” Is a bear Catholic?

5) Anything in a can

I generally need a lot of canned beans, canned tomatoes, olives, and the like.  I would rather make a trip to Aldi than waste my time trying to find coupons for this type of thing.cheaped canned stuff for is aldi worth an extra trip

4) Breakfast cereal

If I buy the store-brand cereal at ACME on sale, I will pay $2.50 a box.  Aldi has them beat buy a good sight, and I actually like their shredded wheat cereal better.

cereal at aldi

3) Pickles

Pickles are literally 1/3 the price at Aldi.  I can’t taste the difference.  If I buy five jars for my stash, I am saving ten bucks in the long run.  Maybe more as pickles appreciate.  I bet Warren Buffet has a whole basement full of pickles.

2) Salsa

Salsa is a rip-off at most grocery stores.  Making it yourself is a great option, but sometimes you are just too lazy.  I refuse to pay five bucks for a jar of tomatoes and onions.

jars of salsa is aldi worth an extra trip
Big jars of salsa for $1.29

1) And the winner is: Crackers!

My household goes through a lot of woven wheat crackers  When you think about all of those tiny looms, it is no wonder that they are usually three dollars a box.  Aldi has a larger box than Triscuits and at a fraction of the costs.  This deal alone answers the question, “Is Aldi worth an extra trip?”

cheap crackers at aldi
“It was an honor just to be nominated.”

Is Aldi worth an extra trip? Yes, but you should know what to expect.

Aldi keeps their prices so low by streamlining their process and minimizing staff.

  • There are no employees in the aisles to answer your questions.
  • The food is stacked in a utilitarian fashion – no fancy displays.
  • You will have bag or box your own stuff after you leave the checkout.  Make sure to bring some bags or boxes.
  • They do not carry multiple brands of the same product.  If you really like a particular brand, you will have to go somewhere else.
  • There is no bakery, deli, or butcher shop.  Whatever is packaged is what they have.
  • You even have to return your own cart.  They ensure this by making you deposit a quarter to receive your cart, so put one in your pocket before leaving your car.
is aldi worth an extra trip carts
You bet your a$$ I’m going back to get my quarter.

I actually find that this simplicity makes shopping better.  If you can live with their set-up, Aldi is worth an extra trip in your shopping.  If I can save $50 from one extra trip, it is worth it to me.  Thank you for reading “Is Aldi worth an extra trip?”

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4 comments

  1. This is wonderful information! But, I live in a state which does not have an Aldi. What can I do besides move to PA?

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