Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ode to Aldi

In a world where, on any given Saturday afternoon, I can drive down 96th street and see men and women standing along side, holding signs that read, "Homeless, Hungry, Help Me," I hesitate anymore to say that we are poor. We, in fact, are the very opposite of poor. We are very rich. We are rich with love, blessed with all the material possessions we could possibly need and most of what we want, and I have a stable, steady, honest income that provides food, entertainment, shelter, and savings. Luke is in school to become a physician, which will pay off in the future. We are rich, compared to the true poor. 

However, I am into saving a buck anywhere I can. I love coupons. In fact, I used a 50% off coupon at Michael's today on a $6 can of spray paint. Hey, that $3 I saved can get me a value meal at McDonald's...(I shouldn't be thinking about McDonald's...)! I feel that I am a pretty competitive shopper...I won't pay more for something at one store if I can get it for less someplace else. However, for months, I have resisted the urge to go into the Aldi grocery store just a stone's throw from my favorite supermarket, Meijer. I love Meijer, and I always thought they had really great prices (and they do, compared to Marsh and the poor quality of Wal-Mart). I am a creature of habit. If I like going to the bright, shiny, mega store, it is going to be difficult to get me to switch. However, Luke convinced me to go to Aldi for our groceries because 1) we were extra low on money due to the Kiawah trip, and 2) Luke went there before Kiawah and I really liked the food he bought there. Why not?

We went in and did a fair amount of damage. The goal was to spend $60. We ended up spending about $65, but we got a ton of stuff, including some very comparable, high quality items that I normally get at Meijer. I knew that we ended up saving a lot of money, but I really wanted to know exactly HOW much we saved compared to the already low-priced Meijer, so I went last night and priced out the receipt with comparable items at Meijer. I even tried to find the cheap Meijer generic brands to compare with. I did the math, and we ended up saving around $32! Our bill would have been about $100 at Meijer, but only $65 at Aldi! Yesssssss!

I will say that Aldi doesn't have the best selection of "health" foods. If you are into organic or sugar free (which I especially look for), you will need to go to a bigger store. However, for your frozen products, milk, eggs, baking needs, cereal, chips, salsa (they have some amazing salsa in their deli for about $2.50 less than Meijer), cookies, cheese, etc....Aldi is your jam! :-) 

So, people, in this day when "the economy" is a common mention at the dinner table, don't pay more when you could swallow your pride, go to Aldi, and swallow a whole lot food for a lot less money. Be smart!

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