We have a new large Aldi store across the street from Trader Joe's. Yes, I know that the stores were started by members of the same family. I've been in an Aldi's once several years ago, was underwhelmed
Is there any thing that you like from Aldi's?
I go there every week, then go to a larger store to get the rest of my list.
After they didn't turn out sick, I'd have informed them. Our Aldi is always jammed packed. That's why I can't wait for the new one to open although I'll continue going to the one 1/4 mile away.. My daughter dissed it too since she loves TJ's but now her husband gets a lot of things there and loves it.
But....if the food from Aldi made people sick, wouldn't the health department shut them down? Wouldn't the news media tear them to shreds? After one tiny food poisoning outbreak, a national chain lost a ton of business and it took a long time to recover. I haven't heard of Aldi having dangerous food. I have heard wilted or wrinkled about some items at some stores, but that's a reason not to buy those items, not to dump the store! I've been complaining about that, finding wrinkly items, at what used to be the tip top quality, highest store here, but they used to only have produce so perfect that you didn't have to look, just take the first ones off the top and they'd be gorgeous, so seeing a wrinkle is shocking.
Where I live, the high end grocery stores do have mostly perfect produce and rotate out perfectly good produce (which I'm sure gets sold on or possibly donated), and bring new in.
The stores with more practical sense and lower prices, will have perfectly good, fresh produce, but which has a shorter shelf life on average because it's a bit older. TJ's is known for not just the veg, but also the cheese, bakery, and other perishables, for being a little close to the sell by date. Use it or lose it kind of thing. But when perishables perish because one waits too long, I don't blame the store. TJ's will refund anything that you find unsatisfactory--you don't have to bring it if you have your receipt-- and the service desk is always attended and ready to help, so it's easy.
Sheesh, do you think it's some kind of snobbism? A justification of spending more? When I entertain, I try to give my guests the best quality I can find. If I need to scrimp, it'll be on the daily stuff, not the company. But I try to plan out my shopping to get the produce that TJ's or the fruit stand, or what have you, has for the better prices and fill in on the things they don't have, or don't have as good of, at the pricier store. Top quality is top quality, and sometimes you have to pay more for it, but often you just have to shop more carefully to pay less.
Fruit spread recipes
So what (besides Tomatoes) are you bringing to MAGTAG?
1st Aldi Experience
Special Deals At Aldi's
A few years ago ALDI along with a few other stores found horse meat in some of their frozen meals that were supposed to contain beef. This was foods brought in from other countries, I can't remember from where. ALDI dropped the provider as did the other stores. There has been no farther problems. But remember this wasn't just ALDI it was also Tesco and a few others.
Closest ALDI to me is 30 minutes away. I get there when I can. I will be going Saturday. My daughter reminded me to get their ketchup. My kids think it's the best. A big bottle...I think 38 Oz cost 1.19.
My ALDI is a nice size, very clean, and friendly cashiers. I of course can't get everything I need there but enough to make the trip worthwhile, besides the meat market (family owned, grow their own beef, pigs, chickens) is very close by and I do hit it monthly. The chocolate bars are to die for also the laundry detergent is great. They have two types..one is very cheap and lousy but the other that says* compare to Tide* is very good...I swear it's Tide. The produce is really nice if you hit it early enough in the morning, but by lunch time all that's left is over ripe stuff no one wants.
I read that wherever ALDI gets their milk from they are able to sell it really cheap, can't remember the whole story, but it went on to say to buy milk somewhere else and support your local dairy farmers instead of ALDI milk. Oh and ALDI says by 2025 they hope to only sell free range chicken and eggs..
I really do like that my ALDI will sell locally grown produce, when in season of course. Unlike Walmart that will not sell local food stuff. At least in my area.
MP...My Aldi actually had Tide the other day. Their 49 cent avocados were the real bright green and bumpy ones I like. Wegman's, supposedly the highest rated grocery store in the country, had brown avocados tonight for $1.49.
That mention of Tesco, which I recognize as being in the UK, made me look up horsemeat & Aldi. The event did not occur in the US, though of course some readers here may live where the horsemeat was sold. It was not a fault of Aldi, though.
That's really interesting about the laundry detergent, mamapinky. We had tried their powdered product years ago and did not care for it. If we did not already have a several years' supply of Foca, I would try the Tide-like detergent.
So although I was there on my Monday run in the evening, husband goes down early on Thurs for salmon so there's a selection. Today he came home loaded and said it was jammed at 9. Gorgeous strawberries at $1.29, blackberries $1.39, tiny organic purple/yellow potatoes $2.39 and the canned dog food my dogs like except they're always out of it when I get there.
I think I qualify for free food from Aldi the way I've been touting their products...lol
Lily613, the green and bumpy avocados you mentioned were likely the same as the brown ones...Hass. Hass avocados have a bumpy green skin that darkens to brown when ripe. Fuerte avocados have a thinner smooth green skin. The skin also stays fairly green when ripe. Hass avocados have a richer flavor IMO.
Although there are none around me and I have no experience with them, Aldi's can't be that bad. The same survey that rated Wegmans as #1 in the country also rated Aldi's as #7. Whole Foods was #6 and Trader Joe's #4. Most other big chains didn't rate at all!
My Aldi now has the Fusia Asian broths. I picked up the Pho to try, and made soup with it yesterday for dinner. I like spicy Asian soups this time of year so I'll go back and try the others and stock up because it seems this is a limited supply item.
Mine also has seasonal plants. I picked up some paperwhite bulbs in Nov and they were perfect for the holidays. One of my favorite house plants is also from Aldi. It's a red aglaonema--I actually bought 2 and both are healthy.
Matthias, I LOVE FOCA, it cleans and whitens whites fantastically...but...yep there's a BUT. Lol...avoid using it on darks. There's a ton of brighteners in FOCA which is a problem for darks. Ever see a pair of black pants that kinda look between dusty as if they were used to dust furniture or a faded appearance...that's what brighteners do to darks. But for Whites FOCA is amazing. And the scent is light and delightful. LOL. Sadly I can no longer use FOCA as it suds too much in my front loader.
This may have been mentioned but anyone use ALDI vanilla? It's surely cheaper than other places but if it's no good it's not worth me buying even if it is cheap.
Lily, wow amazing price for your produce. I have been craving berries so hope I am lucky enough to find some Saturday.
As for avocados...this is shocking to admit but I've never eaten one. Not even a taste. I could pick some up but have no idea what to do with it once I get it home. Lol...Google will come in handy.
Doesn't ALDI have two different types of paper towels? A cheaper and than a premium. I probably will buy them. I usually only use paper towels for dog messes and working with raw meat otherwise I use flour sack towels which I call my non-paper towels. Much cheaper in my household.
I take a long time in ALDI because I'm not there often and I like to look at everything and study the ingredients on things I may be interested in.
And yes the first aisle which I also can't bypass is the junk food. We are in that section forevvvveeeer because I'll have both grands with me and they each get to choose something. So after what seems a long time they always end up with the gummies, tooth rot treat. LOL.
OK I'm done rambling.
plllog:Sheesh, do you think it's some kind of snobbism? A justification of spending more?
BUT THEN YOU WRITE :When I entertain, I try to give my guests the best quality I can find. If I need to scrimp, it'll be on the daily stuff, not the company. But I try to plan out my shopping to get the produce that TJ's or the fruit stand, or what have you, has for the better prices and fill in on the things they don't have, or don't have as good of, at the pricier store. Top quality is top quality, and sometimes you have to pay more for it, but often you just have to shop more carefully to pay less.
Very confusing, plllog. I'm not scrimping on anything! Why do you consider shopping at Aldi scrimping when in the same paragraph you ask if it's some kind of snobbiness or justification for spending more? You then say you scrimp on your family, not your guests. Very confusing.
Mathias, thank you. I well remember the horsemeat story. Some people never forget the misinformation they get. Or maybe they misremember.
gardengal, you don't say what survey you read. I'm familiar with the four high ranked you cited - Aldi, Trader J's, Wegmans, and Whole Foods, and I'd say that each tries hard to fulfill a niche of uniqueness by being what it is distinctively. For each, competitors don't seem to be able to mimic them successfully.
Someone familiar with each of these four could be blindfolded and taken into any one of them. With the store's name masked from view inside, I think anyone could immediately identify what store they were in. Being different and consistent within a theme is a clever tactic in a business (grocery stores) where mostly one store is the same as any other. Judging by the success of these 4, the approaches work well and are appreciated by customers, each for different reasons.
"Some people never forget the misinformation they get."
So true. And a different angle, many have trouble recognizing misinformation or intentional disinformation altogether. There is no fake news but there is plenty of fake spin.
Chloebud...I know the green bumpy ones are Haas which are the only kind I buy. I know that the brownish ones at Wegmans are Haas too but too far along ripening. I like mine rock hard so they ripen well at room temp.
MP...I slice avocadoes on grained bread along with hardboiled egg and mozzarella cheese and make a panini every day for lunch. They are also good sliced in a salad.
It was an August 2018 ranking reported by Food & Wine, based on shoppers' preferences. But the same ratings appear elsewhere so assume it is the same study....just do not know who initially authored it.
Lily, I agree...buy them when they're hard...unless you're using them asap. They don't ripen on the tree, so they're rock hard when I pick them (our tree is a Hass). It's kind of nice you can "store" them on the tree, especially when you have so many!
My trees were Fuertes. Those could get pretty big, the size of softballs! I never noticed (or don't recall now) that they were less tasty -- they made good guacamole!
I don't at all find it snobbish to find a grocery unacceptable. If any dinner guests of mine walked into my Aldi they would never go back. I did mention it was my very first visit. A few days ago. We have been paying pretty high prices for avocados so I thought it was worth a go-see...89cents for an over-ripe mini.(?)
I did spent the time to seriously lock in on all products. I could definitely make a stellar meal worthy of the most picky snobbish guests but that was not on my journey list. I was just curious via this post.
Smart marketing is listing a sales flyer on-line for the next weeks sales in advance. That must be the nutty store opening stampeed on that day. Whatever that day is.
Money savings for a big family is obvious.
And just because it is organic or gluten-free snack/chips does not make it good for you. : )...still processed.
DH does our grocery shopping as I work long hours...I did the one shopping trip before thanksgiving...we did that together. I do the list and he does his best. I bet I was in a grocery twice all of 2018.
If I have an interest in a knob of celeriac, a bunch of leeks, fresh tumeric, kale/greens, (get what looks good), asian cabbage for kraut, golden beets for my kombucha, good fresh ginger, watermelon radish, list goes on and on...all in our local market...
He would be lost in Aldi but I could navigate good deals easily. My local market above, Aldi below.
raee, I agree Fuertes are tasty but not quite as rich. Maybe it's more of a texture thing with me. Bacon avocados are yet another variety and definitely have less flavor and are kind of "watery." However, I've only had them a few times.
Frozen Scallops and Eggs
How lucky are you to have a Haas avocado tree? Do they produce fruit all year? Our stores never seem to have a "dry" season.
Avocadoes do have seasons, but different areas have different schedules.
Sheesh, I'm sorry to have been confusing! I meant the shade thrown by your guests on Aldi might be snobbism or might be them justifying to themselves spending more at other stores.
I don't mind spending more if I happen to be at a higher priced store and have no plans to shop anywhere cheaper soon. If I'm going to be at a lower priced store, I'll wait and buy there. If I'm entertaining, I plan to shop at a lower priced store first, but only get top quality for my guests. Then I go to the higher priced store, where they have a bigger variety, and are more likely to have top quality of ordinary things when they're scarce or out of season or maybe just from a different supplier than the cheaper place that didn't have them.
I don't consider shopping at Aldi scrimping, and didn't mean to imply that, though I thought maybe that's what your guests who pooh-pooh'd it throught. My point was that while Aldi is a discount store, if you're buying top quality produce there (others in this thread have mentioned that not all of the produce there is top quality, but some have said they often find top quality), or at any place where you pay less, it's practical and thrifty not shorting your guests. My other point was that shopping carefully for the best produce at a lower price can save money without compromising on quality. At the higher priced stores, one might not have to be as careful and just grab stuff. Someone has already chosen through the produce to only show you the best, and that's reflected in the price difference.
Choosing melon instead of berries might be scrimping for daily fare, but I'll splurge on the berries for company. Or I'll buy ground beef and make sloppy joes for daily fare, but spend big time on the best meat for company. Or I'll buy adequate nice organic greens at TJ's instead of stellar lovely organic greens at WF.
Lily, our tree bears fruit usually starting early Spring to late Fall...ish. It has had fruit as early as February and into November. Just kind of varies but it's not year-round. I think Mexico has more year-round crops and places like Chile and Peru can add to the mix. There are some other countries, too with growing seasons that help with avocados being sold year-round. Here in California, Fallbrook (north of San Diego) is pretty much considered "Avocado Central" for the entire country.
Smart marketing is listing a sales flyer on-line for the next weeks sales in advance. That must be the nutty store opening stampeed on that day. Whatever that day is.
You don't understand the flyers. How the merchandise in the advance notice flyers is geared largely to discretionary purchases and not refilling the basic larder stuff. To give a heads up on special/ seasonal type purchases that are not part of the core inventory. That the intent is to encourage weekly trips to Aldi vs once every two weeks or once a month. Those special purchases go on the floor when they hit the store which may be a few days ahead of the flyer.
There is a line of customers waiting for the store to open every day. An orderly line where personal space is mostly respected. At least here in Wisconsin, it is. Can't say about the coastal fringe.
No doubt a line forms in good part because the store doesn't open until 9 am. After moms have dropped the kiddoes off at school, after seniors have walked the dog or enjoyed eating breakfast out, after the get-to-work traffic has settled down. Around here the 'nutty' 'stampede' crowd is mostly focused on estate sales.
LOL at the empty produce section in your Aldi. Either the trucks didn't make it in? Or the store is rather popular? (That's what I meant about rapid turnover and not bothering to shop Aldi much past noon but I can honestly say that the few times that I've ventured in towards evening, I have never seen my Aldi quite that nekkid.)
It IS quite naked sometimes around 6 or 7. I wondered why they have odd hours. 9 AM - 8 PM. We have many grocery stores which are open around the clock, but the rest close at 10 or 11. Husband went at opening today and the shelves and produce were packed and so was the store.
I have become a big fan but agree that I cannot do my complete shopping there. To my amazement as well as DH's, we seem to be buying more and more there each time we go.
Yes to the produce (but selectively). The artisan lettuce like spring mix is great and even cheaper than costco. Somehow we have always been disappointed with the strawberries. Most other items though have been great.
The dairy- milk, cottage cheese, yogurts and butter are great and so much cheaper there.
The pre sliced deli meat (turkey ) in a tub, in 2 sealed bags works wonderfully for us. Also tasty, and until you open the bag, it's untouched.
Just bought their canola oil this week, so cheap and seems like anyone's canola oil.
I haven't been too brave with their meats and or frozen items but for produce, and dairy it's been well worth it.
Oh yes and they have the big tub of pretzel sticks which are wonderful.
Raye: Artemis, is the entrance to your Aldi's a chute that doesn't allow you to choose another aisle first? That would be an unusual design. All the ones I've been in have space between the interior door to either go straight into an aisle or turn and choose another aisle.
Nope, not unless I want to jump over obstructions.
You may live in a state where the fire code prohibits this, but in the two stores in the two different states I've shopped in, you are shunted through the junk food aisle first.
Artemis, that's what I was thinking, that it would violate fire codes to not have an open area around all entrance/exits.
Maybe you guys with the funnel entrance have an older store that has not been remodeled? My store used to funnel you in but I just noticed when I was in there the other day that the old barrier is gone; I do NOT have to go down that dreaded snack food aisle at all anymore. Even though I will continue to because it is where the dried fruit, nuts, trail mix are with the produce and milk a straight shot down at the end of that aisle. My store was remodeled and enlarged about a year ago & I just noticed the entrance change! The Aldi in the next closest town has been remodeled and expanded twice in the last 7-8 years.
Why on earth is it a problem to walk past the snack foods? I don't buy one of each item in the store, in fact, I walk past most of it! That's a complaint about Aldi? That you have to walk through the snack aisle? Oh my. Life is hard.
You want to see a naked shelf store? You should go to my local Kroger on a Sunday afternoon LOL.
The only time grocery store shelves - doesn't matter what grocery - are depleted in my area is when there is a major storm pending. Like right now as the PNW is expecting a major (for us) snowfall and possible power outages. Otherwise, there is always a full selection of whatever.......unless a big sale on a particular item. And even then you can get rain checks.
Why on earth is it a problem to walk past the snack foods?
Not me; I don't care where the heck Aldi puts the snack foods. I do admit to being a bit amused that several commenters found it somehow wrong.
"You should go to my local Kroger on a Sunday afternoon LOL."
This is typical in my area and for a good reason. In most of California, unionized retail clerks (as is the case in the large chains) get supplemental pay (it used to be time and a half= 150% of normal) on Sundays. That makes it too expensive to stock or replenish shelves on Sunday and so the crews do what they can on Saturday up until midnight and then it is what it is until the crews come in early Monday morning.
Sunday isn't the best day to shop for another reason. For those who buy bread, the traditional days off for bakers leads to no fresh bread on Sundays and Wednesdays. Maybe that's changed or the schedule is different in other parts of the country. But here, it's traditionally been that bread purchased on Sunday was delivered on Saturday so it's already one day old.
Here both the Walmart and the Meijer are abysmal at stocking shelves and anything on sale will be unavailable, large portions of shelves are always empty. Meijer tells me that trucks come in on Thursday and they stock Thursday night to prepare for the weekend, but it doesn't matter when I go in, shelves are still empty. Walmart is worse.
Aldi seems to be better at stocking shelves than either of the other options available to me. In fact, our local Meijer has been out of gallon containers of apple cider vinegar since last April. Yes, nearly a year, and they've re-arranged the store twice in that time, but the space reserved for gallons of apple cider vinegar remains empty. I went to Walmart, couldn't find any and none of the clerks had any idea where it might be, so I never did find it. It's always "not my department" when I ask someone at Walmart.
Just as I was wondering if there was some kind of shortage, I finally bought some at Aldi. The only thing that seems to be nearly always unavailable there is whatever meat is on sale. It's available on Wednesday and only "until it's gone", which seems to be instantaneous.
Comments numbering 223 ...
on one store ...
in 12 days!
o j ... #224 ... hasn't been in one
annie, I think you've said you live near (not in) a small town? You can be sure that stores in more populated areas restock more frequently than you describe, and often daily. Except Sundays. Because both Friday and Saturday are big grocery shopping days, in a more populated area, a store restocking Thursday night before the Friday opening time would find itself bare for Saturday morning. And so, would also need to fill shelves on Friday.
Maybe because I am in Chicago and surrounded with Aldi stores, i have not seen wilted produce or out of stock. To me it seams that they are always restocking shelf and the back door buzzer is going off announcing the delivery truck.
Why is it the dreaded snack food aisle? I just walk past it and head for bread and produce.
If you buy your milk at Walmart, know that they now own their own dairy farm, put the past suppliers out of business.
If you buy your milk at Walmart, know that they now own their own dairy farm, put the past suppliers out of business.
Are you referring to the Ft Wayne, Indiana milk processing plant?
If so, WalMart isn't milking any cows. The milk is being locally sourced.
Milk will be sourced from nearly 30 dairy farms in both Indiana and Michigan with these farms being an average of 140 miles from the plant.
Kroger & Albertson's made the move to opening their own processing plants before WalMart jumped in.
Around here stores constantly restock during the day. I can't remember if they restock on Sunday, or if they're just that lightly patronized on Sundays that it doesn't show. Some stores look a little picked over after 8pm, which is past the after work marauding and before the night shift, but the shelves are never bare. Except, recently at Whole Foods because Amazon hasn't figured out that it drives away customers. And that's just empty or nearly so in spots, not whole sections. If the Aldi stores that are supposed to be around here somewhere are stocked in the morning and left to go empty, they won't survive. There are too many choices for people to bother with trying to shop in an empty store.
I was at ALDI today, everything was well stocked including the produce which surprised me. I made mention to a worker in produce how glad I was to see such a huge produce section, we'll stocked, and very nice looking fruits and veggies. She told me this store changed months ago with enlarging this section and trying to keep it stocked at all times. Everything I had on my ALDI list was available...I left as a happy shopper.
plllog, from what I have observed in Aldi, the employees all multitask. If not checking, then they are stocking. Stocking goes on throughout the day. The manager also checks and stocks in addition to whatever else his job entails. If a slot is empty in the store, it generally means there is no more stock in that store. Unless they have been busy, have been stocking other items or just haven't got to that item yet.
Yes, Elmer, I live near a small town and there are only three options for groceries, those being Meijer, Walmart and Aldi. We do have a university in town, and the joke was that the "kids" went to Walmart and the "old people" went to Meijer, and the families went to Aldi. Then Meijer devoted an entire aisle to beer to attract the college kids, Walmart decided to make their clothing section bigger and grocery section smaller and both have a lot of items tht cater to the college students because there are, frankly, more students than there are residents. As a result, I can't buy a gallon of vinegar to make pickles and the flour won't be stocked for days but I'm absolutely certain that I can always get a case of Bud Light, no matter what day.
Or I can go to Aldi. Just one more reason I canned those 700+ jars of food from my garden/fruit trees last year.
IIRC Kroger owned their own dairy and processing plant way back when it was only a regional chain. I can't remember the name of their store brand butter, ice cream and milk from back then -- it wasn't Kroger though.
annie, that sounds like a major amount of work, to produce the food as well as to process it. Can I ask, why do you do it?
To add to raee's comment, I think the same is true of very many grocery chains. I remember back to childhood years, in the 60s in SoCal. Two of the biggest, Safeway and Ralphs, had their own processing centers for dairy items, many deli items, etc. It's not a recent phenomenon and it's done to wring costs out of middle tier processing in the supply chain. Put another way, the store chain can operate that step in the supply chain and save money/earn the profit itself rather than pay another company to do it.
I can't believe that a post about a grocery store has gotten 216 responses. You go, girl!!! :-)
There are no Aldi's near me so I'm not at all familiar with them.
Yes, owning the processing center is what is called vertical integration. Allows for increased innovation in that a company can begin developing new products with the raw materials as well as expanding into similar products/ development in the same plant. In the case of the Fort Wayne plant, some dairy farmers who had contracts with Dean Foods to supply milk are losing their contracts. Other dairy farms have gained new contracts supplying the WalMart processing center.
Nothing new here. The dairy industry has been hurting for years. Partly a victim of their own success....burgeoning supply because better breeding has resulted in cows that give more milk than ever. And a victim of decreasing demand; Americans are consuming less milk per capita than ever. Probably some measurable degree of that can be traced to demographics such as an immigrant population that has a higher percentage of lactose intolerance than Americans of European ancestry.
While traditional supermarket operators around the country, such as Kroger Co., Publix Super Markets and H-E-B, have long operated their own milk bottling plants and other dairy-processing facilities, the move is a first for Walmart. As reported in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Walmart’s investment in dairy processing follows Kroger’s opening of a fully automated milk plant in Colorado and Albertsons’ debut this summer of a new, versatile milk bottling facility in Pennsylvania. Kroger now supplies 100% of its own fluid milk to all of its stores, the article said.
Our Aldi's remodeled about 2 years ago and is much nicer. It is designed to funnel you down the first aisle, but you can turn and go to other aisles easily. The first aisle does have snack foods, but much more than that. We love their Choceur and also Moser Roth dark chocolate (from Germany). I like their bags of almonds-raw, roasted salted or roasted, but not salted. I don't consider either junk food, as long as I don't overindulge. The bread section has a large variety and is a better buy than our regular grocery stores. Produce is also on this aisle and is usually very nice quality and the prices are great. The dairy case is at the end of this aisle, also with very good prices. I have boughten their Boulder 13 gallon trash bags for a number of years, both the one with the tails and the drawstring. I buy their truffles and other seasonal goodies that are usually from Germany. They have a mushroom pasta (again from Germany) and other specialty pastas that go fast when they do get them in. Occasionally I find something on their non-food aisle that is a good buy. I think there is a great deal of variation in quality from one state/area to another. Our store is very clean and well stocked. Glad you started this thread. I like hearing of items that people like-more things to try.
Annie: Just an FYI. I, too, had trouble finding the gallons of vinegar in Walmart. I think it used to be near the spices, now in my store they have it on the aisle with the bulk foods.