Some people may talk bad about Aldi's, but you know what? I love it there! Let me list the ways...
1. You can't beat the prices, they are pretty much the lowest around. Granted, it's these prices that have earned Aldi's a reputation as being for "poor people" but seriously, it's good stuff. Aldi's has changed quite a bit over the years and while I'll never touch their "Spaghetti Rings", I'll sure as heck gobble up their roasted garlic hummus. That's right... hummus, and it was damn good! It is my firm belief that most of the stuff is the exact same as their name brand counterpart. Basically, anytime the label says "compare to..." you know it's the exact same thing. Their "compare to Kellogg's..." granola, was the exact same as the name brand. Also, everyone I know swears that their Shique shampoo, which says "compare to Biolage" is the exact same as Biolage, and it's half the price. Companies do that. They like to corner the market... they earn more money that way. They put the name-brand stuff in a different package with a different brand name, label it generic, and voila. Now, not all stuff is like that. But a lot of it is.
Now why am I blogging about Aldi's on a vegan blogsite?
2. Animal products are expensive. To save money, you leave out the animal products. Cut out the dairy, the egg, the meat, and you've got a product you're able to sell for less. This is another way Aldi's is able to sell things for less, they lack animal products! It's so nice to read the back of a cereal box or a pudding box and see that it doesn't contain any milk, or to read the back of a can of beans and see that it doesn't contain lard. The majority of products at Aldi's are vegan. It's so nice to dig into a $2 box of delicious "Chocolate Peanut Butter Spheres" and know that it doesn't contain any animal. I mean, seriously, vegan refrigerated crescent rolls! It's good stuff.
3. The produce is great. While I advocate buying organic when you can, Aldi's has got the cheapest produce around, and no, it's not secondhand. Perfect, juicy, delicious, ruby red grapefruit for $.25 apiece. They're a buck at Walmart (I live in the Midwest here people). Portobello mushrooms, avocados for $.50 (they're $1.75 at HyVee!), bananas for $.39/lb. And best of all, a lot of the stuff comes from the USA, or at least Canada or Mexico. Buying locally is great, but buying from Mexico is a lot better than buying from Chile. I've found that food that travels the least amount of miles costs the least, so Aldi's is another sure bet.
Seriously... 25 cent grapefruit! That makes me so happy!
4. It's okay to be eco-friendly. Aldi's is already somewhat eco-friendly. They don't supply plastic bags and most people just use the empty flats the food came on. Even more people use reusable bags. I'd say, at my store, half use reusable bags, so nobody looks at you funny for being an "environmentalist". At Aldi's, you're just being practical.
5. Variety. There isn't the greatest amount of variety there, but it's gotten a lot better in the past couple of years. They now offer things such as hummus, raw almonds, unsweetened frozen fruit, whole wheat bread, and wine. I about freaked out the other day when I saw they had Basmati and Jasmine rice!
So as you can see, that's why I love Aldi's. I can feed two people really well on about $50 a week. And no, the stuff isn't secondhand and no, it's not expired. Unlike Sav-A-Lot whose food is thisclose to expiring, Aldi's has a normal lifespan.
So check it out. Just make sure you B.Y.O.B. (bring you own bags) and a quarter for the cart.