As I've mentioned in the past, every now and then I am asked to go and visit a local business or see a show and write about my experiences. It's one of my favorite things to do. I love sharing my local finds
with my fellow moms in the region.
It seems like in this case, however, I was the last one to arrive at the party. I'd heard of ALDI and have many friends (including my own mother) who live and die by shopping there, but I hadn't jumped on the
A few weeks ago I was invited to visit the newest ALDI store, in Wexford, and take a look around.
I can say now that I've joined the bandwagon.
I was impressed by so many things at the store.
- The cleanliness and organization. Everything was arranged neatly and easily organized. With only a half dozen or so aisles it's easy to find everything without wandering around for hours. I once made the mistake of going to a different Giant Eagle than our usual. I was there for what felt like hours just searching for the Greek yogurt.
- The friendly staff. Everyone was so incredibly courteous and efficient. And the staff had no idea who I was or that I was writing a review. They were just very well trained and friendly.
- The packaging. While we don't have any known food allergies in our house, I like to know what we're putting in our bodies. So I appreciate the clearly labeled packaging letting consumers know if something is free of High Fructose Corn Syrup or Gluten Free.
- The availability of both name brand products and ALDI branded products. There are some things (like Pringles) that I just want the name brand. There are others that I'm perfectly happy to substitute (like anything other than Pringles) ;) Most of the ALDI brand products are so similar to the "real thing" that nobody in my family can even tell. ALDI exclusive brands are manufactured by many of the nation’s leading food producers
- The Double Guarantee. It allows customers to try something with the ability to return it if they don't like it. If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price.
- The no-frills approach. There are no in-store banking, pharmacies, bagging clerks, check cashing, photo processing or other non-essential grocery store services
,They only take cash and debit: No credit card or check-cashing fees are passed on to customers. Shopping cart "rentals" -the shopping carts must be returned in order to receive your quarter back therefore saving costs on cart return employees. It's kind of liberating to bag my own groceries and return my own cart. I like it.
While looking around, I couldn't help but notice the price differences. I expected the ALDI branded products to be cheaper, but I was not expecting to see such a huge cost savings on the name brand products that I buy every week. Both BabyBell cheese and Bolthouse Farm smoothies were each several dollars cheaper than my local grocery store. Fruit and veggies were a fraction of the cost. I was blown
I left with a cart full of goodies for only around $30. It was so exciting. I love a good deal.
Since then we've tried most of the products I bought and nobody in my house has been able to tell a difference between name brand and ALDI branded products. Tonight I made the most delicious dinner that was a hit with everyone.
Pasta with Basil & Tomatoes
1 Box Reggano Penne Pasta
1 can Priano Diced Tomatoes
1-2 Tbs Olive Oil
Handful of Fresh Basil
Salt, Pepper, Dried Oregano
I just boiled the pasta, then heated the can of tomatoes in a sauce pa
in with olive oil, basil, cheese and spices. Once hot I poured it over the pasta and served with a little more parmesan cheese on top. It was so light and fresh tasting. Everyone loved it.