Why do any of us do it?
I guess it's because I like to see what's available, what the prices are, what people are buying (I'm nosy!), and what I might buy on my own next trip.
Anyway, I finally went to Aldi with a friend of mine to see if it was as amazing in person as it seemed to be in haul videos and from what several friends had told me. Aldi seems to inspire a LOT of gushy love. Above, you can find my vlog about what I bought.
My overall impression? It's OK. My friend and I (the "we" I'll refer to in this post) did go to a smaller store this time, but we made plans to see if the brand new store (opening in a few weeks) has a better selection of organic/healthy type items. The store we were at was also....not the cleanest? For example, I found organic salad dressing in glass bottles that seemed to be a good price for a quality product - but several of the bottles had drips on them. I didn't buy it.
I also felt the same way about a lot of the items that I felt when I went a few years ago - still a lot of processed food (and I'm not AGAINST processed food but I do try to watch out for certain ingredients). Not a lot of vegetarian options (could be the store? for example, the take and bake pizzas were all very meaty....but maybe a different store catering to a different clientele would have veg versions?). No tofu. No whole wheat pasta. Basically for my family, Aldi could never be our main store. Costco comes closer to that when we combine it with YDFM and Kroger.
HOWEVER, what I bought was all really impressive to me, price-wise. That almond milk is SO cheap and if it's good, I'll gladly switch to it. The "premium ice cream" that's clearly a Ben & Jerry's copycat was half the price of B&J. The plastic bags beat Target's everyday price (I just hope they're good quality). And of course if you watch the video you'll hear just how happy I was about the Zulka. I didn't buy whole bean coffee because I'd just bought a bag at Costco, but the price was comparable and it was fair trade (and maybe even organic? I can't remember) so if I didn't want to buy two pounds at a time, I'd probably switch.
But the "organic" (faux-Annie's) mac and cheese that my kid lives on? Cheaper at Kroger and Costco. The baking soda - I think that's the same price at Kroger. I think the cheap mustard is the same price at Kroger too. I'm not sure if the pea crisps or the dried mango were particularly good prices - I kind of got overwhelmed in those sections and just...bought them. (The kid LOVED the pea crisps though. And she's picky.) Kroger and Trader Joe's both have $3 wine. (Sidenote: Aldi prosecco costs the same as Costco prosecco - $6.99 - and I couldn't tell the difference - my friend bought Aldi, I bought Kirkland, and we had a taste test.) And the plastic bags are probably the same price as Target when Target has a sale plus Cartwheel (which is often).
What I'm saying is that Aldi has potential for me. If I didn't have a Costco membership, it would definitely rank higher for me (and it is closer to where I live). If I didn't want to fuss with coupons and sales, it also would be more appealing - but I LOVE fussing with coupons and sales, and I can do really well at Kroger by doing so.
Stay tuned. In a few weeks we'll check out the new store and I'll let you know if that changed my mind at all.