I set a goal three weeks ago to shop at the discount store Aldi to see if I could save money on groceries, which is a problem budget category for me.
I have to admit that I really struggled with this challenge – almost immediately.
I spent $47 the first week, $42 the second and only $17 the third, mostly because I forgot to bring a quarter that’s needed to rent a grocery cart.
Before I tell you more about my experience, here are a few things I like about Aldi:
- Extremely low prices
- Small, clean stores
- Quick checkout
Aldi says that it can save you up to 50% on the majority of your grocery needs, which is the main draw for customers.
The chain has its own brand of products, and they can be hit or miss.
Over my three weeks, I didn’t like the fruit snacks, I thought the cookies were okay, and the couscous turned out just fine.
Aldi will refund your money if you’re not satisfied, but that’s not something I chose to do.
I think the reason my challenge failed was because I eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I was not overly impressed with Aldi’s selection.
In addition, there was something about a package of ground beef that didn’t taste right.
With that said, Aldi has amazing prices on dairy items – milk, eggs and cheese – and I thought those were great quality.
I also stocked up on pantry staples like olive oil, sugar, spices and baking soda. All good.
After my three weeks of shopping at Aldi, I was really excited to return to Publix and Kroger, two more expensive stores that are much closer to where I live.
Going forward, I plan to visit Aldi about once a month to buy packaged items only.
To save on my regular trips to the store, I am going to get back to basics and take advantage of weekly specials, use printed coupons and Ibotta, my favorite savings app.