This post was sponsored by ALDI as part of Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
In an effort to save money on groceries, I do the typical things: buy items when they are on sale, use coupons, buy in bulk, and buy seasonal items. Last year, I started reading that ALDI stores will be coming to the west coast. I knew only a little about ALDI from the few news articles I read and knew that it was a no-nonsense grocer that had great prices, saving its customers up to 50%* on grocery bills. I recently visited an ALDI in Anaheim, one of 10 new stores that opened in SoCal in early April.
As someone who consistently strives to feed my family fresh, high-quality, (and if budget permits) organic foods, I found ALDI quite a competitor compared to other groceries I shop at. Although the organic produce section was smaller than other grocers, the price point was definitely lower. During this particular shopping trip, I purchased organic strawberries for $2.99 a pound, its regular price. I’ve only paid that much at other grocers when organic strawberries were on sale. I also grabbed a bag of organic Fuji apples for $3.99 a bag; again, quite a bargain. Given that EWG puts these two fruits at the top of the Dirty Dozen list, I make an effort to buy these fruits organic.
One thing that customers will find at ALDI is the focus on selling exclusive brands. In fact, about 90% of the groceries sold are under its own premium exclusive brands. Now, many shoppers who may not know that may find unrecognizable brands a turn-off. However, since most of the items I buy anyway are not the typical nationally recognized brands, I had no problem with that at all. In my experience, store brands are cheaper compared to national brands and the quality is comparable.
Below were some of my favorite finds at ALDI. I found one Barissimo Fair Trade Ground Coffee in the coffee section. I am hoping that the grocery chain adds more Fair Trade products to its shelves in support of this philosophy. The frozen Sea Queen WildCaught Salmon that sold for $3.79 a pack was the best price I have seen for wild-caught salmon, even compared to big wholesale stores. There was also a whole section dedicated to gluten-free products. Similar to organic products offered, gluten-free products were competitively priced.
In my quest to scout as many organic items as I could, I was thrilled to find SimplyNature® Organic Eggs and SimplyNature® Organic 100% Grass Fed Ground Beef. Both of these items were priced below what I would have paid for at other stores. Whether in the dairy section, produce department, or grocery aisles, it was easy to find organic products all throughout the store.
ALDI quick facts
- 25 stores currently opened in California
- Exclusive brands include: SimplyNature® (organic and non-GMO verified products), liveGfree® (gluten-free products), NeverAny! (products that are free from added antibiotics, hormones and animal by-products)
- Customers deposit (refundable) $0.25 to use shopping cart
- Encourage customers to bring own bag, but can buy plastic or paper grocery bags at the store
- Customers can bag own groceries at a counter
ALDI focuses on providing fresh, natural products at affordable and competitive prices to its customers. My first shopping experience at ALDI was very positive. I went early in the morning, and without kids (yay!), so I definitely took my time to go up and down the aisles, read labels, and check out all that ALDI has to offer. My savings on pantry staples and organic items were noticeable in the receipt. As more stores are planned to open in California in 2016, I’m hoping that one will open closer to me.
Below are some of the items I brought home with me. As you can see, my bagging technique needs a little work. Thank goodness I brought a lot of reusable bags with me.
Visit the ALDI website for more information on how you can save money and when new stores are set to open. You can connect with ALDI on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.
*Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.