I’ve been an Aldi convert for years. This wasn’t always the case though.
My first trip into Aldi turned me right off the place for years:
Walk in, grab a trolley… oh wait, I can’t. I don’t have a dollar. Walk to the nearest Coles. Pinch a trolley and proceed to backtrack 300 metres to Aldi doing the Aldi ‘Walk of shame’.
Wander up and down 4 aisles. Is this what it’s like in communist Cuba? There is only one kind of toothpaste!
No music playing.
Store staff rushing around like crazy.
Why on earth do they have mountain bikes and welding equipment for sale in the middle of the store?
A trolley load of groceries. Do I have bags? Do I want to buy bags?
The cashier scans through items with blurring speed.
Looking dumbfounded. Everyone starring. Whoops. I’m meant to load the groceries myself.
Where are the bags?
I left feeling a bit lighter. It might have been the reduced ego or it could have been light headedness caused by the dizzying pace at which the cashier whipped through my groceries. Either way I made a decision never to return to that horrid place.
Aussie’s spend 17% of their income on groceries. I’ve spoken to a few people who say it continues to be their greatest expense with bills averaging $300-$400 per family. I can categorically, unequivocally, indisputably guarantee, or at least almost guarantee, that you will save a minimum of $100 off your average shopping bill. When visiting my local IGA I can carry home $100 in groceries! Don’t snub the savings. Read http://www.budgetbrilliance.com/how-to-turn-100-a-week-into-1845720/ to see how $100 a week can turn into nearly $2 million!
Anyway, long story short, years passed and I accumulated more and more kids (or giant tape worms in human disguise) who proceed to eat me out of house and home. My wallet was suffering a monstrous hit. I sucked up my pride, returned to Aldi with a dollar in my pocket and a determined look that was prepared to take on Aldi’s scanner of the year!
My family of 6 spends has a budget of $160 per week. The only way to hit budget on this modest amount is to buy copious amounts of food from Costco and eat corndogs for the entire week, turn our backyard into a giant veggie patch, or shop at Aldi.
I’ve included a photo from a recent shop that amounted to just $135. You get a lot of bang for your buck at Aldi.
If you’re an Aldi hater, here’s a few tips:
• Bring a dollar.
• Bring your headphones and race up and down the music-free aisles listening to all your favourites.
• Learn to appreciate the minimal aisles. Understand that while you may not get that special coffee brand you are accustomed to, you can quite easily complete your shop in 20 minutes!
• If you have a typical grocery list that you tend to follow, photograph your local Aldi’s layout so you can create your meal plan shopping list aisle by aisle. Most Aldi’s have the same layout so they are easy to follow.
• Beat the cashier by placing everything immediately back in the trolley, cart it back to the car, and then transport it from car to the bench in a box.
Aldi has some fantastic products. You may find that they don’t stock your favourite brand but don’t assume that a lower price always is indicative of a lower quality product. The savings can be huge over a year and I find the time saving in doing a 20 minute grocery shop while listening to my choice of music can make me easily shrug the mainstream supermarkets.
Interested in more helpful budgeting tips? Subscribe at www.budgetbrilliance.com
My added two cents: If you shop at Aldi to save, don’t buy the middle aisle stuff unless you absolutely need it. There is some really cool stuff but it is only of value if you need it immediately, not 3 months, 3 years or 3 decades in the future.