Aldi's and I are like good acquaintances. I don't shop there often, but when I do, I'm always pleasantly surprised.
Growing up, I never set foot in an Aldi's. I grew up suburban and maybe even somewhat snooty, definitely priveledged. I'm not even sure where there is an Aldi's near where I grew up. It was like an over-priced grocery monopoly.
Where I attended college there was an Aldi's down the street. My friend Dan C. introduced us. I was appalled he had to put a quarter in to get a cart and was instantly turned off.
Fast forward about 13 years. The quarter no longer bothers me. I shop there maybe once every month or two, usually when I'm - ahem - creatively financing my weekly food budget. Am I too proud to say I heart Aldi's? Not anymore!
Reasons why I love Aldi's
1.) Generic Frosted Mini-Wheats
I'm a Frosted Mini-Wheats girl. There's no other breakfast that can satisfy me and my sweet tooth, and my need for fiberous nutrition. When funds are running low, I have a choice - real or generic? I have no problem buying generic, but there are a few exceptions. Have you ever bought generic Frosted Mini Wheats? It's like a crappy Life Cereal with a pathetic frosting to it. REALLY BAD. But Aldi's, you have nailed the generic mini wheat prize. It actually looks, feels, and tastes like the original. I tip my cereal bowl to you.
2.) Gorgonzola Crackers
I don't know if these are a new item or an Aldi's disappearing deal, or just something I've missed all my life. They are the things addictive behaviors are based on. I can honestly say I've never had a gorgonzola-flavored anything before (besides the cheese itself) but now that I have, there is no going back. It's the one thing I bought that my ENTIRE family liked. Liked. Notice the past-tense? The box was gone within 24 hours. Which means that I better get my gorgonzola addicted arse back to Aldi's to buy more.
3.) Something something in German
Ich liebe dich, Aldi's. That's about all the German I know - well, that's fit for print anyway. Aldi's is a German company, so sometimes you get special things there that you can't get many other places. Things like Ritter Sport. Ritter Sport is German chocolate and there is no going back. Not because of the quality of chocolate (though it is good), but for what they put in it. I bought an 8-square sample pack on Sunday, which had a square or two of the coolest chocolate ever. Those crazy Krauts put CORNFLAKES in the chocolate. Sounds gross, right? Uh uh. It was awesome. Just like the yogurt chocolate and the marzipan chocolate. All for $2. I'd like to see Wally world even try.
4.) Trader Joes
The company that owns Aldi's started Trader Joes. That's like finding out that your ultra cool boyfriend can also cook and loves to clean the house. It's a bonus worth marrying over.
That's how much a week worth of groceries for my family of 5 cost this week, including snacks and drinks. I've never been disappointed in their food, even if it isn't the brands I'm used to. In fact, my husband once told me that the fish sticks from Aldi's (before he knew it was from there) were the best I've ever bought.
I know the stigma associated with this store. It's pretty much unfounded. It's cheap and the food is good. That sounds pretty basic, doesn't it?
For those that may not shop there regularly, I challenge you to check one out. Oh, and for the mom's out there, there's a resounding 6th reason I love Aldi's...
DOUBLE SEAT CARTS
Go and pretend that you're at Costco. :)