I love Aldi – there I said it.
It saves me money (on average $120 per week), I buy the weeks groceries and randomly, sometimes, I get to buy an Ab King Pro or Wheelchair from the middle aisle.
My boss, you know who you are, refuses to shop there. She doesn’t want to be busted by someone she knows. Scared she’ll be labelled a bogan. I get that, I too, was there once, but I have told her to take her time, ease herself into it. You can’t jump into a full shop at Aldi; you need to do it slowly, just like raising a child. No one asks you to deal with a hormonal 14 Year old before you get the chance to deal with sleep deprivation and ripped nipples. OK, probably not explaining myself quite right.
The thing is Aldi is not a very satisfying shop. There is no lying about having a cigarette when you’re finished if you know what I mean. No? Still don’t have a clue what I’m crapping on about?
Let me explain. Everything at Aldi, bar probably Milo, Vegemite and Nutrigrain, will be a close clone of something you are very fond of that you would usually buy at Woolworths or Coles with a very random name. Like say, TV Snacks are called Wackos (Awesome) Or Huggies Nappies are called Mamias (and they shit all over Huggies – unfortunate pun - sorry) or Ol De Paso Tacos are called El Toro (Exactly the same) but all that is beside the point because if you’ve never been there before, you would look at the 6 aisles – yes that’s right, 6 aisles and think “what the hell is this shit?”
It started slowly. Before I went back to work more regularly, I went to quite a few “ladies morning teas” where more often than not I would be hoovering down a Sundried Tomato and Cashew dip only to stop intermediately to ask the host where she got “this awesome dip”. Aldi
And it happened more often. With all kinds of foodstuffs.
So I gave it a go. And I was disappointed. I mean, for every selection Aldi had for muesli bars, Woolworths had 7. For every selection of beautiful smelling hair products, Aldi had, if you’re lucky, one. I didn’t go back for months.
But then, my grocery bills each week increased. It wasn’t long before my grocery bill was almost outstripping our mortgage repayment and it was beginning to scare me. I mean, we don’t, as a rule, eat Eye fillet steak for dinner or caviar and prawns for lunch each day so I couldn’t understand why this was happening. So after many endorsements from friends (similar to this) I decided to do a full shop.
It all came down to giving in and just trying new things. And apart from specific milk we drink and a few minor items, I can do an entire shop at Aldi. And I am over $5,000 better off a year.
If you do start, at least try these:
Marinated Roast Chicken (from meat dept) Most succulent and delicious chicken EVA (and honestly you cannot fook this up. You just can’t)
Marinated Beef Roast (Santa Maria) Again, like the chicken, this is amazing and have NEVER had a bad one.
Chicken Korma in a bottle. Add some coconut milk and their jasmine rice (total of $6.50 – feeds 4) and this is better than any Thai Restaurant does.
Frozen Croissants – These are delicious as is their pancake mix.
The general meat, fruit and vegetables are great and cheaper than most of the generic Grocery Stores.
Then comes the checkout. You haven’t quite experienced life if you haven’t done the Aldi Checkout Marathon. You’ve got to be sharp, on your toes and ready to fling that shit into your trolley pronto.
See the reason that Aldi can keep prices is low and pay their staff incredibly well, is because you buy your own bags and then bag it yourself. And for this you must be prepared, because Aldi Checkout operators wait for no man. From the minute your trolley is in position, it is on. And you better be ready. Suddenly it’s like they’re competing in the scanning Olympics and they are flinging your goods at your while you try to keep up and place them back in the trolley. As a rookie, I made the mistake of trying to pack my bags as she scanned. With a deft look from the checkout chick, I soon learned that shit was NOT on. I’ve never tried it again.
If this sounds like a paid advertisement for Aldi it’s not (although I would gladly accept a year’s free groceries to keep spouting the good news), I just simply want people to see that a discerning family of 5 can shop there and eat well. Don’t go expecting to come out feeling satisfied or unhurried. You will though, due to lack of choice and the fantastic pricing, come out in front.