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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You Will Like Aldi Stores

Really, there are many things to like about Aldi stores. A couple of things you notice right off the bat are parking lots devoid of shopping carts lying around in cart corrals or worse, rested up against your front quarter panel on your shiny new car. Aldi has the unique system of a "cart deposit." In other words, you have to insert a quarter to get your cart, and return the cart to the corral at the front of the building to get your quarter back.

Everyone goes back for their quarter and I have never seen anyone leave their cart behind. Not once.

Another thing you notice right off the bat are clean and bright stores, albeit small and compact, but loaded up with all of the normal household items you may be buying already on a regular basis. I have always encountered helpful and friendly staff, and have to be honest when I say I have never had a bad experience at an Aldi store and I have been shopping there for years.

Sure. It's a German company. But one thing that is also worth noting about Aldi Stores is that they pay their employees very well, and I think this helps to ensure that customer service is top notch. Employees are happy, willing to hustle, willing to be helpful, and that makes a world of difference in
my opinion. It is also partly why I think I have never encountered a bad experience there. The average starting wage for a cashier is $12.50 per hour, and rather than force their employees to stand on their feet all day, cashiers are situated comfortably in a chair.

And they are fast. Super fast. Very much unlike when you go to Walmart and swear that the cashiers are paid bonuses for checking people out as slowly as possible.

Another interesting observation about Aldi Stores is that the shelves are always full. And I mean always. The people who work at Aldi Stores are constantly moving things through the aisles to make sure that anything in stock is stocked and readily available to the customer. I have never had to track someone down and ask, "Do you have any more of 'these' in the back?" Never.

What strikes me the most are the prices. Granted, if you are buying meats at Aldi Stores on a regular basis, I cannot understand why. Their meat prices are nothing to write home about. In fact, they are horribly high compared to other supermarkets and even Walmart for that matter. By the way, Walmart meat prices are also almost always higher than anyone else. Keep that in mind if you are a loyal Walmart customer.

The average price for a can of vegetables? About 40 cents. You cannot buy canned vegetables anywhere cheaper than Aldi Stores, period. Even their canned tomato sauces and diced tomatoes are the cheapest I have found anywhere, and I have to tell you.

The quality is as good as anyone.

Even when it comes to my creamed soups, I buy these almost exclusively at Aldi Stores. I also almost exclusively buy cans of tuna and canned mushrooms there. They literally have the best prices I have found anywhere on these items. And again, the quality is as good as anyone.

A fan of mac and cheese? They have the best price I have found for that too, averaging out to about 39 cents a box, and it is as good as any mac and cheese you can buy unless you are a die-hard Kraft fan.

As far as their produce goes, this is impressive as well. Not only are the prices of Aldi Stores' produce fantastic, the quality of their produce is as good as anyone as well. On my last trip I bought a 3 pound bag of yellow onions for 99 cents, and even bought two 5 pound bags of red potatoes for $1.99 each. When it comes to red potatoes, that's a steal. Hell, it was a steal compared to even regular russets.

Another thing that readily becomes visible is the amount of food you can stuff in your cart, that when you checkout would probably cost you three times what it costs you at an Aldi Store. A $50 cart of food from Aldi adds up to bags and bags and bags of stuff. You cannot say that about Walmart, or even the lowest priced discount supermarket in your neighborhood.

Aldi Stores is definitely a place to check out if you have never been. I am liking Aldi, and I think you will too.

Think Aldi is only for poor people? Think again. If you aren't shopping at Aldi not only are you probably wildly overpaying for many of the items you generally keep in your pantry. You may well be making yourself poor in the process without even realizing it.

Another last minute observation about Aldi Stores parking lots? You will find few late model cars parked in them. Instead you see BMW's, Jaguar's, Cadillac's, Lincoln's, and newer model regular makes. Aldi Stores are not stores for the poor. They are stores for smart shoppers who enjoy excellent customer service, excellent quality products, and who choose to keep the money they save there for more important things.

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