Aldi Shoppers

ninosNovember 30, 2007

Most of you shop at Adli too. Some things are really good and some are not. What things do you love from Aldi that are even better then the name brand? What are thing you dont like?


-graham crakers

-baking mix(even better then bisquick)

-premium ice cream

-premium yogurt

-all beef hot dogs(not as good as vienna but still very good)

Dont like

-peanut butter

-chicken nuggets

-frozen burgers

Most items i buy at Aldi are a good substitute. I know i could add more to each list but my brain is not working well today.

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I like their Mayo . (I never thought I'd like anything except Kraft.) Salad dressings & Salsa's are great,too. I recently bought a coffee cake - it was better than Entemanns. I haven't really bought anything from there that I couldn't eat ! I'd shop there alot more often if they took checks ....

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 1:22PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Like better than named brands:
dried egg noodles
most all fresh produce

Like as well as named brands
canned-chili beans
"" mixed veggies
"" asparagus
"" corn
"" peas
"" butter beans
"" green beans-for soup anyway
"' cherry pie filling
tortilla chips
-cheese puffs and crunchy ones too
cream cheese
string cheese
hunk cheese-colby and others
peanut butter-usually is made into fudge!
'some' cold cereals
I'm sure there was more than that when I spent about $50 the other day.

Did/do not care for
pumpkin-Have only tried it once-I've been told it has always been good b4 by others
pork and beans-they are hard
ranch dressing-prefer Hidden Valley

Great thread...I too will add more later.

In the meantime, I'm making a mental note to try some of the things you (ninos) like.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 1:28PM
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These are a few of my favorite things (wouldn't that make a nice song ;-).....

-cranberry sauce
-salad dressing (not mayo)
-brown & serve sausage
-frozen green beans
-frozen 100% fruit juices
-pork n beans (we "doctor" them up)
-canned mandarin oranges
-cherry pie filling
-solid white tuna
-Fit & Active dry roasted peanuts
-tea bags
-Grandessa Thai Jasmine Rice
-Fit & Active Mediterranean Apricots


    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 3:41PM
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Hi all
I have a been lurker but thought I could add to this forum.
I like the frozen green beans- little tiny ones that are better than any other frozen brand I have tried.

I dont like
yougurt- too bland
coffee not eonough flavor
soda just tastes bad to me

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 8:02PM
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I am adding to my list. I dont like Aldi flour. But what i love love love is their holiday chocolate. It is the Choceur brand. They sell milk chocolate santas and coins. They also sell small bars by the checkout. This chocolate is so yummy. When i was a girl my mom always put gold chocolate coins in my Christmas stocking. For awhile she couldnt find any good affordable chocolate. And Palmers is not an option. I discovered choceur a few years back. It give the big names a run for its money.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 12:06PM
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Pamela, have you tried their Fit and active yogurts? Black cherry is delicious, and beats all other yogurts.

I love all of the Fit and Active line, healthy stuff at very good pricing!

as far as payment - they do take the debit card, so essentially the same as checking. I use that.

They have "gourmet" teas from time to time, I did not like them at all.

Not a huge fan of their feta cheese, but shredded romano and parmesan (in fridge, not the stuff in a can stored at room temp) are fantastic.

I am heading to Aldi's in a bit :)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 5:37PM
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I walked into an Aldi once--and walked out empty handed.

The store was filthy and smelled. The shelf goods were all packaged to look like national brands--but weren't. I find that kind of deception unacceptable. The produce was disgustingly wilted, limp and rotted--I wouldn't even feed it to a pet, let alone my family. Maybe I hit them on a bad day, but it was obvious that it was no place to buy food for the family I love.

The prices were low--but I always figure you get what you pay for, and feeding my family wholesome, nutritious food is one area where I won't scrimp.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 8:17AM
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I didn't have a good Aldi experience either. It was a cheap place to buy junk food, but the real food was low quality. I bought several cans of asparagus and found that to be stringy. The other canned veggies werent good either. I bought some cube steak and almost gagged when I opened the package. The fresh vegetables all needed to be used within one or two days of purchase.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 12:27PM
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Aldis in my area are run down and filthy. The produce is rotten and most of it is stacked on the floor and not refrigerated. All the packaged foods are junk food items. The "healthy" items like yogourt are crap. Take the time to read the ingredients on the label - Lots of *filler* and very little real food.

I had the misfortune to view Aldi stores when I had to drive a relative around so they could do grocery shopping. They hated the place too but thought they were 'saving money'.

The only times I went to Aldi on my own was to attempt to purchase a non-food advertised item. All three times the advertised item did not exist in the store. They even admitted that the store never even carried the item and used the excuse that the items available in the stores "vary regionally". Then why advertise in this area then!!!

Never again will I ever set foot in an Aldis.

*Aldi and Trader Joes are both owned by the same corporation BTW.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 2:21PM
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My sister-in-law shops and loves Aldi's. She got us a really nice stainless steel stock pot there for $20. Very good quality. I've been in the store once. It was clean but I didn't find anything I wanted to buy. Lots of processed, convenience-type foods that I don't use.

I was recently my first Trader Joe's and it seemed like a really nice store. Lots of real food. I got some natural peanut butter (haven't tried it yet), some cashew-macadamia butter that is excellent, some brown rice spaghetti (excellent).

Bud, who owns them?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 5:59AM
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I like the following better then name brand

The Kirkwood gourmet pot pies (better tasting and cheaper then namebrand Maries)
Kirkwood Chicken Kievs, cordon bleu, brocolli stuffed chicken breasts. Also a deal and half the price or more then that of Jewel & Dominicks.
Cornish Hens
Boxed Stuffing
All canned & frozen vegetables
Frozen Fruit Bars are awesome - they're good for you and they're cheap at about 2 bucks.

Do not like:

Canned & pre-packaged ham
Sliced Deli Meat (it has an off taste)
Salad Dressings taste a bit on the odd side (but so does Kraft in my opinion)
Diet Cola

The other thing I like about aldi's is the stores are small and condensed - you walk in and get all your shopping done quickly and without all the temptations (and money drains)that those huge box stores throw at you, even the discount ones like Walmart and Target.

Sometimes, I'm just exhausted having to walk to one end of those giant food stores just for a gallon of milk - I know they do that on purpose and in the meantime trying to fend off those "I think need this as well" message floating through my head.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 8:22PM
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Aldi & Trader Joe's are an interesting pair. Around here years back, Nash Finch (a local distributor) owned a chain of "Buy & Save" stores which were equivalent to Aldi and I got to like them. They picked up old grocery stores and put in a B&S and, like Aldi, you wouldn't do *all* of your shopping there, but you could get some excellent buys there. They closed up virtually all of their grocery stores not long before Aldi arrived. Possibly because of the impending influx of Aldi? I don't know.

With all of these types of stores, however, you never know for sure if the item will be there again next time you go there. They may have a continual source or it could be a closeout item. They had a Tuscan Farms brand (I think it was) of a Bacon-Ranch salad dressing that was fabulous. But, alas, no longer. I really like their pork sausage patties. Surprisingly lean and a 2# package is about $3. They have the tube type (like Jimmy Dean) that is also a good buy but I think the patties are better.

My peeve with Aldi is they are similar to Scam's Club in that they don't have enough checkouts going. Very frustrating. Plus, not knowing what you'll be able to get, you can't count on getting what you want so it's essentially like going to a garage sale, you never know what you'll find.

Store management and employees make a huge difference in any retail store. Around here, Aldi has some of the finest produce available. And always downright cheap prices. I don't have to test the grapes I buy at Aldi, they've always been good. Can't say that for any other grocery store around here. I like their hamburger and they had some of the nicest chuck roasts I've ever seen in a store when I was there recently. Their meats are not super cheap, but the price is comparable and the quality if much better than the competition. Bagged salads are cheap and hey, lettuce is lettuce. It's fine. Eggs are usually reasonable, milk prices are regulated but they're good as they can be. I found a frozen pizza that was great, but they don't have them anymore. I didn't like their chicken nuggets, but their chicken tenders were good. But that's in line with most anywhere I've found, I like the tenders better than the "parts-is-parts" nuggets, and to quote Duckman "just what part of the chicken IS the nugget????"

Their cleaners are generics and not the best IMO. I did like the boxed stuffing, jar spaghetti and pizza sauce. Their pasta was only fair. And now I can buy Creamette (the big name brand in this area) on sale often so I stick with them. They had good "smokie" sausages (both regular and "cocktail" size). There's some Fit and Active rice cakes about the size of an old style silver dollar that are very good. Taste like popcorn. Their potato chips are fine. They have muffins and "gourmet" cookies that are fantastic. I like the banana nut muffin and the white chocolate/macadamia nut cookies. They also have a multi-grain bread that is fantastic too. They often have super strawberries, well, berries of any kind have been good. Frozen whipped topping is as good as Cool Whip. Like I said, I've been very pleased with their produce as a whole. Oh, and one time they had a frozen pecan pie that was one of the best I've ever had. But again... one time only.

I don't like their canned soups - many taste too much like Progresso to me and I don't like Progresso. I'm not wild about their cheese curls.

Fair: Bacon, frozen potatoes, ice cream. I'll get it there if I won't be going somewhere else, otherwise I'll get it elsewhere.

If you want to get ALL of your groceries in one stop, Aldi/TJ's is not the place to go. If you want to save some money and/or get better value, they're good for that. I don't go there often since it's not really a convenient thing and I have to be sure to carry enough cash since I don't like to use the debit card and they don't take credit cards at Aldi. They do at TJ's.

Oh, I frankly was very disappointed in Trader Joe's when I went there the first time. With all the hype I expected something great. It was tiny compared to what I expected. No bigger than an Aldi. Since it was new, it was in good shape. Had an impressive selection of nuts and cheese. Cheap natural peanut butter. Good beef jerky, though not cheap and they had a macadamia nut popcorn snack that was terrific but again, rather expensive. I also liked their white cheddar "puffcorn" snack and although good, still not a bargain price. Haven't tried the peanut butter but it was cheap for natural stuff. But again, didn't have it when I stopped back so I tried the apricot pecan version. It was different but good.

Trader Joe's and Aldi are owned by T.A.C.T. Holding Inc, which, in case you're interested, reported sales of over $596 million in 2005. TJ's is the "upscale" version of their markets and cater to the, shall we say, "yuppie" clientele while Aldi caters to the value-driven consumer. Curiously, you find both stores in affluent neighborhoods. One would expect Aldi to go to the lower income areas, but around here they're aiming for the mid to higher income areas and are doing very well. There's well over a dozen (maybe 20?) Aldi's around here and there's now two TJ's with another opening in the spring. The stores, btw are stocked from the same warehouses, trucks and will occasionally carry the same items, however, TJ's will be higher priced. TJ's is an unusual phoenomenon. When the first one came to the area a couple years ago it was nuts! People familiar with TJ's from the west coast hyped it up, threw TJ's parties and partied out until the store opened and went shopping. Whenever I go to either, they're crowded.

Oh, one thing that I noticed, although this too goes back more to management, but the employees at TJ's were MUCH more friendly than at Aldi. My understanding is that's sort of a requirement to work at TJ's. Aldi's overall weren't unusually bad by any means, but there was a noticible difference.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 1:18AM
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I'm getting distracted by my first Christmas tree in probably 20-25 years. And I'm gazing at the stuffed "Kris Moose" so I didn't get to finish what I was saying about who owns "ALbrecht DIscount" stores, aka Aldi. Some info I found interesting:
Aldi Nord owns Trader Joe's. Aldi Sud owns the Aldi grocery stores in the USA and although they share the Aldi name, each organization is separately managed and operated.

"In 1961, the then-Aldi chain of supermarket stores split into two sister companies (each belonging to one of the brothers) over a dispute whether to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products at the checkout. Thus today, Aldi consists of Aldi Nord (Aldi North owned by Theo) (where tobacco sales were deemed to be acceptable) and Aldi S (Aldi South owned by Karl) (where they were not; however Aldi Süd began selling tobacco products in 2003). The chains initially covered the respective different regions of the then-West Germany. The companies have since expanded internationally, into other European, North American, and Australian markets. In principle, the two firms share nothing but the name and a similar corporate identity; however, they describe their relationship as a "friendly alliance" and there appear to be agreements between the two insofar that they do not compete directly with each other and (with the exception of Germany) never both operate in the same countries."

"In the USA, Aldi Nord CEO Theo Albrecht owns the Trader Joe's chain of specialty grocery stores. However, it is not Theo but his brother Karl Albrecht's Aldi Süd that conducts Aldi's operations in the USA."

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 1:36AM
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One other thing I really like from Aldi is the "Entertainment" crackers. I prefer the vegetable ones and they're 99¢ compared to $2-$3 anywhere else. They usually have good egg prices too.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 3:59AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Add to my list of favorites cinnamon grahams their version of Triscuits. They are about 1/2 the price of the name brand ones and just as good.

My peeve with Aldi is they are similar to Scam's Club in that they don't have enough checkouts going.
The 3 I visit, are in smaller towns I guess as they usually just have one checkout going. I've found I can be in a line with many overflowing carts and still get checked out quickly, IMHO. The fact that they don't accept checks seems to really speed things up. If I get behind a few check writers with a few items in a regular supermarket, I often jump ship (lines) a time or two, and it seems to take forever.
There are however a few considerate check writers at who are on top of it, and ready to just fill in the dollar amount once it is all tallied. Others 'start the dig for the checkbook' once the total is given...but that is another rant of mine for a different time/forum.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 10:40AM
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I like there Ritz type crackers better then Ritz brand because they do not crumble easy.You can walk out with a shopping cart full at Aldi's where the same money at the local store you might carry it out in your hands.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 10:56AM
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The Aldi,s in this are are clean and well kept, the clerks are courteous and helpful. Some of the produce leaves a bit to be desired, it is clearly second rate stuff. Some is ok. My wife likes most of the canned goods and other things they carry. We especially like the FIt Active products. I also have a paper shredder bought there that has given excellent service. We also like their honey.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2007 at 2:51AM
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Thanks for the link cynic. It seems I have been misinformed on the details of Aldi/Joes.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 10:14PM
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Our local Aldis is in an upscale neighborhood. It's clean and well stocked. My husband and I have liked some of the items that we tried even better than name-brand items from the local chain and Walmart. I bought a lot of my baking supplies from there for my Christmas baking and was pleased with the results.

Favorites are:
Half and Half
Cottage Cheese
French Onion Dip
Egg Substitute
Chunk Cheese
Brown and Powdered Sugar
Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
Nuts - canned for eating and bagged for baking
Canned Veggies, especially carrots & mushrooms
Fresh Produce
12 Grain Bread - Excellent!
Sliced Italian Bread - Also Excellent!
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Bottled Spaghetti Sauce
Ground coffee
Bottled juices - Apple Cranberry and Grapefruit
Dry Cereals including oatmeal
Liquid Soap
Frozen pizza
Frozen corn
Frozen strudel that you bake yourself
Grated Parmesian
Some meat items - Ground meat was good as was a turkey breast

Did not like their Mayo, and some of the canned tomato soup. The tomato soup was good the first time I bought it, but not the next time. Strange. They carried a Welches mixed juice that I really liked but do not have it anymore. We did not like their pre-packaged lunch meats.
I plan to continue trying new things. There have been name-band things at good prices there from time to time too.

Great thread!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 11:04PM
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I was really shocked to read all the "good" things said about Aldi's. We recently got one in our area-never heard of it before. I received a coupon in the mail for $5 or $10 off if you spend $50 I think, so I checked it out. Well, all I can say is I was very disappointed. I felt like scum. the store looked dirty and dingy. Nothing looked like I wanted to bring it home with me. I needed milk but had to climb over a big rack after pulling one of them out on the floor to get to it. I ended up buying 4 packs of dog treats and milk. Too much to carry without a bag but the clerk says do you need a bag??? oh my. they didn't even offer my sister a bag for her stuff. So, the only thing I liked about Aldi's was the bags they used....(and didn't want to part with). heehee

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 9:00PM
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I'm the one who's shocked. I have been in three different Aldi stores within an hour and a half drive and have never seen conditions like you were describing. Our local store is nearly new, opening around a year ago, but the others are several years old.

I don't mind taking my own bags with me - recycling plastic shopping bags is a good thing. I've seem people carry in canvas shopping bags to use as well. If you forget your bags, they sell them, paper and plastic, at the check out for a nominal fee. Many customers find boxes that are almost empty, empty the leftover items into the display and use the box to pack and take out their groceries.

Perhaps you should contact the company about the conditions at your particulat Aldi. I bet they would be interested in hearing from you. I would NEVER buy groceries from a store that looked as you described.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 9:17PM
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Lonig, check your receipt. When they asked you if you wanted a bag they charged you for it. Nothing is free there and they are never nice just for the sake of being "nice".

And speaking of grocery bags...............a local chain in my area now prints a check-off grocery list on the side of the paper bags they give out (still free). This encourages people to use them for their shopping list and that way remember to bring them back to the store for the next shopping trip because that is what their list is written on.

I'm tryin the system out now by using a fridge magnet to hold the bag with the printed list on the door with a pen clipped to it and checking off the stuff I will need with notes on other items. When I go shopping I'll grab it off the door and doing this will help me remember to take my canvas bags to the car in case I forgot to put them back in the car after the last shopping trip.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 11:10PM
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Bud wi, that free bag from your local chain isn't free. You paid for it. They just include the cost of bags in their markup. Nothings free.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 1:52PM
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Yes. You are right. I realize that nothing is *free* and that the cost of the items is built into the prices charged. I should have said "There is not an extra charge for bags." Someplaces tack on an extra charge for each bag you take nowdays.

And speaking of being charged for bags..........I went to a franchised co-op grocery store and asked if they charge extra for bags and they said "No". Later during one of my subsequent shopping excursions I found out that no, they don't charge extra for bags you take BUT if you bring your own they give you a nickle off of your grocery total. So in effect they do charge in a sneaky way. They should have given me a more detailed explanation of their bag policy when I asked.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 5:22PM
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Aldi's and Save-A-Lot. They are the only stores I go to. If they don't carry it, I don't need it.

One store you will never find me in is Giant Eagle.

I like everything in Aldi's except their cereal--Save-A-Lot's is MUCH better.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 12:25PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Many of Aldis items carry the double your money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Recently I tried their canned pumpkin, and did not care for it. I returned 2 cans, and 2 lids from the cans I used and my receipt for them.
They asked what was wrong with them, and I just said they did not taste right. I make a lot of pumpkin pies, and have tried a lot of different brands, and though they may be a little different, they did not taste funny like the Aldi pumpkin did.

The store manager instructed the clerk to deduct a couple of things she had already rung up, and it ended up they reduced my bill by $6.26, even though the actual price for the pumpkin was just $2.36, or $4.72 for double the price.

I also found a one LB bag of English walnut halves for $4.
I wish I could find pecans priced similarly.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 1:49AM
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I go to Aldi in our town. It is very clean, and they ususally have what I need. I buy their whole chickens, which are good, I get shredded cheese, eggs, milk, coffee creamer, butter, and occassionally name brand items. Their hamburger is alright.
I do agree that most of their produce isn't that great. I do buy sometimes their lettuce or celery, but I usually go to Cubs for this and other things.
For a family of 4, I can spend around 40-60 dollars a week,and get some fairly good items for our family. I try to spend around 120 a week on food, I do pretty good, but I make alot from scratch.
I will shop here before I will go to Wal-Mart, I am glad that Aldi is nearby, and it's never crowded when we go.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 8:12AM
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I'm thinking about applying for a job at aldi. I really like shopping there b/c of all of the great deals. Does anyone know what it's like to work there? I also wonder if I'd spend more money working there, or if there's some kind of discount.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 11:40AM
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Trader Joe's and Aldi are owned by T.A.C.T. Holding Inc, which, in case you're interested, reported sales of over $596 million in 2005. TJ's is the "upscale" version of their markets and cater to the, shall we say, "yuppie" clientele while Aldi caters to the value-driven consumer. Curiously, you find both stores in affluent neighborhoods.

This is different where i live. The Aldi is in a very Hispanic, very low income, blue collar area and the only people I know who shop there are some older people at my church on fixed income. The reputation I hear from those that have been to the store is that it is not very nice.

The Trader Joe's is in a very nice area with higher incomes and they carry lovely imported items, lots of organics and specialty products catering to a much more affluent clientel. Since Trader Joes and Aldis send flyers, I can tell you at least at first glance they are not carrying the same items.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:41AM
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I hadn't set food in an Aldi in years. My household income has gone up 5x since I used to shop there out of necessity.

Thank you for this thread. I went back in. There is truly no logical reason not to save money where you can.

I had been buying the yellow lid fat free milk that (skim plus) and since Aldi's didn't have it, I took the fat free they offered. Both DD and I think it's better than the ff skim plus. 2.75 a gallon vs 4.25.

Also a hit with DH, the frozen shrimp.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 8:44AM
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Hi All, Just came across this thread trying to find out what brand the mayo is, I tried it before and wasn't to pleased with it but that was a few years ago, just tried it again and I actually liked it, got me... I know for fact that the peanut butter is a brand name like Jiff or Skippy and most of the other items they offer are brand names as well just not labeled as such. I shop at this store ALL the time, I'm really surprised to hear that those ALDI Stores weren't up to par, there are three different locations we shop at across the board and each of them yields the same clean atmosphere and product. One of the things I wished they did carry was chicken breast, I can't remember if they have it frozen but usually I go in there with a list of things we need for dinner... Here is a compile of items our family likes:

Kettle Chips/Cheese Curlz
Chocolate/Vanilla Waves (like oreos)
Oatmeal - Variety Packs
Olive Oil/Salad dressings - Italian, Ranch, Asian Sesame
Mac N Cheese
Stuffing - Chicken/Chicken Gravy
Chicken & Beef Bouillon Cubes
Tuna/Beef "Helpers"
Noodle Ramen
Taco Seasoning/Hard & Soft Taco Shells/Salsa/Shredded Cheese
Canned Tuna/Salmon/Sardines
Tomato sauces - Both the Traditional & Chunky Marinara
Mozzarella/Romano shredded cheeses
Peanut Butter Crunch/Something Crunchy Oats Cereal
Mustard - Honey/Spicy/Regular
Tarter Sauce
Hash Browns - Especially the shredded!
Canned beans - kidney, black, refried, butter, baked
Canned veggies
Stew Tomatos
Beef/Chicken/Spanish Rices
Whole Chicken/Chicken Tenders
Stir Fry's/Frozen Fish/Frozen Beef
Peanut Butter/Strawberry & Grape Preserves
Juices - OJ & Strawberry Kiwi Stuff
Arabica Coffee/French Vanilla Creamer
Breads - Bagels/Italian/Rye Seeded/Hoagie Rolls
Ice Cream - We really like the "Moose Tracks"
Salad "Bags"
Produce - Some days are better than others but still always have good stuff, I think it can depend on the time of day as well I'm usually there after work and closer to closing time.

Probably more "Likes" but can't think of them at the moment.

Don't Like:
Pasta - I like pasta REALLY thin (would use it in a pinch)
Pasta Salads - Ranch, Italian & Greek? Not my taste

Geeze, I can't think of any other dislikes at the moment... I must be like the ALDI poster-child, ha ha...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 4:38PM
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I shop there each week for some things. Ours is new, it's clean, so that's not an issue.
I get milk and eggs, cheese, some veggies, hamburger, chops, ice cream, juice pouches, water, paper towels and tp. Some things taste alright, while others don't. I'll buy one of something and see how my family likes it, that way I didn't waste money.
The one thing I don't like is the way the cashiers act like it's a race to ring you out. One gal threw a gallon of milk in the cart and it exploded everywhere, slow down a little! Things get broken, but overall, it's an ok place to go. I bring my own cloth bags there. Any time I can save a little, I will.
I also visit the Hostess outlet and Sara Lee, it's nice and clean and they often have great things for less.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 8:35AM
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Can someone tell me what Aldi is? I know they are proud of low prices, but is it through generics? Do they sell off brands or less than good quality foods? I was reading a little about the store on the website, but wanted to get your feedback.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 10:32PM
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Tim, Aldi's is a limited item, limited "customer service", limited hours store. One of the ways they keep prices low is by having very basic shelving display (stuff is actually kept in boxes it is shipped); they close around 7 pm or 8 pm, there's usually 1 or 2 cashiers, so sometimes you have to stay in a line, you bag your own groceries.

For the most part, the brand of items is their own, but they do carry some brand items. Usually they have a list of special purchase items and these are often brand names, and often their own brand ("limited edition" or "special occasion").

They have a double your money back guarantee and I never ever had any issue with quality. Our stores (I have one near my house and one near my job) are very clean.

Here's what I buy every week (unless it's in season, then it's farmer's market for me):

bagged spinach
trio pack of colored peppers
English cukes
Fit and Active fat free frozen fudge bars

As needed I buy:

portobello mushroom caps
whole wheat pasta
canned red kidney beans
canned diced tomatoes
olive oil (cheaper at groceries with a B1G1 sale)
shredded Parmesan cheese
blocks of cheddar cheese
Fit and Active almonds
Fit and Active blue corn chips
graham crackers
cream cheese for baking
condensed milk for baking
German heavy bread
Fit and Active yogurts
Grinders with salt and pepper
Oatmeal (2 lbs or something like that for under $2!!)

there's more I am sure, but that's all i can recall

they have great milk and eggs pricing but I get organic/free-range items elsewhere

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:37PM
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I wonder why there are such great variations in stores from poster to poster. Two of the three Aldi near me are older stores, but all three are clean, quick, and staffed with friendly people. Very easy to shop in, and I save a lot of money. I'm a very good cook (toot! toot!) so I have to go to the supermarket, too, but, hey, it costs less overall.

I've met a few surly staffers in the supermarkets, but generally the people where I live are friendly and polite. Lucky me.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 9:34AM
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I love Aldis.You must watch them though their prices creep up on you.Check back at your old place and compare prices, their swiss cheese is great and they sell White Tower hamburgers.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 4:54PM
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It's not a store where you'll do all of your shopping, but it's definitely a store in which you can save quite a bit if you're a savvy shopper. I don't find their canned goods to be particularly good buys - I can buy them on sale (which they always are) in other stores, but certain things are very good prices. Their meat prices have risen to be comparable to other stores, but at least the quality is very good so I will buy it when I'm there, but I don't go there just for meat anymore. Their prices vary, so pay attention. One other caution, watch sizes and weights of items. For instance, what may be 16 oz elsewhere may be 14 oz. I just saw their latest ad featuring bottled water for $2.99 for a 24 pack, BUT, they were 10 or 12 oz (I don't remember which) instead of 16-20 oz.

They get a lot of closeouts so they might not have the same item in stock all the time. They deal primarily in "generic" brand names, but they're not the black and white or yellow and black type generics. I'm not a snob on name, I look at quality. There's a few things I will go there to get because I can't get them elsewhere. Plus I like the prices on many other things.

I too had a dealing once with a cashier that ticked me off. I found the peanut butter filled pretzels there which I had only found before at Walmart and Walmart didn't always have them. So I bought a box full of them. Set the whole box up there thinking they'll do like most and take one and ring by the quantity. Well she didn't. Gave me a lecture that "everything has to be out of the box!", picked the box up as high as she could reach and dumped it out! I thought, I should go back and put a couple dozen eggs in the bottom of the box!

I used to have good luck by putting boxes into the cart and they'd put it right into the boxes, saving time for us both. But no - she refused to let me put them in there! I had some choice names for her and after the dump thing was ready to call a manager but figured it's not worth my time.

But, people vary and you sometimes have to put up with "stuff" to save money.

I wish there was a good one closer to me. It's a bit out of the way to go to any of the Aldi stores around me. And they do vary a lot in store condition, since some buildings are new and some are very old. Cleanliness will vary based solely on management. I've found that to vary in the same store. I'm sure there's a big turnover in all staff. I'm sure they don't pay very well.

There definitely is no "snob appeal" to these stores, so if you have an ego, you will not like these stores. Their business plan is limited labor, high turns and low overhead. But given that, I'm often surprised at the stores they are opening. Some are in rather high rent areas.

It's an interesting place.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:14AM
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I've now stepped into two different alid's myself and so feel I can make a more informed comment.

New Aldis (opened this month): clean and empty. did not buy anything but walked around. One checker. Good price on milk. Product was not refrigerated and strawberries looked DREADFUL.

Older Aldis: Right on my way home from work. Went on a Friday morning. Very empty. Clean. Strawberries were lovely (must've just stocked). Bought a pint for $1.25. Got milk for $2.59 a gallon and some frozen popcorn shrimp (two boxes for $3). Shrimp was very good. Tried their chips (ok, not creat) and got a 99 cent ranch dressing (predict DH will hate it but oh well). Saw the famous bagged tator tots and ice cream sandwhiches (Duggar receipes anyone?). Check out was fine. I paid cash. Cashier was SEATED which is odd. I got a free quarter with my cart because the previous person hadn't secured it properly. Parking lot was only steps from the door.

Overall, I'd shop again for milk and cheese but no canned goods. Maybe ice cream bars. And fruit if it is fresh.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 3:27PM
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Two items that were for sale at our local Aldi's but may not be there anymore. UNO pizza was excellent. The best frozen pizza we've had in a long time. Must less expensive than the local chains too. And for a short time they were selling Kellogg's Fruit Harvest cereal. Even better tasing than Special K Red Berries, and it has strawberries AND blueberries. I looked for it yesterday and it was gone. I should have sent my DH out for some as soon as we tried it and found we liked it.

That is one drawback to ALDI's. The closeouts don't last very long if they are a good buy and taste good.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 4:38PM
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In my experience the Aldi's sizes are often larger than similar items in the grocery store. Dried lentils/beans are two pounds rather than one, and coffee is a full pound rather than the pitiful 12-14 oz. as it's currently sold at the grocery store for most bagged brands.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 8:27PM
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In my experience the Aldi's sizes are often larger than similar items in the grocery store

Actually, mine has bene the opposite. Juicy Juice boxes are hald the size of the ones a the grocery store. Same with bagged Hershey miniature candy bars. The bag was much smaller than the one I'd bought at Walmart earlier. Prices for both were lower, but then the size was smaller.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 4:20PM
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Around here, the cashiers always sit. Also use a cash drawer instead of part of the register. If a cashier is snippy, rude, throwing heavy stuff on top of fragile items or otherwise, I push my cart out of their reach and make them get off their butts to go get it! LOL OK, maybe a little childish, but I'm sick of some of their attitudes, and not just at Aldi, but a lot of retail clerks. OTOH, when they're accommodating and friendly, I make their job as easy as possible.

I usually seem to find the store brand sizes at Aldi are smaller, which is fine for me. But it's just a reminder that you have to watch unit and serving price and be a savvy shopper.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 8:06PM
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Our Aldi checkers always sit. I'm sure this saves their backs because they do such a huge amount of checking. Everything Aldi does is based on logic and will have a reason, so I bet they have less absence from back problems and the use of the stool is based on ergonomics and efficiency.

Cynic is absolutely right - it's not the size of the package/can that matters, it's the unit price. If you keep a Grocery Price Book, you'll know what you pay per unit (pound, oz., etc.) for the things you commonly purchase and not concentrate so much as to the size. The old myth of "Bigger is Cheaper" doesn't always prove to be true when you carefully check unit pricing.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 7:50AM
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Unit pricing makes it much easier to know how much you're actually paying for something. My local Pick N Save unit-prices things, but they often use different units! For instance, yesterday one box of saltines had a unit price per cracker, but the larger box right next to it had a unit price per ounce! I'm sure they do that to confuse the customers, and it makes me furious!


    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 12:54PM
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I grew up in the Midwest, and Aldi there was always clean and well-stocked. Many families in our upper-middle class neighborhood shopped there. Now I live on the East Coast and Aldi here is a dump. It's smelly and the food looks bad. The displays are nasty, teh store is filthy. It's really odd to me, because I have read all about Aldi's dominance of the German supermarket industry. Maybe they have poor quality control in the regions where they are few and far between?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 12:53PM
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A store being dirty isn't a company policy. It's lazy employees and management that can't handle their job. Around here the stores vary, the same store will vary. I question what the average tenure of an Aldi store manager would be. I've never seen the same cashier twice, although, in fairness I don't go there very often. But I'm sure they don't have a high budget for staff so they have to take whatever will come and work there and hope for the best. But one trip will be clean & well stocked, next time, same store can be less than desireable.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 1:40AM
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Was back to Aldi over the weekend, this time a different one than I usually go to but pretty much the same stuff. Picked up a bunch of the normal stuff, hamburger, snacks, and they had a 17oz bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce for 99¢ which is about 1/2 of what a 4 or 5oz bottle costs normally. I tried some of their canned goods this time too. Several other things that were good deals too.

And the cashier was a joy to work with! Like she said though, it's almost closing time!

I am pretty sure I'll be doing more shopping at Aldi in place of the other grocery stores. I'm making notes of prices, especially on the good deals and not-so-good deals. That's how you can save some money. Going in armed with a shopping list and price knowledge, that's real ammunition in the frugal war! :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 6:49AM
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My cat from hell loves their catfood.Thank God for Aldis and the Dollar tree stores.I walked through the parking lot and saw a BMW. Now that was class,On Saturdays it's nice to see "Dads" with their kids buying stuff at the Dollar stores and the moms with loaded carts at Aldi.Dear God don't let them go bankrupt or raise their prices too high.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 7:39PM
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I have shopped at Aldis for years, & would be lost without them. they built a new store across town which is very nice (but harder for me to get to)& closed the old one down, I get all my fresh fruits & veggies there (so much cheaper) if I am short on time I will go to Save A Lot because it is closer. My favorites are
cheese curls
the stick cookies in a can (don't know what they are called
trail mix Yumm
maple sruyp
canola oil
fit & trim wheat crackers
hot dogs
cheese dogs
waffer meat
salad mix
romane lettuce
real butter
taco seasoning
brown gravy mix
cherry pie filling
canned peaches
tomatoe sauce
crean of chicken
cream of mushroom
sausage patties org.
breaded (real) chicken strips
chicken leg quaters
hamb buns
hotdog buns
7 grain bread
all fresh fruits & veggies
refired beans
There is more that I get on a reg basis, & I don't mind paying for sacks because I save more than enought to cover that.
I usually get all our fresh meat at a local small grocery store where it is cut fresh daily.
Mostly I go to
Save A Lot
Marvins IGA (for meat)
Dollar General for paper & cleaning supplies
I hate going to walmart, I can't get out of there with out spending 75 to 100 dollars.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 8:45AM
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Well, for someone who hated the idea of a "box store" being built in the neighborhood, (they were new in town and nobody had heard of them) I have to admit its a favorite place to shop. They've been here about 3-4 years and I've seen the same helpful staff since they opened. I think of it as a glorified 7-ll with much better prices and selection--quick easy parking, shopping and checkout (unless at a time when all other stores are crowded too). Good produce--fresh mushrooms are a favorite. Triscuits, oyster crackers are less than half of other grocery stores. Canned mushroom soup, tomato paste and sauce, veggies, all kinds of cheeses, cottage cheese, bagged salad, frozen veggies. Frozen "pizza for one" stacks are good to have on hand when needed.

Don't buy much meat there. Until recently it was mostly processed meat and we need low fat but did come across Smithfield hams for .99 a pound recently that I couldn't pass up. Very good. Sure there's more but not tonight. Sandy

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 1:06AM
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So I have a question about ALDI. They opened a new one in our area of Michigan a few months ago and I have been fairly impressed with it so far. Except there's just this one thing....

What the heck are you supposed to do at the checkout? I mean, the cashier has an empty cart at the end of the lane where she dumps all your stuff into. I usually don't buy enough to get a cart but bring my own couple of bags and there is a do-it-yourself bagging area at the front. They dump all the stuff into the cart, even if I put the bags in there first (which they sometimes try to recharge me for when I already bought them) and they won't let me take the cart with me to the bagging area because they need it for the next person's stuff, and the quarter stuck in there is theirs.

I mean, what am I supposed to do? I have been told I'm supposed to bag it myself...and I do....but it's hard when they put my stuff one place only to have me move it five seconds later into my bags, which takes a minute, and then people get irritated. Do I just toss my stuff into my bags at the speed of light as they ring it up (which is so, so fast)? Usually I'm too busy trying to find my debit card or something. It would be so much easier if I could just borrow that darn cart for a minute but they always throw a fit about it.

When I get a couple things it isn't too much of a problem, or when I get a cart to get a lot of stuff. But most of my trips there are weekly for about two cloth bags full of food for two people.

What does everyone else do?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 8:08PM
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When I go there I always take a cart. (Gives me something to lean on as needed and it's just more convenient.) Then you unload the cart onto the conveyer belt and they ring it up and put it into a different cart, then use my cart for the next person. Then you can take the cart to the "packing area", pack it and put it back into the cart and go to your vehicle, transfer and bring the cart to the cart area and claim your prize. I used to take boxes from the store and some would be good about putting the stuff into the boxes. Lately some of them are just trying to not be accommodating at all. They'll just throw it in any which way, and try to block you from putting the boxes or bags in there.

During the times when weather isn't terrible, I often just pack the stuff as I put it in my vehicle. I want to sort things like refrigerated & frozen separately. Also things that I know are going "long term" storage, get packed separately, if there's a lot anyway. Then return the cart or occasionally someone else could use one and will give a quarter for it.

I got a kick out of the comedian who wheeled a cart on stage one time and said "look what I got for just a QUARTER today!"

If they put the stuff into a cart when I didn't have one, I think I'd be tempted to just wheel the cart out, pack it outside and claim the silly quarter.

I don't know but I wouldn't be embarrassed when they put you in the bad position. People get irritated all the time.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 12:00AM
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From personal experience at Aldi, people who don't get a cart, even for just a few items, seem to botch the flow of the check-out process. They end up bagging their purchase from the waiting cart and the clerk has to wait to start the next person. Or they take the waiting cart they didn't bring in and the clerks have to watch to make sure they bring the cart back to them, not take it out and get a free quarter.

If you don't bring in a cart with you, just make sure you bag your things quickly from the waiting cart so the next person can process through.

I have Cart Caddy Bags (see link below) my sister gave me for Christmas several years ago. We call them our Aldi Bags. They slip over the sides of the cart to hold the bag open and are easy to load. These bags would be great for people who don't use a cart. Pop it open in the waiting cart and have the clerk place your purchases in it and you'll be able to remove your purchase quickly from the cart.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 9:15AM
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I just get a cart, too. Even if getting one or two things. Sometimes I see something I hadn't planned on buying and then I'm already prepared.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 9:20AM
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Aldis is the exception to the 'cart rule'. You really do need to grab a cart at Aldis.

There is a psychology to the shopping cart. The whole reason it was invented was that one sharp store owner noticed that people only shopped until their arms were full. If they had a cart they would buy more in his store he reasoned.

Has anyone noticed that the size of shopping carts has increased over the years? Now days people shop 'until their cart is full'. Enter>>> The bigger shopping cart! The first shopping carts only were the size of the carrying baskets. Then around the time I was a kid they made larger single bin shopping carts. They were still pretty small. They started making them larger. Then even larger still.

The bigger shopping cart also plays on the psychology of subconsciously wanting to "fill" it and not bringing a cart with only two items through the checkout lines.

Marketeers hire people to watch and analyze shoppers habits and adjust the store environment to increase (needless) sales.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 2:59PM
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I've been in Aldi stores in Mt. Vernon, Il., Pittsburgh, PA, and Cranberry, PA. All three were in fine condition cleanliness-wise. I like their snack items. Their choice in chocolates is wide and good quality. Just don't expect to find the exact same items each time.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 4:24PM
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My wife just returned from Aldi's with eight large poinsettias that she bought for $3.49 each. These are large good looking flowers. I don't know if all the stores have them but if you are in the market for a poinsettia this is worth a look.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 1:51PM
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I love just about everything.
My favorite is their bread. Its always fresh and yummy, and cheaper than I can find anywhere else.

The only downer is that their hamburger is VERY greasy... but it's also very cheap, and you can always drain the fat.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 11:36PM
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Their hamburger is 73-17. I've never seen meat in the grocery store with that high a fat concentration. Why pay for fat when you are throwing it away? And you won't get enough out by draining it really.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 3:08PM
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In all the Aldi stores I've seen, they carry several different levels of hamburger fat content. Why pay for it? Well, I've yet found a store to discount for it! LOL Nor do they discount for the "water added" in hams, or the "gravy packet" in turkey breasts, and they just get thrown away too. :)

Plus many people want a higher fat content for certain things. If I'm trying to cut the fat a bit more, I'll cook the burger in some water. That makes a big difference. Obviously you need to do some math to see how much meat you're getting for your money when you do that. Sometimes cheaper is the better value, sometimes the expensive is the better value.

Grainlady those bags are interesting. But the problem I've run into is some of the cashiers deliberately try to make things more difficult. I don't quite understand why but often if you put a box or bag in there, they'll refuse to put it in there.. I know you got them as a gift which is nice. They'd be nearly $10 each so I guess I'll just keep on with doubled paper "handle" bags I keep a stack of in my vehicle. I also keep some plastic bags in there too. Guess I need to bring an extra person and have them put the stuff on the conveyer and i'll pack it myself. But that's a waste of another persons' time too.

Oh, one interesting little tidbit: I was there one time and grabbed my cart as usual. Got into the store and it was jammed. As usual only 2 checkouts going and people were lined up halfway down the aisles! Don't remember, maybe was close to a holiday weekend or something but everyone's cart was jammed too. Well, try to take the cart back out the "in" door and the wheels lock. Much like some places where if you put them on an angle, like going down the curb, the wheels lock then too. I didn't even get out the door with it, I got within about 3 feet or so and they locked. So I dragged it through the store and switched with one of the spares at the checkout and went and got a quarter back. Didn't go back there for a while either.

That's the problem I have with Aldi, and for that matter Walmart, and back when I used to go to Scam's Club occasionally. I hate the lack of checkouts so if it's busy I won't stand in line to give people my money. Just one of my pet peeves.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 5:37AM
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