Wednesday, May 2, 2012


What it is:  I thought this post would be great right after our farmers market because it is the polar opposite of the market as a place for buying groceries.  However, they both have their items that I purchase each week, so here's what I have discovered after shopping there most weeks since it has opened.  Aldi is a new grocery store that recently opened at the intersection of Hwy. 751 and I-40 near Southpoint.

When I walked in for the first time I wasn't quite sure what to think.  It's a little like a Costco with all of the items on the shelves still in their bulk packaging and boxes.  However, it's much smaller.  Plus, most of the brand names that they sell are unknown.  I wasn't quite sure about these aspects, but then I discovered that all of their prices are very cheap.  Since I've shopped there I've discovered several items that you can get a great deal on and quite a few misses-things you really shouldn't buy that cheap because the quality suffers.  So, if you know what to get, you can get some great deals.

There are also some interesting quirks which make shopping here a bit different.  These quirks are in place to further keep the costs low for us.  For example, you have to deposit a quarter to use their carts to save money on hiring someone to retrieve carts from the parking lot.  My son loves the responsibility of holding the quarter and sticking it in the slot to get the cart.  In addition, you have to bring your own bags and bag the groceries yourself.  They do have some bags, but you have to purchase them.  Finally, you can only pay with cash or debit, so make sure you have that when you shop there.

What we like: The prices are great.  Aldi can beat our regular grocery store prices on milk, ground beef, cheese, some canned goods, graham crackers, common spices, broths, flours, and sandwich bread.  It has fabulous prices on produce, but the selection is limited and sometimes the produce goes bad more quickly than expected.

What we would change:  As we've said, the quality is hit or miss.  We have found that many of their boxed goods like mac and cheese, cereals, and chips don't measure up as far as taste.  You really just have to give things a try and judge for yourself.  In addition, for your organic purchases, Aldi is not your store.  While they don't have organic selections, they do have their fit and healthy brand for a healthier option.

After shopping at Aldi for this long, I still don't quite know what I think, and I'd love to hear your opinions.  I think I've settled on shopping at Aldi for certain things each week like milk, fruit , and sandwich bread.  However, I still stop by Harris Teeter to find those more unique items I cannot get at Aldi.  Going to two different grocery shores can be a bit of a pain, but it seems to have lowered our monthly grocery expenses.  (Oh, and Aldi doesn't take coupons.)

Website and other important information:


  • 6910 Fayetteville Rd Ste 136
  •  · 
  • Durham

    Stephanie Clark said...

    After my first shopping experience at Aldi and realizing the savings that can be found there, I always start my weekly grocery shopping trip at Aldi - with the intention of buying what I can there, then stopping by a place I can buy the name brand items we can't live without. With my 5-year old, shopping at Aldi is fun. However, if I had an infant or toddler, it would be next to impossible from a convenience factor alone. But when the time is right, or you can shop alone, Aldi is the way to go! I always recommend getting a bunch of unknown items to try, then ruling them out if their nasty. It's hit or miss with some items, much like Trader Joe's (coincidentally, they are owned by the same parent company.) For instance, their take & bake pizza was super cheap but not a hit in my house. On the other hand, staple items such as bread, cheese, milk, meat, and produce have been more reliable - and cheap.

    Courtney said...

    I hit aldi and then target to get everything we need. I agree on the hit or miss. I do highly recommend their salt and pepper chips, they didn't last 24 hours in our house!

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