For the longest time, my wife and me shopped at our local Shop Rite. In high school, I used to work there stocking dairy products on the shelf. It makes it that much more enjoyable to know I do not need to work for $6/hr stocking shelves 39 hours a week. I was not allowed to work 40 hours a week because it would be considered full time and they would be required to pay me full time employee benefits. I digress…
Several months ago, my father-in-law told my wife and me about Aldi. Specifically, he was raving about the Beaumont Classic Roast Ground Coffee. He said it tasted just like Starbucks if not better. He also exclaimed, “it is much cheaper too!”
My wife and me eventually ventured to our local Aldi and to our surprise a cart full of groceries that would last us two weeks cost us less than $95. A similar cart at Shop Rite would easily cost us $175-$200. The products we chose were fantastic! We ate very good the next two weeks and you can be certain we returned to Aldi for our next grocery trip. There are some items that we still go to Sam’s Club for such as paper towels, toilet paper, and laundry detergent. There are some items we still go to Shop Rite for too.
After shopping at for Aldi for a few months, a competitor of Aldi’s opened up nearby called Lidl. Since we had such great success with Aldi, we decided to check out this new place called Lidl. Lidl’s is a bit nicer than Aldi in terms of appearance. Lidl has a bakery near the entrance and a larger produce section than Aldi. Lidl has a bit of a nicer appearance overall in comparison to Aldi. The product quality is similar for both Aldi and Lidl. They also both have similar guarantees.
Lidl’s guarantee – if you don’t love what you buy from Lidl, you’ll get a refund for the item and a replacement.
Aldi’s guarantee – If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with any product, we will gladly replace the product AND refund your money.
There was actually one item my wife and I purchased from Aldi, which we did not like. We did not actually end up testing the Aldi guarantee because the product was relatively inexpensive and it was not worth our time. One product which we truly do love is the Whole Simple Southwestern Style Chicken Quinoa for $2.49. This is a healthy fulfilling frozen meal I often eat for lunch. During my days in high school, I could not even purchase lunch from my cafeteria at school for $2.49, so I find this to be a really good deal.
With products costing less than your average grocery store and the guarantee, there really is nothing to lose in visiting your local Lidl or Aldi. I think a lot of people feel funny about value shopping, but there is nothing funny about saving a bunch of money and getting quality food. I will point out that there are times when you cannot find a product you purchased a week or two before. There seems to be some inconsistencies in what Aldi and Lidl sell.
Things to know before you visit Lidl or Aldi:
Both Aldi and Lidl are not paying me to write about them. I want to make sure this is clear. As you position yourself to make better financial decisions, you should be looking at everything including your grocery bill. As we continue to talk about expense versus income, you will want to make sure your expenses are decreasing. Grocery shopping in value stores may be one way of decreasing your spend. I believe value stores such as Lidl and Aldi provide similar quality products to that of a Shop Rite or ACME at lower costs. It is most definitely worth giving it a shot!