Coupon Cutting Dropout

I must confess: I’m experiencing coupon burnout. It’s not the first time, and I’m certain it won’t be the last. Well, almost certain.

I can’t even remember why I stopped at Aldi 2 months ago. It was probably because I had run out of coupons for something, or that I saw Aldi had a great deal on produce.

The last time I remember being in Aldi was in 2003 in Marion, Indiana, buying supplies for our annual college camping trip. Aldi was poor on selection, hit-and-miss on quality, and notoriously inconvenient.

I was surprised when I went into our local Aldi at how much things had improved. Selection was better on, well, pretty much everything. The basics were augmented by seasonal items, special flavors, and mixed in with a few brands that I recognized. I picked up what I was looking for, and what I needed but didn’t expect to find at Aldi: flavored creamer.

A couple days later, I made some Just Love Coffee with the new Aldi creamer. Ken asked if there was something that was different about the coffee, because it was  . . . so GOOD! I tasted it, and sure enough, I think their hazelnut creamer was the best I’ve ever tasted!

It made me curious: what about other items? So I tried Aldi for a few more things: bread, salad, bagels, cake mix. The quality was not only good, I was surprised again when Ken asked where we had purchased the hamburger buns because they were excellent.

So, two weeks ago, I took my Kroger E-mealz list and bought the items at Aldi to compare. Because the E-mealz list is based on what is on sale at Kroger, and Aldi doesn’t have sale prices, I thought it was going to be an interesting price comparison.

In every case, the Aldi regular price was the same or better than the Kroger sale price. The items on the E-mealz list that weren’t on sale were much cheaper at Aldi. Exluding double coupons, I believe I could pay about the same at Aldi as I typically do coupon-sale matching at Kroger. But I don’t have to spend hours cutting, filing, pulling, sorting, researching every week.

So I bought a week’s worth of groceries at Aldi, plus a few extra things that looked fun to try — like frozen pizza. We’ve been eating all Aldi for the past couple of weeks, and we have been pleasantly surprised! We have liked everything we tried. Many things we have loved. (Their creamer, their pumpkin spice cream cheese, their chicken-bacon-ranch frozen pizza, etc.)

They don’t have everything we need at Aldi (like a good selection of frozen vegetables). We’ll occasionally have to pick up a few items at other stores, but for now, I’m pretty excited about Aldi. Another nice thing about the E-mealz menu plan for Aldi is that if I buy one three month subscription, I can use it repeatedly, because it’s not based on a sale cycle. Aldi has items priced the same every week.

I’ve now switched my E-mealz subscription from Kroger to Aldi. And I get a few hours of my life back each week!


6 thoughts on “Coupon Cutting Dropout

  1. I LOVE Aldi! My family used to shop there all the time (with 4 kids… it was necessary). 🙂 We just kept check if there was anything we tried that we didn’t like from there. I wish there was an Aldi around here, but we’re stuck with high-end grocery stores like Harris Teeter. 😦

  2. We are big Aldi fans too. Just about every Saturday it’s Aldi first and then we do usually stop at Kroger for just a few things – it’s on the way home.
    Once we got something at Aldi that the family didn’t like I took the package back and they gave me a refund – they had their guarantee on the package.

  3. I’ve been sold on Aldi for a number of years & agree that product selection has greatly improved. Aldi is my first shopping choice but also take advantage of Harris Teeter sales & double/triple coupons.

  4. We used to shop at Aldi all the time when we lived in St. Louis. But alas, they were not in Nashville (that we knew of, anyway) when we moved here in ’94.

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