Friday, February 6, 2009

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

You all know of my love of Trader Joe's.... the frozen chocolate croissants, fantastic store brand EVERYTHING from dishwashing detergent to olive oil. I mean the place rocks the house on the cheap front but has enough high end products to assuage the inner food snob.

You also know that we do not have a Trader Joe's here.

Well in my frugal shopping research I discovered that there are two ALDIs here.

Do you know about ALDI?

We didn't have one in Ann Arbor so I never really investigated it before. Then when I was watching The Duggars (what?!!!) I saw that they shop there. That's when I got the low down that this place maximizes savings by not providing free bags (how very environmentally progressive of them), making you rent a cart (25 cent deposit), only taking cash for payment (or equivalent), and eliminating shelves (you pick product off the pallet).

Yeah it sounds so crazy I kind of need to see it. There is one just about a mile away. I hadn't bothered making the trip (until TODAY) because I figured they wouldn't have any organics. Plus they only carry their own private label stuff... and how do I know it's not crap?

How do I know?!! Well it turns out that ALDI and Trader Joe's are owned by the same company. They are essential the low end and high end versions of themselves.

You read that right.

So if you love your "hand selected" private label Trader Joe's olive oil there is a pretty good chance you are going to equally love the private label ALDI's olive oil.

Take that in... all you foodies on a budget.

Now I don't know for a fact that I'm going to find my beloved organic soups (for now)... as ALDI caters to a different market... but I do know that the fish filets are going to be the freaking same... for LESS. Same goes for condiments. And baking products.

I'm doin' it.

I'll report back later.


Haley said...

There's an ALDI's out by my parents, but I've never been in. If you ever read Roni's Weigh, though, she is a big fan of ALDI's and has vlogged her purchases -- you might want to check her out.

Haley said...

Here's a link to the post... she's so darned cute. :)

searchingfortruth said...

I just love ALDI'S. I do most of my shopping there because they do offer a double money back promise. they will give you twice what you paid for any item that you do not like. I do a lot of my stock up shopping there. glad that you found the place

katieo said...

LOL! My sister (the one in Canton) ALWAYS shopped Aldi's. So does my mom. They are ALWAYS preaching about it to the rest of us. They always want us to go with them when we go it's some sort of attraction. It's not your typical grocery store- but they get crazy deals.
And I had no idea it was the same company who owned tj's!

Nicole said...

Be prepared for the check out. The one I shopped at in Dearborn was super crazy fast. I've never seen anything so fast in my life.

My suggestion, but your purchases back in the basket as she hikes it to you, pay the girl, and repack at the counter.

Me, Myself and I said...

Aldi's rocks. I hook up my coupons with sales at other stores, but for anything I need not on sale I hit Aldi's.


Supermom said...

Tell me ALLLL about it!

Elizabeth said...

It's like the Gap and Old Navy of food shopping!

Or even the Banana Republic and Old Navy...

Mrs Furious said...


I'm excited!

I remember you telling me about your sister last year... but still couldn't figure out exactly what the deal was.

Ah that is a good tip to know. Thanks.

Me, Myself & I,
I am ridiculously excited to try it out.

Oh I will!

precisely. I'll let you know if it is the Gap or Old Navy of food ;)

Kiki said...

I can't wait to get the update on this....we don't have one hear but my sisters have them where they live!!!

Kiki said...

Did I type "hear"? Awful....of course I meant here. I am OCD about spelling.

Julie said...

I've been to Aldi...I like it...but for some reason it is a pain in the ass for me with kids! I don't know why...some places just do that to me. I need to make an effort to go there more often. Please let us know what you got! I would have never guessed that Aldi and TJ are part of the same company. WOW! I just went to TJ yesterday. I bought the croissants and I cannot wait to try them out!

Christy said...

So strange! I have a good friend who lives in Chicago who just went there for the first time and raved about it! Too bad we don't have a TJ or Aldi's anywhere near.

P/F said...

There's one around the corner from my sister in PA and she really loves the store (of course they put a mom & pop specialty grocer next door out of business).
And they've been building something a couple of miles away from my house for a few months (in this economy!) and we've been trying to figure out what it will be. Last week the sign went up - Aldi. Can't wait to see what you think of it.

Feener said...

i have heard of aldi's and we have one close by, but this might just sound completely wrong, but i am scared to go there. it is not the best area. with 2 kids i just don't have it in me. please report back.

G in Berlin said...

Trader Joe's was actually purchased by Aldi, a major German chain privately owned by the secretive billionaire Aldi family (who had a huge fight and split into Aldi North and South here). Oh., if only Aldi carried more TJ's here (sometimes they sneak a bit in).
"Internationally, Aldi Nord operates in Denmark, France, the Benelux countries, the Iberian peninsula and Poland, while Aldi Süd operates in countries including Ireland, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Greece, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia (operating as Hofer in Austria and Slovenia), the United States and Australia. According to a survey conducted in 2002 by the German market research institute Forsa, 95% of blue-collar workers, 88% of white-collar workers, 84% of public servants and 80% of self-employed Germans shop at Aldi" and "Trader Joe's -- A US speciality store chain bought by Theo Albrecht in 1978" and so on.
We had one near my tiny town in upstate NY,but it was nothing compared to Germany.

SK and Family said...

I've heard of Aldi's, but don't know if they are in Texas--I'll have to look that up (I don't think Trader Joe's is in Texas, either).

Mrs Furious said...

Okay I'm back.

I have mixed feelings. It was kind of exciting in a weird way... but in the end somethings were cheaper and some were not. I think I was overloaded by all the candy and impulse purchase potential.

They did have some of the same frozen products as TJs.

They did not have any organic food and no choc croissants.

I did get a super deal on frozen fish filets and on powdered milk (which I use in my bread).

My overall feeling while I was there is that if you don't care about organic food you could really make out with the cheap meats & vegetables.

Also if we were entertaining it has the same frozen party food potential.

It is definitely geared to a much lower end than TJs... yet the prices aren't much lower than TJs. If you have both I think you get better quality for your dollar at TJs over Aldi.

Still processing...

Yes I know what you mean. I'm not sure it's worth it if you don't feel safe!

Next up I'm checking out the discount groceries!

Renee said...

Oh I can't wait to hear about this....I have seen Aldi's all over but have never ventured inside one...very interesting about the Trader Joe's and Aldi being owned by the same company-I've never been in either....but perhaps I need to rethink my snobbish attitude regarding Aldi's...I just assumed it would be cheap, not good for you crap....can't wait to get a furious report!!!!

Oops...just saw your follow up comment...good to know...sounds like I won't be venturing in one anytime soon and a lot like what I thought...maybe some are better than others-don't they have electronics and small appliances, etc. too? I'm trying to make the switch to organic and the local ingle's is actually starting to do a good job of offering more organics....definitely catering to the west asheville market....I can't think of the name of it right now but there is a local organic grocery store (supposedly like an outlet one?) somewhere around here-I'll get back to you on that one....

Mrs Furious said...

It's called Amazing Savings. I'm planning to go there next week.
I'm also thinking that maybe some ALDIs are better than others. This one didn't have any of the housewares. There is another one by Walmart... I might check it out for comparison purposes.
And I get a lot of organic stuff at Ingle's for super cheap.

Deb said...

We have a bunch of them, and I've never been in one. Given your review, it sounds like I need to get my ass back into Trader Joe's. I haven't shopped in one since I lived in California.

Hi, Nicole!!! (Nicole is one of my peeps, Mrs. F. Watch her. She's wickedly funny.)

G in Berlin said...

Interesting. In downstate NY, Amazing Savings is a great store, but not a grocery store. It's like a 5 and 10(more expensive than a nickel now, but very cheap). Every time I come back to the US I go there to pick up party favors and kids toys.

Mrs Furious said...

I think the one here might actually be called Amazin' Savings. It is just a small independent (2 store) natural food discount grocery. A lot of the stuff is expired or close to it. I haven't been in yet but did hear that if you are careful and especially if you have room to freeze stuff you can save a lot.

TJs is where it is at. I couldn't do a whole weeks shopping there but they have a lot of organic staples for much cheaper.

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