Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ALDI Compare & Share {April Edition}

**This post is in no way, shape, or form sponsored by ALDI.  The opinions below are expressly my own, and I was not compensated for this post in any form.  ALDI is not responsible for the content in this post.

There was a discussion not so long ago on my Facebook page about the quality of ALDI's products and how they did or did not stack up to their name brand counterparts.  This got me thinking of what an absolutely fantastic monthly blog series this could be!  

I will admit that when I first started really trying to get a tight grocery budget started over a year ago, I was a bit of a foodie snob.  It probably wasn't until about 4 months ago that I really started to venture into the bargain grocery shopping world of ALDI.  Basic baking necessities like flour and baking powder were no-brainers for me.  And then there is their fresh produce.  Trust me.  You can't get strawberries or tomatoes or most other fruits and vegetables cheaper elsewhere.  And I have noticed recently that my local ALDI has started carrying some organic produce!  I know that if this is happening at my small town WV store then it also must be happening in larger city stores too. ;)  Just the other day, I bought a 3 lb bag of organic potatoes for $2.49 and 2 lbs of organic bananas for just $1.38!
But things like potato chips and bread and cereal and snacks?  I was not so sold on.  I was a name brand snob when it came to those types of grocery items.

But then I pushed myself to bring home a few things here and there for my family to try.  I figured the worst that could happen with most of these items is that we would really dislike them & I would be out maybe 2 bucks?  A lesson in grocery budgeting that we could afford to take.
What we did find is that there have been quite a few things we have been pleasantly surprised by, and some things that just didn't quite stack up.  For instance, we are not big fans of their pancake syrup and will not be buying it again.

I will be using a neat little 1 to 10 rating scale for this.  If an item receives a 1, it wasn't even close to the name brand product & we won't be buying it again.  If it gets a 10, that means we couldn't even tell a difference & we will definitely be buying it again.  A 5 warrants a take it or leave it kind of response.  You know, like a meh. ;)  I had myself, my husband (P), and my son (J) rate each item where applicable.

So let's get started...
Clancy's Wavy Potato Chips, $1.49 for a 10.5 oz bag - 10
Me- 9
P- 10
J- 10
These chips have actually now become a snack staple in our house.  We don't even bother buying the brand name ones anymore.

Millville Oats & Honey Crunchy Granola Bars, $1.89 for a box of 12 bars- 8.5
Me- 9
P- 8
The taste of these were just slightly off from the name brand ones we usually buy, but not enough to warrant us spending $1-2 more on a box of the name brand granola bars. 

Savoritz Original Thin Wheat Crackers, $1.39 for a 10 oz box- 7.5
Me- 7
P- 8
The texture was just a tiny bit different from their name brand counterparts.  And we found them to be just a tad bit less sweet & a little more saltier than the big name crackers we were used to.  But all in all, we will definitely be buying these again.

Casa Mamita Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles, 59 cents for a 10 oz can- 10
I typically use this product when I make taco meat in my Crock Pot.  There was no difference in the taste, so definitely a 10.  I usually pay 40 cents more a can for the name brand version, so we will definitely be switching to Casa Mamita from here on out. ;)

L'oven Fresh Split Top Wheat Bread, 99 cents for a 20 oz loaf- 10
Me- 10
P- 10
We loved this bread.  And I was so surprised by that.  Honestly, bread is one of those things I rarely scrimp on no matter how tight the budget is, and I warily bought this loaf.  I told myself it was for the good of my blog readers- for research! ;) I am glad I did take the plunge.  Never going back to brand name wheat bread.

Friendly Farms Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer, $1.49 for 16 oz- 5
I am really the only big coffee drinker in the house, so I will give my rating for it- a 5.  It wasn't bad, but the peppermint flavor was significantly weaker than it's name brand counterpart.  For this product, I believe it is worth it to pay a little extra for the brand name version.

So, what did you think?  Have you and your family tried any of these products as well?  What would you have rated them?

*This is the first post in a new monthly blog series I am starting.  Be sure to check back here the first Tuesday of each month for a new ALDI Compare & Share Post from me.