Frugal Foodie Mama: ALDI Compare & Share {April Edition}

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. 

17 comments :

  1. What a cool idea!!! I have never been in an ALDIs before, maybe I should check it out. I have a hard time giving up my brands that I know and love :)

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  2. It's funny because my boss and I were just talking about this the other day. She has started shopping at Aldi and was telling me how so much of the things she was purchasing tasted quite similar to their name brand counterparts! I like this series!

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  3. I'm looking forward to this series. I use ALDI for a lot of our groceries, but there are some things I won't get there, no matter how good a deal they might be. I'd love for you to review the olives, and then I can share my experience. One nice thing about anything you try, they have their double guarantee, so if you don't like it, you can get your money back.

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  4. I've noticed that the bread at Aldi and the generic bread at Dillon's are harder to spread peanut butter on. Mayo and mustard are just fine, but when it's peanut butter that's difficult to spread, the bread rips too easily.
    We switched to Aldi potato chips a while ago, not that we bought name brand to begin with, lol. J loves the sour cream and onion.

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  5. Oh, thanks so much for starting this series! I love Aldi and need to get in the habit of shopping there more often, but the traffic where my local store is located is the worst! My store is kind of small, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much of my grocery list I could get there.

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  6. The Clancy version of Cheetos are fantastic! I also buy my butter quarters there. Great idea for the series!

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  7. Just started getting in the world of Aldi's but my daughters do their weekly grocery shopping there. My son is PICKY and he loves the Millville Chewy granola bars, the cereals, the juice boxes and the bread. I buy the sandwich thins for myself and you can't tell the difference from the Arnold's. Will have to try the items you have in your post! The produce and dairy is so much cheaper here too! Did you know that Aldi's and Trader Joe's are affiliated?

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  8. I LOVE Aldi's. It recently opened in my town and I went to try it out. I spent $30-$40 less than I did at the grocery store and got MORE food. I also love their produce and we actually eating healthier on less money. I also love their Clancy chips, but we get BBQ. My kids also love the Fit & Active 100 calorie chocolate wafer snack packs.

    Ann.. I don't think they are. I was just told by the check out person the other day that Alid's is a German based company.

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  9. We shop at Aldi's all the time and feel that the quality of the food is just as good (sometimes better!) than the name brands, plus you save a good deal of money too. And one of the things I like most is that I can get in and out of Aldi in half the time I spend at a larger grocery store. For instance you don't have to spend time looking through 10 brands of ketchup - they just have one size and brand of ketchup and you grab it and go! Everything is simplified at Aldi and that's a big bonus in my opinion.

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  10. I like many of the Aldi products, especially their "Light and Fit" brand. The frozen turkey meatballs are pretty good! :)

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  11. I love shopping at Aldi. I do most of my shopping there, and we save so much money! Plus, then I don't have to spend time cutting coupons to get good sales. Most of the products we enjoy are just as good if not better (or we can't tell a difference) than name brand products. We love their chips too!

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  12. I do most of my shopping there.. except for their meat.. I actually find lower prices at our local supermarket for our usual meat. I do get their fish though.. that is alot cheaper.

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  13. So are all of these Aldi brands? I just found that we have an Aldi down the road, but haven't ventured in there yet, since I understand they don't accept coupons - or don't have sales-- something. However, I have heard some good stuff about them too - so was thinking about checking them out. but if I get anything there it has to be non-perishable items like what you have listed. The tomatos and chips definitely peeked my interest! I am definitely a brand snob when it comes to chips (I just love my lays) but that pricing is about half of what I pay for them (if the price is the same as I pay here) I have even tried to make my own - but potatoes aren't cheap here, and it just isn't the same! LOL

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  14. I like the idea of this series! My mom always goes to ALDI's, but I haven't been in years! You might have just sparked a yearning in me!

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  15. Kudos to you for starting this series! We shop at Aldi all the time and we love their products. Being on a grocery budget Aldi is definitely a budget friendly store.

    @Melanie...the reason they don't accept coupons is because their prices are already so low.

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  16. Kudos to you for starting this series! We shop at Aldi all the time and we love their products. Being on a grocery budget Aldi is definitely a budget friendly store.

    @Melanie...the reason they don't accept coupons is because their prices are already so low.

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  17. Kudos to you for starting this series! We shop at Aldi all the time and we love their products. Being on a grocery budget Aldi is definitely a budget friendly store.

    @Melanie...the reason they don't accept coupons is because their prices are already so low.

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