ALDI supermarkets are fairly new where I live. We have only had them for a few years now, but I am lucky enough to have two of them right near my house. My grandmother loves ALDI because she grew up shopping there in Germany. I love ALDI for the low prices.
I have to be honest with you though, before going on my trip last week it never occurred to me to do all my shopping there. It was more the place I stopped in for good deals on snacks and things.
Stepping inside the ALDI Test Kitchen for two days at their headquarters in Batavia, IL has changed everything for me. We started with a welcome reception with holiday wines, cheeses and appetizer ideas – all from ALDI! And it looked so nice!
I have to say I was a bit jealous of the wines. I live in a state that does not allow liquor sales in markets. Not only are the ALDI wines fabulous tasting, but most retail for $6.99 a bottle or less!
It was so much fun participating in blind tastings. Just about everyone picked the ALDI products over competitors – and in other cases we couldn’t even tell the difference. ALDI wants their products to not just meet, but exceed the national brands.
I loved hearing how ALDI keeps costs low with private labels. They save money by not using national brands (resulting in having to pay them to stock, etc). Occasionally you will see a national brand like Pringles or M&M’s, but that only happens when it is something customers want and ALDI can’t find something comparable (or better).
It was amazing getting to speak with Janice Stahl about food styling and tablescaping. She had such wonderful ideas! Tips like:
- Know how to use a good store bought item. You don’t have to make it all. Take the ham, use your own glaze!
- Your FOOD is the perfect table, not the fancy linens etc… make your food the centerpiece with crisp white square plates
- Decorate by taking clear vases and filling them with fresh fruit from ALDI and water. How beautiful is that! Loving the pomegranates.
We were treated to a holiday dinner hosted by the ALDI test kitchen chefs. Everything on this table, ham and turkey included, was purchased entirely from ALDI. And it was amazingly tasty!
Our second day, we were given a tour of the Chicagoland ALDI store. It was really cool to see that all ALDI stores are set up the same.
Ever notice you might see some mud on the side of pumpkins at ALDI? ALDI actually buys their fruits and veggies straight from the grower, in turn getting a better price. You can’t get fresher than that. From the farm, to the store.
ALDI actually sells more than 1,400 of the most frequently purchased grocery and household items. Consumers can fulfill the majority of their grocery shopping needs at ALDI at prices up to 50 percent less than traditional supermarkets. Things you can’t help but love? ALDI has a “Double Guarantee” – you don’t like it you get another product AND your money back. Also, where can you beat milk prices like this.
After the tour of the market, we were back at headquarters in the Test Kitchen for our own Guacamole making challenge! We each brought a ‘secret’ ingredient back from the market to add to the current ingredients they had out for us (mine was basil.) So fun!
We were then treated to lunch from the ALDI test kitchen chefs. I am already thinking about recipes I will be using this holiday season.
The day after I got home from the trip, my family and I went into ALDI. For $17 and change, we filled an entire grocery bag with fresh veggies, fruit, some meat and a snack. How can you beat those prices! We decided that next week, we will be doing our entire weeks worth of shopping there and I can not wait to see how much we save.
ALDI currently has more than 1,200 U.S. stores in 32 states, which serve more than 20 million customers each month. ALDI is continuously expanding, opening 75 new stores last year and more than 80 this year!
Aldi.us.com has lots of great recipes, so make sure you check them out before planning your next meal or gathering. In addition to their website, you can also follow up with Aldi on Facebook. They will be coming to Twitter soon!
Disclosure: I was sent on an all expense paid trip to the Aldi Test Kitchen but all opinions are my own.