Are Aldi’s prices really that low?

I’ve been hearing tell of a place with low, low prices. You know I’m on a tight grocery budget. But we eat “real food” and much of it organic. So my budget has got to stretch. I’ve decided to check out the weekly ad at my closest (not very close) Aldi. I’m comparing it to my tried-and-true Wegmans (or, as I call it, my happy place!)

First page... Canned soups and boxed baking mixes. Pass. I make my own soup and it’s really not difficult to bake from “scratch”, either. No mystery ingredients for us…

Page 2... products for the elderly, including a special toilet seat with handles. Oh, Sudoku. I have a free app for that…

Page 3… Cereal bars? not really food by my standards. The applesauce is an okay price for non-organic, but considering where apples fall on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, I get the heeby jeebies considering non-organic applesauce. Canned fruit, non organic and the thin-skinned fruits I know contain higher levels of pesticides. Oh, well. Pass!!

Page 4. Frozen meals. Not “real food”. Sigh. Pasta. 99c. Same price as Wegmans. Canned tomatoes = BPA and pesticides (I buy Pomi wherever I can get it cheapest – usually Wegmans or Vitacost). Jarred pasta sauce. A waste of money. DIY sauce takes almost no time or effort.

Page 5. More frozen meals. Lunchmeat laden with preservatives. A 6-oz. box of instant rice for 99c (I can get a 20 lb bag of rice for under $10 at Wegmans! That’s 50c a lb.) Oh, fresh chicken breasts. $1.79/lb for a family pack. That’s only 20c/lb cheaper than Wegmans… and probably not packaged in individually sealed packages (like Wegmans…) A cookbook no one wants for $10.

Page 6. Hmm, 100 count generic black tea bags for $1.99? That is 50c less than Wegmans. The first somewhat impressive price so far. A bunch of kitchen junk you could probably buy at Walmart or even Dollar Tree. For more than you would pay there. Next.

Page 7. More kitchen junk. Plastic cups of yogurt, priced the same as every other grocery store (I make my own yogurt super easy, and cheap. Got a machine to do it for me, for about $15 on Amazon). An 8-pack of generic paper towels for $6. Not impressed.

Page 8. Various crappy chocolate items for “Valentine’s Day”. Non fair-trade chocolate is slavery. So I either pay up or go without. It’s chocolate. I love it (LOVE IT) but I won’t die without it. Someone else might die for it to be made, though (unless it is fair trade certified). So yeah, PASS!

That’s it? Wow, Aldi, no way will I be making the trek out to the lower-income, higher-crime-rate area to save 50 cents on a box of tea bags! I’ll stick with my happy place… Wegmans. (No, Wegmans does not pay me to say this stuff. It’s an unrequited love, but I’m okay with that!)

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Are Aldi’s prices really that low?

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