Tell me about Aldi's

I just saw an ad for Aldi’s, and have read a lot about it on this site. I just looked at Aldi’s site, and the closest one to me is 270 miles away in a city I’m not sure I want to go to.
Can you give me a synopsis of what it’s like and how it compares to the usual specialty markets, like TJ’s, Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc.? Their site doesn’t really tell me that much except for the vaguest possible PR-speak. Also, what’s their range? And do you like it?
Thanks in advance-

A lot has been shared about Aldi on this forum. Hope this provides a starting point for you.


I like Aldi’s and do a lot of my shopping there. But I would not put them in the category of grocery stores to travel far to visit.

The stores are small, bare bones and bargain priced. A fair amount of the goods are private label. Perhaps 1/8th of the items are seasonal/special purchases, some of which are not food related. There can be occasional specialty items but the vast majority of the products are every day basics - produce, dairy, canned goods. Aldi’s is owned by a different branch of the family which owns TJ’s but they are separate corporations. They have similar square footage and once in a while a few comparable items. But they are very different shopping experiences. I worked in the grocery biz for awhile so I found the store interesting in how streamlined the design is from an operating standpoint. It was the first place I observed many ideas that allow them to have a much smaller crew than usual in this biz.

The first few times I visited an Aldi’s I was not impressed as a consumer. At all. It can take a while to find the gems that fit your needs. Now that Lidl has entered this tier of the market Aldi’s is starting to upgrade their stores. If you are an organic or locally sourced shopper you will find some but not much. If you like a “nice” shopping environment this may not be a good fit. Most of the stores a very basic, smaller aisles, older style lighting. Kind of like Filene’s basement 30 -40 years ago - some great deals but not a particularly pleasant environment.

Things I routinely buy: eggs (been at 58 cent/dozen for months), half and half, basic cheese and specialty cheese when available, canned beans, mustard, Dukes Mayo, a nice cracker assortment, sandwich rolls, frozen sea scallops, produce, nuts.

I don’t think the variety nor the savings is enough to make a trip out of your way worthwhile. That said, I have an Aldi’s close to every part of town that I frequent. I go there first and then fill in the rest of my needs from other, more expensive grocery stores. I’ve come to really depend on Aldi’s to stretch my grocery budget!


Aldi is OK but I prefer it’s main competitor here - Lidl.

Some things can be particularly cheap but, in the main, we buy things that don’t appear on our normal supermarket’s shelves. Like , we bought a couple of goose breasts for dinner on one of the festive days around Christmas, last year.

Both companies have branches less than 10 minutes drive away from home.


Thank you for a great explanation. We do have TJ’s here, less than a mile from the house, and I’ve become pretty good at ferreting out the things they have that are the best. I wouldn’t go 270 miles for any grocery, although I did go about 140 to Lee Lee Asian Market once in a great while until they opened here too.
Hopefully we’ll get an Aldi’s here someday. Thanks again!

1 Like

I don’t know where you’re located but there seems to be a big difference in Aldi’s stores from region to region. In NYC Aldi’s is competing at the bottom along with 99 cent stores. 95% of the items are private label. They use milk as a loss leader, sometimes as low as $2.09 for a gallon. I’ll usually buy some canned goods but that’s it. Aldi’s has few gourmet items. If it was more than a mile away, I would never go.