* Prices may differ from that shown
Having recently heard a lot about Aldi in the news, I finally decided to go to Aldi and see what the fuss was all about! Since my husband has become redundant, I thought I might save money even if it means taking 2 buses as the store is quiet far.
The store itself is nicely organised which surprised me as I thought it was going to be like Poundland which tends to be quiet messy! You get the choice of having an ordinary basket, a trolley basket or a large trolley; I decided to take a trolley basket which was labelled as being antibacterial. Personally, I don’t really know what to think of this but I think it’s a bonus as I’ve never seen this in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.
Whilst browsing for products, I noticed how cheap the products were, but I also noticed the lack of variety in products. I especially loved the prices on the fruit and vegetables as they were incredibly cheap! The carrots (1kg), Broccoli, pointed cabbage and cucumber were all 39p, the kiwis (6pack) and blueberries were 69p and the leeks (500g) were 89p which I thought was astonishing as even my local greengrocers don’t sell these fruit and vegetables at these ultra-low prices. The amount of fruits and vegetables was also incredible as they were always being topped up by staff members. Some might consider this a hassle as the members of staff were carrying lots of racks of fruits and vegetables at a busy time so they made the aisle pretty crowded. However, to me this is a bonus as I knew all the fruits and vegetables were fresh.
The rest of the store was the same with products being very cheap but I did notice something, which made me a bit sad, the everyday essentials that Aldi sells is the exact same products as the everyday value range from Tesco! For example, I bought some salted cashews nuts and they were the same quality and price as the Tesco everyday value cashews!
The tills were also a downside to the shopping experience as even though there are signs hanging down from the ceiling stating that if the queues going beyond this point, they will open a new till, that was certainly not the case as there were 3 tills where the queue was longer than the sign. Also, you have to pay 3p for a plastic carrier bag and there is no area to pack your bags which makes it hard for people to pack their bags and for people like me, who didn’t take a trolley, it makes it even harder to pack the bags. However,next time, I will take a trolley.
Overall, I bought 23 items for only £13.91 mostly consisting of fruits and vegetables. One product I will never buy again is Aldi’s fruit and grain bar as this product was absolutely disgusting and tasted nothing like Kellogg’s Nutrigrain bar!
About 6 months ago, an Aldi opened in my town.
There were coupons in the local paper offering £5 off if you spend £40. I took up this offer and decided to get my weekly shop at aldi, as I normally spent about £35-30 in tesco! I couldn't believe how much I struggled to spend £40!! I managed to get to about £35 and then literally had to buy random things just to get my total up to £40! The prices are just incredible.
I now do my food shop at Aldi every week. Unfortunately, I have coeliac disease and so need special bread/pasta etc. There is a gluten free loaf of bread available at Aldi, and it is literally half the price of the tesco one, but I've got to admit, it is awful!
For what I would get from tesco for around £30, at Aldi it costs between £15-20, which I think is just incredible.
Another dietary requirement I have is that I don't eat meat, though I do eat fish. I tried the fresh and frozen fish at Aldi but haven't found it very good. The prawns are fine and the frozen 'Basa' fish is good also, but I do have to go across the road to tesco to get the rest of my week's worth of fish.
All in all, Aldi is a godsend. I save about £15 a week by shopping there, which over a year is nearly £1,000! Which is absolutely fantastic. I just wish their fish and gluten free range would improve, and then they would be perfect.
I do shop at aldi I go every week or two. I can't fault them for there products. I buy most things from there. Fruit and veg is cheap and cheerful.
Meat is a little cheaper from other big supermarkets.
I get the little bars of chocolate which are nice no there not cadburys or thorntons but hey still tasty.
I get most of my tinned stuff from aldi.
Pizzas big ones from £1 you can't knock them.
The only down fall I would say is that they don't sell more of names brands for example I don't like there cereal so I have to go to another supermarket Aswel where as if the sold a few big brand cereals I could buy all my shopping there.
The alcohol is just as good as the high price alcohol.
Dog and cat food is great
Baby nappies are just as good as any.
I do like how they have there weekly offers of.
I do wish there was little aldi stores plotted around so I could pop in for milk, bread and butter.
The only bit of advice I would give is always remember your bags otherwise you have to buy them at a minimum of 3p per bag.
I purchased a six blade razor at Aldi but the store does not seem to stock razor blades for it.The razor was made in Germany and is very good with the two blades supplied lasting one month each.Does anyone know of an Aldi in Dorset which sells the six blade pack (which contains four blades)?I hope that someone can help as the razor is far better than Gillette and other well known blades.Peter Masson, Bournemouth
I am generally an online Ocado shopper and have been for a few years now. I love the quality and convenience of Ocado. I also ending up popping into a Tescos every week or so to pick up bits and bobs. I have shopped at Aldi a couple of times in the past, several years ago, but didn't really think very much of it.
I recently decided to give Aldi a go because I'm trying to cut back on our outgoings, and I have heard a lot about all of Aldi's award winning products.
First impressions. It was a Saturday and was SO BUSY! It was really difficult to find a parking space, and inside the shop was packed with people. However I guess that just shows how popular Aldi has become! The shop itself is no frills. Food is piled high in boxes, no fancy displays, but to be honest it's exactly what you would expect.
Check out is a little hectic. The check out assistants are lightning speed. You not supposed to pack as you go, it's a case of throw it in the trolley, pay, and pack afterwards.
I have to say, from the word go I was blown away by the price of the products in comparison to what I had been paying elsewhere. I was a little sceptical beforehand, and wondered if it really would be that much cheaper. It was. A loaf of brown granary bread - 75p as opposed to £1.30ish elsewhere. Squeezy honey - 60p as opposed to £1.30 elsewhere. Award winning red wine for £3.60! I could go on! Our total shop came to around £40, and I think we would have been looking at £55-£60 for a comparable shop at Ocado or Tesco.
The choice was much better than I remember from visiting Aldi several years ago. I always thought that I would need to go to Aldi then also go to another supermarket to get bits I couldn't get there, but I don't think that's the case any more, I could happily get a full week's shopping there. I am also always concious of animal welfare when food shopping. For example I wouldn't buy chicken or eggs that are not free range. Again, I was pleasantly surprised. Free range products were available, slightly more expensive than the standard versions, but still cheaper than elsewhere.
Quality-wise I am seriously impressed. The food has been as good as you would get anywhere, I can't fault it. And special mention to the wine. It was exceptional. We bought a bottle of red for £3.60 and a bottle of white for £4.50. Better than many far more expensive wines we've had.
Am I converted? Yes. From now on I will be shopping at Aldi. It's a bit of a stressful shopping experience, but for the savings we will be making I think it's worth it.
Aldi recently opened a store about 10 minutes from where me and my partner live. Before we travelling about 20-30 minutes to go to the next nearest store. Up until the last couple of weeks our shopping was primarily done in ASDA or Tesco, with the occasional visit to other stores. But now I think that we will primarily do most of our shopping in Aldi.
We did an entire weeks shop this week for about £75 in Aldi. Had we gone to another supermarket our shop would probably have been in the range of £100 or more. We got everything that we would have done elsewhere and the cheaper price doesn't mean that we are paying for a lesser quality product. The fruit and veg was much nicer looking and fresher looking than other supermarkets. The price is second to none.
The biggest difference between Aldi and other supermarkets is that they don't stock up on your usual brand name products. But the products that they do stock up on are just as nice if not nicer than the brand name products for which you are only paying for the name. We decided to try some of Aldi's frozen pizzas and they were just as nice as any other brand of frozen pizza. In fact the one's from Aldi had much more toppings than other pizzas.
The meat was much more reasonably priced than in supermarkets. We bought five big chicken breasts for about £6. The bacon is just as nice as in other places, steaks were much more affordable too. We could have had a couple of steaks for under £5. My partner and I both asked each how they manage to do thinks so cheaply.
My partners children haven't complained that they haven't had their usual Walkers crisps or other brand name foods, and they have enjoyed the fruit even more than from other supermarkets.
There are still the odd thing here and there that I think will make trip out to ASDA or Tesco to go and buy for example laundry products, and juice such as Ribena. But I think the majority of our shopping will probably be done in Aldi in future. The other great think is that there are no price gimmicks, or 2 for 1 offers, everything is cheap so if you want another you don't feel like your arm is being twisted into getting another in order to save a few pennies.
Aldi Leamington Spa opened back in June 2013 so its a new store. I was excited by this as Id heard good things about the place, this weekend just gone I finally got round to going. Here are my thoughts
Store layout/car park
The store is located opposite a McDonalds drive thru and close to a retail park. It has a decent sized car park which fits around 150 cars. The car park, even when I've not been visiting is quite full and does appear to have come congestion in it. On my visit there I go in no problems and found a space however I have when driving past seen people queuing for a space. The store itself is of good size, not super store but more like Tesco Metro size, the local courier gives its size as 1640 sq m. To get a trolley requires £1 (or 1Euro) which is fairly normal for some supermarkets and there was plenty of trolleys to use as well as baskets.
As you walk in to the left is the check outs and packing up area, straight in front is the first aisle and this follows onto the next with there being I think 4 aisles in total. The first aisle (as indeed all of them are) has a mixed range of items, the fruit and veg is located in this as well as sauce kits and other tinned items. At the bottom of this and which runs along the back wall is the refrigerated section containing meats both cooked and uncooked, fish, salads, cheeses, spreads etc. In the next aisle is more veg (mainly potatoes) stationary, toiletries, some drinks and other sauce kits, third aisle is the beginning of the frozen aisle with meat and other frozen goods, again some stationary, boots, scarfs and other non food items are located here. Last aisle is the remaining frozen items, alcohol, pet foot and leads onto the chilled desserts. once completed make your way back up to the front and to the checkouts, there are about 7 checkouts which when I was there were all open.
Aldi is known for it being one of the cheapest around. It has been voted "Supermarket of the year" several times (of which it likes to tell us on many TV adverts) and so for me I figured it must be worth a look. Price wise yeah I do think its a fair comment on it saving people money. I got a massive selection of fruit, veg, meat, fizzy drinks, frozen goods, tinned and other chilled items for £50 which was a good price to pay and on what I got (especially fruit and veg) I did think it was probably cheaper than going else where. They are quoted as being 45% less than other supermarkets and looking at some of the prices I do think on certain items they probably are 45% less in terms of cost. Times are hard and I do think for a reduced budget whilst still wanting fresh items this would be a good place to go
Items on sale
The Aldi store is a lot smaller to places like Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrison's and so the choices are more limited, this for me was one of the negatives. I was planning a recipe which although it had fairly "specialist" items in it, these items are all located in the "big four" as stated above so not being able to get them here put a spanner into the works. If you are doing basic cooking without following much of a recipe you would be ok to go here however anything requiring herbs, spices etc this isn't the place to go. If you are not to fussy with the choices available then you will be fine.
For me I cant honestly say this was the most stressful shopping trip I've ever done in my life. We went in at around 11am Sunday morning, which is not unusual for me to do although I often go to Morrison's but I've never really hand many problems with crowds at this time. Aldi at this time was incredibly busy and with the aisles not being especially wide I found myself being pushed and shoved around quite a lit by people or being hit with trolleys, kids running riot around the store, I was truly shocked at the manners. I get to the till, which at this point was quite busy and rushed through so quickly I didn't even have chance to breathe let alone pack, which Im told is the "thing" with Aldi and speeds up check out time however this for me was the last straw.
I really did not like Aldi and if I can I will be avoiding the place! Now don't get me wrong I can see the appeal because on many items they are cheap but the store experience coupled in with the lack if product availability has put me off. If I was solely after meat, fruit, veg and certain tinned items I would probably give it another try but on a off peak day. I do think that the savings that they quote probably are correct and as mentioned above on a budget this is an ideal place, just don't expect to much customer service or a good store experience!
For me I am giving it 3/5 it loses 1 for store experience and 1 for lack of availability and choice.
I have always been a bit of a food snob and for many years would only buy branded products from supermarkets such as Morrisons, Asda or Sainsburys, never in my life would I have considered a lower end supermarket. We experienced financial difficulties a couple of years ago and had to really rebudget, I decided to try Aldi with little certainty that food shopping was something we could re budget to be honest. How wrong was I!!!
I have now been a regular customer of Aldis for the last two years at least and I shop there every week. I make savings of between £40-60 PER WEEK by shopping here and not only that but the food quality is so much better, I am still amazed each week at the savings I make and the quality of the food.
All fruit and veg is fresh, good quality and plentiful unlike many supermarkets where shelves can be bare I have never experienced this at Aldi. The fresh meat such as whole chickens, beef joints, diced meats and fillets is a fraction of the price you'd pay else where and yet all sourced locally and responsibly as they have the red tractor sign. The chicken fillets can be a bit hit and miss and I find I can cut a lot away so to save this I just buy full chickens roast it then use the meat for what I needed the fillet or pieces for, for curries etc This works fine and the price is much the same for fillets or a whole chicken.
There's always an aisle in each store that is like a miniature Home Bargains section which is especially great at Christmas time though there's handy gadgets, equipment, house hold objects, toys, clothes, pet specials, baby specials - practically everything you could think of and more, all year round.
You do have to pay for your carrier bags here, 3p for the normal ones, so I take a bag full of carrier bags with me.
Cannot recommend this store enough, you will be shocked if first time shopper and in agreement with me if not.
I have only just started to use Aldi as one has just opened within walking distance to me.
I must admit it was a shop I would never have tried if one had not opened on my door step, knowing what I know now I feel I would have been missing out on a shop with great prices, that has now become the place I buy most of my shopping.
I was a little nervous walking into the store the first time as I was expecting a warehouse type setup with food piled high on pallets, and cardboard boxes all over the place, I couldn't have been more wrong, the inside was nice and bright, no empty boxes all over the place, prices clearly marked, I've been in a handful of times since it has opened and most of those times there was a visible person cleaning the store, which is good to see.
Another worry I had before shopping there was the staff, would they be offhand with the customers as it was a discount store, again I couldn't have been more wrong. The store was well staffed each time I visited, I was expecting the store to be run on min staff levels, if it was I couldn't tell as there were staff on every row and enough checkouts manned for the volume of customers. I asked for help one time and was helped by a very nice man.
The staff at the checkouts again were very friendly, I even saw a woman helping a shopper down the stairs to the car park as the customer was afraid to use the lift.
Amazing is all I can say, I have tried the bigger supermarkets own brands and white label foods before and whilst they were fine, I now see that what Adli offer is no way comparable, whilst you feel with an own label you may be saving money, you do feel it's at a cost of the looks of the product i.e the white label and the quality, I used to buy Sainsburys white label frozen chips, whilst good value, they were offcuts as their size was only 2-3cm long, so tended to dry out in the oven fairly fast. Aldi's frozen chips are miles apart in taste and quality, they are full size and taste great, I feel with these I am not being short changed, I'm getting a quality product at a great price.
Some of their other prices are hard tp believe and again of great quality, free range eggs £1, pizza £1, 2 litres of milk £1, I buy UHT milk for a neighbour, I used to get it from Tesco for her at 95p, Adli has it at 55p! I could go on, enough to say it's not use pennies you will save but as much as a pound on a single item, over a trolly of shopping you will be making a very worth while saving.
Give it a try and I'm sure even if you find you need to go elsewhere for some products they don't sell, but they do sell some brand names, such as Coke and Warbutons, you will soon make it part of your weekly shopping routine.
Recently I had the chance to have a walk around an Aldi in Dronfield. As one is opening up shortly closer to home, (between the Tesco Extra and the Asda down the road from Lidl and a roundabout away from Sainsburys, those town planners really know what they are doing).
We approached Aldi under the cover of darkness, from what I could see a lot of upper class customers were doing the same as they clutched there Marks and Spencer and Waitrose carrier bags. The car park was of a good size, I would estimate suitable for 75 vehicles. It was very easy to pull in to and out of the car park. The Aldi is glass fronted allowing a view into the shop before entering. The trolleys are hidden around the side of the store, don't forget your pound or bolt croppers to secure a trolley.
As we entered the shop it felt warm and well lit, my initial impression was that it was set out similar to Lidl in that the lighting was harsh, the floors tiled and the shelving low. I was able to see to the back of the store with no problems.
The lay out of the shop was good with tea, coffee and hot drink making items at the start of the shelves along with biscuits, chocolate bars, cakes, bread and snacks. The fruit and vegetables were set out market stall style and appeared of good quality at a good price. Running up the centre of the shop were the weeks current non-food offers. I spotted various tools, clothes and household items along with seasonal offers (in this case Christmas). There was a good variety of fruit juices but not much choice of dilute pop. The freezer section was basic containing fish, breaded chicken, frozen vegetables, pizza's, frozen chips, ice cream and deserts to name a few. The baby section was well stocked with nappies and lotions. The vast majority of the body/skin care section contained brands I had never seen before same with the cleaning and laundry products. The fridges that ran along the back wall of the shop were well stocked with a variety of fresh meats, ready meals and dairy products. The alcohol section on the way to the tills was well stocked with a variety of named and own branded spirits, wines, lagers etc.
The style of the shelving within the shop is that items are presented in the packaging boxes in which they are transported to the shop. This is ok but occasionally presents an obstacle when the boxes at the front are empty and boxes need ripping open by the customers to access new stock.
While wandering around we seemed to be harassed by a man with a floor cleaning machine, he went up and down the isle we were on half a dozen times. The isles were of a reasonable width, I would estimate three trolleys wide where staff had not carelessly left pallets of stock awaiting shelving. The shelves were quite neat and tidy apart from the baskets with the current offers in which seemed a bit jumble sale scrum.
There was very little branded food, but that is only to be expected as this is the point Aldi sells itself on. The food looks packaged well and a lot of the food stuffs looked very similar to known brands and quite often needed a double take to realise they were not quite what they were trying to be.
I did have trouble working out what items were priced at as the labelling system on and above the shelves is somewhat chaotic. We were not the only ones in the store holding packs of biscuits to which we were trying to match names and weights to the prices shown. On the majority of items we worked the prices out and on those we didn't we threw the item in the basket any way as we saw no prices too extreme.
The experience at the tills was efficient and friendly. Aldi is one of those shops where you need to bring your own carriers otherwise you are charged 3p and upwards per bag depending on the quality you pick. As the items are scanned you are expected to put the stuff back in your trolley to be packed at the packing tables a few steps away from the tills. Aldi takes cash and debit card payments but not credit card payments (selected Scottish and Welsh stores do take credit cards).
I managed to spend £49 while walking around Aldi. I was a little unsure as whether I was pleased with the cost as it was not as cheap as I was expecting it to be.
My Husband picked a two pack of t-shirts up at £4.99, the quality of the t-shirts is as he put it thin and cheap but as he only brought them to wear under his scrubs at work it is of no bother. I picked a bottle of Peach Schnapps (£5.99) up to put away for Christmas so have not tried it yet. The quality of the food stuffs we did pick up has been very good so far. The frozen pizzas (0.99p) are good quality and well topped, the biscuits are good and I can recommend the half coated fruit and nut cookies (0.99p) as they were delicious. The tortilla chips (0.72p) were not as good as Doritos but still passable, the same can not be said of the dips though (0.69p) they tasted as cheap as they were priced. The 6 pint carton of milk (£1.49) tasted just fine and I thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate cereal (£1.19) for breakfast this morning. Obviously we have not tried everything we have brought yet but with the high success rate of the other items I am looking forward to trying them.
All things considered I found the Aldi at Dronfield to be a pleasant experience. The store was clean, well lit and well stocked and the staff are friendly and efficient. I don't think I would travel out to Dronfield again but when the store a little closer to me opens it will be an option I will consider among the other supermarkets close by. It was not as cheap as I was expecting but when I totted up the prices of comparable items at Morrisons I saved £20. Then again if I had not gone for a look in the first place I would not have spent anything.
Thank you for reading.
I must confess I have moved around supermarkets a bit over the years. I used to be a loyal Tesco customer until they seemed to be getting more expensive and I didn't like their 'political' presence and morals. I switched to Sainsburys who were much better in value and customer service. I stayed with them up until the opening of a new Aldi store five minutes u the road from me.
I had used Lidl before but was frustrated with the lack of range of products and it wasn't too convenient for me to get to. Also the convenience of home delivery with the likes of Sainsburys saved me petrol money. With the convenience of this new Aldi I had no choice to give it a go and haven't looked back since!
The first thing you need to remember is a trolley token or pound coin. They do have baskets for smaller shops. Also remember to take your own bags. I know most of us do this on auto pilot now! They do have plastic carriers to buy in store and their own re-useable ones to purchase. Their re-useable ones are worth a buy as they are a good size and good quality.
The layout is very basic like many supermarkets but laid out differently to the likes of Sainsburys and Tescos. When you first enter you are in the breakfast, bread and tea and coffee section. There are five aisles in total so there is a lot to take in during a relatively short walks!
The fruit and veg is laid out in the centre of the aisles, almost like a market. I did find it quite hard to find some items as they cram so much in to such a small space so you may find it a bit longer to do your weekly shop in here. The area around the meat section gets quite busy as it's in the corner of the store. Not really the best place as this becomes a bit of a bottle neck.
The aisles are quite narrow and you do often find yourself 'giving way' quite a lot and being patient to allow traffic to pass! I think they should put in mini roundabouts at some of the aisle junctions!
They never seem to have enough people on the checkouts so be prepared to wait for a while! The staff are always friendly although very rushed! There is no packing area at the tills. Once the items are scanned they ask you to loads everything straight back in to your trolley and use the packing shelf at the front of the store. This does enable them to process shops more quickly. I find that if I lay out my bags in the trolley I can load the food straight in to them once passed to me by the checkout assistant.
Range of Goods
I find that I can get most of my weekly shop done here but I do still need to go elsewhere for items they don't stock. This is for things such as fresh ginger, flavoured green tea and a few other items.
They stock a great variety of Euopean hams and cheeses. The fruit and veg section should serve most families and they also have a great chocolate selection!
I find some areas a bit limiting like the range of crisps. They do however have a good wine selection from various countries and a selection of different spirits.
There are a couple of aisle where they sell different goods which seem to rotate on a fortnightly basis. There is usually a theme to these. For example they may do a cycling theme and sell cycling shorts, bike lights etc. I am quite amazed at the variety in these aisle. I have seen everything from nasal hair trimmers and tvs to colouring books and socks!
Quality of Goods
This is where it does become a bit pot luck! It seems there is no middle ground, the quality is either really good or really poor! The continental meats and cheeses are really lovely. You really must try their Bavarian cheese and hams! Their bread is lovely, especially the tiger bread! The vegetable are really good too. They don't seem to stay as fresh for long as others I have used.
The prepared meals such as chicken and their frozen meats I have found quite poor. The chicken seems watery and they seem to use a lot of salt. I must confess I don't but my meat from here now for cooking.
My big downfall is their chocolate! They have a good selection and it is so tasty! I am having to go to the gym more now thanks to Lidl!
The wines are really quite good too. It's worth paying a bit more for their middle range selection as the quality and taste is much better.
Value for Money
This is what keeps me going back for more! I was so amazed at the cost of my first shop there I kept going back! It is easily saving us £40 a week on our shop we used to do at Sainsburys. A lot of their items are blatant 'rip offs' from well known brands. FOr example they do an equivalent of Herbal Essence shampoo and conditioner for £1.29. I have to say it's nearly half the price and just as good!
The average price of wine is £4.99 a bottle although they do much cheaper ones.
I do find myself not believing the prices sometimes but they really are real!
I highly recommend this store for your weekly shop. If you haven't used it before you will really be amazed at how much money you can save even just on the basics. You get a huge variety of people in there from all classes and age ranges.
It can be a nuisance sometimes not being able to get everything in store but if you are willing to shop around a bit for some items and have a bit of patience you will save yourself a fortune!
If you're thinking about applying for a job at the Aldi distribution depot, then during your 12 week probationary period with the employment agency, be prepared to be patronised and exploited. Also, if you have tattoos, piercings, facial hair, or basically don't fit in then you won't get the job anyway.
Previous employment experience is simply ignored and the only jobs available are pickers or cleaners. No other internal vacancies are advertised or even heard about until a job has been given to the person they choose.
All managers are males, all deputies females.
All contracts are actually part time 20hrs but required to work until finish to maximise exploitation. Genuine workers who have had genuine time off sick have been cut down to 20hrs per week as punishment. People in tears on the shop floor due to management pressure.
Stupidly high turnover of staff, new faces every day! Bullied and not encouraged.
Constant heavy work with only one 20 minute break per day. No free drinking water is provided for workers.
We don't scan in and and out, we have to write our hours down on paper which is managed by the site manager.. wages are wrong on a regular basis.
zero health and safety.
I've used Aldi since they first started - just loved the range and prices. But - my word - I've never seen a store go downhill so fast. My local store seems to be crucially understaffed (I assume as a matter of policy.) Prices are often hard to determine and (among hardware at least) opened packages often seem to outnumber unopened ones. I've walked away from very keen bargains, simply because I couldn't find a box that hadn't been opened. I appreciate this is often down to customers (some of whom seem to visit the store for no other reason than opening packages and buying little or nothing.) If not the store's direct fault, then still the store's responsibility.
When my local Aldi first opened, I honestly thought I'd never need to shop anywhere else again. But these days, long queues are now so common I often just don't have time or patience to wait. I don't mind waiting my turn in a busy store, but when a dozen people with full baskets are awaiting the pleasure of a single checkout, I tend to walk. Over the last few months at least half my weekly visits to Aldi have resulted in my walking out because I simply didn't have all day.
The grocery side is great - a selection (especially of continental stuff) you get nowhere else, at excellent prices. Hardware not so good - opened and damaged boxes, and prices that seem these days to be rising - not always unreasonable prices, but prices that don't tempt any longer.
I don't blame staff. I'm retired now, but spent half my life in management, and I know a management problem when I see one. And I know short-staffing by policy when I see it.
Pull your socks up Aldi. I love your stuff, but my patience - even as a retired chap with time to spare - isn't infinite. Especially when there are 2 other supermarkets nearby where I can get served in minutes.
I started shopping at Aldi around two years ago when we needed to make some major cutbacks. I hadn't used it before as the opening hours didn't suit my work pattern and they didn't do the odd delivery I used to require. Since then, the opening hours have improved.
I had always believed that you couldn't do a full shop in Aldi, but this is untrue. All the basics are available, with some unusual bits and bobs which you can't get elsewere. For example, I like the breadcrumbed fish with pesto. Many items are the same price as the value ranges in the bigger supermarkets, but are much nicer. For example, the jaffa cakes, which are just like the real thing, but the Tesco ones are like a piece of cardboard!!
Two major gripes. Firstly, depending on what time you go, the shelves can be empty and secondly, the customer service is absolutely dire! Occasionally, I come home with half a shop, depending on the state of the shelves. One day, there was not one single fresh vegetable in the whole shop! Going through the checkout is my most stressful time of the week. The assistants throw the shopping off the end of the checkout, quite often items land on the floor. I make sure my trolley is lined with bags before I go through and am very fast at packing (I'm not really very careful), but still it never seems fast enough. Unfortunately, you can't do a better job if you leave it to the packing area. It is so hot, due to a radiator under the bench and very cramped. Once I took back a pot noodle which, on opening, had a great long, thick, black hair in it. I was met with, "Have you got your receipt?" Really a "Sorry" may have been more appropriate!!
Aldi is a discounted supermarket chain which was founded in Germany and which first began opening stores in the UK in 1989. There are now in the region of 420 stores throughout the UK with one of those stores being within a 10 minute walk from my office.
I remember when Aldi stores first began to open that there was a mixed feeling about them. Some people loved the idea of something differnernet and being able to purchase non branded items at a cheaper price while others seemed to look down upon it and branded it as poor quaility and not 'trendy' to be seen shopping there. I have never held anything against Aldi and prefer to try things before being critical about them. Although I had shopped occassionly in Aldi stores it is not until recently that I have actually been a regular to one of there shops and have found it to be pretty good.
Aldi stores are generally not huge but tend to stock a fairly wide range of items. They do all tend to follow a similar layout and although are not as orderly as some of the larger chains I still find it quite easy to find everything and it seems to be fairly logically laid out. Before you enter the store you will ususally find a good sized car park if you are driving and will find a trolley bay where you can put in a pound to use one of the trolleys (refunded on return of the trolley) alternativley there are normally a good pile of baskets just inside the entrance. The tills are located at the front of the store and there is normally a packing area located after the tills to allow you to spend more time organising your purchases after you paid for them.
I have never done a full weekly shop at Aldi but I am in no doubt that this is possbile. Aldi stocks all the usual everyday basic items that you would find in other supermarkets and they are split into sections:
-Bakery - bread, cobs, cakes, pasteries, biscuits.
- Cupboard essentials - coffee, tea, preserves, tinned food, baking items.
- Toiletries / Household cleaning products.
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetables.
- Chilled Meats / Meals / Diary.
- Frozen Meats/ Meals / Vegetables / Desserts.
- Soft drinks and alcohol.
- Seasonal - this can include decorating goods, clothing, electricals, baby items etc.
One thing I do love about Aldi is that you can buy things like continental meats and cheeses that are not always as widley avaliable in other supermarkets and the seasonal items/events they have do break up the food shop well and means you can often find items you wouldn't expect.
One thing Aldi is known for is there low prices and although not quite everything is cheaper I find that certain things are much better but still great quaility. As mentioned in the last section Aldi sell quite a large selection of continental meats and cheeses and these are far cheaper than in other supermarkets. I also always head to Aldi to purchase baking items as flour, dried fruit, nuts and chocolate are much cheaper. Fruit and vegetables are also excellent value and always seem to keep well although all fruit and veg does come prepacked so if you are just wanting a very small amount of items then it would prob still be beneficial to shop somewhere that does loose items. The only thing to note is that you do need to pay for carrier bags at a cost of 3p per standard bag and 6p for a bag for life but you can obviously take your own to save a few pennies and to do your bit for the environment.
I can honestly say that I have never been dissapointed in the quality of any items that I have purchased from Aldi. In fact I find that some things are actually better quailty, for example there own brand Magmum washing up liquid is fantastic and has even won awards.
Although there is never normally many visible staff on the shop floor and no designated customer service desks in any of the stores I have been in staff always seem to have good product knowlegde and are friendly and approachable. Service at the tills is always extremely fast as there is no packing room but instead a space to place your trolley to place your items into to pack later at the packing area. Although there is often a que at the checkout in the store I go to staff are quick to open more tills as required and customers are served very quickly.
I have always been very happy my experience of shopping in Aldi, the products may not have fancy packaging or brand names but they are always good quality and great value. I will certainly continue to use Aldi for some of my shopping and would highly recommend anyone who has not tried it or is a little sceptical to give it a try.