I was asked to participate in a challenge recently that involved shopping and wine. I like shopping. I like wine. Okay, scratch that – I’m a mother of three small, very busy children who run me ragged – I LOVE wine.
The challenge was to visit my local Aldi and check our their wine and food selection for an upcoming holiday gathering. Aldi has wine? Yep, that was my first reaction too. Okay, full disclosure – I have never, ever in my 36 years stepped foot in an Aldi. I’ve always lived by one but just never shopped at one. I don’t know why, I just never have. This is one of the reasons I was up for the challenge. I like to explore new things.
With my holiday gathering shopping list in hand, I headed to my local Aldi. Now, I want to say someone could have warned me about the cart situation! I’m used to the giant superstore grocery chains and would have never in my wildest dreams thought there would be a “cart situation”. Well, there was.
When I went to grab a cart to start piling in all my Aldi goodies in, I realized that all the carts where chained together. Hmmm…that’s weird, maybe that is how they bring them out of the parking lot, I figured? I thought there had to be a loose cart sitting around. Nope. Not one single one. As I stood there like a deer in headlights not sure what to do since I couldn’t get a cart, I looked up to see the sign. It said something about needing a quarter to get a cart. What?!? I need to pay to use a cart? Really? No big deal IF I had known this. The sign did say that if I insert a quarter to release the cart and I would get my quarter back when I brought the cart back. This process has something to do with keeping the parking lots free from carts and needing less employees to gather the carts that raise the price of the food. Okay, that’s great and all IF I had known to bring a quarter. You see, I have a 4 and 6 year old who are obsessed with money. They collect every single coin that comes into our house which includes any in my purse. So, I was standing there without a cent, let alone a quarter, on me. So, now I’m looking around to see who I can bum a quarter from. Not a good start to my shopping trip.
I work out the cart situation with a kind lady who obviously feels bad for my Aldi stupidity and gives me a quarter. “Cart situation” is fixed. I do want to add that everyone I have told this to since my Aldi trip looks at me like I’m a complete moron and says something like “ummm, yeah, you pay for the carts at Aldi, everyone knows that!”
I head into the store not really knowing what to expect. It was different but good. I was met with very, very clean, well-lit aisles of food. Definitely a “no-frills” type of place though. It’s about saving money not looking like a fancy superstore though! If you know Aldi, they don’t carry the name brands you are used to seeing in the superstores and the food selection isn’t as extensive. No worries because they had exactly what I was looking for to get for my holiday get together.
While the name brands weren’t there, the low prices were. I love that. I’m a big couponer so I love a great deal and Aldi had good deals. The food was substantially less than the “other” stores.
I easily found the cheeses, crackers and desserts I was looking for and headed for the wine. The wine was the real reason for my trip anyway. Aldi had a decent wine selection hitting all the major players – Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio plus more. I grabbed four bottles of wine which paired perfectly with my desserts, cheeses and crackers. I opted for a bottle of Riesling, Red, Pinot Grigio and Chianti which totaled less than $20. Good deal. Since I was a bit nervous that I had never heard of the brands of wine, I was happy to see that Aldi has a “Double Guarantee” that means if I wasn’t happy, they would not only replace the product but also refund my money. No risk there!
Checkout was a breeze and I headed home with everything I needed for my small holiday gathering.
They day of the party we all enjoyed the wine, the baked brie, cheese and crackers and delicious desserts. My favorites were the Riesling and the mini eclairs but everything was so tasty that I didn’t even think about that “Double Guarantee”. I was happy! And the best thing about it all was that I spent only $50 for the appetizers, desserts AND the wine.
So, while I was an Aldi newbie with this challenge, I’ll definitely go back. It won’t replace my current grocery superstore but will be a great addition for some of the essentials that I would like to save extra money on! Plus, I will remember my quarter next time so that I don’t look like an idiot trying to get a cart!
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of ALDI and received a gift certificate to pay for my purchases. This was the only compensation and, as always, all my thoughts and opinions are my own.