And now for something completely different… Grocery trip!

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* I’ve been writing on this blog for a few months now. I like doing Before & Afters, but sometimes I get bored with it and want to share something else. So I’ve decided to branch out and have a weekly “And now for something completely different” post– just to keep it interesting. *

This week I went to the newly-built Aldi grocery store that’s near my home. This is the only Aldi in town and it just opened in January so I figured I should check it out.

Aldi is an international discount grocery chain. They have stores in Europe, the UK, Australia, and the United States. They feature many of their own house brands. So as a result, you can’t use coupons and likely won’t recognize most of the brands. If you must eat KELLOGG’s cereal or drink COCA COLA soda, this might not be your store.

This particular location is fairly small– about the size of a Walgreen’s but has an open and spacious feeling. As you can see from the photos, they have warehouse-style shelving and a smaller inventory. There aren’t the typical long aisles with signs, but because the floorplan is open and the store is small, you can find what you need fairly easily. There aren’t a lot of choices for each item. There might have been 4 different cereals. It definitely reminded me of the selection at the corner grocery stores I shopped at in Spain.

If you go, remember a quarter for the grocery cart and your reusable bags. These are two cost-saving measures common in other countries, but not so much here. When I was coming in the door, a customer was coming out carrying all his food in-hand and loudly complaining about the .06 charge for bags. The grocery carts need a quarter to operate, but when you return them to the rack you can get your money back. This prevents people from leaving baskets in the parking lot or down the street. It’s only an inconvenience if you don’t happen to have a quarter or if you have small children and are used to transferring them directly into the cart from the car.

Price-wise, Aldi has some good deals. I usually get better deals using coupons at other stores, but this store has potential for when I have an immediate grocery need and there’s no good deals. I’m planning to go back for some nuts, hummus, and frozen vegetables. This week I just picked up a bag of bananas. If you’re local, have you been to Aldi yet? What did you think?

Click on the photo collage to make it big enough to see.

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