My Tour of ALDI Headquarters…and Why I Now Shop at ALDI

In October….before my life went completely out-of-control (which is why it has taken me so long to get this post up!), I had the opportunity to head just outside of Chicago to the ALDI Corporate Headquarters.  I was able to sit in on a food styling class, a food photography class, and a tour of an ALDI store, and it completely changed my thinking about the store.

Let me tell you a little bit about my background with ALDI.  Back when John was in vet school, we shopped at ALDI quite a bit.  It was a great place for us since money was tight, but after we moved, there wasn’t an ALDI anywhere around us.  I kind of forgot all about them…

Over the past few years, I’ve heard quite a bit more about ALDI and several of my blogging friends shop there, but since the closest one is about an hour away, I never went out of my way to go there.  I think I maybe even harbored an aversion to it–just because I related it to that very difficult financial time in my life!

But no more.

If you've ever wanted to save money on your grocery bill without clipping coupons, ALDI is a great place to shop.  Here's what you need to know about shopping there...

The store we went to outside of Chicago was beautiful, and I learned so much about how they keep the prices low and quality high. You can find out a little bit about how they do that here.

ALDI Taste Test Challenge

The day before the tour, we actually did a blind taste test of various products and I picked the ALDI brand as my preference about 2/3 of the time.  The tastes compared to “name brands” were very similar, but the ALDI prices were so much cheaper!

ALDI Organic Line

I was also excited to see some natural and organic products.  It sounds like they will be rolling these out to most stores in 2014.

ALDI Organic Produce

Organic produce is available, too!

ALDI Coffee K-Cups

If you purchase K-Cups, you know they can be a bit pricey.  ALDI has the lowest prices I’ve seen on them.  I don’t have a Keurig, but if I did, I would definitely purchase them at ALDI!

ALDI Store Tour

The week after my trip, I headed up to my closest ALDI store and did some shopping–just to see how it compared to the store we went to in Illinois.  It was way nicer than I remembered the stores being when I shopped them 9+ years ago!  I picked up quite a bit of produce (the “Special Buy” on pomegranates was amazing that week–like $.39!!), a few gluten-free products, and a few organic items.  I was super-impressed with what I got for the price…and I didn’t even have to worry about clipping coupons! 

Let me say that again.  I was super-impressed with what I got for the price…AND I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO CLIP COUPONS!!!

Shopping at Aldi

There are a few unique things you should know about shopping at ALDI:

1)  You pay a deposit (a quarter) for the shopping cart.  Once you return it, your quarter pops back out!

2)  The “shelves” are actually specially designed boxes that stack on each other.  This is a time (and money) saver for the company since they don’t have to hire as many people to stock shelves.

2)  You’ll need to bring your own bags–they don’t offer plastic bags.

3)  They don’t take credit cards–you’ll need to bring cash or a debit card.

5)  Be sure to check out the “Special Buys”.  You can save a ton of money with them!

Overall, my trip was amazing!  I was inspired to start shopping at ALDI again and have now added them to my must-stop store list when I head to the *big town*.  I just load up my cooler, check out the weekly deals, go shopping…and save a ton of money.

If you have an ALDI near you, I highly recommend checking them out!

Beyond Compare Brussel Sprouts

On a side note, we had these Beyond Compare Brussels Sprouts on the trip, and they are amazing!  I later made them at home and the girls (and even John) ate them up!  You can also find them on page 11 of The Happier Holidays Recipe Book from ALDI!  The print version is in stores.

Disclaimer: ALDI sponsored my trip to Chicago to participate in this event.  I am thrilled to participate with them and happy to share with you another way you can save on groceries and get more for your money (I’ve found that to be true just from my past few visits to the store)!  All opinions are my own.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway (2 Gift Cards of $50 Each)

amazon

I’ve been meaning to get up a new giveaway,  but we’ve had some crazy stuff go on over the past few months.  Someday I’ll share…when we make it through!

Anyway….

I want to thank all of you so much for following my blog and keeping up with me!  I feel like I haven’t really connected with everyone in a while, and I certainly haven’t been able to write many of the posts I’ve wanted to write due to all of these crazy life things, but I am so grateful for those of you who have been faithful readers–even though I’m really slacking!

Today, I wanted to offer the chance to win one of two $50 Amazon Gift Cards. Truly, my hope is that it will help out a couple of you during this Christmas season and that it would be a blessing!

To enter to win, simply fill out the Giveaway Tools form below.

This giveaway will end on December 2 at 11:59 PM CT.  This giveaway is sponsored by me!

Gifts with a Purpose: The Orange Bird Online Shop

**Just a reminder that you can get free shipping through November 9th!

You know that I love to support gifts with a mission, so I’m excited to be sharing an eclectic online craft shop called The Orange Bird with you!

Orange Bird Fall 2013 Collage

I met one of the owners of this sweet little shop when we moved several years ago.  I had no idea she even had the shop until just recently, and it is amazing!  What I love the most is The Orange Bird is filled with handmade gifts AND the proceeds go to benefit various charitable organizations.  The current project being supported is The James 1:27 Project in Machakos, Kenya.  You can read more about the shop here.

If you are interested in purchasing a handmade gift, you can get FREE shipping through November 9!

Purple Minion Hat

I think all of the products are adorable, but some of my favorites include:

If you need a special gift or you would like to support some fabulous projects, consider The Orange Bird!

 

The Mission of The Orange Bird

To “think outside the nest” and show God’s love to others by using our God given creativity to make and sell things in order to generate profits to support organizations and individuals who are serving those in need around the world. 

To do all this in order to follow God’s command that Jesus talks about in Matthew 22:37-39 when he said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

DIY Laundry Detergent

DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent

Surviving a Teacher’s Salary shows you how to make your own Homemade Laundry Detergent.

I have to admit I haven’t tried any DIY laundry detergent recipes.  Do you have a favorite?