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Any Aldi shoppers here?

According to this article (from 2009) Aldi has the best prices in the Twin Cities on conventional grocery goods. http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/...

But I've also read that their produce varies wildly by location.

Do you have a favorite Aldi in the Twin Cities for produce and also cleanliness and friendliness of staff?

Surprisingly, at the time this article was written, Whole Foods had the best prices on organics in the Twin Cities. (I'd be curious to see how Aldi compares to WF on organics since Aldi didn't have organics at the time this article was written.)

If you have yays orr nays on Aldi products in general, I'd love it if you'd please add them to this thread on the chains board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6629...

~TDQ

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  1. I'll jump in on this one.

    With a grad student budget, it's a time in my life when I am choosing affordability over organic/local/etc. Living next door to Whole Foods makes this difficult, when I get home from the hospital at late-o-clock and am HANGRY.

    I also go through a LOT of produce, so Costco and Aldi seem to be my primary shopping spots. With Aldi it seems like there isn't as much leeway before you need to use the produce up, but if you have a plan to use/eat it, you're fine. I occasionally buy meat, salsa, cheese, etc. I've never been disappointed with anything I brought home.

    In terms of a price differential, it IS noticeable. Doing a "regular" weekly trip I notice I spend ~$20 to $40 less for pretty much the same items, when compared to either Super Target or even Cub.

    If you are going for the first time, make sure you have a quarter somewhere in your car/purse/pocket. You need one to use a cart. You get it back when you're done. :)

    6 Replies
    1. re: C6H8O6

      Also bring you own bag unless you want to pay for them . The Organics are sometime priced less. Bananas were $1.29/lb now they are 49 cent/lb. Quality????? see above... The newer stores seem to be cleaner.

      1. re: ibew292

        Which are the newer stores, Ibew? I have easy access to the one on Lake St. and the one on Franklin St. in Minneapolis. Are either of those "new", relatively speaking?

        I have easy access to the one on University at Lex, but shoo bee doo gives it the thumbs down below.

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I don't know about Lake St. but Franklin Ave. is a dump. Columbia Heights is a new one. None are wonderful but sometimes they have interesting things. I bought Organic Chicken Broth almost salt free for 89 cents. Once you go in one you will know if you ever want to go back. They are a great place to watch people...

          1. re: ibew292

            OK, funnily enough, but the Franklin Ave and Uni/Lex locations are the only locations I've ever been to and, yes, I thought they were both (to borrow your observation) dumps. Maybe I need to try a different location, but the only other one that is very convenient to me is Lake Street. I kind of worry about whether that one will be nice or not.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I think Lake Street opened in 2011. I don't know if it is the "new" design. Go anyway the people watching is worth it. Also bring cash.

          2. re: The Dairy Queen

            Yeah, you pretty much couldn't pay me to go in the Aldi's on University, but I also don't go to the Cub or the Rainbow on University. I know - grocery store snob - but I've seen meat in the cereal aisle one too many times at University grocery stores and you KNOW that's just going right back into the meat case. Blech.

      2. I like the one on Rice Street and off Hwy 35. I hate the one on Lexington and University.

        I don't go very often, but I like their chocolate and their roasted mixed nuts. I've already expressed that on the Chains thread.

        I like to read the Chains thread because I would like to buy more things from Aldi. When I go for the chocolate and nuts, I like to explore and try a few other things. So far the results have been "meh" on other things.

        1 Reply
        1. re: shoo bee doo

          This is "my" Aldi as well. The staff is super friendly and efficient yet I have noticed and appreciate their kindness and patience with elderly and handicapped shoppers.

          I came to Aldi late, by way of a Pioneer Press article about chips. I bought corn and potato and found I liked them better than their brand name counterparts and was pleasantly suprised with the price difference. Then I tried the Little Schoolboy knockoff cookies and liked them better too. Ditto with the "Ritz" and other crackers and the fiber bars. The produce turns over so quickly I have never had a problem with any I have purchased. Yesterday I bought a head of iceberg lettuce, fresh and light weight, for $.99, compared to the rock heavy head I saw earlier at Byerlys for a little less than twice that. Hot dog buns for $.89 are great for a single household that never gets through a full package. Decent cheese choices for sandwiches and snacks. I have not ventured
          into meat/poultry or the hardgoods areas.

          No "Nays" so far and my only "Meh" so far was a frozen pizza. There was nothing wrong with it; it just wasn't to mt taste.

          I went for the corn chips and stayed for the quality (and the prices.

        2. Dedicated Aldi shopper here. I will go to the link and post my favorites. I primarily shop at the HWY 13 (Burnsville) and the one on Robert in West St. Paul. I have only encountered friendly, efficient staff at any Aldi location. I have converted many friends and family into Aldi shoppers and save at least a third of the money I would spend anywhere else.

          1. Not in Twin Cities area, but will stop in Aldi about everytime I'm in "the area"... it's not on the WAY for majority of errand running trips. It's a great place to get the basics... not 10 different potatos, maybe 3... red, baking, and sweet.

            1. I love the cheese at Aldi and have found everything I have tried to be good quality and tasty. I have not personally pruchased their meat but have friends who rave about them. I don't care if my grocery store is a "dump" or not. I go for the good values and produce. I can get allot more and I love the quality. Since they go through so much so fast its always fresh which I can't say at other stores. I don't do all of my shopping there. But when I want something that I know they do well I go there first

              1 Reply
              1. re: liney714

                Watch out in the winter. Onions that have been super chilled(frozen). Rotting within a week. If the store is a dump that is also the way they treat the merchandise. Clean store almost always mean a manager that cares...