Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by ALDI as part of Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
I am the biggest fan of discount grocery stores that offer quality items at insanely low prices. That was one thing I thought LA lacked when I first moved here, since I always came home from visiting my family in NorCal (when they still lived there) with a suitcase stuffed with discounted yogurts, nut butters, and other staples I wouldn’t spoil myself with in LA since it was not worth the price to me.
But along came ALDI, and a store of its kind arriving in SoCal is exactly what I had been waiting for: a one-stop grocery shop that offers deep discounts on quality food products! Even though ALDI originated in Germany, they now have locations across Europe, Australia, and the US. I actually first learned about ALDI when I took German in high school, and my teacher used to rave about the store.
When I visited my family over winter break in Tulsa, I checked out the location there so that was my first time stepping into an ALDI. A lot of their current California locations seem to be in Orange County and the Inland Empire, but there are at least two within reach of those who live in LA: Inglewood and Arcadia.
I was given two $50 giftcards and a quarter for renting a cart in order to facilitate my haul. I chose to go to the Arcadia location since it gave me an excuse to ride the Gold Line extension. From there, it was about a 50 min. walk, and while I could have taken a connecting bus, I just wanted to go! I did get mocked along the way for hauling a suitcase, but I didn’t allow it to get to me because I would be the real winner in the end 😉
Tucked within a shopping complex right next to a CVS, I found the ALDI of Arcadia.
I was able to rent out a cart once I inserted my quarter (putting it back was another story…needed help with that!), and there was plenty of room to stuff my roller board underneath the cart.
Once inside, I was met with all the color, lights, and a clean, fresh display of goods.
First thing I did was stroll casually down the cracker/nuts/protein bar aisle to see if anything caught my eye. I stocked up on some Southern Grove Chia Seeds and Southern Grove Deluxe Oven Roasted Almonds, grabbed a tub of steel cut oatmeal and a box of instant oatmeal, and proceeded forward towards the back where the produce was. There, I got a hold of some salad packs, my usual veggies for weeknight crockpot dinners and some “splurges” (mushrooms and brussels sprouts!).
I could list in detail how many minutes I spent in each aisle, how many times I threw things in my cart trying to estimate if it would fit my gift card budget, but that’s why I listed a detailed list of my haul at the end of this post! And since I had the opportunity to stock up on staples, I gave myself the freedom to really load up my cart. I even went so far as to purchase three bottles of SimplyNature® Creamy Almond Butter 😮
Once at the checkout line, I felt a little nervous and excited. Wonder if this is how the folks on that couponing show feel? Haha, actually my final balance ended up being $123, but my cashier was helpful in voiding some things out for me.
I still felt like I made out with quite a hefty haul. It’s not like you can leave any grocery store with an overstuffed suitcase, a bulging reusable bag, and your own purse that could fit a laptop with $100 worth of goods, but I would say I was successful in doing so 😉
This is what happens when you spend $1.78 on groceries…with a $100 off discount 😉 . I have to say that this is probably my biggest grocery haul ever completed in one trip since moving to LA, which justifies me hauling my roller board all the way to Arcadia.
Good thing my roommate wasn’t home because I literally had to clean off the dining table in order to fit everything for one picture! Also forced me into cleaning said dining table since it was empty for once!
While the store does offer some name-brand items (a pint of Double Rainbow Vanilla Bean Soy Cream and I did fetch myself a box of Boca Flame Grilled Meatless Burgers), approximately 90% of the products sold at ALDI are ALDI-exclusive brands, and they are tested frequently to ensure quality.
Most of my products from my my haul are from the in-store SimplyNature® brand, which also includes items that are certified to be organic by the USDA and free of GMO ingredients. They also have a wide variety of gluten-free items under the liveGfree® brand (I got someliveGfree® Gluten Free Yogurt Covered Pretzels from this brand to try out!!).
Breakdown of my haul:
Veg. Steam Packs (2)
Salad Packs (4)
Head of cabbage
Dairy and Dairy-Free
Fit & Active® Yogurt and Friendly Farms Greek Yogurt (12)
Double Rainbow Vanilla Bean Soy Cream Pint
Friendly Farms Almond Milk carton
Boca Flame Grilled Meatless Burgers
Milville Steel-Cut oats
SimplyNature® Organic Black Beans
SimplyNature® Organic Garbanzo Beans
Organic Lentil Soup (2)
Stevia (2 boxes)
SimplyNature® Instant Oatmeal Assorted Varieties
Southern Grove Chia Seeds
Deutsche Küche German Style Sauerkraut
Southern Grove Deluxe Oven Roasted Almonds
Peanut Delight Creamy Peanut Butter
Berryhill Hazelnut Spread
SimplyNature® Creamy Cashew Butter (2)
SimplyNature® Creamy Almond Butter
Tuscan Garden Artichokes
liveGfree® Gluten Free Yogurt Covered Pretzels
Fusia Asian Inspirations Sriracha Sauce
Overall, I would say my first solo shopping experience at ALDI was a fun one (minus the time it took via my mode of transportation, and actually having to haul my haul). Even though it was a Sunday afternoon, I feel like everyone was entranced by the products and having a good time pointing stuff out to family members rather than be in a rushed or impatient mood. ALDI has already opened 25 total stores and will have a total of 45 stores up-and-running by the end of 2016, I’m hoping some of those locations will be in the city of LA itself! I can easily see ALDI becoming an instant hit among students and other urban folk 😀
Have you heard of ALDI or shopped there?