Aldi week – the taste test

Well, overall, my Aldi shopping experience this week was definitely a positive one, I think, even if the food displays weren’t quite as attractive as those in Sainsbury’s and the staff not quite as charming as those employed in Waitrose. Who wants to pay extra for these things? It was refreshing to shop somewhere where there was no metallic pop grating on your ears or annoying sales people trying to flog you stuff you don’t want. I was furious recently when I visited Sainsbury’s and had to fend off a persistent energy salesmen who was determined to sign me up and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

The only downside was I couldn’t get everything I wanted. There was no strong white bread flour, no romaine lettuce and no balsamic vinegar. So I’ll have to go elsewhere for those. And the adventures of one of this blog’s commentators, Christine, in her local Aldi suggests the chain doesn’t cater brilliantly for vegetarians or vegans, and that the produce available and the quality of the store experience may vary around the country.

But what does the produce taste like? I tried the salami out first – I’m not a big cold meat fan and bought it for DJ really -but it was delicious and I’ve been grazing on it all week. DJ tried out the asparagus the other night and gave it the thumbs up, despite being a fussy eater. And last night I gave the £1.39 sausages a go in a toad in the hole. Not terribly summery but I just fancied it. The pork content was an impressive 72 per cent, according to the packet. And they tasted good – on a par with ones we get from Asda – and much better than the £1 ones I’d bought from our farm shop. I’d definitely buy them again. The dried pasta was also just as good as pasta from any other store. The tomatoes, though, were a bit flavourless but that’s often the case with supermarket ones. If you grow your own you notice the difference. And I’ve eaten better mushrooms but they were ok considering the price.

All in all, the shopping expedition was a success and I will carry my Aldi bags with pride now (by the way – in response to your comments I do reuse my shopping bags, typically in my excitement to get to Aldi I forgot  to take them with me). I must also venture to our local Lidl’s too as many of you say you think some of the produce there is better quality or even cheaper. Sadly we don’t have a Netto’s close enough to make it worth the journey.

Thanks for all your tips and comments and have a great weekend. Piper xxx


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6 Responses to Aldi week – the taste test

  1. Christine says:

    Excuse me Madam she whispers – but the shops would not be in business and selling so well if the produce was rubbish to eat. Perhaps it\’s time to tell the household picky eater that your cooking may leave something to be desired but not to blame the food every time because the label is different. You know Piper people can get stuck in a rut with shopping and eating. Cleaning is even worse. People seem to think that only one product will clean something properly. When I go household shopping cleaning products are part of the bill – not just food. "In the old days" the household budget was for food and cleaning. I\’m wondering if you should be including cleaning products in your frugal way of life and shopping bills as things here seem a bit unbalanced. Erm – possibly not wrinkle creams which are luxury but soap, toothpaste, detergent, shampoo, washing up gear, carpet cleaning, floor cleaner ….. Cleaning is either very frugal in your house (not done) or very expensive (not to be mentioned). Certainly cleaning seems to be more expensive along with everything else now.

  2. piper says:

    Hello Christine. Thanks for the thoughts.  This is specifically a food shopping price experiment which is why I haven\’t included other items in the mix. We have to draw the line somewhere. To be honest over the past month on the cleaning front I\’ve only bought a tube of toothpaste and a bottle of cheap bleach.  There\’s only the two of us so things like shampoo and toothpaste don\’t run out that quickly. You are obviously very house proud (I\’ll tell DJ as he could learn something!).  Do you really need all those different cleaners? I have one bottle of Cif I use in the bathroom and kitchen surfaces. We have laminate flooring downstairs so I mainly dust & hoover although when I wash the kitchen floor I use a disinfectant or just washing up liquid xxx

  3. Christine says:

    I was just thinking about how I work the household budget that\’s all. Right Miss I will go back in my corner – that\’s me told she said laughing. Nope of course I don\’t have a huge variety of cleaners (housework – what\’s that?). Washing up liquid, laundry powder, general cleaner oh and something for the oven. And a left over toilet cleaner from somewhere at the last count.

  4. piper says:

    You make a good point Christine.
    I\’ve given up cleaning our kitchen floor as often as I used to as as soon as it\’s clean DJ just wanders in from the garden and walks as much mud as possible everywhere.  Luckily we don\’t often have small children here crawling about to worry about it too much although it gets on my nerves. Last night he spent the evening plaiting together a load of garlic bulbs he grew and there is soil all over the work surfaces where he left them. I give up!

  5. Gemma says:

    Another Aldi convert! My mum ranted on and on about aldi for ages so of course I had to try it and now do my food shopping there every other week. I agree there are some things that you cant get like tins of chick peas for eg but luckily there\’s an Asda near our Aldi so I go there for that sort of stuff. Love the Aldi sausages, blackcurrant high juice, 100% not from concentrate fresh juice and Aldi\’s \’posh\’ version of pasta sauces. I have noticed that, probably due to the \’credit crunch\’ that the shop is busier than it used to be…could this be the end of supermarket snobbery?! I certainly hope so!
    I also love going to Home and Bargain or Wilkinsons for my cleaning products and toiletries. They do all the branded stuff but it\’s much cheaper. You can even get decent bottles of wine at some H&B stores…good times!

  6. peter says:

    we have been doing our shopping at aldi for the past four years since one opened very close to us a 90 second walk i timed it but will not make the olympics in time,where else can you get a 2 litre bottle of sparkling spring water for 25p our dogs love raw carrots buy them at the local greengrocer after two or three days they go black aldis carrots have lasted ten days and they are almost as fresh as when bought,great selection of salami\’s and italian ham\’s all pre packed so you can see what they are like before buying them.we have never had a bad product from them yet, and all their electrical goods come with a three year guarantee,and every week you pick up their magazine telling you what special offers they have on the following thursday and sunday,the only gripe i have against them is that you dont get bogof\’s which if i\’m truthfull think is why a lot of food gets wasted the manafacturer\’s rather then buy one get one free should reduce the price by 50% then if you buy two it is the same as buy one get one free but if you only want one of the products you will not be tempted to buy two which the free one might get thrown away if it passes it\’s sell by date eg packs of yoghurt. fruit. and most perishables…

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