Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Shopping at Aldi

We’ve visited our local Aldi store every now and then since it opened about fifteen years ago. For the first few years it always seemed very quiet with only a few shoppers buying odds and ends that took their fancy. Many didn’t bother with a shopping trolley.

Although there were three checkouts, only one was ever used and even that was intermittent because Aldi staff seem to do everything.

Now the number of shoppers seems to have quadrupled at least and judging by the loaded trolleys, many folk are obviously buying most of their groceries from Aldi.

I can understand why too – Aldi tends to be noticeably cheaper than the big four – Tesco, Sainbury’s Asda and Morrison’s. There is less choice at Aldi of course, because that’s how they operate, but for the basics Aldi is difficult to beat.

From the Telegraph

Questions have been asked about how the company can sell relatively high-quality goods at very low prices. One answer is that it puts a lot of pressure on its Europe-wide suppliers to keep prices low. Many were not surprised when two Aldi beef products were found to contain up to 100 per cent horse meat.

But the other is that it sells a surprisingly small range of goods, making it easier to rely on a small number of suppliers that can use their scale to cut costs on the few things they do make. Aldi has expanded from 800 products to 1,350 recently, in an attempt to attract more people doing a full weekly shop, but this is still considerably fewer than the 30,000 lines at the main chains.

How the Co-op will survive this competition I don’t know, but my guess is it won’t. Morrison’s is also bound to struggle against the Aldi formula.

I reckon we save a fair amount of money whenever we shop there, which probably isn’t as often as it ought to be. There are no loyalty scams and as far as I can see, far fewer dodgy offers such as fake price reductions.

From the Telegraph again.

Stevens, at Verdict, says: “I think some shoppers find less choice rather liberating".

Indeed.  While tootling round Aldi I tend to agree then agree again with that Telegraph comment. Shopping for groceries is a chore. Keep it simple and keep it cheap will do most of the time. The other supermarkets will have to respond - and not just on prices and marketing flim-flam. 

If I check our latest Aldi till receipt, I can easily see how we’ve saved money by sticking to the shopping list for all the usual basics instead of trundling off to Sainsbury’s because it happens to be a few miles nearer. Spuds, apples, brioche, smoked salmon, thirty bars of plain chocolate...



Sam Vega said...

Good points. I occasionally shop there, but I have good intentions to go more often with a strict list from Mrs. Vega, and to buy big quantities.

Recently, a friend gave us some excellent salted almonds from Aldi. They really were good - apart from getting stale, there's not a lot can go wrong with almonds...

A K Haart said...

Sam - we buy salted cashews from Aldi. Much cheaper than Sainsbury's and just as good. Fruit and veg tends to be cheaper too.