Friday, September 28, 2012

The problem with ALDI

One of these things is not like the other...

We were out of milk and flour this morning (the milk I knew about, the flour I discovered in the middle of making challah), so I took a trip over to ALDI.  I turned down the baking goods aisle... and there was no flour.

None whatsoever.  The sign was even gone.

I picked up the milk and a few other items and went to check out.  The manager was running the register, so I asked her about the flour.  "The shipment was bad," she said.  "We'll have more on Sunday."

ALDI keeps their cost of running their stores, and thus their retail prices, low partly by carrying only one brand of each item, their house brand.  This works for them almost all the time.  But when things go wrong, they really go wrong.

Had a Publix or Walmart store received a bad shipment of a product, they would still most likely have other brands of the item, and they certainly would for a basic item like flour.  And even if somehow they lost everything they had on the shelves, they could go to their local store distribution centers and have more product shipped to them within hours.  Worst-case scenario, someone in high-level management could contact the brand name companies, who could probably get more product out to them as quickly as possible.

But ALDI doesn't have this kind of backup plan.  So the store is without flour for at least two days.  That's lost sales, and a little bit of doubt in ALDI creeping into the minds of loyal customers.

So I had to make an extra stop at Walmart for the needed flour. 

Here's the details on this trip, as well as two other grocery trips I made this week:

2 gallons milk @ $3.09 = $6.18
1 2-pk multicolored peppers @ $1.49
2 cans refried beans @ 79¢ = $1.58

Total spent: $9.25

1 5-lb bag flour @ $2.18

Total spent: $2.18

ALDI (previous trip):
1 cottage cheese @ $1.99
2 dozen eggs @ $1.39 = $2.78
1 1-lb shredded cheddar @ $2.99
2 3-lb onions @ 89¢ = $1.78
1 3-lb apples @ $3.49
1 8-oz extra sharp cheddar block @ $1.79
1 cheesecake mix @ $1.59
2 whole wheat bread @ $1.29 = $2.58
2 canned mushrooms @ 59¢ = $1.18

Total spent: $20.17

1 10-oz spinach @ $1.49
1.91 lb plum tomatoes @ 89¢/lb = $1.70
3 iceberg lettuce @ 79¢ = $2.37
1.91 lb colored peppers @ $1.29/lb = $2.46
2.01 lb bananas @ 59¢/lb = $1.19
1.89 lb grapes @ $1.29/lb = $2.44

- $2 off $10 Penn-Dutch coupon

Total spent: $9.65
Total saved compared to Penn-Dutch full prices: $7.54

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)


Heather September 28, 2012 at 4:38 PM  

I've noticed a number of times I've gone in and they are out of something. They do need another "brand" somewhere. I always make Aldis' my first stop because of this. I do love them though.

Anonymous,  September 28, 2012 at 5:40 PM  

Great thing about our Aldi is it shares the parking lot with Walmart. So if Aldi is out. I just walk next door to Walmart and grab what I need.

NOVA Frugal Family September 29, 2012 at 11:29 PM  

I went to the Aldi's and got 3 bags of flour! I would have been super sad if they didn't have any because it is so much more money at other stores. Wal-Mart used to be close in price but the last check it was $2.28 and Aldi's was $1.69. It doesn't seem like a lot when you are talking about spare change but it ads up and it makes me sad to pay over $2 on it. I feel your pain!!!

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