A few months ago a friend of mine told me about a grocery store named Aldi, telling me it had rock bottom prices on dairy, so that’s where she goes to stock up on milk and eggs, etc. The most interesting part of this store though was that you have to “rent” your own cart (for a quarter, which you get back) and bring your own grocery bags, which is how they are able to keep the prices so low. So I was a little intrigued and the other day we were heading home from somewhere and happen to pass one, so we stopped in.
All of the carts are outside and they are hooked together by a simple locking system. You simply insert a quarter into a box that is attached to the cart and it releases it from the other carts, upon returning it you get your quarter back. The store itself is pretty small but clean (at least the one near our house) and there are a lot of off-brand items there. That’s not saying they are bad, they just don’t have a “brand name” you are used to seeing and they don’t advertise with commercials. Then again, if they did you would be paying a lot more for them! The store has a lot of the basics, each item having a couple brands to choose from rather then a dozen. The smallest sections were produce and meat, and I don’t recall if paper goods were there or not, as I wasn’t looking in particular to buy any that day.
All in all I’d say it is worth stopping by if you live near one, and in MN alone there are 29 locations (and over 1,000 locations across the US). A lot of the prices are even lower then Sam’s club, which is great for those that don’t have a membership and you don’t have to buy in bulk. Honestly, if you can get over the fact that you don’t see commercials for the brands they carry, it’s a great place to stock up on some essentials and save a lot of money!
EDIT: I made a small mistake! The item listed as “strawberries” is actually a 1 lb. bag of MIXED BERRIES (raspberries, black berries, blueberries). According to my husband the strawberries were $2.99 for a 2 lb. bag!