I'm a big fan of Trader Joe's. Prices are often better than at Jewel, the quality is usually excellent, and they carry the kinds of food we like to eat. My few previous trips to Aldi, however, had not impressed. Shopping carts that have to be liberated with a quarter, involuntary self-bagging, stacks and stacks of junk food . . . put off by the environment, I'd never made the effort to see if good deals on good food lurked down some of those aisles.
Well, yesterday I learned something.
Three cheers for Aldi
Clearly breakfast is cheaper at Aldi. Look at this:
- oatmeal, $1.79 for 42 oz (A) vs $2.29 for 18 oz (TJ)
- cinnamon, $1.09 for 4.25 oz (A) vs $1.99 for 1.5 oz (TJ)
- milk, $2.29 (A) vs $3.29 (TJ) for a gallon
- bananas, $0.45 a pound (A) vs $0.19 each (TJ)
- tea, $1.69 for 100 bags (A) vs $1.99 for 48 bags (TJ)
- beef stew, $2.99 (A) vs $4.99 (TJ) a pound
- chicken thighs, $1.29 (A) vs $3.99 (TJ) a pound
- frozen salmon fillets, $3.99 (A) vs $7.99 (TJ) a pound
Three cheers for Trader Joe
You won't find masa mix (for making corn tortillas) or queso fresco at Trader Joe's; but then TJ's stocks quite a few things aren't available at Aldi: whole wheat flour, for example, or ground flaxseed, or unhydrogenated peanut butter. TJ's wine and beer selection is vastly better and often cheaper than Aldi's. And TJ has better prices on some food items:
- little white mushrooms, $1.49 (TJ) vs $1.69 (A)
- extra virgin olive oil, $7.49 for 1 liter (TJ) vs. $4.29 for 1/2 liter (A)
- shredded parmesan cheese, $4.69 for 12 oz (TJ) vs $2.39 for 5 oz (A)
- large ovaline fresh mozzarella, $2.99
- small fresh tomatoes on the vine, $3.24
- 2 oz. beautiful fresh basil leaves, $3.49
Seize the day. Ash Wednesday is a whole month away.