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Carmen Bartels
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Melba's Jammin' > wrote:
> What do you know about them?
> The one in Savage on County 42 is now open and I stopped yesterday to
> have a look and perhaps pick up a couple items. It was an interesting
> experience.
> First thing I noticed was that peple were getting their shopping carts
> from outside the building, not inside. Whatever. I knew that I had to
> pay in cash and I knew that they charge for grocery bags if I didn't
> bring my own. I'm not crazy about the cash only, but that's how they do
> it and they've got an ATM inside and they do take SOME debit cards (mine
> would work). I didn't pick up a cart because I wanted to keep my
> spending low and limiting it to what I could carry seemed like a good
> way to achieve that. :-)

Yes, it is a good idea to keep your spending down ;-) When we go to the
Aldi we have a list of things we want to buy ...
... and end with about double the amount as we always find something
interesting outside of the list.

> I spent $6.34, most of it in the produce department. I didn't plan to
> buy grape tomatoes, but they were 99 cents for a pint (very tasty they
> are, too); I didn't plan to buy mushrooms but they were 99 cents for a
> pint and looked good; I needed fresh garlic and two heads for 49 cents
> seemed reasonable (I'll see how fresh it is, I couldn't check there and
> haven't yet); a bunch of celery was 89 cents -- that seemed reasonable.

Produce is a strong point with the german Aldi. As so many people buy
there the produce has no time to become old and bad. They don't have
all of the produce a grocery might have and it is not as good as fresh
from the market but then markets are seldom open when I can buy so I
rely on several grocery shops plus Aldi, Lidl and Plus (2 other discount
stores) for it.

> The first thing I noticed about their bare bones operation is that they
> have their own brands that are packaged remarkably like the national
> brands of the same products. Colors and styles -- enough so that I
> looked at the peanut butter and figured it was either Skippy or Peter
> Pan (can't remember which, but it was very familiar). Their queso dip
> sure looks like Tostito's or Frito-Lay -- but it was $1.49 for a jar
> instead of $2 or $2.50. Might have to check that out another time.

It is a well-known secret here that they sell brand-name stuff under a
different name ;-) Looking at the packaging and the town the stuff
comes from I know quite well which compagny has produced it.

> The next thing I noticed was that the ground meat in the fresh cooler
> looked fresh -- sorry I don't remember the prices.

Same as with the produce, high turn-over means freshness.

> Then there was the strange little section that looked like it could have
> been Sam's Club -- there was a lounge chair (in a box) for sale, along
> with some other non-food stuff. Seemed very out of place.

They always have non-food stuff as special incentive to go to the shop.
What they sell is different from week to week and announced in flyers
and newspaper ads. Unfortunately the stuff is very quickly sold-out and
often gone already in the evening of the first day.

> When I checked out and paid, I asked the cashier if I could assume that
> since the packaging on so many things was so similar to the national
> brands, that they were in fact made by the same folks. She said I can
> assume that. Swell. The other thing I noticed was that that shopping
> cart outside could be procured for use for 25 cents - but you get your
> quarter back when you check out. Cool. They do it to keep carts out
> of the parking lot, I guess. I have no problem bringing my own bags --
> I usually do that at other stores -- I can carry four cloth bags of
> groceries in two hands without fear of breaking the bag.

You normally pay for bags in Germany and many shops have the carts you
pay for when taking and get your money back when you park them
correctly again. I like that system, it means the carts stay with the
shops and are not used for something else.

who will go shopping in some mins and really likes that the shop is
only 200 yards away.
Carmen Bartels elfgar@ATP, elfgar@Xyllomer