- Trader Joe’s and Aldi are two of the most popular affordable grocery chains in America.
- I’m a die-hard Trader Joe’s fan, but I paid Aldi a visit for the first time last week, and within minutes I knew which one I’d be going back to.
- As someone who appreciates a quick in-and-out grocery store run, Trader Joe’s will continue to be my store of choice.
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As far as pricing goes, the two stores have many similarities, with only a few cents or a dollar separating them on most items.
For years, Trader Joe’s has roped me in with its variety of tasty free samples and good coffee. But after years of being a faithful Trader Joe’s shopper, I decided to check out my local Aldi store in Orange County, California, to find out if I should make a switch.
By the end of my shopping trip, I knew which of the two grocery stores I’d continue shopping at.
Here’s what I found.
I live in Irvine, California, and decided to go to my local Aldi 10 minutes away in Lake Forest. It was 3 p.m. on a Wednesday, and to my surprise, the parking lot was packed.
The first difference I noticed between Aldi and Trader Joe’s was that at Aldi’s, you need a quarter if you want to use a shopping cart. Even though you get your quarter back when you return the cart, it’s pretty inconvenient if you don’t have change on you.
As soon as you enter Aldi, the first thing you see is a ton of snacks. There was junk food galore — if you’re looking for variety, you came to the right place.
Oddly enough, right across from the snack section was outdoor furniture. I am not sure the logic of this, but it made me eager to see what else I’d find.
And conveniently enough, to the left of the snacks, there was a wide selection of alcohol. Snacks and alcohol? All right, I can see the connection here.
As I passed the snacks and the alcohol, it seemed like a summer-barbecue theme was emerging. Hamburger and hot-dog buns appeared down the aisle.
Where to go next? Why not walk to the aisle stocked with more alcohol and plastic pools?
Not only did Aldi have pools, but it also had carpets … next to cereal … and apple juice?
And clocks … and baskets … and dog statues. What’s going on here?
But hey, if you’re putting together a château board, you can find all your needs here. I was seriously impressed with the selection of meats and cheeses.
Right down the aisle, you have a nice selection of flowers for $US3.99. Not too shabby!
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