I feel that the Matrix reference is apt since it’s kind of like entering an alternate world and you have to be able to move like Neo to keep up at the checkouts. Its been a little under a month since my first venture to Aldi and while it still freaks me out a bit, I am starting to come around. I learnt my lesson and have avoided going there on a Thursday when crazy Kill Zone sales begin and I have found the list making facility on their website quite useful in planning and comparing items. I have also had a chance to do some research via Aldi Mum and some very helpful reader responses since my last post and I have felt better prepared on my subsequent visits, to the point where I could almost say I am converted!
I would say that part of the appeal is the novelty factor. I get a bit of a buzz when I find a product that is good quality, even better when it is cheaper that its major competitors. When planning my recent bulk shopping adventure I created my list on the website and made an identical list to compare with a major supermarket chain and looked set to save myself roughly $100, just for that month! I am also starting to embrace the Kill Zone in all its random, crazy glory. Just last week I picked up a non-stick ring cake tin for $5.99, simply because one can never have too many cake tins.
A couple of my favourite finds have been:
Hillcrest Choc Peanut Nut Bars
Far cheaper than my normal nut bars and in terms of quality I can see no difference.
Yes Gemma at My Big Nutshell, you have managed to wear me down! Actually I was more impressed by these last week, before we had a nappy so soggy that MY pants got wet while Skye was sitting on my lap, and she has developed a slight rash for the first time in her life. I am still not brave enough to do over-nighters in these but they are definitely a welcome relief to the bank account.
Westacre Farm Cheese
We go through roughly 1kg of block cheese and a 24 pack of slice cheese every week. I want to point out now that I don’t eat a whole lot of cheese, but based on our consumption levels, the other members of the family must be part rat. This cheese is delicious and saves us a small fortune.
Lacura Aqua Complete Face Cream
OK this one was probably what really won me over. I have been a strictly Dermalogica and Payot devotee for years and wouldn’t dream of putting cheaper supermarket brands on my skin. But after a recommendation from Muddled Up Mumma (also a bit of a beauty snob) I gave it a try. I figured if it was no good I would just use it as a hand cream but so far my skin has looked great and I have saved a packet!
Sunnyvale Canola Spread
Great flavour and so so cheap, what else needs to be said?
Of course like much of the feedback I received from other people, I found that not all products were comparable to the bigger brands. Some of the things I will not be purchasing again include the Chicken Cup A Soups, Polar Bar Ice Cream Sandwiches, or the Cajun Flavoured Sliced Chicken.
My new plan of attack is to do a bulk shop once a month for the staples and cleaning/laundry products then make up the difference at the major supermarkets. At this stage I won’t be able to get a true indication of whether this is actually saving us money because Luke is working away through the week. I also didn’t really consider my storage space when implementing this plan, this is my whole pantry – yes a 2 shelf cupboard. Not ideal when needing to hold a whole months worth of goodies.