Jan 16

Aldi Grocery Stores in Northern Virginia

Just wanted to let you know that today I went to the new Aldi grocery store in Manassas, VA that a friend told me about.  This store just opened in December 2008. To find an Aldi store near you click here.  There are nearly 1,000 Aldi stores in the US, and here in Northern Virginia there are 2 in Woodbridge, 1 in Manassas (with another one coming soon, supposedly November 2009, to the Portsmouth Station Shopping Center off of Sudley Road near the Toys R Us in Manassas), 1 in Alexandria, 1 in Fredericksburg and 1 in Culpeper. Click here for a list of all the Aldi stores in Virginia.

My experience at the Manassas store was great!  Very clean store, and great deals on the groceries that I buy.  The milk was $2.29 a gallon (I think the lowest I have seen is Costco for $2.75, Shoppers for around $3.00, and Giant for around $3.75 I think).  Cheese was about $4 a pound per block (or rather $1.99 for an 8 oz. block) which is about $1-2 savings from what I’ve been paying at Shoppers.  White grapes were $1.49 per pound in a 2-lb. container (about $1 savings per pound compared to Shoppers and Giant).  I bought some french vanilla coffee creamer for $1.95 (I’m comparing it to the same size International Delight french vanilla coffee creamer, which I pay $3.29 for at Shoppers, and about $2.50/$2.75 at Costco but you have to buy a pack of 3)… we’ll see if the taste is similar. These are all great prices in my opinion!

Incase you don’t know about this store, Aldi is a discounted supermarket chain that started in Germany and expanded globally.  Read the wikipedia entry for Aldi here.  The store claims that it is able to offer great prices to customers by using the following business practices:

Do-it-yourself bagging, and bring your own bags – When it’s your turn at the register, push your cart around to the end of the lane, to easily load your groceries right back into your cart. As an ALDI shopper, you bag your own purchases, eliminating the expense of baggers. With no baggers to pay, the store can run each checkout with one employee instead of two. You not only save-you control the weight and content of each bag.
Cart rental refunds – requiring a 25 cent coin to use a shopping cart that is refunded upon return. With this system, Aldi doesn’t have to assign an employee to round up carts in the parking lot, they don’t lose expensive carts, and customers don’t have to worry about dings in your car doors from runaway carts. When the coin or token is inserted, the cart is unlocked from the other chain of carts. When the cart is returned, the customer is refunded his or her coin, so in effect this costs the customer nothing.
Private label selection – ALDI carries mostly private label brands. These items are produced to meet their stringent quality standards, and are sold only in ALDI stores. Their purchasing power and relationships with suppliers allow them to negotiate low prices-which means big savings for you.
Faster checkouts – ALDI packages have multiple UPC bar codes, to read dependably from every direction. The checker can drag an item across the scanner without taking the time to turn it over.
They don’t accept checks, because this slows down the line and saddles Aldi with bad check costs.
By avoiding credit cards, the store avoids the extra time it takes to sign a slip and the hefty processing fee charged by credit card companies.  Their private label inventory eliminates the issue of manufacturers’ coupons.
Aldi accepts cash, food stamps/EBT cards, and PIN-based debit cards-the lowest-cost forms of payment for them-and the fastest ones for you.