ALDI: Revisited and Re-reviewed

“Jesus Christ, why do you all love Aldi so much?”

~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief, Johnny Roosevelt

aldi

Three years ago, no, sorry, more than three years ago, we posted a little joke article on our jokey informative site.  It was called, “ALDI Owns Trader Joe’s, Corners the Market on Cheap Food Knockoffs.”  It was fine.  It made a lot of jokes about ALDI being for poor people, because their stuff is super cheap, their products almost comically try to mimic the name and design of name brands, and if you’ve ever been to an ALDI that’s not in a kind of shitty neighborhood, well congratulations you live in New Hampshire, shut up.  Oh, we said something like, “there are two kinds of people in this world, those that shop at ALDI, and those that have jobs.”  Ha ha, a little joke, making fun of how cheap and cost-cutting ALDI is.

And holy shit, people got mad.

shar comment

Like, really mad.

bernotas comment

Like, fucking three years later, out of the fucking blue mad.

pete comment

By the way, outside of Pete’s spelling of “8insurance” being absolutely hilarious, we love the email he listed in his “you must put an email to post a comment” section (yes, we can see what email you use, yes most of them are obviously fake, and a surprising amount of you go into making your fake email address specific to your comment, which, hey, kudos.)  It was nycceo@yahoo.com.  NYC CEO!  That’s so perfect.  That’s the funniest thing we’ve ever seen from someone trying to center their argument with a brick wall around the concept of “I am a CEO, and even I go to 8ALDI.”  We had to email the address, just to make sure it was fake.  No, seriously, we had to know.

email

Damn.

Anyway, the point being, we’ve gotten nearly a dozen comments, all angry, all insisting that ALDI is amazing, and that we’re wrongheaded bigots for daring to insult it.  We’re close-minded in dismissing this righteous, German-owned chain of grocery stores.  These billionaire owners of ALDI deserve better!  They sell us fruit cups a dollar cheaper than Rite Aid!  So it appears you sons of bitches want us to re-evaluate our stance on ALDI, because fucking everyone has way too strong of an opinion about that store.  Fine.  We’ll do you that favor.  This is literally the first time we’ve had to revisit a topic, but we’re doing it for you, the social media managers of ALDI the fans.

ALDI:  Revisited and Re-reviewed

aldi

Back in 2011, we said the following.

affotd snippet

You guys seemed to have been personally insulted by our assertion that they charge you for bags (they do) or that you have to put a quarter in the cart as the world’s worst incentive not to steal them (they also do this, which, the more you think of it, the more idiotic it sounds.  Grocery carts are like, several hundred dollars, people.  The scrap metal alone is worth way more than a quarter.  And if you steal the cart…you still have your quarter. Someone explain this to us.)  Real-life internet user “Boots” points out…

boots

First of all, where the fuck are you buying four dollar eggs?  Like, do you go to a grocery store in a town where there are no roads leading in and they only have 3 chickens so the whole town only gets like, 8 eggs a day?  Or are you maybe just extremely exaggerating the cost of a generally cheap item to fit in your little rant about how we’re being unfair to ALDI for saying that their stuff is cheap?  But yup, she re-uses her bags, and she gets her quarter back gosh darned it!

The letter E seems to agree, while also standing behind the integrity of ALDI’s comically transparent knock-off brands.

e comment

Apart from sounding creepily like someone who was hired by ALDI to give a brand-on-point response to an article making fun of them, E here is a student with a job, who just loves the bargains that ALDI offers!  And guess what, REPUBLICANS, that includes the ALDI brands!  Sure, they’re not name brand, but they’re usually almost as good!  Sometimes better!  Sometimes far worse!  Plus, bringing reusable bags is environmental friendly, and totally addressed the point we were making about how ALDI is so cheap that if you want to bag your groceries you have to pay 10 cents for each plastic bag you use!

Thanks E!  Thanks for stopping by and reading and sharing your opinions!  We believe all opinions are like snowflakes!  They’re unique, and horribly underwhelming en masse!

Another passage that many people took issue with was this following one.

affotd snippet 2

We thought we were making a good joke!  The Tic Tacs with a Q in there is totally something that ALDI would sell, and totally something ALDI customers would (will) comment on this article by saying, “Um, real Tic Tacs are filled with pesticides and GMO and ALDI is much more healthy for you anyway and I am NOT ASHAMED I HAVE A JOB THE JOKE IS ON YOU FOR MISSING THE SAVINGS.”  No, seriously, y’all were saying that.

carol smith comment

Ha ha, that’s a good one carol smith!  You sure got us there!  By the way, there are two kinds of ardent, rabid, weirdly-obsessed ALDI fans/defenders.  There’s the ALDI lovers who exclaim (!) with great joy (!) that ALDI is “cheaper than high priced supermarkets!!” and say things like “The laugh is on you!!” and pepper double exclamation points throughout the entirety of their exhaustively chipper fucking lives.  And then there are the people who are that weird mix of Whole Foods hippie and post-2008-economy couponer who takes every word against ALDI to heart and must painstakingly explain why you are wrong about their favorite fucking place in the goddamn word while going on and on about the dangers of mass produced food in America.

Like Regina Beitel who, by the way, filled out the “website” section of the comments form with “affotd.com”  because, we’re guessing, she thought that the optional website area was not for you to put your website, but just a test to answer what website you are replying to.  “Hi.  I am Regina Beitel.  I have things to say.  What’s that?  Why, I am saying them to affotd.com.  Please send this comment their way, posthaste.”

Anyway, take it away, Regina!

regina comment

Hey, Regina has a good paying job too!  See, you don’t have to be poor and rundown to shop at ALDI, you just have to be comfortable with the fact that you’re in a part of town that you never would otherwise go to in order to save five dollars compared to the impossibly priced eggs you’re used to getting!  But there’s more than that!  You see, you all are eating GMO laden, pesticide covered (we’re not sure if Regina is 100% on how pesticide is the only reason we can sustain our current population rates, foodwise) food and processed sugar beets!  But not at ALDI, they’re organic, and that’s a thrill.

Okay, we literally wrote a little cloying “this is how you sound” segment going into Regina’s random fucking aside about how organic food is so much better than name brand poison (which, by the way, was a topic that was covered in exactly zero words of the article) but, honestly, we don’t care.  Like, we know that the food we eat probably has pesticides, and additives, and hell, we can cede that some of them probably aren’t quite as good for you as they should be.  But we soooo don’t care, Regina.  Like, at all.  When you drink as much as we do, you don’t care that your bread shares an ingredient with nail polish, you’re just thankful that the loaf of bread you bought two weeks ago hasn’t quite gotten stale yet, as opposed to in Europe where you actually have to buy bread daily, like, every day that you want bread, and God, that just sounds like too much work for a goddamn sandwich.  So we’re really more for the “does it taste better?  It does?  Okay, let’s go with that then, here’s an extra thirty cents” mindset than this particular type of ALDI lover.

(Please see below, where they have no doubt formed a mob of angry comments while we snark at them all the snark we can snark.)

Anyway, we’ll let Jenn weigh in before we come to our final verdict in our re-assessment of ALDI.

jenn

Do bitter teenagers really do that much grocery shopping?  We mean, if we were teenagers and our parents made us do our own grocery shopping, we guess we’d be bitter, but we’d also not be embarrassed to buy off-brand food because it’s not like that’s shit you advertise.  It’s not a pair of shoes, it’s food which you buy, eat, find tasty or not tasty, and then poop out the next day.  Food is like, literally, the one thing a bitter-at-his-parents-for-making-him-buy-his-own-groceries-oh-man-he-is-so-moving-out-when-he-turns-18 teenager would give zero shits about the #brand of.  Who is this bitter teenager you’re thinking of?  W…was it you?

But hey, you all have spoken, now it is time for us to make our verdict about ALDI.

*drum roll*

We still feel exactly the same!  It’s fine, it’s cheap, and we still think that people with jobs would probably prefer to shop elsewhere.  Come at us!  No, but seriously, ALDI is the most bullshit thing to get worked up defending, and we have no idea why people are unearthing this article three years after the fact to defend their fair maiden that is ALDI Einkauf GmbH & Compagnie, oHG.  The food is cheap, and even when they give you a good product, they still make no effort to hide the corners they cut to make your food so cheap.  You stick a quarter in your grocery cart, which again, we cannot fathom how that actually would deter anyone who would want to steal the grocery cart, you have to drop ten cents a pop for plastic bags if you have the audacity to not have your own reusable one, they have comically “trying to look and sound like the name brand” knock off products everywhere, they only take cash or debit cards to avoid any credit card fees, and the general atmosphere in about 85% of all ALDIs in existence is best described as “depressing as fuck.”

aldi halls

If this sight gives you joy, you’re doing happiness wrong.

And while their produce ranges from “perfectly normal, and cheap to boot!” (we begrudgingly put eggs in this category) to “cheap, but, honestly, it’s kind of weird and noticeable how these avocados go bad about 3 days earlier than the ones I get from my normal produce place” and some of their off-brand products are just as good as the name brand and, hey, we’ll even admit it, ALDI is the place to go for cheap garbage bags or paper plates, anyone that claims it’s a Godsend beacon of wonderful savings is fucking kidding themselves.

Do we buy ALDI brand Ziplock freezer bags?  You bet your damn ass we do, because Ziplock apparently thinks you’re going to be storing gold in your freezer, and charges accordingly.  Do we also notice how if you put anything that weighs more than, say, a Ziplock bag in the ALDI brand bags, it will take you roughly 30 years to successfully get it closed and sealed?  Yes.  We hate it, but we learn to live with our mistakes, somehow life goes on.

Have you ever bought American cheese from ALDI?  You go in there, look at the refrigerated dairy section while thinking “Sure, the milk is cheap, but when’s that shit really going to expire” and voila, ALDI brand American cheese singles for just a dollar?  That’s a steal!  Then you go home and, nope, you know exactly why it costs a dollar, because you did not get American cheese, you got individually wrapped candle discs.  You just roll them up and light the tip during a blackout for hours of free light.  So, yes, as far as candle discs go, ALDI gave you an incredible deal, but as far as food that you want to eat goes, you just paid a dollar to east a cheese-colored Frisbee.

aldi cheese

This is a lie, it is a motherfucking lie, you fucking ALDI assholes.

Does Five-Hour Energy taste good?  No, it’s like someone crumbled up a thing of Smarties into some caffeinated water and made you chug it.  But why is it that the much more reasonably priced “Turbo-or-whatever-the-fuck” ALDI brand manage to take that awful taste and mix it with prison wine?  How is it that they can take an item like Ranch Dressing (which is something you buy as a packet of ranch dust anywhere) and turn it into something that tastes like someone yelled the words “seasoning” at a cream?  Why is it that a majority of ALDI’s products can be described as, “It tastes fine, but it’s just…off somehow” like some obscure TV reference we’re going to make about lab grown meat tasting like despair.

No.  ALDI is fine, ALDI is cheap, and you can go there if you like, but there is no reason ALDI should be something you feel strongly enough about to hunt down articles badmouthing the place so you can go tossing about their corporate talking points like  #brand#loyal little zombies.  Have some self-respect.  You got a job, and like good food, but don’t want to support “the other guys”?  Fine, find a local grocery store and take your business there.  Find a goddamn Supermercado where half of the specials are listed in Spanish and say out loud to yourself, “Wow, this is much better quality than ALDI, almost just as cheap, and I can pay for this with a credit card and get free plastic bags like a functioning adult in a fucking first world economy.”  But stop rushing to defend some faceless multinational German corporation because you don’t like how Wal-Mart treats their employees.  Do better than ALDI.

Disagree?  Fine.  Leave a comment below, you mindless ALDI drones.  Come at us.

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7 responses to “ALDI: Revisited and Re-reviewed

  1. The quarter is for you to return the cart to the building, cutting out the need to have an employee go fetch the carts and bring them back…(duh)

    To argue for the sake of arguing is idiotic. Do a blind taste test. Here are some items to try and compare from Aldis brand: Doritos knock off, ketchup, fruity and cocoa pebbles knock offs, these things taste the exact same and are half price of the name brands. To pay more for the same quality is stupid. If I was a single person with no real bills and no kids to feed I might not care about saving money. However I have 2 male teenagers in my house who inhale food faster than I can buy it. So I’ll save money any place I can. 🙂

    • Like we said- ALDI is fine. They do some stuff that’s perfectly fine! They also have American cheese singles that make us question a lot of things on a theological level. But we don’t disagree with you (even though the quarter/cart thing still seems to vastly overestimate the value of a quarter) we just are so pleased that our article saying “why do people feel the need to rush to defend ALDI!?” took less than 24 hours for someone to rush to defend ALDI with carefully laid out corporate talking points.

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  4. Go to any Aldi anywhere. You will never see a stray cart floating around the parking lot. Go to a Walmart or Kroger, and you’ll see a vastly different scene. The idea might seem silly to you, but it works. No one is worried about people stealing shopping carts because people just don’t do that. People do, however, leave their carts floating around in the parking lot. Retailers don’t like shopping cart damage claims and they don’t like paying someone to go gather up all those carts. All these silly things that Aldi does saves vast amounts of money and that’s how they are able to charge marginally lower prices than most anyone else.

    By the way, all those “Millville” and other brands that you see at Aldi are name brand products. Every large chain does this. They go to manufacturers, like Freschetta, and offer to buy so many millions of products, but in a different box. It’s a win for the retailer because they can strike a volume deal with the manufacturer and get the product at a lower price. It’s a win for the manufacturer because whether you buy a Freschetta frozen pizza or a Kroger brand frozen pizza, you are still buying the product from them. There is no downside for anyone here.

    • There’s a huge downside- because of Aldi, people see pedantic posts that basically sum up to “shop where you want, but don’t be fucking zealots” and feel the need, two years after the post was written, to write 250 words about fucking shopping carts. Get over it, man.

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