Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bargain food shopping... you get what you pay for [?]

For unknown reasons, after moving to Pittsburgh, I was excited to visit the local Aldi and see if the savings were as good as the chatter.

We decided to try out some food items, so here's the verdict:
  • Garlic Hummus -- tasty, extremely garlicky. Good value, but would try the Red Pepper flavor next time. 
  • Frozen Dinners -- Purchased an Asian Stir-Fry and Southwest Fiesta flavor. The Asian Stir Fry one smelled good when microwaving at work. Even received unsolicited comments about the nice smell. However, it was not very tasty. The noodles were mushy and falling apart, and the sauce was just lacking. Not looking to eating the second one I already purchased. 
  • Butternut Ravioli -- Sounded like a good idea. But, oh boy. Way. Too. Sweet. Mr. RY stopped halfway through dinner and said he would have to finish the rest later. In addition to being too sweet for dinner, it just didn't taste like a pumpkin anymore. Not to mention the pasta was too thick and chewy. Even at $1.99 for 16 ounces, I will never buy again. Totally makes the $5.99/8-ounce pouches at Whole Foods seem worth it.   
  • Kettle Chips -- Yummy! Best thing about Aldi. Good value. Not as delicious as Kettle brand, but the Salt & Pepper, Barbeque, and Jalapeno flavor have been happily consumed in the Random Yummies household. Don't know why we haven't tried the plain (salted) ones yet, but I am sure they are tasty as well. And the price was $1.69 for an ounce bag. 
Non-food items.
  • Had been excited to see that Pumpkins (the Jack O'Lantern variety) were only $2.99 each. Alas, when I located a big crate of moldy (and smelly! rotten!) pumpkins in the store, that was a no-go. 
  • Resealable Food Bags -- Bought resealable sandwich size and quart size freezer bags. Both worked out to be cheaper than Target brand bags. I haven't noticed a difference between the brand name products--certainly nothing affecting their utility. 
  • Aluminum Foil -- Mr. RY thinks it's a bit thinner, but it gets the job done. 
The non-food items seemed like a good value and generally were low risk to purchase. The food items turned out to have a 50/50 chance of being something that seemed decent enough to purchase again. Curious to try their cheese and produce (those things are hard to mess up, right?). Where do you shop when you're looking for the most value?