Our local grocery store, Aldi, closed down for a few weeks while they did a major expansion. They added 20 more feet onto the back of the store. Widened up the aisles. Expanded their organic and gluten-free choices. Added in 125 more items for sale. It all sounded so wonderful. At the recent Grand Opening I attended, it all looked so wonderful too. Until I started checking the prices.
I’m a math wiz so I specialize in numbers. I may not remember a name or a face but I always remember a number. Especially the prices of things.
Over the course of the remodeling, I shopped at the next nearest Adi to my home. Round trip turned out to be 10 more miles than my local store. But the store was newer and wider and best of all: it was cheaper! Most of the items were at least 10 cents cheaper than my regular local store. Some items were 20 cents to 30 cents cheaper. You may not think a dime or two can make any difference BUT when you shop weekly and your item count is between 35 and 50 items, those dimes add up quickly.
Now, I didn’t know I was paying less at the farther store till I went to the local Grand Opening. Turns out, first they remodeled the store and then they raised the prices to justify the remodeling of the store. Or maybe since both locales are in two separate financial areas (one is poor and the other is poorer) Aldi may price their products accordingly. I don’t know. I just know that going back to my original store is going to cost me at least $5.00 more per shopping trip PLUS I have to pay a $1.25 toll (round trip) to cross a bridge. The only minor problem I can see is that if I shop at the further Aldi, I’ll be driving 20 miles more (round trip) and driving much longer in the car. The $6.25 extra I have to pay in order to shop locally will turn into $325 over the course of the year. Will using 1/4 more gas and driving 20 minutes longer justify the $325 savings? That’s almost a whole full month of my food budget.