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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

As a first-year college student, I’m learning quite quickly that food is expensive, specifically when shopping for groceries.

Growing up, Publix and Winn Dixie were always a staple weekly trip in my household, and coming into university, I expected to take on those same purchasing habits.

However, coming into UF, not having a job and expecting a livable grocery haul every so often was not in the cards.

I simply could not afford to buy everything I needed and couldn’t justify paying a certain price for seemingly mundane staples. That’s when I met ALDI — and we are in an extremely committed relationship. 

ALDI and Trader Joe’s are sister companies, so you can expect the same kinds of products and items in either one, although Aldi has independent brands rather than an all-encompassing logo like Trader Joe’s.

Focused on providing a twist to the “no-name brand doubts,” ALDI brings a diverse and inexpensive twist on your regular grocery trip.

After going on multiple runs throughout the semester, I can confidently say that I have no inkling of buyer’s remorse, spending almost 50% less as I would at a more popular grocery store. 

The inexpensive items

ALDI doesn’t focus on having name-brands clutter the store, so it automatically sets us broke college students up for success.

From 30-cent yogurts to a $3 pack of everything bagels, I can easily fill up my fridge with everything I need for under $50.

To be completely honest, the products are legitimately the exact same as name brands, and it’s allowed me to try new food items that I otherwise would’ve passed up because of the marked-up price at a regular grocery store.

From my fridge, you’ll find around eight bottles of newly discovered kombucha and an assortment of hummus.

I don’t have shame in buying fresh fruits because their prices can’t be found anywhere else, which makes it easy to maintain a healthy diet on a reasonable budget.

The range of products

The aisles don’t lie: There’s something for everyone.

As mentioned above, the extremely reasonable prices make for trying new things easy.

I have absolutely fallen in love with their selection of kombucha and always make sure to grab one (or four) to stock my fridge.

Their guacamole and desert hummus are to die for, and their healthy candy makes stress-eating feel less guilt-filled.

They have every fruit and vegetable you need to make a salad on the go, and the amount of bagels I have seen in that store is indescribable.

Additionally, their frozen food does not disappoint. Along with the 99-cent burritos, their mochi has quickly become a staple in my freezer.

I will never look to any other store for coffee pods and creamer ever again because my dorm is absolutely full of great options for around $5 each. 

Sustainable service

One of the things that makes ALDI a money-friendly place to shop is the way that it is mostly self-service.

The way you access the carts is by slipping a quarter into a slot on the cart, and the only way to get it back is to attach the cart to the others in their assigned space.

That way, it reduces the amount of people needing to be hired to rearrange carts.

Additionally, ALDI doesn’t bag groceries, so it requires for shoppers to bring their own reusable bags.

Reducing plastic use and the people that would bag them also play a part in reducing the price of the food, and it truly makes you feel good about the impact you have when you shop. 

More than just food

I kid you not, just when you think you understand the capacity of ALDI, they come in with an entire “as seen on TV” section full ofittle nifty gadgets and items that are a step-up from the average knick-knack.

Whether it’s a new way to make zoodles or the most comfortable slippers you’ve seen, a cute little item section never hurt, especially when it’s that inexpensive!

They care about their employees

The reason that ALDI doesn’t have multiple people restocking carts and manning the registers is because they want to pay their employees a higher wage.

At each register, there are seats for the cashiers because they know that standing for a whole shift isn’t the move.

The way the products are set up in bins is to make it easier for employees to set up new goods and therefore more efficient for customers to grab what they need. That’s just another reason to love this store!

If you’re looking for a newer and progressive way to shop, ALDI is it. I can truly say that it’s a great alternative to find common grocery items, it won’t let you down!