Monday, July 09, 2018

The imperfect consumer and Aldi

Post inspired by Snoskred.

R is very different to me in some ways. When shopping for clothes, he likes to touch and look at so many different items. He will take them off a rack and look at them, even though they may be totally inappropriate or way too expensive. I am a person on a mission. I know what I want, say a shirt, this colour, this size, this style, pocket for glasses, preferably a button down collar and then the price. Well, I already know that a bargain is to be had if I am there. I make a beeline to where the shirts are and I am rarely distracted by other clothing.

Yet put me in a hardware store, I am quite different. I like to gather information and so, ah, there is that product for doing that. That looks useful. Well, finally someone has invented a tool to do this. Ah, there is a bargain to be had. We paid how much for ours and look how cheap it is here. I can't say the information I gather in a hardware store is useless. It was useful today.

We did well this Sunday, with a pretty easy completion of a new towel rail and back of the door hook. I much prefer fitting the olden days stuff when no one bothered with concealed fixing and screws were exposed, but then it wasn't the concealed fixing that was the problem yesterday, but what we were fixing to.

Speaking of Snoskred, she has been wondering how we have been going at Aldi, after we were forced to change because of the closure of the Prahran carpark and could no long easily access Coles and Woolworths supermarkets by car.

We are very happy with Aldi in South Melbourne. We always get a parking space easily at, plus or minus, 10am on Saturday mornings. We have cut the cost of food, Wella and Vim shopping to nearly half. The shopping takes half the time.

The good is the cereals, the Weet Bix seems to be the same as Weet Bix, though incredibly cheap. Plenty of  variety of biscuits, including a delicious peanut biscuit. Crisps, all good. Yoghurt, all good. Bread, as nice as Helgas and Country Bakehouse. Sauces, cheese, oils, pretty well all good. Limited range of soft drink, which we only buy for visitors. Milk powder and UHT, all good.

There are some items that you cannot buy at Aldi, so we just pop across the road to Woolworths for those. South Melbourne Market is close by.

The only real negatives about Aldi is the limited variety of the same item, perhaps not a bad thing, and that you have to take great care with fresh meat and vegetables. They are mostly locally grown, but at times can be of doubtful standard and may be cheaper and better elsewhere. We have yet to really try its alcohol offerings, wine and scotch.

Going back to hardware stuffs, of course I peruse those centre Aldi ailes for new and unusual products that are bargains. The last time we saw Bone Doctor, it was cold and from her jacket pocket she pulled out a holey pair of gloves for her hands. Aldi had some smart gloves on sale for $12, including little pads on the thumb and forefinger sleeves to be able to click and swipe on a screen. I threw into the trolley a pair for Bone Doctor for her birthday in a couple of weeks. Well done you, said R.

In summary, not perfect, but we really like Aldi. While the profits may go overseas, much of their goods are Australian made and grown.

I needed a specific sized electric timber drill bit today and I knew the old ones of that similar size were blunt. I selected the correct drill bit at the big green shed. It cost nearly $4  and was no doubt of high quality and would stay sharp, but given how often we now drill, it doesn't matter. Then I saw a full pack of drill bits for $17. We bought them. R insisted I throw away the old drill bits, but no, I protested. Some are sharp and nearly new. He was probably right, but I did throw away many that I did identify as being blunt. No need for masonry drills here either.


39 comments:

  1. With the exception of books and plants I have almost total sales resistance. I really, really don't like chopping. Himself does. And a trip to the supermarket with him involves going down EVERY aisle. He really likes to comparison shop too. On line and on foot.
    Glad that your project has been finished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, does Himself have Scottish blood? Some do go overboard with it. Time and money balance.

      Delete
  2. I enjoy yard sales for viewing old tools, drill bits, etc. Looking forward to what your about to fabricate. Have a wonderful week!!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Padre, the old tools are usually of much higher quality than modern ones imported from you know where. Thanks.

      Delete
  3. I use woolworths for most things because they are within walking distance, but hardware is very hard to get the nearest bunning is a few miles away nowhere public transport so I have to be nice to friends with cars for a trip to the hardware store.
    Merle........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merle, Bunnings should send you a courtesy bus. I'm afraid Bunnings only think of car parking when they buy a site, and not public transport.

      Delete
  4. I am so excited to read this post. :) We too love Aldi and are surprised at how much cheaper it is. We've discovered some of the items are actually identical to branded items at Coles - recently they added a lactose free yoghurt which we always bought for the chickens, it is over a dollar cheaper at Aldi, same size, same packaging, same taste - I always lick the spoon after I put it on their plate.

    I am getting very close to breaking up with Coles but I will always need some branded items, so I will try to make it work for the sake of those items. But I really want to kick them to the kerb at times. :) Like when they tell me something is on special and I get there and it is not.

    We have found the meats at Aldi to be fairly good especially the eye fillet which The Other Half likes. We find the trick is to make sure you always grab it from the very bottom of the tray it is in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snoskred, I think their Golden Vale Wheat Bix is the same product. I can't tell the difference. Yes, the special missing from the shelves is annoying and C & W would know quite accurately the figures they would need to stock.

      I think the eye fillet is what we buy and at times cut one in half. It comes in those vacuum pacs, so it expands once released. Anyway, we are pleased.

      Delete
  5. Ah tools. My husband and I cannot agree. We have a tool kit in the kitchen that we use and almost never use the box upon box of tools in our basement! Why not get rid of what we don't need, I asked?. Well, don't you know, we might need them some time before we die!
    We have Aldi here in New Hampshire, but they are some miles from us. So I do not get to them very often. The store we like is Market Basket. Family owned, local and they have the best prices around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maribeth, I used to keep things like that, when we had the space. We can't do that here. It is hard to believe I once had a garage and a shed plus under the house filled things.

      While not exactly family owned, our small IGA supermarkets are good places, as opposed to the large two companies.

      Delete
  6. Went to Aldi when we lived in Europe and I'm so glad they are here now. It's quit clear the two market leaders (W and C) have been cheating us all for many, many years. BTW, I'm addicted to Aldi's Crunchy peanut butter, and their 8 years old Scotch is also OK :-)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, it was very interesting to see Aldi in Germany but it was Hofer in Austria. https://highriser.blogspot.com/2014/08/what-is-hofer-mummy.html

      Is it Bramwell's peanut butter you buy in Aldi? We have some but I haven't opened it yet. I will give the Scotch a try.

      Delete
    2. Yep, the Brandwell's, but the one with the red lid, not the blue lid (that's smooth), and cheers with the (black label) Scotch :-)!

      Delete
    3. Bramwell's it is, not Brandwell's...

      Delete
    4. Yes, we have the red lidded one. I am sure it has lots of nuts in it and I will think of your when I next have a mouth full of nuts.

      Delete
  7. When buying clothes or shoes, I buy what I think looks OK, take it home to try, then if I like it and it fits I go back and buy several more. Job done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cro, I do that with socks, but usually they come in packs of four or five. If they are ok, I might buy another pack or two. But if I don't like them, I am stuck with them. I don't have multiple shoes and rarely wear anything else but black jeans.

      Delete
  8. I'm like you when shopping for clothes. Don't care for hardware stores.
    As you probably know we haven't got an Aldi, have shopped at Aldi but don't care for it for some of the reasons you have said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret, our Launceston friend asked if we had spare luggage space when we visited, so that we could fill up with Aldi products for her. Sadly for her, we only had a carry on allowance.

      Delete
  9. Drill bits, along with screwdrivers, only come in one variety here. Blunt. I probably should get a new set of each. Mine are the Cheap as Chips variety and several years old. They've been blunted by many tightenings of saucepan and frying pan handles, but now my pots have riveted handles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, I think for light use, the cheap ones are fine and just replace them as needed and you will still be miles in front.

      Delete
  10. If anyone ever catched me in a hardware store, I'm definitely there for one thing only, and will contain myself to the aisle needed(lol) Aldi's on the other hand will cause me to visit several familiar places such as fruit, bottled water, cheese, sauces and coffee, and the prices work out well. What I don't like about Aldi is that they don't accept my dang coupons.!(lol) Hugs and Happy Monday! RO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You Americans, RO, and your coupons. I guess we call the same as discount voucher, but no doubt soon we'll be saying coopons and not cupeons. I bought a shirt in Macy's NYC. It was priced at $50 about AU$70. After discounts were applied, including a staff discount and a coupon discount, even though we didn't have a coupon, it was under $20. While it looked nice, it did not last the distance and was only worth about US$15. But I have dined out on my Macy's shirt a few times, so it was worth what I paid.

      Delete
    2. Who say cupeons?? Point him out and I'll educate him.

      Delete
  11. Because the closest Aldi is out of my way to and from work I don't shop there, but maybe it is worthwhile going out of my way once in a while. The only times I have gone there is if I see something interesting in their catalogue but by the time I get there the specials have disappeared with those that queue at the doors before the shop opens.
    If my husband goes food shopping with me we come out with double the stuff we actually need because he loves to peruse all the new products and always finds something he would like to try, me on the other hand like to spend as little time as possible in the supermarket!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sami, that is what we used to do until we were forced to another area to shop. So you go to the supermarket with a list and follow the list. I am with you. R browses in the supermarket too.

      Delete
  12. I'm with you Andrew, I like to get in and out as quick as possible too. I have an idea of what I'm looking for and scan to see if I can spot it, if not I'm off! Have never been to Aldi. Somehow I still seem to get through a fair bit of money though 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, you certainly get through less money at Aldi, but you have to be a bit selective.

      Delete
  13. I pretty much sale shop regardless of whether its clothes, plants, hardware, etc. Kudos on finding the gloves and drill bits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, we certainly do with clothes. Plants and hardware can be a bit harder.

      Delete
  14. I too, love shopping in the tool department. Throw away an old tool because I got a new one? Never! Not unless it was broken and worthless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Precisely, Mark. But even if broken and worthless, could any part of it be saved for some other use?

      Delete
    2. Andrew; you're getting into "Grandpa's Axe" territory (*~*)

      Delete
  15. That's really funny that you have Aldi now in Australia ! It made indeed a long way ! I remember in the mid fifties it was the shop (a little one) my mother used to go. Slowly slowly they opened shops in Germany everywhere. In Belgium it arrived quite late because I was already 18, and then it went all over Europe. The funniest thing is when you go to Aldi in Belgium, France, Italy, Germany and UK (that's where I have been) it's everywhere the same display. Only the languages are different and the local products. When I went to Aldi in Italy and I closed my eyes I thought I was in Waterloo, but instead of Belgian cheese there were Italian once. Otherwise it could have been here. In the UK it was the same and in France too !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gattina, Aldi has been in Australia for a long time. People used to be a bit snobby about not shopping there, but many do. I like that much of what they sell are Australian products. That is funny about the cheeses.

      Delete
  16. How you mention drill bits as I'm always using them, but that cost is very good for a set. They're expensive. When I get the cheaper ones, they break off sometimes, inside whatever I drill and much cursing ensues, aimed at the store where I bought them, and at myself for buying cheap crap that breaks so easily.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Strayer, I don't think I would buy cheap masonry drills but for light timber and plaster use, the cheap ones will do us.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We don't have an Aldi near us and that sucks. So when I do get to go in one it's like an adventure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fen, it is a place you can go to less often and buy up big.

      Delete