Drama at Aldi

Hey blog readers!

One and half weeks ago - after our shocking shopping experience at NYC-Fairway (because of how expensive it was), we had planned an Aldi visit at the very top of our to-do-list.

For the ones of you that have never heard of Aldi: Aldi is a German discount store. You can compare it with Lidl in Portugal (also a German discounter). Aldi is not a very pretty store and has not so many brands and products as Walmart might have, but still enough to choose. The best thing is that the prices are super affordable!

The closest Aldi to us was in East Harlem. So we went there up north by bus. Obviously for the shopping-reason (help - the fridge is sooo empty!!!), but as well because we wanted to walk through the East Harlem neighbourhood to figure out if we can imagine to live there. After we passed the streets from Midtown Manhattan we saw how the area was changing. The impression got poorer - more broken houses, more depressing looking people out on the street and you could feel it. Not so easy going any more (well, if poverty is around you are losing the easy going attitude!). We were not afraid, but there were a bunch of weird looking people on the street, that I wouldn't like to meet at night (not together with Daniel and not all by myself).

But then we saw it: The big Aldi sign. :-)

I took some pictures of traditional German food (probably the people thought that I am the weirdo! ;-).

"Spekulatius" we like to eat around Christmas. They are like crisp ginger bread cookies.

The Americans call those style of buns "Pretzl Buns". The word Pretzl is actually not for the color (this brownish white style) of the baking good, but for the shape. A "Bretzel" has that special Pretzl-shape. Pretzles can also have the white color you know from the normal rolls.

Those are Pretzles for Germans. 

I found that sticker quite funny. It would not come into my mind to walk on top or inside of the freezers. But it seems that in the US they have to make that clear. That's something!

Yay, Apple Strudel! I don't have to make a homemade one from scratch. I did that once in my life while I was living in Chicago and it was soooo much work (although everybody said it tasted delicious).

Double yay!!! Toilet paper for just 5 dollars! Less then half of the Fairway price! Hand me those rolls!

We really had a lot in our shopping cart. It was a good weekly haul and just would have cost 80 dollars (that was so much cheaper - well not compared to Germany ;-).

The advertisement from Aldi "You save up to 50 %" is really true!

 And that Aldi-Truth as well:

After one hour of walking through the store and checking the products (we didn't want to buy products with too much added sugar and fat), we were standing with our filled shopping cart at the cashier. Everything got over the conveyor belt and laid back into the cart and I already started placing all the items in my blue ikea bags (environment and so....). And then came the absolute bummer! No credit cards at Aldi. Whaaat?! Everywhere in the US you can pay with credit card - even in a taxi!

Too bad that we didn't have any cash. Because we didn't have our American debit cards yet and with all our German cards it didn't work to get money from the ATMs. All the banks were closed so we couldn't even get cash from the banks counter.

So we had to give back all the goods. All the work was for nothing. It was a nightmare for me. Dinner time had passed a long time and I was close to fainting (my body reacts very strong to not eating on time - and I still had the crazy jet lag). We had to explain everything to the security guard in the Aldi entrance. When we left the store the tears were already rolling down my cheeks. I was hungry, sad and disappointed and felt so stupid. It was just too much.

So that we didn't arrive home empty handed we went across to Target (before filling the shopping cart again, we asked if we can pay with credit card).

Actually Target is my favourite store in the US - because they have everything from clothes,  furniture, home decoration, office stuff and also food. But their food prices aren't as affordable as Aldi. :-(

Now I have an Aldi-trauma and I hope to have another try with the debit card or cash another time.

Did something like that ever happened to you?

Feel free to share! I'd be glad!

Many, many greetings,


PS: Last weekend we tried out a new shopping experience. We made grocery shopping at Fresh Direct (thanks Nathan for the hint). It is like normal online shopping at amazon, but for fresh things. In the end you can pay via credit card. You can decide when the things shall be delivered. And they are delivered to your door! Not just into the lobby of the apartment building, but onto your apartment door! AAAAWESOME!

It is not as affordable as Aldi, but as new customers we got a 50 dollar off coupon. The awesome thing was that we didn't have to walk through half of Manhattan like the time when we went to Trader Joe's and had super heavy paper bags (that are ripping easily - yeah... we didn't bring the Ikea bags with us - and everything fell onto the ground. In such moments I wish we would have a car though!). That was such a relieve and would probably be worth the higher costs (without the coupon... maybe... I'm still a saver)!

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