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Don't Discount the Discounters

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These days, consumers are going out of their way to save money. They are doing some serious food shopping at discounters that are not normally among the retailers they frequent. These retailers aren’t skipping a beat in trying to please (and maintain) their new demographic, either.

aldi_bags.jpgEveryone is looking for a bargain today, whether it is on clothes, gadgets, home goods or food. The deep discounters seem to be the savviest of all buyers in today’s world. If you happen to be trolling the aisles at one of these establishments you’ll see just what I’m getting at: A typical market basket of goods at a food discounter will save you some serious dough — whether you make bread or not!

It used to be that, only a scant year or so ago, these retailers were handling items which were deemed to be on the lower end of the food chain; however, as shoppers started to trade down to shop the discounters, the discounters started to trade up their product mix. Shop your typical food discounter and you’ll see some interesting things going on.

There are promos on higher end specialty foods like hummus, Angus beef burgers, olive oils, Italian pastas, antipasti spreads and dips, value-added frozen meals and hors d’oeuvres in addition to amazing prices on basic commodities like milk, bread, eggs, meat and produce. The quality and variety of products handled is improving while the prices stay low. This combination of variety and value is attracting an entirely new demographic.

I took my sister (and her brood of three) on a recent shopping excursion to a new Aldi that had opened a short time before. She had no idea such places existed and managed to fill her cart with goodies and staples that fit her criteria for quality and nutritional value for her growing family. She left very happy and only $76.24 poorer — a major feat considering that this market basket of goods would have set her back a pretty penny if she had been at one of her usual supermarket haunts.

Food for thought: Every once in a while it truly pays to try a store not usually on your radar. Put your personal bias aside and you will see what I mean.

(Photo credit: Tim Samoff)

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