A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to have some of my girlfriends over for a wine and appetizer party in early December. The holidays are a hectic time for all of us, and I thought it would be fun to kick back without the kids and catch up. Plus I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was excited to entertain in my new kitchen…I love having the space to do that now!
Two weeks after my invites went out, I randomly received an email from a rep with ALDI, asking me if I would be interested in having them sponsor a holiday party for my friends. Since the invites were already out and this seemed like a great match, I jumped at the opportunity! I didn’t think that my friends would mind. ;-)
It may be hard to believe, but I had never been to ALDI prior to this. As luck would have it, a new ALDI store just opened at the end of October about 10 minutes from me, and I was excited to check it out. For those of you who aren’t familiar – ALDI is a discount grocery store chain - founded on the belief that people, wherever they live, should have the opportunity to buy everyday groceries of the highest quality at the lowest possible prices. In addition to 1000 stores in the US, ALDI also has stores worldwide.
A few things that I found to be different at ALDI vs the traditional grocery store:
- It costs $0.25 to use a shopping cart (which you apparently get back when you return the cart – something I didn’t realize!)
- You either bag your own groceries or purchase bags in store (for $0.99/ea I believe?)
- ALDI only accepts debit or cash (right in line with a Dave Ramsey lifestyle, right?!)
- There are few to no name brand items
- ALDI does not accept coupons (a huge stress relief/guilt release for me right now!)
To be honest, I can be kind of picky about the food and brands that I buy, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about ALDI – especially when it comes to party food! A few nights before the party I headed out with a basic idea of what I was going to purchase (thanks to the ALDI holiday catalog and some suggestions from ALDI) and an ALDI provided $100 gift certificate.
I arrived at the store, paid for my shopping cart and went to it. I loaded my cart with various cheeses, crackers, a spiral sliced ham, puff pastries, eclairs, petite cheesecakes, fresh salsa, tortilla chips, mixed nuts and of course WINE! :-) I even slipped in 2 bottles of pure maple syrup and 2 packages of Almond Bark for my own personal use outside of the party.
All of this shopping took me very little time (a MAJOR score) because the store isn’t overly large, and I wasn’t overwhelmed with decisions. ALDI has a great selection, but tends to have 1 or 2 choices per item – which quite honestly was a welcome relief to me! When I got the the checkout, I ended up spending $100.68!! I hadn’t even been keeping track of how much I was spending and gladly handed the cashier my $100 gift certificate and $0.68 from my wallet.
While I had been stressing about getting the house ready for the party for about a week, when it came to the food the only stress I had was not knowing how it was going to taste! In terms of preparation, I started pulling things out to defrost (and baking/glazing the ham) about 3 hours before the party started.
With a little help toward the end, everything was plated and ready to eat!
edenVale Goat Cheese Log ($1.99), edenVale Havarti ($1.99), Savoritz Six Cracker Assortment ($2.49), Appleton Farms Spiral Sliced Ham ($1.69/lb, $17), L’oven Fresh Brown N Serve Rolls ($0.99), Appetitos Pastry Bites ($4.99)
The only regret that I have about this party is that I didn’t take any pictures of my friends actually eating the food! (or any pictures of people at all!!) I was too busy taking pictures of the food and eating it myself! In listening to my friends talk and based on my own opinion, the favorites of the night were the mini eclairs, fresh salsa, havarti cheese, and the cracker assortment. Everyone was extremely impressed with the quality and taste of both the food and wine – myself included!
ALDI graciously sent all of my friends home with an ALDI wine glass, $25 ALDI gift certificate and a DIVINE Moser Roth Chocolate Bar, the perfect ending to a fun night!
The moral of this story? It is VERY possible to host a classy and delicious holiday gathering for your friends and family for 50% less (or more!) by shopping at ALDI. I feel that I would have easily spent double what I did on this party had I purchased the food and wine at a traditional grocery store. I was so impressed that I have since made another trip to ALDI, and I look forward to working regular trips into my monthly grocery shopping routine next year!
NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.
I am thrilled that I had one $25 Gift Certificate left over from the party – and I am going to share it with 1 of you!
What am I giving away?
1 – $25 Gift Certificate to ALDI
How can you win?
You can enter up to 4 times:
1) Leave a comment letting me know what your favorite ALDI item is – or what you would most like to try after reading this post. (Note: Scroll to the bottom of this post and click “Post Comment”. You must be on my site – you can’t do this through a reader.)
1) Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter:
@stretchingabuck is giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to ALDI! http://www.stretchingabuckblog.com/?p=35330 #giveaway
2) Promote this on your Facebook Page. (Be sure to check out Stretching a Buck on Facebook!)
3) Subscribe to my feed or email newsletter and stay on top of all of the deals that I write about each week! If you already subscribe, please leave a separate comment letting me know that you are currently a subscriber (thank you!).
Who is eligible?
You must have a valid US address to be eligible.
When does this giveaway end?
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 10PM EST
The winner will be chosen via the random number generator at random.org and will be notified via email. Please note that if I do not hear from the winner within 2 days that another winner will be chosen.
Disclosure: ALDI provided me with a $100 gift certificate and (10) $25 Gift Certificates, Chocolate Bars and Wine Glasses to share with my friends. Opinions expressed here are strictly my own. View my disclosure policy here.