Why Aldi's Meat Is So Suspiciously Cheap

If you are one of the growing number of people switching to Aldi to do your grocery shopping, you know that the European chain's prices just can't be beat. While those trying to save a few bucks typically welcome inexpensive snacks, dairy, produce, booze, and canned goods, they can be suspicious if the price of meat seems too good to be true. The mentality is that only low-quality meats are sold for low prices. This couldn't be further from the truth at Aldi.

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Aldi stores differ from other grocery chains in more ways than just rock-bottom prices. You've probably noticed that the locations are on the small side, there aren't many associates around, and it's a no-frills kind of place — don't expect giant, ornate product displays or retirees handing out free samples. This is precisely why and how everything, including the meat selection, is priced so low. It really comes down to the fact that Aldi mainly sells its own house brands, the stores run on skeleton crews, and meats are sourced locally. The result is great meat at great prices.

Little things add up to big savings

You will see some brand names in Aldi stores, but for the most part, the labels will likely be completely unfamiliar to the first-time shopper. These house brands save customers money because they are going straight from the manufacturer to the customer, without the expense of marketing a big brand name.

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Whenever possible, Aldi uses local sources for its meats, so if it's able to procure steaks and pork chops from nearby farms, it does. This means that transportation costs are much lower than other grocery chains that ship in meat from across the country.

Another trick that Aldi holds up its sleeves is to staff its stores minimally, often having as few as three employees on a shift. This technique translates into paying less for labor and trimming costs for the customer. But the associates that are working at any given time are doing it all: stocking, working the registers, and organizing shelves.

Additionally, the chain is known for other things like requiring the customers to bag their own groceries and to pay a quarter (which you get back) to retrieve a shopping cart. This means Aldi doesn't have to hire additional people to be baggers or gather carts, again, saving money for the customer. 

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A big mix of meats

Naturally, Aldi carries the kinds of meats you'd expect to find at a grocery store, like ground beef, steaks, pork chops, different cuts of chicken, and fish. But you'll also find some unique cuts at any given time, as well as seasonal specials. Again, the selections will vary by store and where each store sources its meats from, but customers can find things like lamb in various forms, thinly-sliced beef that's perfect for street tacos, pre-marinated chicken, baby back ribs, corned beef around St. Patrick's Day, prime rib during the holidays, and ham during the Easter shopping season.

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Most of these will be in the store's fresh meat section, but don't forget to also scan the frozen aisle where more excellent meats can be found, like a vast array of turkeys around Thanksgiving. If you're still not convinced that good meat can be found at low prices, start slow; Aldi sells individually packed steaks. Grab one, grill it up at home, and be your own judge: Is it worth it? We have a feeling you'll be back for more.

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