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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Another grocery store: Aldi

Aldi, grocery stores, food

Tomorrow's the scheduled opening date for the Aldi store at 124th and Burleigh.

For reasons that aren't clear to me, Aldi stirs people's passions--not just here but in Europe. Some sputter darkly about declining neighborhoods and the kind of people who might want to shop there.

I'm the kind of person who shops there. When it comes to grocery stores, I shop them all, for different things and for convenience. But I often feel humbled shopping at Aldi, where I find myself surrounded by incredibly skilled shoppers filling their carts with inexpensive wholesome food to feed families.

If you've never tried Aldi and you are a bargain hunter, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. For $3.99, you can get a butter almond stollen (no candied fruit, just nuts and raisins) that's as good as any you'll find for two or three times the price. I also grabbed a box of Almond Spekulatius cookies. They're sort of high-end Windmill cookies but much better, and a bargain at $1.69.

The company's mothership is in Germany. Some of the products, especially the ones that come from there, have fewer additives and ingredients with unrecognizable chemical names. That's a plus.

If you're a brand name shopper, you won't recognize most of the brands. But I snagged a Ghiradelli brownie mix for under $2.

Bring bags or be prepared to pay for them. The resourceful pick up empty boxes (yes, the food's still in them) to tote their groceries. You have to pay with cash or debit card, another way they reduce overhead. Have a quarter to free a shopping cart (you'll get it back when you return the cart).

As the mother of a long-time grocery store employee, I'm also glad to see that Aldi starts their staff at $10 an hour. Paying more for people, less for ambiance, is okay with me.

And welcome, Aldi, to the neighborhood!

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