Looking for cheap groceries while in Germany? Just find an "Aldi" sign and walk inside. You will find the shelves stacked with cardboard boxes of foods at low prices. Aldi does not waste time or money on fancy displays, and true to German Grocer tradition, if you want a bag for your items, you must buy it.

For months, I have wanted to check out the Aldi on Gallatin to see if it was anything like its German parents. Upon entry, I was struck by those same stacks of boxes. The only difference was most of the product lines (no fancy chocolates, alas) and the volume of food and things to buy. In Germany, the store is crammed with things. At the Gallatin location, the aisles are wide and easy to navigate.

One happy thing happened: In the produce section, the vegetables were in better condition AND cheaper than those at the Kroger on Gallatin. That's right, this German-owned grocer managed to acquire better vegetables than the major chain store down the street. There were fewer choices of what to buy, but nothing was rotting or spotty.

Since I can't always drive to the Greenhills area of Nashville in the hopes of finding good produce, I think Aldi will soon become a regular haunt of mine.

Check out was just like the do it in Germany - only the cashier smiled. She quickly scanned in my item and stacked them back in my cart. Aldi saves money by having customers buy their bags, bag their groceries, and return their carts via a $.25 cart deposit system.

All in all, It was a positive experience. I only wish Tennessee's restrictive alcohol laws would change to allow wine and liquor in grocery stores. Can you say "Cheap German Wine"?

It is interesting to note that Aldi is willing to have their Aldi chain in this state, but has no apparent plans to bring in their more trendy Trader Joes retailers. I think it's the wine laws.

So still, we have no three buck chuck.