I know a lot of people shop at ALDI and love it (me included). If you haven’t ever shopped at one, or aren’t sure if you should, there are some things you need to know before you head out to your store. Even if you currently shop there, they may be things you don’t know about, which can help you too!
1. Bring along a quarter. You have to “rent” your shopping cart. You simply slide a quarter into the slot and then do your shopping. When you are done, you will return your cart and connect the lock and your quarter will be returned to you. This keeps carts from being left in the parking lot which saves on damage to cars. It also saves the store money as they don’t have to pay someone to run to the parking lot and corral the carts.
*Bonus tip: Make someone’s day and just give them your cart when you are through. You’ll be surprised at how much a small gesture can make someone’s day!
2. Don’t forget your bags. Aldi doesn’t have bags. Well, they do, but you have to purchase them. One way they keep prices low is that they don’t purchase paper or plastic bags for you to take your items home. They do have boxes in the store, which you can use if you happen to forget yours. I just keep my bags in my van and grab them every time I walk into the store.
In addition to bringing your own bags, you will have to sack your groceries too. I actually prefer this as it seems the kid a the grocery store always puts every heavy item into just one bag or mixes my cold and canned items. I can sort them as I want, which makes unloading and putting away my items so much simpler!
3. Don’t like something? Get your money back! This is one thing many people do not know about Aldi. If you ever try a product and it is not the quality that you expect or you just were not satisfied, you can get your money back. Strike that. You can actually get your money back PLUS a replacement product! Just take the item and your receipt back to your store and they will gladly take care of you. Note that the guarantee does not apply to non-food special buy items, alcohol or national brands. Read more here.
4. No store brands here (or very few of them). This is one thing that people need to know about. Aldi has it’s own brands (which are normally equally as good as, if not better than, the name brands). This is one way they can offer such great prices.
*Bonus tip: Look at the packaging and you may notice it looks similar to national brands. That lets you know which one they are like, so you know what “name brand” product you are getting.
5. Forget the coupons! No coupons needed at Aldi, nor are they accepted. The prices are often lower than what you will find at your local store, even with a coupon. Of course, there are some sales at larger stores which are less than Aldi, so you do need to check your local ad and know the prices (when using your coupon), before you shop.
6. Spend less time in the store. Without 10 brands of ketchup to look at and 47 boxes of cereal for your kids to look at, you can save time in the store. There is one type of ketchup. There are only a handful of cereals to look at. It makes it so simple to just grab the item you need without having to compare per unit prices of various products.
*Bonus tip: Checkout is also quicker as all items have multiple bar codes on them. When the cashier grabs the product, they don’t have to turn the item to try to find the barcode. In most cases, there is one on the item, no matter how they grab and slide it over the scanner. This saves time when checking out too!
7. Organic or Gluten-Free? Yes please! This is one thing many do not realize. Aldi has a huge selection of organic and even gluten-free foods! They know that this is a concern for many families, so they have taken the steps to help you get those items you need – at a price you can afford!
8. Now Accepting All Payment Types. As of 3/1/16, Aldi has updated it’s policy and they now will accept all forms of payment from cash to debit, EBT and even…..Credit Cards!!
9. Know the store hours. Aldi has shorter hours than most stores. They do not open until 9 am and close at 8 pm. They are open on Sunday as well, but the hours are 10 am – 7 pm. This again keeps costs down as people work fewer hours and the operating costs are reduced (fewer lights needed when the store is closed). You can head HERE to find a store near you, and confirm your local hours.
10. You can save 50% and more. Try it and just see how your bill looks. Even if you save $30 a week at the store, do the math – that is more than $1500 in a single year!! I know I could find something fun to use $1500 on (or you could even use it to pay off your debts). When I go to Aldi, it amazes me how much food I get for less than at my local grocery store.
Shopping at Aldi has become a norm for our family and has made a huge difference in our budget. It amazes me how much grocery money we have left out of our budget – just by shopping here!