Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How To Shop At Aldi

This week a new grocery store will be opening near us-Aldi!  Technically, I already have an Aldi, but the new one allows me to easily stop on either end of my commute.  If you have shopped at Aldi, you know the amazing deals you can find.  But, you need to know how to shop at Aldi as it isn't your traditional grocery store. I learned these things the hard way; I showed up with three kids and no clue.  Learn from my mistakes.

  • Come equipped with a quarter.
    • Aldi doesn't provide free carts; this helps keep down the prices.  You will find carts  outside the main entrance; you put a quarter in the slot to "borrow" the cart. When you bring it back, you take your quarter.  If you notice a person bringing a cart back, Aldi etiquette is to hand them your quarter for the cart. 
  • Bring bags
    • Aldi doesn't give free bags.  Bring your bags; I bring a large 31 thermal bag for my cold selections.  I usually bring a few other reusable bags for the rest of my purchases. If you don't have your own bags, you can pick up an empty cardboard box in the store to use.  You can also buy plastic, paper, or refrigerator bags in the checkout.  You will bag your own groceries after you've paid; the bagging counter is beyond the checkout.
  • Bring the right payment.
    • There are three options to pay at Aldi-cash, debit, or EBT card.  No checks-they slow stuff down; no credit cards due to fees. 
  • Know the hours.
    • All of the Aldi stores local to me have 9-9 hours Monday thru Saturday.  Sunday hours are 9 -7.
  • Expect different brands. 
    • Most of Aldi's merchandise is their own brand, but don't let that make you think it is low quality.  There are organic options as well.  
  • Aldi is no frills.
    • Most of the products will be stacked on shelves or pallets. No big displays get in your way as you shop.  Prices will be printed in large numbers above or below the product.  

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