I absolutely love my Aldi store. It opened in November, and before that, I shopped at a not-as-nice Aldi (but it was still decent).
I enjoy chatting with the cashiers and other customers there (it seems more acceptable to do that at my Aldi, rather than at a random Giant Eagle around Pittsburgh where nobody will acknowledge your presence). It’s like we’re all in on a little secret–that Aldi can save you a lot of time and money.
I can get in and out of the store in about 20 minutes, and walk away with a week’s worth of groceries for less than $40 to feed two adults. I don’t have to compare prices on seventeen brands and sizes of salad dressing, for example, as they only have one or two varieties of their products.
The store is smaller than a traditional grocery, so it hardly takes any time to walk through the store’s five aisles.
I don’t have to take the time to cut coupons and match them with store deals, since Aldi doesn’t take coupons.
Curious to find out how much products cost at Aldi? Homeschool Dad has scanned an excellent pdf of Aldi prices. The store in his area distributed the document, and he turned it into a pdf to share with others.
Prices might vary by region, but they are likely to be close to these prices (I believe). When I was at Aldi last Wednesday, I noticed the prices of many items had gone up a nickel or dime. I think that’s to be expected, given the economy right now.
Tips for first-time Aldi customers:
Bring a quarter to use as a deposit for your shopping cart. You’ll grab your cart outside and push a quarter into the slot to free it from the other carts. At the end of your trip, you’ll get a quarter back when you return your cart. At my store, you’ll see people ‘buying’ carts from each other in the parking lot, to save someone else a bit of time.
I bring two quarters, in case I spot someone who forgot theirs. A nice man once gave me a quarter, and I like to try to pass it on.
This practice saves you money, since Aldi doesn’t have to employ a cart-retriever person.
Bring your own shopping bags. I use a cloth grocery bag and some plastic bags I’m reusing from other stores. Once, I brought a laundry basket and put it in my cart. I just put all of my groceries in the basket and didn’t bother with bags at all.
If you forget bags, you can use cardboard boxes you can find throughout the store (often, there’s a stash of boxes near the bagging area).
Or, you can buy a few paper bags (or reusable bags) at the checkout.
You’ll bag your groceries yourself, after you’ve paid. This is another way the store reduces its overhead to save you money. It doesn’t have to employ a bagger and it doesn’t have to buy tons and tons of bags.
You must pay with cash or debit only. To avoid expensive credit card merchant fees, Aldi just doesn’t accept credit cards. Checks
Don’t be afraid to try an Aldi product! The store has a double-guarantee, meaning if you don’t like an item, you can return it and they’ll refund your money and replace the product, if you’d like another one. I’ve never had a reason to use that guarantee, though, as everything I’ve bought there has been surprisingly good.
If there’s an Aldi near you, but you haven’t ever visited it, why not give it a try? Find a store here.
Do you shop at Aldi? What has your experience been like?
(Photo: I took this picture of my 6 roses, purchased at Aldi for $2.99. I bought them four days ago, and they’re still fresh, sweet-smelling and beautiful!)