If you’re a mom and you’ve never done your grocery shopping at ALDI, you’re missing out. You might be wondering – are ALDI prices really that low? Will I really save more than a couple of bucks? Is the quality as good as name brands?
Let me explain. ALDI is a no-frills, down and dirty grocery store – no free bags, no one bagging your groceries, no cart corrals, no fancy displays, and a much, much smaller selection of brands. Cutting out all of these frills allows them to keep their prices low, every day.
The unique grocery store model can make it a little bit of a challenge to shop there for the first time. If you’re not prepared, you’ll likely just be frustrated. But, don’t worry, I have you covered with these five helpful tips for shopping at ALDI for the first time:
- Bring your own bags. There are no bags provided at ALDI. Make sure you bring your own reusable bags. They have paper bags available for five cents each, but who wants to pay for paper bags when we all have a ton of them at home?! In an emergency, if you forget a bag, you grab an empty box from any shelf in the store (which are easy to come by) and use it for your purchases.
- Shop early for the best selection. This one mostly applies to the produce selection. We tend to be morning shoppers, so it took me quite some time to figure this one out. When you shop ALDI in the morning, the shelves are fully stocked. If you do your shopping later in the day, the produce selection can be hit or miss.
- Don’t expect name brands. 90% of all products sold at ALDI are exclusive brands. The lack of brand names means a lack of choice – which, for me, is a huge selling point. It helps me with decision making and cuts down the time it takes to get through the store. There’s really only one option for each item in the store. When they do offer name brand products, they are on a rotation, and you never know what to expect. They’re more “pleasant surprise” products and are usually at a discounted price from a traditional grocery store.
- Expect the unexpected. ALDI fans rave about ALDI Finds, which are new, exclusive products that come in each week for a limited time. The ALDI Finds can range from food items to home goods to toys to holiday essentials and more. You truly never know what you’re going to find. For example, I found managed to find Mickey Mouse kids’ luggage for $20 right before our trip to Disney. Score!
- Most importantly, always have a quarter on hand. Don’t forget this one – as I said, it’s the most important. ALDI doesn’t have cart corrals in their parking lots, and they require shoppers to “pay” a quarter to use a cart. You insert a quarter into their carts to get them to unlock from one another. Then, you get your quarter back when you return your cart.
Another major selling point to shopping at ALDI…they recently announced Curbside Pick-up, at select locations. They don’t have it at my location yet, but I’m really looking forward to it!
ALDI’s down and dirty selection speeds up grocery trips, cuts back on unnecessary add-ons, AND saves money with their low prices. It’s a win all around. Good luck with your first trip!