Aldi is my favorite grocery store! Often people tell me they are hesitant to shop there because they know it’s not like other grocery stores. So I’ve put together some easy tips in this guide to shopping at Aldi!
I remember years ago when Aldi first came to our small town. I knew a few people who shopped there and loved it, but I had never ventured in.
I knew that it was different from other stores, I knew that they mostly carried their brand, that you had to take bags with you… and then there was the whole quarter for your cart thing.
So I shopped at the “normal” grocery store for a long time until I heard so many people talk about Aldi that I knew I needed to check it out.
I am so glad I did.
I shop there every week. If I’m having a crazy week I order through Instacart and have it delivered, but either way each week our house is fully stocked with goodies from Aldi!
By now shopping at Aldi is second nature to me, I no longer notice the difference between it and other grocery chains, I could probably shop our local store blindfolded!
With three hungry boys in the house, Aldi is a huge help in keeping my grocery budget in check while keeping everyone full and happy!
If you’ve never shopped at Aldi it really isn’t complicated, it isn’t that different from other grocery stores but there are a few things to remember for your first trip so that you can shop like a pro!
The Ultimate Guide to Shopping at Aldi-
#1- Take a Quarter-
This is one of the first questions a lot of people ask, why do I need a quarter?? Aldi’s carts are parked and locked together you pop in a quarter to unlock a cart so that you can use it to shop.
When you are done shopping and return your cart you get your quarter back! The reason Aldi has this cart system is because it saves them money and then they can pass those savings on to their customers. They don’t have to pay someone to gather up carts from the parking lot or replace carts that get broken in the parking lot. (Did you know shopping carts cost a couple hundred dollars??)
#2- Take Reusable Bags-
Unlike most grocery stores that hand out a bazillion plastic bags a year, Aldi encourages reusable bags, which is something I love!
You can purchase bags at Aldi, they have a great selection of paper, plastic, insulated and reusable. Sometimes I forget to take my bags or I go in for a few things and end up with more than I thought so I grab a few paper bags.
Some people gather empty boxes as they shop and use them in replacement of bags.
#3- You’re the Bagger-
No matter which bag option you choose you’ll be the one doing the bagging. Aldi’s cashiers are super quick and will have you checked out in no time! Once you pay for your groceries you can move over to the handy counter they have just for bagging. Often when it is nice out I like to take mine outside and bag it right in my trunk.
I actually really like to bag my own groceries. I sort things as I go, freezer items, produce, dry goods that go in the pantry, it makes putting things away quick and easy when I get home!
#4- Forget Brand Names-
90% of what Aldi says is their own brand, you’ll only find a handful of name brand items.
Now, for people with crazy brand loyalty this may be a turn-off but let me tell you, try the Aldi brand. We have found that we like the Aldi brand just as well, sometimes better than name-brands!
I highly recommend trying their specialty and limited-time items, there are always some tasty treats!
They also have a “Twice as Nice Guarantee” if your not satisfied with your purchase they will not only refund your purchase but also replace your product. You can find the full details here.
#5 – The Store Displays are Different-
When you are used to typical store shelves Aldi’s can look a little different from what you’d expect. There are no fancy displays fighting for your attention, or 15 different brands of butter to choose from.
Aldi displays their items in their cases, so the aisles are lined with boxes of food. They are always neat and organized, and things are easy to find, but you’re grabbing it straight out of the case it shipped in.
Since most everything is Aldi brand the selection is smaller, there is plenty of variety, lots to choose from, but there isn’t the overwhelming selection that you see in a lot of stores…. Maybe it is just me but I’ve taken 10 minutes to pick out toothpaste before!
#6 Try the Pizza and the Wine!
We are big fans of pizza at my house… really who isn’t? We order pizza, make our own… we aren’t picky. One of our favorites is Aldi’s take and bake pizza. It is really delicious and at around $5 it is a great deal! There are a variety of toppings to choose from and you can even grab some cheesy breadsticks to go with it!
If you are so inclined you might want to try a bottle of Aldi wine. It was recently I got to try their wine (our store is in a dry county) and let me tell you I was pleasantly surprised at the tastiness of a $3.99 Moscato! They have a huge selection of varieties at a number of price points, some of it is even award-winning! Grab a couple of bottles and enjoy!
#7 – Aldi is More Than Groceries-
Each week Aldi has something new to offer! There is an ever-changing aisle that is full of goodies that you didn’t know you couldn’t live without! It is one of the reasons I love shopping at Aldi! Everything from candles, cookware and home decor to pet products, organizational items, tools, and toys… a little bit of everything can be found! I personally love their candles, and even got my toilet seat there!! (It is one of the ones that closes gently and it was only $19.99 it is the best toilet seat we’ve ever had!)
So there it is my guide to shopping at Aldi. If you’ve been driving past one on your way to the store and wondering if you should stop in, I hope this made you decide to try it!
You’ll find so many staple items at amazingly low prices, new favorites your family will love, and you’ll be happy with the effect it has on your grocery budget!!