Shopping At Aldi: A Quick Guide For First Timers
Let me start off this article by stating that neither Alex nor myself have ever set foot inside of an Aldi. Yes, us as The Thrifty Couple, have never been to the “utterly amazing grocery store for all frugal people.” In fact, we live 643 miles from the nearest Aldi. We have a store called Winco, which could be like shopping at Aldi, but we usually just end up at their local Kroger called Smiths and shop the coupons and markdown deals.
However, we have sought out the expertise of the lifelong Aldi shopper, who is also a super frugal money ninja to share 6 tips for a first timer shopping at Aldi… and who knows… perhaps we will be able to grace the doors of an Aldi one day and experience that All-around Aldi joy that so many of you speak of!
But you might want to also check out the other frugal living tips for shopping anywhere, no matter what store you shop at.
Before we begin, although we haven’t personally shopped at an Aldi, we do have a resource that provides the BEST grocery deals at all stores across the country. These grocery lists are updated weekly, so don’t miss out on the best deals in your area by checking out the weekly grocery deal shopping lists.
The Aldi grocery store chain is quickly growing to be mighty popular. Fans of the store rave over the low prices and high quality of the items they purchase there, and it is no wonder: Aldi has a selection of organic and gluten-free foods that have been said to rival well known Trader Joe’s and even Whole Foods. If you’re ready to start saving and eating better, Aldi is a great place to start. But before you head to the store for the first time, there are a few things you need to know.
Shopping at Aldi: You’ll need a quarter
Everyone has a relative who is well known for the cheap– I mean, there ability to pinch a penny (I’m that relative, in case you were wondering). Aldi is that relative in grocery store form. The grocery store is known to cut corners creatively, one of the more well-known ways being that in order to use their shopping carts, you need a quarter to unlock them. Don’t worry, the quarter sits snugly in its slot, and when your shopping trip is complete, you lock the cart back into place, take your quarter and get yourself back home. The reason? With your quarter locked into your cart, you’ll return the cart to its location in order to get your money. Not needing an employee to wrangle carts equals more savings for you.
Shopping at Aldi: Bring a bag, buy a bag, or use a box
Another thing you need to know is that if you don’t remember to bring shopping bags, you’ll be buying those at the end of your trip. Aldi saves money on their bottom line by encouraging their customers to purchase bags if they haven’t brought their own. If you’re like many of us, you forget the bags at home. If you’re forgetful, don’t fret. There are many empty boxes floating around the store that each customer is welcome to use in order to tote their grocery haul home.
Shopping at Aldi: Name brands aren’t highlighted
The focus in Aldi’s stores is not selling a name brand. Instead, there are occasional branded products mixed in with a majority of off-brand products that you may not be familiar with. For picky eaters, this may make you feel a little nervous, but don’t worry: Aldi has an amazing guarantee on their products: not only will you get your money back if you are dissatisfied, they will also allow you to choose another product of the same value, with hopes of satisfying you in the future.
Shopping at Aldi: Buying organic got a whole lot less expensive
So many of us are trying to be conscious of what we put in our bodies. Aldi is aware of that, and they have an organic product for almost every item they carry, including their eggs, dairy, and pasta. Unlike many stores that you may frequent, there is not a HUGE markup on the organic products. If you are hoping to incorporate more healthy fruits, vegetables and condiments (yes, they have organic condiments), you have come to the right place.
Shopping at Aldi: You’ll be bagging your own groceries
If you’re hoping for the full grocery store experience where you’re ushered into a beautiful facility where they bag your groceries and give you a hug before bidding you adieu, this isn’t the grocery store for you. Aldi is a very utilitarian looking store; their main goal is to save you lots of money versus impressing you with how cool their interiors are. Not only are you going to be sacrificing looks, you’ll also be bagging your own groceries at the end of your trip. Once you see how much you’ve saved, you won’t even be mad about that.
Shopping at Aldi: There is more than just food there
While you’re shopping, take some time to check into the other things Aldi has to offer. In addition to having inexpensive groceries, the shop also has a great selection of home goods and necessary items for the household. Great example? I picked up a wok there over the weekend for $9. I challenge you to find a better deal than that on a great pan – you won’t wok away from it . . . aren’t you glad the savings are better than my jokes?
If you have never shopped at Aldi before, it will seem a little strange at first. You’re used to being in a place with bags, without quarter slot carts, and where you don’t have to pack anything up at the end yourself. Trust me, once you’ve been initiated, you’ll want to be a member of this club for a long time.
The inspiration for this article all started with the popularity of a Facebook post, sharing this mom’s tips for shopping at Aldi. So we decided to start with the basics here for those first-timers or beginning Aldi shoppers.
Check out this video for additional Aldi tips!