I go shopping daily. Call me crazy, but I need at least a few items every single day. For the past five years, my favorite stores have included Whole Foods, Giant, Trader Joe’s and Costco. I was very content with this group of stores. But we moved, so I needed to find new stores and new shopping patterns. I visited Aldi for the first time about 6 months ago and I did not find it very interesting or exciting at all. I actually found it overwhelming and unlike all other shopping experiences I was familiar with. So, when a friend offered to take me on a shopping date I could not say no. She made me fall in love with Aldi in one trip. Since our date? I have been to Aldi at least 3-4 times a week and I love it more each time. Since you may not have an awesome friend like Naomi, I am here to explain to you exactly why you should shop at Aldi. I am writing this post because there is a lot of misinformation and many people are afraid to try this new shopping experience. Stay calm and read through my top 10 things you need to know before visiting your local Aldi.
10 things you need to know about Aldi
- You must enjoy saving money! Yup, this is rule number one. You cannot be a snob who only likes to buy fancy escargot at Whole Foods for $50. You must not be brand loyal and you must want to save lots of money each trip. Does this rule sound easy enough? If so, you will love shopping at Aldi and you will have money leftover to treat yourself to a Starbucks, a movie or even a dinner out with the family.
- Keep an Aldi’s quarter in your purse so you can use a shopping cart while you shop. What exactly does this mean? I need to clear something up that confused me on my first trip. Using a cart does not cost $.25! You put your quarter in the slot which gives you access to the shopping cart. BUT, when you return the cart to the carriage return area, WHERE THE CART BELONGS, you get your quarter back. Isn’t it annoying when you find a parking lot full of shopping carts? Not at Aldi! Everyone returns their cart because they want to get their quarter back. Such a genius idea! You can see where the quarter fits in on the photo below.
- Be prepared to try a new brand and new foods. Aldi sells most products that are their own brands. They are related to Trader Joe’s, so if you are willing to try your luck with the Trader Joe’s brands, you will be even happier trying a cheaper Aldi product. You will recognize few brands on the shelves, but remember, you are here to save money, not to find the Folger’s coffee or Chex cereal. Aldi will probably carry their own brand of all your favorites, just at half the price. And just so you know, the food is probably exactly the same thing you would pay 3x more for at the big box stores. If you feel the need to feed your family Chex cereal and not the rice squares, by all means do that instead.
- The shelves are pretty ugly, items are shelved in boxes, but honestly who cares! The items for sale at Aldi are slapped onto shelves in ugly boxes. Most grocery stores have beautiful displays and entice you to buy their products with the colors and shiny boxes. I am not falling for this trick any longer. I prefer saving money and choosing my products from these boxes. Give it a try, it might not bother you for long either. It is hard to deprogram yourself from what you are used to, but this is worth trying out.
- You can find lots of organic products at Aldi. Yes, you can! And they are all reasonably priced too. Each day there is a variety of organic produce to choose from. There is also a whole line of organic boxed food options. Take your time and you will discover many organic treats at Aldi. They are also expanding their organic line so soon you will have even more to choose from.
- Do you enjoy cheap fruits and vegetables, then you really need to visit Aldi soon. Each week they feature a few Produce Picks of the week. These picks are super low priced items. I almost always buy a few of these specially priced items because they are such a great deal. In the past few weeks I have found blueberry flats for $.49, Avocados for $.39, bags of baby carrots $.49, limes $.25, grapefruit for $.29 and 3 pounds of apples for $1.69! Really amazing prices, don’t you think?
- You will need to bag your own groceries. Yup, the cashier sits on a high stool and scans each item on the conveyor belt and tosses it all into an empty cart. You then take your cart of food over to a shelving area and you can take as long as you need to bag up your groceries. You also need to bring your own bags or buy some bags. If you live in a state where you usually bring your own bags you are used to this part already. If not, buy a few nice reusable bags and leave them in your trunk. Bagging your groceries only takes a few minutes and also saves you money. Winning!
- Buy your bread and dairy at Aldi. Bread is really well priced at Aldi and it is made with better ingredients as well. Aldi has many kinds of bread, rolls, croissants, cakes, donuts, english muffins, they have it all! Dairy is also really reasonable. Milk, eggs, yogurt, all well priced. Lots of cheeses to choose from too. I cannot tell you how much lower the prices are, you will have to go check it out for yourself.
- You can find great birthday gifts at Aldi. I know, weird right? I have found some unique and really fun birthday gifts at my Aldi. You just never know what goodies you will find. I have bought some great coloring books, science projects and a Frozen floor puzzle. All these gifts are really reasonably priced. Everything in this picture was under $5! Great deals all around. You really need to take your time and go down each aisle uncovering the goodies.
- You can pay with credit cards!!! You can also pay with cash or debit cards. But credit card payment is a huge big deal! Our store started to take credit cards starting on February 1st, 2016. This is a huge thing for me because I do not carry cash and I do not have a debit card. But now with credit card payments, the sky is the limit! I hope you enjoyed reading my 10 reasons why you should be shopping at Aldi. Leave me a comment and let me know if you are ready to give Aldi a try!