Last week, I had my first experience shopping at Aldi, a global discount supermarket chain. I’ve heard my friends and family rave again and again how much they saved shopping at Aldi, and I finally decided to give it a try. I wasn’t disappointed – I probably saved a third or more than if I had gone to a traditional grocery store.
What makes Aldi special? They cut costs in almost every way possible to pass the savings onto you. Here’s what you’ll need to do for a successful Aldi experience:
1) Forget Brand Names
Most of the items in the store were not popular brand names you may be used to buying. Aldi sells a majority of private label items, which is cheaper for the company and thus, the customer. So far, everything “off-brand” I’ve purchased tastes just as good as the major brand names!
2) Bring a Quarter
You’ll have to deposit a quarter in order to use a shopping cart. This reduces costs because the store doesn’t have to pay someone to collect shopping carts all day. You get your quarter back when you’re done shopping and put your cart away with the others.
3) Supply Your Own Bags
To save on bags, customers must bring their own bag or pay a very small price for paper or plastic. Personally, I bought my own reusable bag from Aldi, which I recommend because it was large enough to fit all my groceries. You must bag your own groceries as well.
4) Expect No Frills
Aldi is definitely not arranged like a regular grocery store. Items are displayed in boxes, not shelves, as this is more efficient for restocking. The store is much smaller in size than other grocers, and don’t expect to find an excess of workers available.
5) Prepare For Multiple Trips
If you have a lengthy and specific grocery list, don’t expect to find everything. Aldi typically carries only the most popular grocery items (out of my list of 20 items Aldi carried 15 of them). You may have to run to another grocery store, but don’t let this turn you away. The savings are definitely worth the trip!
Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant