I've been hearing about Aldi for years now from other frugal bloggers. But it's only recently that Aldi opened stores here in Northern Virginia. I've been shopping there and especially happy with refilling my pantry and produce drawers for less! Check out these tips for smart shopping at Aldi.
Spend a quarter
This is genius and I don’t know why all grocery stores haven’t caught on, but for a mere quarter, you borrow a shopping cart. After you are finished and have loaded up your car, you return your cart and get your quarter right back. The reason why I say “spend a quarter” is because this is a great chance to do a good deed and pass the shopping cart onto another customer going into the store. What a fun way to make someone smile, and hopefully they will pay it forward, too. Bonus–no wayward shopping carts in the parking lot (my van's taillight was smashed by a row of carts in a wind storm a few years ago–boo!).
Coupons not necessary
Is this bad news? Many of us don't want to deal with coupons anymore. The prices at Aldi are almost always lower than the average grocery store, even when you are clipping coupons. I have noticed that occasionally a few produce items on my list are the same price as the regular grocery store, but overall my receipts are much lower. If you were never a coupon clipper, or you want to save time by skipping it, then Aldi is your store.
Pack your bags
If you have ever dreamed of being a bag boy or girl at a supermarket, (and frankly, who hasn’t?) now is your chance! Bring your own grocery bags to Aldi, use their boxes they keep on hand for you to use for this purpose, or for just a few cents, buy their handy bags. Then, once you go through their speedy check out, move on over to their long counter areas to pack your bags. This step helps keep prices low so that they don’t have to keep plastic or paper bags on hand. Oh, and there is one less question to answer at check-out! Paper or plastic? Keep your bags in your car and try, try, try to remember them each time you go to the store.
Less choices = less time spent
For years now, I spent so much time in stores comparing products and prices. Now, I value my time a lot more. It's true that Aldi doesn't have as many choices of products and brands, but I actually appreciate it. I am in and out with plenty of time for other errands. This is also super helpful if your kids usually tag along and have a hard time deciding on a cereal or a snack item.
On the rare occasion that you purchase and try a product from Aldi that isn’t what you expected or you weren’t satisfied in any way, just return it and get your money back. They will also offer you a product as a replacement to try. I don’t know of any store that actually offers this type of return policy, and they really value their customer service.
Aldi brands rule
There are few name brand items that are sold at Aldi, but don’t be afraid to try the store brand. They are choosy about what they sell and you should each of them a try. You have nothing to lose (because of that guarantee!). We go through so many of our pantry items with all the cooking we do, that I prefer them over the name brands. This is just another great way that Aldi can keep their prices low. Most packages compare their product to the brand name, so keep your eye out for that as well.
Save a ton. Give Aldi a try and keep track of how your grocery bill looks over some time. If you end up saving as little as $25 a week, just think–that is $1300 a year! Once you get used to the Aldi way of shopping, it’s so easy to see why so many people love not only the lower prices, the taste of all of the products, but how easy it is to get in and get out!
Have you tried shopping at Aldi? What are your tips?