Have you heard of ALDI? Are you considering shopping there, but unsure what the store is like, if their products are high quality, or if ALDI will really save you money? I am giving you the 411 on ALDI, including all the incredible ways they will save you money and become your new favorite store.
Are you contemplating shopping at ALDI? Drop what you are doing; get in your car and GO NOW!!! Actually, wait until you read the rest of this post–I will give you pointers to have the best experience with ALDI possible.
Growing up with a frugal mom, I learned quickly the value of saving a dollar–especially when it came to never ending mouths to feed! My mom shopped at ALDI for years for staples like sugar, flour, vanilla, and spices.
When I moved out on my own there wasn’t an ALDI nearby and I was heartbroken. I lived close enough to make a monthly trip for a few pantry staples, but soon after moved south where an ALDI was out of driving range for me.
Recently my town opened a new ALDI and I do believe that I was one of their first customers. But the store had changed drastically in the decade that I hadn’t been shopping there and changed for the better!! I could not get over all ALDI had to offer and was so pleasantly surprised once I tried the new products–ALDI was not only a place that would save me money, but was a place that provided REAL food options for a healthy, budget-minded cook. I fell in love all over again with ALDI.
So when I was asked if I wanted to head over to the ALDI US Headquarters to learn more about the store, it was a no-brainer for me. And I am so excited to pass on what I learned and my own personal experiences with ALDI to you, my precious readers, who I view as my friends.
I am breaking down the reasons WHY you will love ALDI and helping you understand the store so you can make the most of your experience at ALDI.
ALDI 101: Know Before You Go: 10 Ways ALDI Saves You Money
BRING A QUARTER
The first step to a successful ALDI trip is to have a quarter ready to go. You slip the quarter into a slot on the cart and the cart is freed for your shopping pleasure. When you return the cart after your shopping experience, you get your quarter back. This simple process eliminates the need for ALDI to hire people to retrieve carts. And it keeps the parking lot free of stray carts–which means your car stays free of dents–amen to that! My advice is to keep a quarter in your console for your ALDI shopping trips—you will never have to worry about having spare change.
BRING CASH/DEBIT CARD
ALDI only accepts cash or debit. They do this in an order to save themselves the processing fee that is associated with checks and credit cards. They don’t keep this savings to themselves; ALDI passes that savings on to the consumer. And just a bit of advice–cash means you usually are tempted to spend less. This keeps your temptations in check and makes you stick to your grocery list, which is just another way you can save yourself money!
*I did find out that ALDI is trying out credit card use in a limited market. If they feel that it is successful, without costing us consumers more, they will open it up nationwide. I will keep you posted on that.
SET UP LIKE A WAREHOUSE
When you walk into an ALDI, it will remind you of a warehouse, a small warehouse. This design equals huge savings for ALDI operating costs, which trickles down to us consumers. The small store has just 4-5 aisles and the products are placed out in boxes or on pallets. This allows ALDI to easily restock the stores and to take inventory. Less work to stock the store means fewer employees needed, which equals money in YOUR pocket.
BRING YOUR OWN BAGS
Think of ALDI as a “Green” store. They are not spending their money on plastic bags, in turn not filling our landfills with those bags. And if you forget your bags, no problem. Use one of the many boxes that they recycle at the store to cart your groceries home. I personally prefer to use the boxes verses the bags–I can carry more groceries into my house at once and think of it as a little weight training. 🙂
BAG YOUR OWN GROCERIES
Yes, you have to bag your own groceries, which many people state they do not like. Why does ALDI not bag your groceries for you? Again, it boils down to saving the store money, which keeps their costs low. They don’t have to hire baggers! I don’t mind bagging my groceries at all. In fact, I think of it as an opportunity to get my groceries organized as I pack them up–plus I save my bread from being squashed by canned goods or my raw meat from being bagged with fresh produce by a distracted bagger–Unfortunately, I have had that happen on many occasions at other stores.
EXCLUSIVE ALDI BRANDS
ALDI works with large manufactures for many of their products, but yet they design their own labels and packaging. So while your granola bar may not have the flashiest of wrappers, the quality inside the wrapper can’t be beat and the savings is passed on to you. And really does the packaging matter? It all comes down to taste and quality for me.
Double Guarantee? You are probably curious as to what that it is because if you have not shopped at ALDI before you will have NEVER heard of this. What does it mean? ALDI is so sure of the high quality of their products that if you are unhappy with something, simply bring it back to the store and get a full refund AND a replacement product. So if you cheese was not fresh, get your money back and a new package of cheese. If you try out something and don’t like it, bring it back and choose something else, although I highly doubt that you will EVER be disappointed.
With exception to rotating Special Buys, (see below for more detail), what ALDI offers will remain pretty consistent week in and week out. What you will not find at ALDI is 12 different brands of salsa. Instead you will find 3-4 ALDI salsas that have been tried and true. Most of the products they offer are ALDI brand–and they are fabulous!! The quality of their cheeses is enough to make any chef swoon.
NO FANCY DISPLAYS
ALDI is no muss, no fuss. A simple shopping experience. You will not be distracted by displays at every corner, nor will you be tricked by fancy advertising. The products stand alone and the quality of those products and the low prices are what keeps customers returning.
Many of you have asked if ALDI accepts coupons or ever plans to accept coupons. The answer: NO. Why? The prices are already as low as they can go. Coupons are not necessary. So stop wasting your time clipping and just shop. Don’t you find that coupons typically make you buy more as well? If I have a coupon for a product I don’t need but it looks good, I usually cave in and buy it–so really coupons actually cost me money! And if you are honest, they probably cost you as well.
Why ALDI is the FIRST Place I shop:
SUPPORTS A GREAT CORPORATION
Fact: ALDI pays it employees over the industry standard and offers full benefits for any employee who works 25 hours or more. I love supporting a company that treats it’s people right!
ALDI has a selection of goods that changes weekly or monthly based on supply and demand, known as the Special Buys. This is an incredibly FUN section. I have found everything from cute rain boots to great holiday candies to a dehydrator at rock bottom prices. You never know what might treasure you may be fortunate to stumble across.
WINE SELECTION/CHOCOLATE SELECTION
Oh yes, I am a lover of all things healthy. But I do love my chocolate and wine on occasion (okay daily for chocolate, sometimes 3 times a day!) Plus chocolate and wine have antioxidants, right?! ALDI has a selection that can rival any store. The chocolate is creamy and decadent and comes in all varieties. And the wine–well how can you not love a bottle of wine that costs $6 but tastes like it costs $25?
On my recent trip to the ALDI US headquarters, I was fortunate enough to participate in a little blind taste testing. We tasted the national brand and the ALDI brand, unaware of which product was which. 80% of the time, I choose the ALDI brand to the National Brand–staggering in my opinion. ALDI says they do not compromise on taste, texture, or consistency, and are always striving to improve their quality and products. Let me tell you, my taste buds agree that ALDI is doing it right.
The MOST EXCITING thing I learned during my trip to ALDI was that by the end of 2015, all ALDI exclusive products will be free from MSG, synthetic food coloring, and hydrogenated oils–this makes shopping so much easier for me! I seriously want to throw a party this makes me so happy.
ALDI also has 4 lines of products for the healthy shopper in mind.
- liveGfree: High-quality, great tasting, and affordable gluten free products. One of my favorites is the Gluten Free Multi Seed Crackers crackers which only costs $1.49
- Simply Nature: This line of products is free from over 125 artificial ingredients and preservatives and many are certified USDA organic.
- Fit & Active: Less fat, less sodium and fewer calorie products designed for the active person.
- Never Any! This is one new line ALDI has rolled out that has me excited. It is deli meat and bacon without nitrates, preservatives, artificial ingredients, or antibiotics. I am so pumped to be able to see this label and be able to buy it without having to carefully scan the ingredient label.
SAVES ME MONEY
For this frugal mom, a dollar saved makes me a happy lady. Great quality for low prices–well how can I NOT be ecstatic? ALDI is known for their Switch & Save campaign which states, “Switching to ALDI-exclusive brands saves you up to 50% off over national brands.” From my experience, this is accurate. I save so much money at ALDI and love their products so much. For me, and for YOU, shopping at ALDI just makes sense!!
Now what are you waiting for? Grab those keys, a quarter, your reusable bags and get in the car and go to ALDI.
*The Double Guarantee does not apply to non-food Special Buy items, alcohol or national brands.
**Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.