The German grocery chain Aldi is taking the States by a storm, and now more than ever it's the place to stock up on all your grocery items. With new stores popping up, and the supermarket chain announcing more selections of fresh produce, we thought it would be the perfect time for a crash-course into the discount grocery store.
It is a totally different experience than what happens when you hit up a Shop Rite or H-E-B but in the best way possible. While we still love H-E-B, Aldi offers extreme savings and some consumers have boasted that their grocery bills were cut in half after a trip or two to Aldi.
1. Aldi is open during peak hours.
That means 9AM-8PM Monday -Saturday and 10am-7pm Sunday, so there aren't late night trips to the grocery store if Aldi is your go-to-market. Extended hours would increase their costs and keep their products inexpensive without raising costs, similar to Trader Joe's internal branding, is how they roll.
2. Aldi is a store of meticulous planning.
You'll get a circular in the mail a full two weeks before sale prices are in effect. This is super helpful if you are a meal planner or couponer.
This also makes it easy to fit Aldi into your regular shopping plans if you aren't loyal to one market exclusively. Aldi wants you to shop around with prices because they're confident they have the lowest ones around.
3. No name-brands here.
Most of the items at Aldi are not the brands you are used to seeing at other supermarkets as there are no big-name labels or frills here to keep the cost of your shop low. Actually, they pride themselves on being no frills so don't expect fancy signs or cartoon characters enticing you to come a little closer.
Here, you'll find simple yellow signs with the store brands name and prices. Just because it's no frills doesn't mean the quality is bad. As the website states,
"ALDI brands are made of the same, or even higher, quality than national brands. Plus, they're backed by our Double Guarantee. So you can be sure you and your family will trust ALDI brands for delicious satisfaction."
4. Be sure to check out the Aldi Finds.
Aldi Finds are just that: the current week's specials and great finds. Aldi explains, "These are our premium food and household products that are only in stores for a limited time."
These finds can run the range from mops to mozzarella. If there is a big event, like Cinco de Mayo or the SuperBowl, expect themed or grouped special buys.
5. If you are shopping for meat, do it on Wednesday.
Aldi introduces a fresh meat buy in the middle of the week for a great, inexpensive deal that sells out quickly.
6. Come with a shopping bag to carry your stuff home.
Because they aren't giving you one. They will, however, sell you a paper bag. So, after you are checked out, you can take your paid-for items right to the baggage counter and have at it. If you were using a shopping cart, just roll it right up.
7. You bag your own groceries.
Most people end up preferring since they have a specific way of packing their items to suit their needs. Aldi stores are big on being green and sustainable without raising costs so there will be no waste or extraneous space in stores, including employees. The store doesn't bag in plastic bags but rather prefer you to bring your own bags. Or better yet grab some empty boxes from around the store and use those to pack.
8. You will need a quarter to borrow a cart from the cart corral for your grocery shopping.
Don't worry, you will get your quarterback, but you have to return the cart first. The bonus here is that there are no rogue carts rolling around in the parking lot looking to ding up your car. Plus it keeps the rock-bottom prices possible.
9. Don't expect a giant store.
There are four to five aisles with everything, so much smaller than your average supermarket. They pride themselves on an easy shopping experience with spacious checkout and easy-to-spot prices.
As Aldi says,
"While a typical supermarket carries about 30,000 items, we sell only the weekly must-haves - most of which are our high-quality brands. Smaller inventory means smaller stores, which leads to lower rent and electricity costs. This allows us to pass the savings onto you."
10. In the end, Aldi is an excellent place to buy your basics.
From pantry restocking to refrigerated needs because their no-frills approach means their prices are always lower than other supermarkets.
Want to take a tour before you go there? Hit up their virtual site to explore and get your game plan ready.
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