How to shop at Aldi

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Mary Hopper spent years helping MoRA turn from an idea into the impactful non-profit it is today, and we talked about her invaluable contributions to our volunteers. She took a step back from our organization nearly two years ago but returns with this guest article after discovering MoRA Point’s Aldi.

Bring your own bags

While you can buy bags at check out and often find boxes around the store, you probably have bags. Bring them with you. Think of it as a Trader Joe’s experience.

Keep a quarter handy

Friendly shoppers have been known to make change or sometimes even give you their shopping cart. Otherwise, to use a shopping cart you will need to insert a quarter to unhook it.  For reasons I do not understand, this offends some people. You get your quarter back when you are done with the cart.

Grab a flyer as you enter

Better yet, have Aldi send you their newsletter and check the specials online as you make your shopping list.

Take your time

With any new store, it will take a few trips to see what areas are a special draw to you. Once you know that, shopping will go more quickly.

Don’t overlook “the finds”

In addition to food, Aldi has items that come and go on a weekly basis. On one visit they had yoga mats, kitchen gadgets, and children’s items — in other words, it is an odd but interesting assortment. Their Mother’s Day scented candles compared to those costing $50-60 but were $7… and a week later you could pick up any that were left at half price. A standing mixer that was available a few months back compared well against KitchenAid models costing much more. Finds are listed in their flyers.

Don’t complain if you are stuck in line: they move fast

I admit it.  When people gripe about having to wait in line, I start talking about how their business model makes their groceries cost significantly less and that staff is a major expense in all stores. In truth, I have found the cashiers to be fast as that is their payment system.

Bag your groceries

The cashier puts your items back into your cart. Take them to the nearby area to bag them in the store, or wait until you get to your car and bag or unload them there.

Get your quarter back

Or pass the cart along to someone who is coming in.  Sometimes they will give you a quarter or you can feel generous and just give them the buggy.