We have an Aldi grocery store that is fairly close to our house. If you are not familiar with Aldi - it basically is a discount grocery chain. According to their web site, Aldi "operates over 1,000 stores in 31 states. Through a select assortment and convenient grocery shopping approach, they offer customers the highest quality everyday items at the lowest possible prices. It is Simply Smarter Shopping."
I have been into Aldi several times. I often went in there to peruse the aisles and see what they had. But I never bought anything because I wasn't prepared. That's the thing about Aldi. You have to be prepared to shop. Let me explain.
1. You need a quarter. Why? Because in order to get a cart, you need to insert a quarter into the shopping cart and it releases the cart. Simply return the cart at the end of your shopping trip and you will get your quarter back. Nice! They do this so it cuts down on the labor of collecting carts left in the parking lot and the savings can be passed on to the consumer.
2. Bring your own bags or you will get charged. And be prepared to pack your own bags. During the check out process, they simply scan the items and put them in another cart. Then you take that cart over to a packing area and pack your own bags. A little time consuming? Yes. But again - this cuts down on the labor and it allows me to use my own bags and help the environment.
3. You will save a lot of money. Aldi is cheap. Really cheap. I went yesterday and spent $60. And I got a lot of food. I was wary at first about going there because I know they don't have a lot of organic foods and I worry about GMOs in my food. However, according to their web site - they have a 'No GM' ingredient policy that requires all
of their own label products to be free from GM ingredients. Nice! Very cool. Go Aldi. Thanks for being aware of this and helping us as the consumer eat better foods!
4. You can only pay for items using cash or a debit card. Now, I never use my debit card at stores. I mean - I use it but I always press the "credit" button. This saves me 50 cents every time. However, they don't allow the credit option at Aldi. So I had no choice but to use the debit option. I do think it was worth the extra 50 cents that the bank charges because of the huge savings I had on my food. That being said, I could also have gone and gotten cash at the bank. But that is also a pain the butt. So in the future, I will suck it up and just use the debit option and pay the 50 cents.
All in all - I had a very pleasant shopping experience. I think I might be an Aldi convert. The money that I saved was crazy! For instance, olive oil that is normally $7.99 at Hannaford was only $2.99 at Aldi. And I picked up a turkey breast that is all natural and it was $9.99. That was a good price! I was very pleased with the assortment. I will definitely be shopping there again.