November 22, 2014

Aldi Shopping Guide

Sep 7, 2010

A simple guide to shopping and saving at Aldi discount supermarkets!


Now that Aldi stores are popping up here in Texas, I thought I would share what I know about shopping at Aldi.  I lived in Ohio for a short time with an Aldi store just minutes from my house.  While I usually preferred shopping at grocery stores where I could get better deals with coupons, I would shop at Aldi occasionally for their fantastic prices on produce and dairy.  I have really missed that store since moving back to Texas, so I’m really excited that there is now an Aldi not too far from my house!

Here is your guide to shopping at Aldi:

1. Everday Low Prices. Aldi regular prices are great compared to grocery store regular prices.  They have excellent prices on produce and staples like milk, eggs, and cheese.  If you don’t use coupons, then you might find that you can save a lot more by shopping at Aldi.

2. No Coupons. Aldi does not accept coupons.  It wouldn’t make much difference even if they did because they carry very few brand name items.  The brand name items that they do sell could probably be purchased for less with a coupon at another store.

3. Bring a Quarter. You will need to bring a quarter to rent  a shopping cart.  The carts are held together by a sort of chain system.  You have to insert a quarter to remove a cart.  To get your quarter back, you have to return your cart and hook it back up to the chain system. I actually think this is a brilliant idea. (Though I have had to borrow a quarter from someone a time or two, lol!)

4. Bring Shopping Bags. At Aldi you will have to bag your own groceries and bring your own grocery bags.  They do sell some (5¢ for paper, 10¢ for plastic) in case you forget though.  You can also collect empty boxes from around the store to use to transport your groceries.  At checkout, you place your items on the belt and the cashier scans them and places them back in your cart.  You then take you cart to a table along the wall where you bag up your groceries yourself.

5. Double Back Guarantee. Since most of the products sold at Aldi are private label brands you might be wary to try them.  They offer a double back guarantee - if you are dissatisfied with the product, they will replace it AND refund your money!  I have yet to try something from Aldi that I did not like though!

6. Bring Cash. Aldi only accepts cash, debit, or food stamps/EBT cards.

7. Small and Simple. Aldi is able to offer their low prices because they don’t spend a lot of money on “frills.”  They don’t advertise very much or pay for greeters, baggers, or cart-chasers.  They do not really decorate their store or offer a deli, bakery, or butcher.  The store is also very small – which really saves you time!

I really love the simplicity and ease of saving money at Aldi.  If you have one nearby, you might consider stopping in to check it out!

Do you shop at Aldi? What do you like or dislike about it?


Comments

  1. When the founder of Aldi’s died recently, they said in the news that he also was a Trader Joe’s owner. I am wondering if Aldi carries the same stuff just in different packages. Trader Joes is the same way-mostly their own brand stuff, but I found out online that they do take coupons on the name brand stuff they carry. I just prefer more organic, natural foods and less processed foods. I do love the Aldi Turkey Bacon, though! I have a friend that brings it to our yearly girls’ trip and it is great.

    • @Christa, I have heard that about Trader Joes too! I am working towards a more organic/natural diet as well, but there are still several items that we buy that don’t necessarily have to be organic (like bananas and oranges which have thick skins) which can be bought at Aldi. Thanks for the turkey bacon tip – I might have to try some!

  2. This summer I purchased 2 gallons of Aldi milk and 1 of the gallons was bad (but not over the date) when we opened it. I took it back to the store and was offered the double back guarantee! The manager was GREAT to deal with! I was very impressed!

  3. I can vouch for their bagels! Love ‘em! And we buy our Welch’s juice singles there on the cheap (under $.50)! Lots of non-grocery greatness, too. Like an iPhone car charger for only $7 and a set of 4 plastic cutting mats for only $6. Basically, we go for stuff you just cannot find coupons for.

  4. The first time I shopped Aldi was when my husband was stationed in Germany in the early nineties. So, when one opened in Indiana, it brought back memories! They are very similar – there you would insert a deustchmark to get a cart.

    I’ve always had a good experience with the items I bring home, no problems at all.

  5. I shop a lot with coupons and prefer a regular grocery store (Kroger, Albertsons, Tom Thumb) — with all its conveniences. However, I go to Aldi about once a week to buy milk.

  6. They have the best chocolate! Made in Austria and Germany, it’s only a dollar or 2 per large bar and is so smooth and creamy. I always stock up on these to add to gifts (as well as for treats for our own family.) They also have really good refrigerated bake & break cookie dough (try the oatmeal cranberry walnut).

  7. The checkers at Aldi have come to recognize me and my husband as “those crazy people who buy all the milk.” We stop by once a week to pick up 10-12 gallons of milk (always at LEAST $0.50 cheaper than anywhere else) and 5-6 loaves of 100% whole wheat bread for $1.19/loaf. And sometimes a package of their cheese puffs, because my husband’s addicted :). We love Aldi!

  8. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Aldi! Actually, I’m an avid Aldi shopper who has started reading your blog to learn how to coupon. I’ve been shopping there for years and the quality and selection continues to improve. I appreciate their low prices on staples (that don’t seem to have coupons) and the simple hassle-free shopping. I would like to get your thoughts on how you use Aldi in comparison to coupons. I’m on a limited budget so its hard for me to get the basics and have extra for coupons.

    • @Annie, Currently I just shop with coupons at the grocery stores because their locations are more convenient. However, if Aldi was closer I would be making a weekly trip there to buy items that we don’t have coupons for regularly like milk, produce, etc. For pantry items like crackers, canned products, and cereal, I find it’s cheaper to use coupons, especially if you have a store that doubles coupons.

  9. JENNIFER BROWN says:

    I live about 45 mins away from one. To me the outside of the store looked like one of those healthy markets (prolly because its new) so I was always afraid to try it. Now that I know what this store is (just like a Save A Lot) I WILL definetly try it as soon as I have the chance. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this info.

  10. I’m in Texas too, and I am LOVING Aldi, especially since my second is now drinking milk and we go through a gallon every few days. That store has let me start buying produce again too. I am in an area where there are many grocery stores nearby so I have the luxury of going to any and all of them that I would like, so by doing coupon deals at those places and then shopping Aldi for the stuff I NEED and having found cheap with coupons, I am able to save alot. I have totally stopped going to Wal-mart because Aldi is across the street! I always ended up buying more than I needed in that place and I would much prefer dragging two kids down 5 aisles to get what I need than 3 miles to the back of Wal-Mart to get some milk…lol. I also had a great experience with their guarantee recently. I bought a bag of potatoes and when I got home I noticed that some of them were moldy. I took them back, thinking that I would exchange them, but i was given another bag AND a refund! The cashier called the manager, who gave me my refund, and while I was shopping she told the cashier about it, so when I got to the register, she knew already not to charge me for the potatoes, and they were so nice about it.

    I have also never tried this chocolate, and I think I may have to ;)

  11. My wife and I have been shopping at Aldi for over two years and love it. The only thing that I don’t like is that sometimes their produce section has a bunch of moldy foods and other times that have some of the best looking fruits and vegetables around. It seems like it depends on the day that you go.

    Maybe it is the particular store that we go to. Other than that you really can’t beat the savings and product you are purchasing.

    • @John,
      I completely agree with this, their produce depends very much on the day I shop. Sometimes I take home a lot of fruits and other times nothing. I mostly stop in for milk and eggs and I like their frozen fish a lot. I do coupon at the other gocery stores for most pantry items. By the way, the stores I have been to in TX look exactly the same as the ones in Belgium. It brings back memories.

    • @John, I have never seen moldy foods there, but produce seems to vary on “freshness” no matter which store you go to.

  12. Uhhgggg, I wasted an hour trying to get this right. Thank you again!

  13. I like the idea of Aldi and have been in one here in my area. I live in Tennessee on the border of Georgia and there are 2 Aldi stores here but both are rather out of my way. If one was ever available a closer distance from my house I would most likely use it. My mother shops at the one in Ga and really finds some great deals on produce.

  14. Hi
    I like aldi’s also and have liked the majoprity of the things we get there also. I have decided to try couponing to elp with the budget but have found that most of the time I can by the store brand for less even with a coupon. No double coupon stores here.

  15. I also love to shop at ALDI, but there are some things that I don’t find there that my family uses on a regular basis. I would love to be able to go to 1 store and get everything I need, but reality is it is NOT possible. Our grocery bill seems to add up so quicklybefore I know it I have gone over my budget and regreting even leaving the house.

  16. Laryssa Kramer says:

    I love Aldis! This is a great way to really stretch your grocery budget and feed your family well at the same time. I believe Aldis was actually bought by Trader Joes in the past couple of years. Either way, they have may all natural products for a great price. My family loves this store.

  17. Kimberlyn says:

    I absolutely love Aldi’s! My husband does not shop with me often, but he went with me once as I proceeded to FILL my cart to overflowing! He stated he did not want to see the bill and I told him not to worry! He was amazed when we got to the register and it was $60! It would have been well over that anywhere else. I can feed my family of 4 plus all the teenage friends for $60 a week and love it! If only I could get the whole couponing thing figured out!! I try and do use them occasionally but never seem to get the returns I hear others talk about!!

  18. Their Clancy chips are better than name brands!!

  19. We have been faithful Aldi shoppers for years (Madison, WI). Their products are not ‘off-brand’-per the Aldi website, they work with small independent producers. We find their products to be as good and many times better than national or store brands. The chocolate is awesome-highly recommend it:)

  20. I only go to grocery stores for produce and items with coupons that makes them virtually or literally free. Everything else I get at Aldi. I ran myself ragged trying to coupon for everything I bought, only to find out that Aldi sold the same stuff for less.

    FDA items like dairy products are all identical (its the law)
    Aldi Chili is made at Hormel factory in Beloit Wi.
    Canned veggies are Delmonte
    Pastries are Sara Lee (cinnamon rolls are amazing!)
    Frozen Lasagna is Stoffers

    Close enough for me, and with gas prices thru the roof– Aldi is REALLY closer for me.

  21. I love Aldi’s too! I used to live in Ohio and miss the one from down the street. I vote for an Aldi in Southern California!

  22. I LOVE Aldi’s! We live in a VERY rural area of Alabama, and only get to go to Aldi’s about once a month. When we do, I buy Their big “can” of coffee- nothing can beat it, and it’s only $5.96 (I think) The Folger’s that I used to buy elsewhere is usually at least $2 more.
    Their “Sloppy Joe” canned sauce is better than anything else that I’ve tried.
    Their hamburger- the one pound rolls, has a MUCH better taste. We made our usual run to Sam’s before going this last time- they (Sam’s) had a better price on a bulk package of hamburger (80/20) so I bought that instead. I just used 2 pounds of it for burgers last night- it was horrible. The meat was tough and had no flavor. I will have to adjust my meal plan to include more chilli, spaghetti, etc where there are lots of sauces to cover the lack of flavor in the meat itself.
    Their cookies- all are cheaper and better tasting in my mind than the “big store brands.” Our favorites: Healthwise Devils food cookies, their oreo’s, their chocolate chip soft cookies.
    Naturally, we always buy milk, eggs, and sliced cheese (for the flavor, not necessarily the price) at Aldi’s. Their “fully cooked” maple sausage patties are great too!

  23. Willemijn says:

    I just migrated to the US from The Netherlands. Neighbor of Germany ;). Aldi in the Netherlands is pretty popular. Its a low budget store, and obviously it shows. They have great products tho! Any time there is a party, I would go there to stock up on wines, olives, cheeses, crackera and chips etc!! And yes, all sorts of random, cheap non food items. The coin in the cart, with the chain system, that is standard in the Netherlands. Not sure if its standard in Germany also but I would think so.
    Many times here in the US, especially the first few times, I am so bohered by people leaving their carts out on the parking lot. Its so “unkept”, it shows an amount of laziness, for the “cart parking” is usually about 20 feet away. So I totally agree it is a great system. Often at supermarkets, if you forgot or dont have a coin, the store provides some sort of coin, usually just a metal coin with their logo on it, that you can hook to your keychain and use any time anywhere after that.

  24. paula Bryson says:

    They are building one right now in my town. Port st. Lucie, Florida.
    We love bargains here. Can’t wait.

  25. One of my favorte grocery stores is Aldi’s.
    Aldi’s kitchen trash liners are great, have yet to have one leak. The only difference between Lactaid and the Aldi’s brand is the price, so much lower. Love the chocolate and the english muffins are so good.
    .
    I must admit that the produce as some Aldi’s is better than at other Aldi;s, I don’t know if it has anything to do with the volume of business that the stores get. I do like their packages of what I call the fancy lettuce, you get different types in one package, never had a problem with that. I love the fresh pineapples that they sell, they are the perfect size smaller families.

  26. I am a big fan of Aldi’s since I shopped there when we lived in TN. We didn’t have it when we moved to MS, but with Kroger deals & double coupons I could make it work for our budget. I was thrilled to find two stores within a 30 minute radius when we moved up to PA. I find it’s worth the drive once a month for the deals. As another reader wrote above, I usually dread to watch the items pile up in my cart because I know the total will be so much more than I anticipated. At Aldi, it always seems to be lower than I expect. That’s a pleasant surprise! A few of my favorite Aldi products are: whole wheat bread, bagels, shredded Parmesan cheese (a steal at $1.99 for the real stuff!), almond milk, hummus, & Clancy’s chips (esp. kettle cooked bbq). Just keep in mind their produce & meat can both be hit-or-miss.

Speak Your Mind

*

Google+