I am a firm believer that, at any income level, you are able to do more by changing your daily life habits. We all have different priorities, and which ever one is yours, you can find ways to make it happen by doing things a little differently today.
I see so many friends and acquaintances shopping at expensive grocery stores around us. Proximity and convenience seem to be guiding their decision, and to each his own. I was just never able to get myself to pay more when I can pay less without jeopardizing quality. My husband and I grew up in Europe, where shopping at Aldi is the norm. When they started opening stores in Florida, we were all over them! Our grocery bill was cut in more than half. Today, we feed our family of 5 with ~$120 / week, give or take. And that usually includes a few non-food items such as toilet paper, home or yard things, toothpaste, etc.
This is my list of the top 6 reasons why you should be shopping at Aldi:
1 – the longest way a quarter will ever take you
A quarter is all it takes. I shouldn’t even say a quarter, since you get it back. “Lending” a quarter to a store has never gotten you so much. This one can be a throw off for many since most stores in the US have carts laying around and free to use and leave on the parking lot. At Aldi (a German grocery store), you will need a quarter to put in the cart to unlock it. You will also only find the carts right by the entrance of the store, where you will need to return it to get your quarter back!
Now, how does a quarter get you anything, you wonder? Aldi is able to save thousands of dollars at each store by not having to staff their teams with a cart collector, who would be walking the parking lot all day to line up the carts and bring them back to the front. Those savings are passed on straight to the customers.
A few other ways that Aldi save so you can save without jeopardizing on quality:
- your groceries will not get bagged up. Come ready with bags to bag your own purchases. We like to bring a thermo bag for the frozen and meat products. The rest goes in 2 IKEA bags, which makes your unloading at home a whole lot faster too!
- the associates working at the cash register will work faster than at any other store. Aldi products are packaged in a way that has the barcode easily accessible from all angles. The associates are not twisting and turning your cereal box to find a small barcode. The Aldi packaging might not be as appealing but the products inside are great and you save $$
- be ready to find the products stacked up on pallets or in carton boxes. Most Aldi’s do not have nice shelves like you’ll find at other grocery stores, but then again… who needs that if it means that you are buying the same products for cheaper?
2 – smaller selection – faster shopping
This one has got to be my favorite aspect of shopping at Aldi. Even if prices were at parity, I would shop at Aldi for that one! I am not a great decision maker. I will compare products and prices, do math in my head, compare some more, and might finally have a decision on a milk… until I see a new bottle just down the aisle…. At Aldi, expect to see a much smaller selection of products. You’ll find everything you’re looking for, but there might really just be one choice. Look at that milk for $2.29. There is 1 kind of full milk, 1 kind of reduced-fat, and 1 kind of skim. No comparing, no doing math, efficiency at its best in a very German manner. We are in and out of the store in 25 minutes and shopped for the entire week for our family of 5! A dream!
Less selection does not mean that they sell less of an assortment. Look at the specialty milk section – you’ll find all sorts of milks, regular and organic, but note that they are all one brand? No need to try to find the best deal, it is right under your eyes! Just pick what you need and know you got a great price on it!
Note that Aldi has some great produce, with many organic options. We have been finding amazing strawberries for 99 cents during the season.
3 – imported products
I love Aldi for having imported products. Most of them are from Germany since the company is German. They are the exact products we purchased when we lived there and we love raising the kids with flavors of our home.
Those prices can’t be beaten for imported food!
4 – Seasonal products
This is where they get me. I often come out with things I had not planned on purchasing. Aldi has a Seasonal Product section where they boast amazing deals for things you might just need.
If you’re good, you’ll stroll right past them. I always seem to linger in this part of the aisle. But some of those deals are so good, I prefer to buy them while Aldi carries them rather than later at a specialty store when they’ll cost me a lot more money!
5 – wines and beers
Aldi has a wonderful beer and wine selection with national and imported products. They are all very decently priced and my German husband loves their beers!
If you shop Aldi’s own private label – Winking Owl – you’ll be sure to bring a great wine home for $2.89. I know the price can seem suspicious but I challenge you to try a couple. Hey, you won’t break the bank with that price!
6 – Home and gift ideas
I love stocking up on cute gifts when I find something nice for a decent price. Aldi will always carry a few things that are super cute and well priced. Fairy Gardens have been everywhere this spring season. Those kits are too cute and can make for a great birthday gift.
When comes time to treat yourself, the home section has many products from basics (sheets, baskets, etc.) to more elaborate – I love the bamboo bath tray right there!
your next step?
Make sure to visit your closest Aldi, you will be surprised. The company is in the process of renovating its stores. Ours was just closed for 2.5 months and we returned to a beautiful store with LEDs and many more organic products. We love Aldi and hope you will too!
Let us know your #1 reason for shopping at Aldi in the comments box below!
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