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Everyone has that one thing that they absolutely cannot live without. For some, it’s chocolate and coffee. For others it’s long bubble baths amidst candlelight. For me, it’s ALDI. Yup, I said ALDI (I am not ashamed)!!
But I am obsessed.
Anyone who knows me, knows I shop at ALDI, because I literally tell everyone to go there. It is the first stop I make when I get my groceries and I look forward to going every single week. If you’ve never been there before, your expectations might be pretty low, but allow me to change your mind.
For someone who loves budgeting and staying on track, ALDI is a WIN. Their prices are low, making them a huge competition to larger stores like Walmart or Giant Eagle. Despite their competitive prices, ALDI doesn’t skimp on taste. They have their own store brands, like SimplyNature and Fit&Active, which carry delicious items ranging from pantry & canned goods to dairy and meat. ALDI makes it easy to stay within your budget while still serving your family tasty foods.
IN & OUT SHOPPING
This one’s for you, mamas. While the ALDI shopping experience may be unlike any other store, it’s usually a quicker trip than most because of the aisle set up. The store is designed to usher shoppers through “one way” aisles, thereby making your shopping trips a bit quicker since you’re not having to dodge people that are going the opposite direction. While you’re more than welcome to back track if you forget something, most everyone follows the aisle flow and zigzags from one to another.
While many stores have become more health conscious in the past five years, ALDI has outdone themselves. They provide customers with a large range of organic items, among of which their produce is delicious. Not to mention, they have an entire ALDI brand centered around gluten-free options, called LiveGFree. The store is peppered with items like pretzels, snack bars, cake mixes, and pasta , making this mama’s heart happy since we try to eat gluten-free whenever possible.
In case you’re still not hooked, ALDI has an entire aisle dedicated towards weekly deals, which just so happens to be my absolute favorite. Each week, they feature an area of the home or life and provide items for that niche. For example, last week they had kitchen items ranging from baking utensils and saucepans to griddles and kitchen islands (I know, right?!). Each store carries a small number of the items, meaning when they’re gone, they’re gone. These featured items change every Wednesday, and shoppers can see what’s coming up by grabbing a flyer advertising the following week’s sales.
So how should I prepare for my ALDI experience?
Great question! First of all, you need a quarter. One of the ways ALDI is able to keep their prices low is by requiring shoppers to use a quarter in order to release a cart. You put your quarter in the slot, release the cart from the one behind it, and you’re ready to shop! After you’ve finished loading your groceries into the car, simply return your cart by linking it to another, and retrieve your quarter. (I personally keep my ALDI quarter in my car so as not to forget! Although the cashiers are gracious if you need to break a dollar for some change.) Also, the carts are perfect for mamas, because they have space for two kiddos to sit instead of the typical one.
You also need reusable bags. Another way ALDI saves the shoppers money is by requiring them to bag their own groceries rather than spending money on the plastic bags that most of us throw away. The area between the checkout and exit door is lined with counters to make this part of your experience a bit easier. The cashier will simply put all of your groceries back into your cart when checking you out, leaving you to separate and organize as you see fit. My favorite bags to take to ALDI are the 31 Utility totes because they are sturdy and can hold a lot of food (trust me, you need space). And if you happen to forget your bags, they do have paper and reusable bags available to buy (or you can scrounge the store for empty boxes like me).
I have made the joke quite often that if I ever need a second job, I’ll be going to ALDI. While I hope that never happens, I’m pretty serious about it, because I believe in the store and love their products in a real way. Next week I’ll be featuring some of my favorite ALDI finds, so stay tuned!!
P.S. A great alternative to the 31 tote is this bag from Amazon. While it doesn’t come in all the super fun prints and customization options like the 31 bags, it knows how to get the job done when it comes to carrying groceries, plus it’s super reasonable at only $10. Get it here!
*Disclaimer: I may be compensated via the affiliate links in this post. All products mentioned are ones that I’ve used, and come with my personal recommendation. I am an independent blogger and all opinions expressed here are my own.