* * * Update: ShopAldi has moved to a new home! Come visit us! * * *
It dawned on me today when a friend went to an Aldi for the first time, that I haven't posted the "rules" of Aldi yet. She kept texting me, "You have to PAY for a cart??" "The bags aren't FREE?" "You have to BAG your own groceries?" "Why do they only have ONE line open??"
Well, yes. This is all true. But the answers to all of these questions are very easy.
Yes, you have to put a quarter into a cart to be able to use one. But, guess what? You get that quarter back when you return the cart! So no, you don't have to PAY for a cart. It's kind of like a rental. If you return it, you get your money back. The best part of this? The carts aren't all rusty because nobody leaves them in the parking lot in the rain. Which also means that none of the carts have that little rusty wheel that squeaks and flips around and embarrasses you all the way through the store. Another great about renting a cart is that the store doesn't have to pay anyone to collect the carts that are left in the parking lot, because there are no carts left in the parking lot. Which saves on their overhead. Which in turn saves on your grocery bill.
Now, about the bags. Yes, you have to pay for them. Or, you can bring our own. I suggest investing in a few nice Aldi bags on your first trip. Then you can use them forever. This cuts down on plastic, which cuts down on garbage. Which is nice for the earth. It also cuts the overhead for the store. Which, yes, you're getting the gist. It also in turn saves on your grocery bill.
And the final big thing to remember about Aldi. You have to bag your own groceries. Gasp! What? I have to do WORK? Well, yeah. But guess what? Since they don't have to staff any extra people to bag your food for you, that saves on their overhead. Which yep, also in turn saves on your grocery bill.
And about those long lines at the only check out that is open. Well, the lines go quick. Since the cashier doesn't have to waste time bagging any groceries, you are through that line pretty quickly.
Oh, and I can't forget this, they only take cash or debit cards. No credit cards. So be sure to have enough cash on hand. Or use your debit card. They don't take checks either. But that slows down the line, so that's a good thing.
I honestly think it's a brilliant way to do business. I don't need all the frills of the big name grocery stores. I'd like to keep my money for other things. I like Aldi. It's fun. Once you get a hang of it, you'll think it's fun too. And it's especially fun keeping your hard earned money and not shelling it out to a big corporation because you're too lazy to bag your own groceries.