If you are already a loyal ALDI shopper, then you will probably be able to relate to this entire post. In fact, you may even be able to add a truth or two that I may have missed or may not have realized already myself. ;) But shopping at an ALDI is definitely not like shopping at your local chain grocery store. For a first-timer, a trip to ALDI may be uncomfortably foreign at first. And in fact, you may decide that it just isn't for you (this actually was my initial reaction when visiting an ALDI store for the first few times, but I changed my tune later). I mean, you have to pay for a cart. And there are not any grocery bags- unless you want to pay for those too. But once you have shopped there a few times, you may just see how genius their entire layout really is.
I became a loyal ALDI shopper over three years ago pretty much out of necessity. My husband and I had just had our daughter, and I desperately wanted to stay home with her. But for our family of four to make it on a single income, we really needed to cut down our budget and fast. Since food has always been my forte, I tackled our grocery budget first. I dug in and despite the fact that I had turned up my nose to shopping at ALDI before, I gave it another go. And once I realized how much I was saving on our groceries each week, I was sold for life. :) Now I still shop other grocery stores and retailers in addition to my weekly trip to ALDI. But that is mostly for things that ALDI just doesn't carry or when another grocery store is having an amazing sale.
Okay, so let's get to it. Here are the 5 truths I have learned from shopping at ALDI over the past 3 years...
1. Organic doesn't have to be expensive.
That's right, folks. ALDI has been expanding their selection of organic produce and products more and more over the years, and often they are priced cheaper than their conventional counterparts at other grocery stores. You can still stay on budget and eat organic.
2. You learn how creative you can be in the kitchen when you spot a Manager's Special that you just can't walk away from. Tonight's pizza dinner plan just became eggplant parmesan! ;) In fact, those yellow signs are the first thing that I scout out as I enter each aisle of ALDI. You will mostly see these in the produce section, but they can be found for products all over the store.
3. A quarter is worth more then 25 cents, especially when you find yourself hunting between seat cushions and under the seats in your car because you just realized that you do not have one in your wallet! Who all can relate to me on this one? Yes, you have to pay a quarter to get a shopping cart at ALDI. But you get it back when you bring your cart back and snap it in with the others. It is actually crazy genius on ALDI's part- you hardly ever see random stray carts in the parking lot, and they save money because they do not have to hire someone to corral carts. In turn, ALDI passes what they save in payroll onto their customers. Win-win! :)
4. You become very critical of the bag boys at the other grocery stores, or you at least find yourself giving them the side eye as they are bagging your groceries. Why? Because you bag your own groceries at ALDI, and you have mastered the best way to pack those groceries into the 2-3 shopping totes you bring along with you each time. ;) You know how you like it done. I often end up packing my ALDI shopping bags according to cabinet, refrigerator, and freezer with more fragile things packed safely on top.
5. You begin to loathe the traffic patterns or lack thereof at the other grocery stores. In every ALDI that I have shopped at, the aisles have been set up to sort of encourage a one way flow of the shopping cart traffic. You wind down one, then the other, and there is little opportunity to cut across and go in the opposite direction. And I ,for one, love this. Ever been rolling right along down a main central aisle in a grocery store and have another shopper almost t-bone you as they are coming out of a side aisle because they didn't bother to slow down or even look for crossing traffic? Yeah, they hardly ever happens at an ALDI. :)
Are you a loyal ALDI shopper too?
What is a truth that you have learned from shopping there?
**Disclaimer- This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by ALDI. I am just sharing my love for this store. :)
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