An Aldi FAQ by a mom who loves her grocery store
When I get drunk, I grab people by their lapels and give a monologue about how much I love Aldi—that is how much I love shopping at Aldi. Does that sound extreme to you? Do you not love your grocery store so much that it’s your favorite topic to talk about after a glass (or two or three) of wine? If your answer is no, you need to start shopping at Aldi. Let me tell you why:
- You will cut your grocery bill in half.
- You will be able to do almost your entire week’s grocery shopping in 20 minutes.
- Everyone you will ever meet at Aldi will be very, very nice.
- You support a business that is environmentally and employee-friendly.
- You will find cool, hip products.
You need to bring a few things, however, when you shop at Aldi. Sometimes people don’t know to bring these things and are scared away. I don’t want you to be scared away from saving time and money (both very precious to Solo Moms), so bring:
- A quarter to use as a deposit for your cart. You get it back when you return the cart.
- Reusable bags. You can buy them for five cents each if you forget.
- Cash or debit card. Aldi does not accept credit cards.
Why do you need these things? These are some of the ways Aldi saves money to pass the savings to you. Aldi doesn’t have to pay for lost or stolen carts, credit-card fees, or plastic bags. Aldi also doesn’t have to pay for people to fetch the carts or bag the groceries. Since Aldi doesn’t have to pay for any of this, you don’t have to pay for it. Isn’t that great?
Despite my evangelical efforts to convert all my friends to Aldi-lovers, I have to admit that I do sometimes meet resistance. I also have to admit there is a learning curve to shopping at Aldi. So I’ve compiled an FAQ based on all the conversations I’ve had with my friends about Aldi.
Q: Don’t you have to buy in bulk?
A: No. Aldi carries only one size of each product, and none are in bulk; however, the prices per unit are usually lower than the prices you pay if you buy in bulk elsewhere.
Q: Do I have to be an Aldi club member?
A: No. Aldi does not have a membership program.
Q: Do I have to clip coupons?
A: No. Aldi does not have coupons.
Q: Aren’t Aldi’s products cheap, subquality stuff?
A: No. Aldi is constantly quality and taste testing to make sure its products are at or above name-brand quality.
Q: What if I buy the Aldi brand, and I don’t like it?
A: Aldi will give you a replacement and a refund—and you don’t even have to return the original item.
Q: My family has always used [fill in the blank] brand, and I’m a loyal person.
A: Is the brand loyal to you?
Q: I don’t like the way the packaging looks.
A: Do you eat the packaging?
Q: I think the stores look depressing with all the packages just stacked up.
A: One reason Aldi prices are so low is because it stocks efficiently to have small-footprint stores. Is saving money depressing to you?
Q: I went in there and couldn’t figure out where anything was.
A: It may take a few times to get to know the layout, but once you do, it will be far quicker to shop at Aldi than anywhere else because you can go through Aldi in one loop. There isn’t aisle after aisle. Also, Aldi always put its products in the same place in every store. It starts with wine and ends with the frozen food right before you reach checkout. How smart is that?
Q: I went to Aldi, and it didn’t even have coconut milk!
A: Well, first of all, Aldi does have coconut milk. Second of all, Aldi does not carry all things for all people at all times. Once again, this lowers its cost. However, Aldi always has essentials. This is how I do my grocery shopping: I buy everything I can at Aldi. Whatever the store doesn’t have, I put on a non-Aldi list. Unless I need something for a special recipe, whatever is on this list can usually wait until it’s convenient for me to stop somewhere else.
Q: I want to be able to do all my grocery shopping at one store.
A: Solo Moms on a budget think it’s worth the effort to go to two stores if that means saving hundreds of dollars a month. Also, since you can do your shopping so quickly at Aldi, you still end up saving time.
Q: I don’t want to have to bag my own things. That’s stressful.
A: Just think of it this way: You are paying yourself instead of someone else to bag groceries. You’ll probably like the way you do it better anyway.
Q: Aldi doesn’t have anything fancy.
A: I’ve seen baklava, artisanal cheeses and crackers, gnocchi, stollen, sea salt and caramel chocolate, whole duck, and even lobster.
You can also check out Aldi’s “New to Aldi” page for more in-depth info.
Shopping at Aldi doesn’t just save me lots of money and time; it simplifies my life. I don’t have to keep track of the different sales at different stores or cut coupons, and I don’t worry about whether I am getting the best deal. I trust that shopping at Aldi ultimately saves me more money than shopping anywhere else because I trust Aldi’s sound business philosophy—save money, pass the savings on, and take care of people.
It’s this trust that shoppers have in Aldi that makes it such a pleasant experience to shop there. We feel taken care of and looked after. The employees feel taken care of and looked after. Hence, when you are at Aldi, you feel magnanimous to others and others do toward you. You forgot your quarter? Here, take my cart. You can pay the quarter forward.
Clearly Mika Yamamoto is passionate about shopping at Aldi. Do you have a passion you’d like to share? Submit video or words to our Voices section.
Mika Yamamoto, ESME's Guide for Public Assistance, has successfully nurtured two children as a Solo Mom and now hopes to achieve the same results as a plant nanny.
Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.