It’s the place where you spend hundreds of dollars, hours and hours of your time and you return there weekly. Over-and-over you fill the cart, pay big bucks, unpack the groceries, cook, feed the family and repeat.
You might know the greeter, the stock boy and possibly even the cashiers because they’re like your second family; you spend so much time there.
The grocery store is the place that you should never go and think you’ll not run into someone you know. The one time you do not where makeup and decide to run in without a bra and your pajama bottoms, you’ll see everyone you know.
For mother’s it might even be alone time and a break from the kids.
Today, I visited a new kind of grocery store. Not the type of grocery store that I’m accustomed to.
Today, I shopped ALDI.
Everyone was friendly, helpful and again, it’s a grocery store so of course I ran into everyone I knew.
It. Always. Happens.
Yet this grocery store wasn’t like all the others that I’ve spent countless hours at. There were several differences that set ALDI apart from the typical grocery store I shop.
- To use a cart, you pay a quarter. After you return your cart to the cart corral, you get your quarter back.No shopping carts wandering through the parking lot, dinging cars. No paying a staff member to go to the parking lot and get the carts. The customers borrow the carts and then return them, where they belong, for the next customer. The cost savings for ALDI equals lower costs for the customer. If you don’t want to borrow a cart and pay a quarter (which you can get back), you can use your own reusable shopping bag.
- No plastic bags. You need to buy their very large reusable bags or bring your own. This again lowers their costs and in turn the consumer can pay lower prices on items.
- They don’t bag your items. The cashier simply rings up your items and places them in the cart. There is no bagger, the cashiers job is to ring your items up; you use your own bags and bag your items yourself. This speeds up the check-out line and frankly, if you squish your bread or smash your eggs, it’s on you, not the cashier.
- The cashiers sit down. They’re not standing on their feet, miserable for 8 hour and then grumpy with you because their feet and back are killing them. I love this. They’re smiling, happy and truthfully if you’ve ever worked retail and stood on your feet for 8 hours, you’ll appreciate this.
- No manufacturer coupons or reward cards. They always keep prices low so you don’t have to worry about earning loyalty points or cutting coupons. Which is great because I’m terrible at remembering I have a coupon and even though I love loyalty points and saving $20 on my grocery bill, if I can always save $20 why do I need to worry about the reward, I’m always be rewarded? If you want sales and deals, visit their website to learn about the in-store sales and promotions and create your shopping list from their weekly special buys and in-store deals.
- They only accept cash, check or debit. So they’re not paying credit card companies the extra fees each time they swipe your credit card. Again, saving the store money so they can lower the cost of food.
- The prices are lower. Up to 50% lower than traditional grocery stores. Which means you can buy quality food at an affordable price.
- A wide array of organic, natural and gluten free foods. All of which are easy to spot because the USDA Organic symbol is quickly spotted. I attended the grand opening and media preview, so the store manager walked me through and kindly pointed out their LiveGfree brand and Simple Nature brand (organic). Once I knew what to look for, it was easy to spot the foods I’d buy for my family. I was told the selection is also growing and to me this means, if I shop with my wallet and show ALDI that I’m interested in these products and others do the same, the selection will continue to grow. I’ll share more with you later about the taste, quality, price and what I like about the products and brands I’ve bought in a later post. I’ll also share with you in a future post their connection with Greenpeace and some accolades and awards they’ve won.
Like I said, ALDI is not your average grocery store. As a mom, I’m well acquainted with grocery shopping but my world; it’s been turned upside down. There’s a new grocery store in town and it’s not like the others. I like it, a lot.
Do you shop ALDI? I’d love hear your opinion and what advice you have for any ALDI newbies out there.
Why not? Great tips for free!