I remember as a child going to Aldi Supermarket with my mother to get our groceries.
My mom worked very hard for many years, and deciding to stay home proved to be very
difficult on our family finances. Aldi Supermarket provided some relief to our family's
grocery budget and it now provides relief to our own family's tight budget as well.
I often tell my friends and family that Aldi Supermarket is how I can afford to
be a stay-at-home mom. Although I say this jokingly, I do credit Aldi a lot for
allowing the room in our budget that we needed for me to be home with my son.
My mom laughs at me praising Aldi at the top of my lungs because as a child I was
completely mortified and embarrassed that our family had to shop there. I would
pray that I would not run into a classmate, ironically who was probably shopping
there for the same exact reason as our family, and felt such shame that we could
not shop at "normal" stores like other families.
Aldi is a very normal store, although it lacks many of the frills of the traditional
supermarkets. Aldi Supermarket is a discount chain that specializes in food, beverages,
sanitary articles, and other inexpensive household items. They also offer specials
on more expensive products such as electric appliances or computers.
Despite the growing amount of Aldi Supermarkets all over the United States , Aldi
actually originated in Germany and is known as the German Wal-Mart. The history
of Aldi is as intriguing as their deals that they offer. The frugal ways of Aldi
actually came out of its post World War II beginnings in 1948 when customers at
its first store in Essen Germany wanted only the lowest priced staples. These stores
were started by two brothers, Theo & Karl Albrecht, and they named the store
Albrecht Discount. Albrecht Discount is now known as Aldi (for short).
There are currently over 700 Aldi stores in 26 states in the US , and over 5,000
stores internationally. All of their stores offer the same simple type of floor
plan. Each store is only 15,000 square feet, making them only one-tenth of the size
of an average Wal-Mart. Because they keep their store small, they keep their assortment
of products limited as well.
While traditional supermarkets carry approximately
40,000 products, Aldi only stocks 1,200 of their most popular.
Aldi offers a "strictly no frills" approach to their store which means that they
do not decorate their aisles or fill shelves. Items are placed on pallets, similar
to those big warehouse shops, and customers pick off of the pallets. Upon a pallet
being emptied, the employees bring out another pallet to be bought from.
Aldi "no frills" approach translates into cutting anything that wastes the store's
time or money. For example, Aldi does not accept checks, credit cards, or coupons.
You will also not be receiving any free bags, a personal greeter, beautiful store
decorations, or see a lot of advertising for their stores. Aldi does not offer a
deli, a butcher shop, a bakery, or even a listed phone number. You see, if they
had a phone number, then they would have to have someone answer the phone. That
one extra "frill" would cost Aldi time & money-and now you see how they keep
their costs so low!
Here are a few of my own hints for making your shopping experience the best at Aldi:
- No coupon clipping is needed for your Aldi shopping experience. Aldi sells, primarily,
only off-brand merchandise saving you some time on coupon cutting. Aldi carries
only one brand in one size in each of their product category. Just because these
products are considered "off-brand", in actuality, many of the private label products
are made by well-known brand manufacturers and are simply shipped in different packaging
to their stores.
- Aldi only accepts cash, debit cards, and the electronic benefits transfer cards
(formerly known as food stamps).
- The store offers a shopping cart rental program. Basically, this means you will
need to insert a quarter into the cart
to use it. Upon returning the cart, you will
receive your quarter back, but be sure to tuck a quarter in your purse before you
go. Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait in line for change so that you
can get your cart to start you shopping trip.
- Bring your own grocery bags or you can pay for their bags. Paper bags will cost
you five cents a pop and the plastic bags will run you ten cents. Along with bringing
your own bags, you will also need to bag your own groceries. The cashier will set
the groceries in your cart and then you are responsible for the bagging. Aldi provides
a long counter where you can bag your groceries. Also keep your eyes out for empty
boxes because these are perfect for storing groceries in your car and make carrying
your groceries easier.
- Aldi offers a double guarantee on all of their products. If you are dissatisfied
with any of their products, they will replace the product and refund your money too!
- Join Aldi mailing list to receive regular information about their special offers.
You can sign up for their email newsletter through http://www.usa.aldi.com
- Did you know that Aldi owns the more upscale market, also an American discount chain,
Trader Joes? Both Aldi and Trader Joes have experienced considerable growth in these
past few years.
So what exactly does the traditional Aldi customer look like? Well, the traditionally
the customer for limited assortment grocers have been households making less than
$35,000. This is changing though especially since Aldi has recently introduced a
more upscale private label line called Grandessa. This line includes many gourmet
products from cheesecakes to
stuffed salmon. For the budget-minded shopper, this
new addition can pose a threat to your grocery budget, but for those looking to
indulge in the more expensive foods, this can be a welcome addition to their grocery
Whatever your income, taste, or budget is, Aldi Supermarket shopping is a great
way to cut back on your grocery bill- give it a try! I think you will be pleasantly
surprised with your new and improved grocery budget as well as the quality of food
that you can purchase.