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Aldi Supermarket

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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 experience.

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.