Aldi is not a typical American grocery store. In fact, it is an immigrant of sorts for grocery stores. This is the shortlist of 10 things you need to know about Aldi.
10 Things You Need to Know About Aldi
Aldi is a no-frill grocery store that originated in Germany. Their aim is to offer quality food and AOS (Aldi Other Stuff) at low prices, in part by keeping their operating expenses low.
1. Aldi is “Brutally Efficient”
The first thing you will notice at Aldi is that their carts are locked. To use a cart, you need to put a quarter in a slot to unlock the carts. You’ll get your quarter back when you leave and Aldi won’t have to pay someone to run all over the parking to retrieve shopping carts throughout the day.
Other noticeable differences from Aldi’s tight operating budget:
- Aldi store hours are more limited than main-stream grocery stores.
- The average Aldi store is just 12,000 square feet.
- Employees are trained to perform every function necessary, making it possible to staff an entire store with just a handful of employees.
- Instead of fancy displays and shelving units, a lot of Aldi products are displayed in crates and boxes.
- Bring your own bags or pay for one (or more) at checkout. Besides saving operating costs (that are passed on to customers), this is one way that Aldi promotes recycling and efficiency.
2. Aldi is going Organic
Aldi recently announced a commitment to removing several pesticides from all products on it’s shelves, making it second only to Whole Foods for an organic grocery store. And the gap is closing fast.
Some of the nasty toxins that you won’t find contaminating Aldi products include harmful chemicals that include:
More steps that Alid is taking to promote wholesome groceries and food:
- Aldi continues to expand its organic food brands, by taking out some artificial ingredients from its products and adding more gluten-free grocery products.
- They have taken out synthetic colors as well as partially hydrogenated oils, and things like MSG from their private-label products (the majority of what they sell).
- Aldi is expanding its marketing of fresh, organic meat and fresh produce. Their “Never Any!” brand features meats that do not contain hormones, antibiotics, by-products or other unnatural additives.
- Their SimplyNature line is expanding and features products that are free of over 100 artificial ingredients.
- Milk from Aldi has long been free of artificial growth hormones. Now, other dairy products from Aldi such as sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt and more will be equally clean and whole.
3. Aldi Sells High-End Foods Like Artisan Cheeses.
It’s not just small chunks of Gruyère cheese and Manchego that you will find in the meat and deli cases. Aldi is also selling things like:
- Smoked salmon
- Hard salami
- Coconut Oil
And once again, many of these items are equal or superior in quality to what you will find at other main-stay grocery stores but at a fraction of the price.
4. Wednesday is the Best Day to Shop at Aldi.
The best time to shop at Aldi is on Wednesdays. This is when new products come out and the new week’s sale starts.
Get to Aldi early on Wednesdays for the best deals!
5. Aldi Will Deliver Groceries to Your Home
You can shop online and have your Aldi order delivered to your front door. This service is super convenient and coming from a person who considers grocery shopping to be a very personal experience, you are going to love it!
Follow this link to see if you can have Aldi deliver groceries to your front door!
6. Aldi Has the Best Prices on Produce
Anyone who shops there can tell you that one of the things to know about Aldi is that their produce is not only fresh and healthy, it is also cheaper than just about anywhere else.
Check out this nice article from the consumer savings brand Clark that compares produce prices from Aldi to Walmart and Kroger. Spoiler: Aldi beats them both in a landslide!
7. Aldi has a Twice as Nice Guarantee
Simply put, if you are not satisfied with something from Aldi, you can return it for a replacement and a refund. Although certain restrictions apply, this quality guarantee from Aldi beats any other grocery store in the land, hands down.
8. Bring your Own Grocery Bag or Buy them at the Checkout
Just like you have to rent a cart for a quarter, you need to bring your own bag to hold your groceries at Aldi. Or, you can buy them at the checkout for about 7 cents per bag. If you want to be as economically efficient as Aldi, feel free to take one of their empty boxes or crates, they’re free to cart home your Aldi finds!
9. Aldi is not a One-Stop-Shop
When it comes to about things to know about Aldi, there are some things that you just won’t find there.
- Fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, thyme, and many others.
- Over the counter medications like Tylenol and cough syrup.
- A wide variety of specific foods.
For example, you might be able to find one or two pasta sauces but not the dozen or so you may be used to at the bigger grocery stores. The same thing goes with paper towels and the like. You can find the Aldi brand and that’s about it.
10. Aldi Chocolate is Some of the Best
Don’t take our word for it. Food and Wine did a little taste test of their own, comparing Aldi chocolate. You may be surprised by their conclusion unless you’ve tasted the stuff for yourself.
It is reported that the German connections held by Aldi allow them to import European chocolate at incredible prices. You can get some high-quality chocolate at Aldi for less than $2.00 for 4.4 oz. Now that’s a good deal! We like it so much, we even put it on our pie!