Let’s get one thing straight – Aldi is awesome but it’s an absolute stress-ball of a store. It is a nightmare in confusion, yelling, and shoving. Yet, in a million ways, it is absolutely fantastic. Let me explain.
If you’ve never been to Aldi, or don’t have one in your state (that’s sad), it takes a little to wrap your mind around. Aldi is a grocery store in the way Europeans run things. It is small, efficient, and incredibly cheap.
To the casual observer, Aldi looks like a Save-A-Lot or other gross discount food chain. But it is not. It is entirely different. It is something new.
Aldi is awesome – cheap food
Aldi’s claim to fame is how cheap the food is. It is all generic no-name brands. In this, Aldi is able to sell products at enormous discounts. Think of the Publix brand foods, or an entire store of Walmart’s Great Value Food, filling a tiny store and that’s all they sell. You can begin to understand why everything is so cheap.
But maybe you’re worried about quality. If you’re one of those people who is name brand loyal and insists on using Heinz ketchup with your french fries, then by all means keep buying that over priced tomato sugar condiment at $4 a pop. But if you don’t mind buying a generic Aldi brand ketchup – which tastes exactly the same as Heinz – all for $1, then you’ll really start saving.
And here’s the kicker: Most of Aldi’s food is made from the same distributors you already know and love.
I happen to know, because my brother a confidential source at a major yogurt brand told me they make the same knock-off Aldi brand. It’s the same exact yogurt you’re going to pay four times for.
How is that possible?
I don’t know. No one knows. I’m not a mathematician or a business analyst. But you know who knows? Aldi knows.
They’ve figured out this crazy convoluted system that is the American grocery store. We’ve got sucked into this system of paying over $200 for a week’s worth of groceries and being ok with it.
Well I’m not ok with it. And Aldi’s not ok with it.
Aldi is awesome – savings everywhere
So with all this drastic discounted food at unbelievable prices, you’d expect Aldi to be packed. And it is. It’s like a crazy circus in there. Go during one of their busy hours, on a Sunday afternoon, and forget about your sanity. You’re going to be bumping elbows and crashing shopping carts like a demolition derby.
Which brings me to my next point: Aldi charges for shopping carts.
What?!?! What kind of satanic nonsense is that? I’ve never been charged for a shopping cart in my entire life! The Europeans are ruining the American way! Go away! USA! USA!
Aldi’s shopping cart system is brilliant. It only costs a quarter to release a cart. After which, you can return the cart to the coral and get your quarter back.
Aldi has the absolute cleanest parking lot, purely because everyone is willing to return their carts. Aldi is saving money by not hiring an additional employee to wander around aimlessly collecting carts for $10/hour. Genius.
“But they’re killing American jobs,” you say. Maybe, but who cares? This is all about efficiency, folks. It’s like ATMs replacing bank tellers. It’s a convenient system and it saves them millions of dollars, I’m sure, by not having additional staff. Which, all this savings is passed onto you, the customer, obviously.
Aldi is awesome – great employees
Lastly, the Aldi employees themselves are incredible. This part gets tricky, because it takes a hot-second to check out as the lines can be long. But they move – fast.
The cashiers whip your food across the scanners like nothing I’ve ever seen. They’re like a NASCAR pit crew changing your car tires like their life depends on it.
The checkout system works because no groceries are being bagged. They just get dumped back into your cart and it’s up to you to bag it later – again more savings. And all the Aldi food has multiple bar codes around it, making it super easy to fling during checkout. What a concept…
I could go on forever about why Aldi is the best destination for my grocery budget, but I’ll save it for another post.
If you’re not shopping at Aldi now, even if it’s out of the way, you should be. What’s wrong with you?
Aldi is awesome – key takeaways:
- Inexpensive, high-quality food
- Quarters for shopping carts
- Blazing fast cashiers
Do you like Aldi? Why or why not? What excuse do you have to not save ridiculous amounts of money?
P.S. This is not an advertisement. No one is paying me for my opinion. However, if someone from Aldi would like to pay me, I would very much like to represent your brand, or go on a press trip, or get my hands on those award winning bottles of rosé that are always out of stock. Just saying.