We have a wonderful one here in Waco. It's big and clean. The people are wonderful. The variety is vast. But recently, I noticed something being built on the main town road. Then a sign appeared, Aldi. I had no idea what it was. Totally unlike me, I never even Googled it to find out. Busy, busy, busy is the theme around lately.
One day not long ago, my husband (who is the main grocery shopper in our home), went there. He came home spending only $13 for quite a few things. I was impressed. But he said, "It's weird, you can't take a cart, they don't have bags unless you bring your own or buy theirs. And they don't have anyone to sack the groceries." So with that, I did some research.
Aldi is a Germany based company. They dub themselves a 'global discount market chain'. Germany, Denmark, France, UK, US, Poland, Ireland and more....and it's also owner of the Trader Joe's chain. They're premise is to save the consumer money and help the environment at the same time offering fresh, organic items at an affordable and competitive price!
Aldi doesn't use grocery bags - you have to bring your own or purchase theirs. They don't have sackers - you sack your own. You are supposed to lock up the carts after you use them - there's no one hired to retrieve them. This all makes perfect sense to me!
That's how they save you money. Not having to hire sackers, cart retrievers or sackers means the money they don't spend on those goes into the low prices on their items. The insurance they don't have to carry on runaway carts that damage vehicles does the same. They don't want to contribute to the plastics in landfills.
I'm all for that!
So, the other day, my daughter and I took a trip to Aldi.
The first thing to do is take a quarter and put it in the slot on the shopping cart. The chain releases and you head into the store!
The savings ability is immediately apparent with the lack of fancy displays. Food items are stacked like they are at bulk stores. Shipping boxes are opened and stacked simply.
There are fresh produce, frozen items all very simply laid out. The prices are low and Aldi says
the won't match prices with other stores because their prices are so low, they'd end up paying every customer for their own items.
At checkout, you unload your own items and the checker puts them back in the cart after scanning them. You then pay and move to the back wall and sack your items with the aid of the counter.
Then outside you remove your items and lock up your cart. I noticed someone left a note and tape..so I put my quarter (that is returned when you lock up your cart) up there for the next person to use.
I love the concept of this store. And while the selection isn't vast like larger grocery chains, you can't beat the prices.