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ALDI 101: Why I Shop At Aldi

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ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series On Shopping At Aldi |

Ok, I’m interrupting our regularly scheduled recipe programming to hop on a little soapbox and share a 3-part series with you about one of my favorite places as a foodie — ALDI!

Over the years, countless friends have been surprised and intrigued when I tell them that I do at least half of my grocery shopping at ALDI. Yes, I also frequent Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s (did you know they are owned by the same company that owns ALDI?), and our local Kansas City grocery stores. But about eight years ago, I set foot in my first ALDI and have been a happy and loyal customer ever since!

So for something different, I thought I would do a brief ALDI 101 series because:

  • as a foodie, I have grown to really love and appreciate the store for what it does (and does not) offer
  • as someone who loves business strategy, I have studied and come to really admire their business model
  • as a blogger, I’m all about sharing any great tips I know to make cooking (and shopping!) fun and affordable

That said, I do want to say right off that this is not a sponsored post, and has not been written in any sort of collaboration with ALDI. I just thought it might be cool to offer a little behind-the-scenes glimpse of why this food blogger likes buying affordable groceries there. And I am really hoping it might spark some discussion and that some of you might share your  tips about ALDI too!

So today I’m sharing “Why I Shop At ALDI”, and then the next two days will include How To Shop At ALDI and What To Buy At ALDI. Thanks for indulging me, and I hope this might be fun and helpful! :)

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series on Shopping At Aldi |

How I Began Shopping At ALDI

I have to confess that my first impression of ALDI was not a positive one. When I was in elementary school, I remember one of my best friends telling me about her mom took them to “the poor people’s grocery store”, where there were no name brands and the food was really bad. Yes, ALDI.

Ok, I’m pretty sure we were both 5 at the time. But for some reason, that description stuck in my mind for decades. Our family never shopped there growing up, and it wasn’t until I moved to an apartment nextdoor to an ALDI in (a very nice suburb of) Kansas City right out of college that I decided to venture in and see what the tiny “poor” grocery store was all about. I was out on my own for the first time, and low-priced anything sounded good!

What I found in my first ALDI experience completely surprised me! The store was incredibly clean, the food looked great, it was all perfectly organized, and holy smokes — those cashiers moved at lightening speed!!! But of course, I made plenty of first-time rookie mistakes. From only bringing a credit card, to giving the cashier a blank look when she asked if I wanted to “buy a bag”, to asking if they carried tahini — I realized that there was a bit of a learning curve to the store. And I realized there was also a ton to learn about the store’s business model once I learned they have 8,000+ stores worldwide!

But as I continued shopping there, I began to learn what ALDI is and what it is not.

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series on Shopping At Aldi |

What ALDI Is:

Consistent Selection

In a nutshell, I believe that ALDI is an awesome place to buy low-priced basics.

Clearly, ALDI grocery stores are only a fraction of the size of traditional larger grocery stores. On average, they are each only about 10,000 square feet of retail space. So there’s no way they are going to be able to carry an enormous selection! But the inventory they do carry of their basic grocery food and and non-food items is consistent, as are the low prices and the quality.

I will talk more about the specifics of the selection of groceries and non-food items that ALDI carries in my upcoming What To Buy At ALDI post. But from pantry items, to frozen foods, to baked goods, to dairy, to produce, to meats, to beverages/wines, and everything in between, I think that their selection of the basics is fantastic.

They also have a sizeable non-food section, with everything from TP to dog food to cleaning supplies and makeup. But one of my favorites is the “Special Buys” section that adds in new fun and seasonal items each week, usually with a theme. It can be anything from SuperBowl specials (footballs, to sporty paper plates, to green sprinkles, etc.) to summer camping gear (actual enormous tents, to sleeping bags, to tiny grills, etc.). Then don’t forget to also check out their clearance section, where a lot of the special buys go on sale at even more ridiculously low prices! I have bought so many random things there that I love!!

Consistently Low Prices

Most of the time, I find that ALDI’s prices beat even the sale prices of most larger grocery stores. This is because they have fine-tuned a business model that eliminates the crazy overhead costs that come with large store buildings, large inventories, large staffs, and large advertising budgets.

Be sure to keep an eye out for their low-price signs too. If something is clearance-d, or on sale that week, they put a special sign to mark down the prices. Then you’re really in for a treat!

Consistent Quality

Contrary to the assumption I have heard people make about low prices equaling low quality, I have actually found the quality of ALDI’s products to be as good as the larger grocery stores I frequent. I have read before about their rigorous test kitchens, and their high commitment to quality products, but I judge by what I buy. And 95% of the time, with the occasional produce fluke or their version of Cheerio’s (I’m a name-brand girl there), it’s great.

Here’s the thing, though — you have to be smart about quality with what you buy. Just like at the normal grocery store, if you notice that the lettuce is looking wilty, it’s probably not going to last you for more than a few days. The same goes for ALDI. Sometimes particular pieces of produce there may look a little past their prime, so just be wise about what you choose. I happen to love their produce section, and buy most of my thick-skinned produce there all the time. (I buy thin-skinned produce organic.)  But if it looks iffy, ask if they have more in the back or just wait a week until the next batch arrives.

The one thing I will say is that if you ever do get something home and it’s not up to par, ALDI has an amazing thing they call The Double Guarantee. It reads that “if for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with any product, we will gladly replace the product AND refund your money.” Um, I don’t know of any groceries stores that refund and replace. I think that says something. Way to go, ALDI.

Consistent Store Designs

One of the other things I love about ALDI stores is that they are all similarly designed! So if you get to know your neighborhood ALDI layout, chances are it will be a breeze finding your way around a new one, which I LOVE.

The inventory is also similarly organized on simple pallets in the store, kind of like a Sams or Costco. Most items are organized in cardboard boxes, which you can also take with you to help carry your groceries once the box is empty. And each cardboard box is color coordinated to go with the item.

A Great Business Model

Ok, I know that I seem to keep coming back to this with every point. But as someone who loves to study business development and entrepreneurship, I am SO impressed by how ALDI has developed and stuck to their business model.

The store was founded 100 years ago this year (in 1913!), and now has over 8,000 stores worldwide. Crazy! But across the years and across the countries, from what I can tell, they really have kept a consistent model as they have grown. And clearly it has worked! From the innovative cart check-out system, to minimal building size, staff, operating hours and inventory, to bring-your-own or pay-for-them grocery bags, to minimal advertising, and more — I think the model is smart and sensible. I think of them as the IKEA or the Southwest Airlines of the grocery world. ;)

A Great Employer

This final point is one that I have read and heard over the years, but can’t confirm with personal experience. (So if any of you have worked at ALDI, I would love to have you weigh in!)  I have heard that ALDI takes good care of their employees.

If you have ever been to an ALDI, you know that they clearly only hire the super-speediest-of-speedy cashiers, who also do double-duty stocking and cleaning the store as well. But they can hire the best of the best because they pay them 50% more than the standard rate for grocery cashiers. And ALDI employees are also eligible for full benefits if they work 20+ hours/week.

So no minimum-wage workers at ALDI. Their employees are well-paid for being the superheroes they are.

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series on Shopping At Aldi |

What ALDI Is Not:

Your One-Stop Grocery Store

I think the #1 complaint I’ve heard over the years about ALDI is that people can’t find everything on their “list” there. But I always tell them that’s kind of the point of the store — it is not meant to be your one-stop-shop!

As I said, I do about 50% of my grocery shopping at ALDI on average. I stock up on the basics, and then catch the rest of my “specialty” items (organics, name brands, or anything that’s not a basic ingredient) at a larger grocery store. On occasion, ALDI might be out of stock of a popular item, especially some of the hot produce buys that can fly off the shelves. But on the other hand, often they surprise me by carrying a new specialty item I never knew they had (like I found natural almond milk this week!).

Still, they will never be your one-stop-shop, especially if you are cooking recipes from my site and might want some truffle oil. ;)

So if you happen to be doing your grocery shopping all in one day at two different stores, I recommend going to ALDI first. Then you can hit up the bigger grocery store to finish off your list afterwards.

You may ask — is it worth the time and two trips? Well, that will depend on your budget. But for someone like me who goes through tons of groceries in a week, I believe the considerable savings to hit up ALDI and an additional grocery store is always worth it!!

Always Speedy

As I said, ALDI’s cashiers are lightening-fast. They hire the best of the best to be sure that they can run efficient stores and checkout lines.

But in order to keep overhead costs down, there are typically only 1-4 cashiers on staff at a time. So if you happen to show up at a busy time, the lines can get lengthy and you may have to wait a little longer.

Most of the time, I zip in and out. But it’s always wise to allot an extra 5-10 minutes for standing in line if you’re on the clock.

Open 24/7

Clearly, ALDI is also not open 24/7! For years, I worked a job where I was off work at 8pm each night, and was always annoyed that I couldn’t swing by the store on my way home from work.

But currently, I believe that most ALDI stores in the US are open from 9am-8pm Mondays-Saturdays, and 10am-7pm on Sundays. Those are peak shopping hours, so they are trying to keep overheads low by not staffing the store during low traffic hours. But plan accordingly!

A Total Health Food & Organic Grocery

Finally, ALDI is not a Whole Foods or the health food section of your grocery store. The majority of the items there are not organic or natural, or even all healthy, as is the case in a typical grocery store. (Apparently Americans must buy a ton of potato chips, because they carry a zillion!)

But that said, they do have a large produce section, more and more organic and natural grocery items, and they also have a fantastic grocery brand called “Fit & Active” that displays the healthier nutrition facts on the front of the package. That brand is all across the store from snacks to frozen goods to cheese and more, so be sure to check it out.

So the store is kind of as healthy as you make it. You can buy the junk food, or you can buy the fresher healthier side. But if you’re an all-organic-er, or are looking for specialty gluten-free or similar items, your selection will be very limited.

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series on Shopping At Aldi |

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love ALDI:

Finally, because I’m a list-maker, I thought I would end with a few of my favorite reasons why I heart ALDI:

  • 10. ALDI was “green” before green was cool, with low energy costs and fewer shopping bags.
  • 9. You can shop at ALDI literally all around the world.
  • 8. ALDI cashiers are ninja-fast.
  • 7. ALDI carries my favorite razors that I used to buy at Target for half the price.
  • 6. I never have to ask for help finding an item, since they are always in the same spot.
  • 5. You have the chance to make someone’s day by being a “cart angel” and leaving a surprise quarter in there for them. (Try it!)
  • 4. ALDI’s low prices help me fit even more produce and juicing into my budget.
  • 3. ALDI’s incredible double guarantee.
  • 2. ALDI’s unapologetic low overhead business model.
  • 1. $0.99 pineapples!!!

(Ok ok, their pineapples are sometimes — gasp! — $1.99. But either way, they are cheap and fabulous and often on sale. I buy one every single time I go!!)

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series On Shopping At Aldi |

Coming Next:

Be sure to check out the final two posts of this series coming next:

What is your favorite thing about ALDI?

Aldi 101: Why To Shop At Aldi |

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250 comments on “ALDI 101: Why I Shop At Aldi”

  1. Actually, my aldi in mn is carrying some organic items now! I’m thrilled! Especially about the organic produce

  2. absolutely love this post and am clearly way behind on my google reader but YES to everything above! love aldi!! going to give a shoutout to this series in my blog!

  3. I bought some great stuff at ALDI this week! You really can’t beat it!

  4. We like so many things at Aldi , but really love their baked chips! Less than half the price of baked lays and we think they taste better!

  5. I just tried Aldi’s about a month ago. I had put a post up on my fb about Aldi’s the other day and my sister put a link to your 3 part article there. I loved reading it. I especially loved the last article. Every time I go, I seem to find something else new I’d like to give a try. And so far, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with both the quality and the amount of savings :) Thank you!!

  6. I didn’t know you are in KC! Hopefully I’ll see you at Aldi sometime :]
    I tell everyone I meet about what a great place it is. You can’t beat the prices.

  7. I really appreciated your notes on the business model and employees at your local Aldi! My husband is a shift manager at an Aldi in St. Louis, and works in a store that handles nearly $1million in sales/month. Not only are there fewer employees per store than you’d imagine (about 10 or so), but each and every one works their tails off to keep the stores running they way we all love… Also, just a side note, Aldi is the highest paid grocer in the country, across the board, and I can personally attest to their taking care of their workers. It’s a fantastic company to be a part of (even just as a spouse), and one I’m happy to patronize as a consumer. It makes me really happy to see that others feel that way, too.

  8. Is Aldi allergy friendly?
    In all grocery stores we pretty much always have to buy Kraft because store brands always use the same machines to make many of their products. My son has peanut allergies and usually can not have cookies, chocoalte chips, etc. unless it is made by Kraft.
    Aldis just opened up by my house!!

    • I’m not expert, but just wanted to chime in that I really enjoy the fact that although many of their items are not GF, DF, etc. they CLEARLY LABEL everything, which I love! The other local grocery store near us often tries to “hide” ingredients and it is such a chore reading labels. I love the GF stamp on Aldi products :)

  9. Aldi allows me to do my grocery shopping for the month all in one trip! Yes, I still do need to make a Meijer or Walmart trip, but the bulk of my items come from Aldi. It has saved me on my monthly budget, and I actually prefer their brand to most other generic brands!

  10. I am a frequent Aldi’s shopper. My husband knows not to DARE spend the “Aldi quarter” that I keep in the arm rest of my car!

  11. First impressions are usually wrong, but what can you do? The first Aldi’s I ever saw was on Ford Rd. in Dearborn Heights, MI. Dearborn has a very large middle eastern population and the name “Aldi” sounded as though this was going to be an ethnic market. Thanks to your posts, now that I live in Huntsville, AL and have a new Aldi’s coming in right across the street from a WalMart, I’ll be trying Aldi’s!

  12. Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it
    was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips for inexperienced blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  13. I agree whole heartedly. It’s my favorite go-to store. Wish ALDI would sell wine in Kansas !!

  14. “…if you happen to be doing your grocery shopping all in one day at two different stores, I recommend going to Aldi first.” I do exactly the opposite! I have a mental Aldi price book, and often find manager specials at the chain stores, or catch a clearance with a coupon. So while price matching and shopping at the “regular” grocery stores, I can compare and then pick it up at the Aldi price….if I know it’s lower there.

  15. I love the unexpected finds a Aldi! Seven years ago, I purchased assembly required, matching, finished wood furniture consisting of a bookshelf, 2 end tables and a gorgeous foyer table for just over $200! To date, the bookshelf shares space in the livingroom along with the Crate and Barrel pieces, the foyer table displays apothecary jars & seasonal decorations while the end tables found their way to my daughter’s condo! And, she wants the other pieces as well! Dream on. By far one of my “best purchase” finds!

  16. I was recently hired as an Aldi cashier. You are required to ring about 48 items per minute, as the registers time each of your transactions. That’s why the cashiers move so fast. Also, cashiers are encouraged to memorize all the codes for produce to make transactions move quicker. Sounds difficult, but it isn’t too bad. Nothing a set of flash cards can’t fix. As long as you put in effort to learn the produce codes and get some decent practice time on a register, ringing will be a breeze. Just wanted to post this for anyone who may be intimidated by their quickness requirements before applying there :)

  17. It was amazing to find your blog! I’ve been shopping at Aldi for a year now and I’m kicking myself in the butt for not shopping there sooner. This is great information to those who aren’t sure about it. I plan my grocery list around what they sell because I cannot see myself paying high prices anymore. I’ve never been disappointed with the products or the staff. And YES, I too keep an Aldi quarter and a bag in my car at all times :)

  18. I agree with everything you said..however under what aldi is not section…yes they may not be a wholefood/healthfood store…majority of their products contain cholestrol free, gluten free, lactose free labels. I find this pretty healthy and up there with organic :)

  19. Gday from ALDI Australia…I work at ALDI, so I’ll declare my interest off the bat. ALDI opened here 10 years ago and after a slow start has exploded in recent years. It is now now the 4th largest retailer in Australia and has ambitious plans to open 200 stores in the next 3 years. You’ll be pleased to know store layouts are by in large the same all around the world. High quality items and an ever expanding range are why I ove the place. Looking forward to popping into a US store on my next visit, please do the same if you’re ever in OZ.

  20. I, too, am in love with Aldi’s. My favorite thing is that their store-brand products use the same colors and similar branding to name-brand products…thus, with a quick scan I’ve found cheaper-in-price-but-not-quality sweetened condensed milk, granola bars, cheeses, cake mixes, etc…what a great idea. I’ve even done a blind taste test with my husband on the granola bars–Aldi’s “Millville” brand compared to the name brand…Aldi’s won (much to his surprise :-)

  21. I am a new shopper to Aldi’s and can’t believe how small my weekly food bill is now. It went from $75/week (Wegman’s and Shoprite) to an average of $30/week. Wow. And….their food is high quality. My SIL and nieces were over two weeks ago for dinner. Chicken, corn on the cob, and carrots. My nieces went crazy over the chicken (they’re normally very picky eaters). My SIL asked me their brand and was stunned when I told her everything was bought at Aldi’s.

    I didn’t realize they were owned by Trader Joe’s – but it makes sense since both have such good quality. Thanks for your blog. You’ve given me some more information when extolling Aldi’s virtues to my friends!

    • They aren’t actually owned by Trader Joe’s but the two companies are related and have very similar business models. They are separate companies but the founders were brothers.

  22. Oh, and one more comment. On my first trip to Ald’s I brought my reusable shopping bags from Wegmans. Ten other shoppers were in there with me and EVERY SINGLE person had the Wegmans bags. Made me giggle – that and the parking lot full of Lexus, Infiniti and other high end cars. It’s no longer the “poor man’s grocery store” – it’s the smart man’s store!

  23. I shop at Aldi consistently! I can walk out of Aldi spending about $100 and getting almost double what I could at other grocery stores! I am not a huge fan of their produce section, because it usually doesn’t last as long as the farmer’s market fruits & veggies, but other than that – everything else is a huge deal!

  24. I admit I haven’t read all the comments, so if someone mentioned how insanely good their chocolate is prior to this I apologize….but YUM, real German chocolate for pennies :D. Unlike you, I had no preconceive notions of Aldi since I had never even heard of them until a few years ago when the first one opened around here. I am under the impression they are fairly new here since when I was looking for coconut the cashier remarked it is seasonal to Christmas and they were trying to convince corporate that if you have stores in Florida, we pretty much use it year round, lol. We are a couple on a single income and I find that I can usually do at the bare minimum 90% of my shopping there since I don’t buy a lot of pre-prepared food. Their prices are amazing, the quality is great, stores are clean and the cashiers very friendly. LOVE THEM!

  25. I’m looking for a shopping list I can create to make week long meals from Aldi groceries? I just found out about the greatness of Aldi and looking to lower my expenses. Do you possible have a section on what I could be looking for? Great blog by the way! :)


  26. My sister-in-law works at Aldi. Earlier this year she came down with mono so she was out of doing hard work (i.e. lifting heavy stuff, moving stuff around etc.), and they (the manager) was really understanding and let her still work but do lighter things. So they really do take care of their employee’s.

  27. Love Aldi! I just found your blog on Pinterest. I will say their coffee K cups are AWESOME! I have only bought the dark roast, and it’s about half of what they would be in any other grocery store. Worth a shot if you have a Keurig machine!

  28. I fell in love with Aldi’s the first time I shopped there. And that was because I was between work and waiting for Social Security Disability approval, so I was budget conscious and on the SNAP program for a while. I want to emphasize they accepted my SNAP debit card as payment for groceries. There are many of us on assistance who need to stretch our dollars and cents as far as they will go. I would spend my cash on the gas to get to the nearest Aldi’s – 12 mi away – and save many more times the gas money on the groceries. I continue to shop there because they are clean, friendly, non-judgemental, and I love their product quality. The only thing I am missing is an electric cart. But, that makes the small size of the store a real plus.

  29. I also love Aldi and I live in suburban KC-we probably frequent the same one! I have learned over time what we love and don’t live and I always feel like I’m robbing them when I have a cart full of groceries and paid so little!!!! Great post!

  30. I share your appreciation for Aldi. It has definitely helped me to wrestle an out-of-control food budget back to reality. We eat primarily organic food, and Aldi helps me to afford being able to do this. Yes, the organic section is limited, but the savings add up. I also buy the $3.99 bag of Beaumont coffee because my husband insists on his Starbucks, and this is an acceptable substitute.

  31. And the fresh (not frozen!) pizzas from Aldi are the best around. These pizzas are AMAZING! They are HUGE probably the size of an XL family size at any pizzeria and are $5.99 in my area. I love Aldi and I get a little harassment for it but I need the savings and the quality. They just opened a Woodmans which is very comparable in price to Aldi but its about 10x the size of Aldi at least and I would spend twice as much. Great Article.

  32. My mother shopped there when I was small. I don’t care about opinions. I use my brain! I guess my own shopping at Aldi is going on 17yrs. My sister won’t shop em because she thinks coupons are gawd.Sugar items are you what you can get on coupons. I don’t have time with a family of nine to clip and search for deals. Even if some items are 3c higher than walmart, the quality is better, and my time has been saved. I need to buy some new canvas bags as mine are about five years old. There are not a million food factories in the USA. Aldi gets their food from the same place as everyone else. I am not sure why you need a 3 part-er to explain Aldi, lol. You stick a quarter in for a cart to keep the lot auto clean, you fill up your cart, checkout with “green” bags, pay with debit or cash. Happy Shopping Everyone!

  33. Thanks so much for your input:)Our Aldi will be opening soon in Oak Ridge TN,and I can’t wait!Your tips helped me a lot.We have 5 children,7total in the household,and one income. Grocery bills are outrageous!I am hoping to really trim that at Aldi?Im a lil worried bout the amount of grocerys I buy at once,and having to bag it myself,but I think after a few trips it will become easier?We’ll see:)

    • Hint: when you bag yourself, it is a lot of fun! Cold pile, dry goods pile (food), dry goods pile (non-food), veggies & fruit pile. You’ll know what I mean when you get there… but remember: piles! And if you have solid bags, bring them, or invest in some Aldi’s bags first time. .10 is a bargain, and they’re great bags. Good luck, have fun! (I L O V E Aldis. Just bought 52 items today for $88.00; bags and bags ….)

    • if you have a chance, go by yourself and scope it out just by your lonesome. It will only take 30 minutes at best to get the feel of it. When mine were big enough to read, I gave them each an aisle and a cart and we met up. You are going to save a ton of money!

  34. Dear Ali,

    I am a Scottish writer working on a piece on Aldi. Your Aldi Almanac was awesome! Go Girl. Go!

  35. Just found your blog and like it thus far. :)

    So, as a german native, Aldi is a standard over here, however I’ll move to California next year and it sucks that they don’t seem to have stores in that area so far. Ah well.

  36. Interesting article for Aldi. I would like to share a little information with you. I worked years ago for Sunshine Biscuit and at that time Aldi crackers were private label from Sunshine Biscuit. It was the same ingredients as the name brand, but just a private label. Some of there cookies were also private label, same brand and ingredients of Sunshine Biscuits. The only difference was the drum of packaging. It said Aldi on it. So you see, many of their products are the same name brands of high-end products with just private label packaging.

  37. I LOVE Aldi! I’m currently studying abroad in Australia and i’ve managed to save a ton of money buying the majority of my groceries at Aldi! One of my friends doesn’t understand why I go to two stores every week but Aldi’s produce is fabulous and so much more reasonably priced compared to other grocery stores! In Australia, food is very expensive so it’s nice to still be able to eat healthy with the help of Aldi! I’m so glad you love it as much as I do! I cannot wait to go back to the US and become a regular Aldi shopper especially for basic items to stock my pantry and fresh produce! I cannot get over there awesome produce deals. Just the other day they had bags of mixed greens for .99 each and pears for .99/kg. I definitely stocked up!

  38. My husband and I have a $50 per week grocery budget. Aldi has been my secret to staying UNDER budget! After trying Aldi once, I was hooked! I now do 90% of my shopping there. I’m still learning, but every time I go I fall more and more in love with the store!

  39. Love it! I am obsessed with Aldi! It’s where I do pretty much all of my shopping. I love the prices on the roasted red pepper hummus, havarti with dill, frozen ground turkey, frozen boneless skinless chicken tenders, butter, nuts, avocados, vanilla extract, cheap wine, and pantry staples! AND, at least here in Asheville, NC, their cashiers start at $14 an hour! Their employees are always super nice and work so fast!

  40. I absolutely LOVE Aldi! Thanks for putting into words all of my feelings :-)

  41. I love Aldis too :)

  42. I am from Austria. My parents used to go shopping there when I was a kid – and now I go with my kids.

    Here in Europe Aldi is not low-end. Even people with good income prefer shopping at Aldi because the products are really high quality. Often they are even produced by brands but specially labeled for Aldi. But you can find out from the product which brand it is. Usually you will find that the address of the producer is located in the same street/town as the brand product that it can be compared to. there are even websites that compare the products to the original brands.

  43. Nice review…but

    “Aldi employees are also eligible for full benefits if they work 20+ hours/week.”

    well for the US and Europe

    You know that many retailers including the supermarkets have their staff working a max of 20 hours a week so that they don’t get benefits or pay employer contributions to insurance etc.

    Aldi maybe ok to shop there( I do my self )but please lets not pretend that they are a great employer, yes they don’t pay minimum wage, but they also don’t pay a living wage( see note about max 20 hours a week ), as many other employers in this industry also don’t pay minimum wage or living wage.

  44. Thanks for the info. We’re getting two Aldi stores in our city, and I had no idea what to expect. I’m interested to try them out for some of our basic needs.

  45. Excellent trio of articles; I’m an Aldi fan as well. One correction, though, with regard to availability of specialty gluten-free products. I have Celiac disease & it’s medically necessary to be gluten-free. In the Northeast Ohio area, ALL the Aldi stores have an exceptional selection of GF items, clearly marked and at rock bottom prices. I have never had a reaction from any of their products (10+yrs) and do 90% of my grocery shopping there. Just wanted to clarify this for any who may read this that have never been to Aldi’s who might assume they won’t be able to find particular things they need/want and dismiss the idea of trying it. If you’ve never shopped there, check out what’s available in your region, you may be surprised, I was!

  46. You get the quarter back when you return it where you got it from. This is done to help costs low. They don’t have to hire a boy to round up the carts from the parking lot. The quarter is your incentive to do it yourself.

  47. Enjoyed your article! I also enjoy shopping at Aldi.Love threir layout,Produce section. Have been going there for 4+ years!

  48. Thanks! Really enjoyed finding this and reading about a favorite store of mine. And, I did find pineapples there this week for $.79!

  49. Hi, I’m from Germany (Aldi’s home country :) and right now writing a report for my MBA course on expansion plans of Lidl in the US. Lidl is in Europe the biggest competitor of Aldi and your article made me smile because everything you described as things you had to get used to is so totally normal over here :D I lived in the US for a while and visited last October. I made sure to shop at Aldi as over here I work for Lidl :)
    It’s like you say, the discount-principle surely but slowly is taking over. So if Lidl starts opening stores in the US you have to keep your eyes open because it might also be an alternative :)
    Thanks for the article though – gave me some important insights and also the comments are very helpful whether or not the plans of entering the US market are realistic.


  50. Lowes Foods also has the double guarantee, but they are mostly located in North Carolina. Also a great store…

    • I used to live in the Charlotte area, Lowes was my one stop shop in college. I LOVED them! My aunt would take me to the one in Winston and send me home with about 5times the groceries I could get at Harris Teeter.