Frugal Living · Recipes

Tips For Shopping at Aldi {Menu Monday}

We have a brand new Aldi in town! If you’ve been around here for a while, you know my love/hate relationship with Aldi. I haven’t ever shopped in a brand new Aldi, so I thought I’d give the new store a go. I was really pleased with the wider aisles and larger inventory than the old store I’ve been shopping. Here are a few ways I survived my trip!

The best tips for surviving a trip to Aldi

Shop as hands-free as possible. 

It is usually so crowded in the aisles, with three lanes of cart “traffic” much of the time. I don’t like having my purse out in the open, so if I can, I leave my purse in the car. I put my debit card in my pocket and carry my list on a small piece of paper. The cashiers are lighting fast, meaning you have a very short amount of time between when you put the groceries on the conveyor belt and when you pay. They also transfer your groceries from one cart to another, so you have to hold your purse and all your personal items (umbrella, grocery bags, keys) while you pay – there’s no counter on your side of the register. It’s so much easier if you have your hands free to grab the cart and go when they give you your receipt.

Know Your Prices

Many items at Aldi are a great bargain – some are not! Have in mind the price you pay for comparable items at your grocery store and only buy things that are cheaper at Aldi. That sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get carried away with their seemingly endless good deals. One easy rule that I follow is to never buy brand name items at Aldi. They always have a section of name brand items like chips, cereal, condiments and specialty foods that are the same price or more than your grocery store. For example, today I saw Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce at Aldi for $2.50. My grocery store sells it Buy One, Get One for $1.13!

Bag Groceries At Your Car

Weather permitting, I always find it easier to push my grocery cart out to the car and bag everything there. It’s nice not to carry my reusable grocery bags with me in the store (see tip #1), and I don’t have to fight for a space at the grocery bagging counter! I can peacefully bag my groceries at my own pace.

If you want to see what I picked up at Aldi, watch my grocery haul below!


On The Menu 

Breakfast:

  • Peanut Butter on Toast
  • Eggs & Bacon
  • Pumpkin Coffee Cake (I make this every fall…it’s so good!)

Lunch:

  • Sandwiches, Hot Dogs
  • Clam Chowder

Supper:

Menu-Plan-Monday-for-the-week-of 20dce-tuesdaytalk

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31 thoughts on “Tips For Shopping at Aldi {Menu Monday}

  1. I just never go to Aldi’s because it is out of the way and like you said, so busy, so crowded etc. I would actually prefer to bag my groceries as I can put like items together in the bag making it easier to put them away at home. I know many people who have young children and boys in the family go there just for milk as it is the cheapest place in town to buy gallons of milk. My husband and I are not really milk people. He eats it on his cereal and I use it in baking but that is about it.

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    1. If it’s your first time at Aldi, keep in mind you need a quarter for your grocery cart (you get it back when you return the cart) and you have to bring your own bags (unless you want to pay for bags at checkout). They don’t take credit cards – only debit or cash. Hope you find some good deals!

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  2. We recently got the first Aldi in our state, but it is a long way from here so I don’t expect to shop there. I know my daughter used to do some of her shopping at Aldi when she lived in SC.

    The pumpkin coffee cake recipe on your menu sounds amazing! I have a good recipe for a pumpkin coffee cake, but I am going to have to give yours a try.

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  3. Great tip to bag things at your car and bring in as little as possible. I always despise the cart transfer process and try to work around it at Sams. It’s so tough to move a toddler and my bag so I always suggest we leave Olive in the cart and push the empty cart to the side. I’m thinking I may give Aldi a try on a solo trip to make my hands even more hands free.

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  4. Aldi’s just opened a new store in our city, but it is out of the way for me. I’m hoping they will eventually open up one closer to us. If they do, I will keep your tips in mind! I especially like the idea about shopping hands-free.

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    1. Before the new one opened, Aldi was definitely out of the way for me. I went once every 6 to 8 weeks and stocked up on canned goods and baking supplies – those are the best deals. You might try that if you get a chance to visit your Aldi.

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  5. I love Aldi! I used to get so annoyed when I first shopped there because of feeling rushed. I suppose it’s just grown on me and now my kids and I make it a race to see if we can get all the items out of our cart before they ring us up. 😉
    Ditto on the brand names. Definitely better to hit up b1g1 sales or a place that accepts coupons!
    Great tips!

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  6. I personally love Aldi. Although I do need to do some price comparison. However I have never paid more than $100 on a single shopping trip, which is huge for me.

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  7. I love your tips-especially the one about being “hands free.” I would also add, “Always, ALWAYS remember a quarter!” A few weeks ago, my husband and I used up all of our loose change in the car on tolls, and I had cleaned out my wallet of all change. So, for 2-3 Aldi trips, I forgot to scrounge up a quarter somewhere and had to look around for boxes to fill and carry! Even though the aisles can get crowded, a cart is a must-have for me!

    I have also found that shopping at Aldi in the morning or early afternoon can be quite peaceful sometimes-usually in the evening when everyone gets off work, it can be crazy. At the Aldis in 3 of the states in which I lived over the years, usually other customers are super nice and will let you go in front of them if you have less groceries than they do, which I’ve always liked. Also, while there is that “rushed” feeling sometimes, I’ve found that it isn’t always there. In fact, the other day, the person at the cashier register stopped to tell me that one of my jars of sauce was open, so he wanted me to grab a better one!
    Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Talk today!

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  8. Love Aldi! I try to bag at my car when I am shopping alone and the weather is nice. Which let’s face it, doesn’t happen as frequently as I would like! Ha! Great tips!

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  9. Great tip about packing at your car! I don’t mind bagging my own groceries after the fact, BUT it is hard when there are other people jockeying for the packing area. Plus love that I don’t have to hassle with my bags in the store. So smart!! I need to build “shop at Aldi” in to my usual grocery rotation. How often do you go there?

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    1. I used to live 25 minutes from Aldi, so I went every 6-8 weeks and stocked up. Now that there’s one even closer than my regular grocery store, I’ll probably stop in at least once a month to grab produce and canned goods (especially on weeks when those things aren’t on sale at the grocery store).

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  10. We have a new Aldi in the O.C. here in CA. It is not close to me, and the few times I have been, were definitely difficult, compared to Trader Joe’s, or regular grocery stores. The store clerks were rude and impatient when we didn’t know their routine. I’m still hoping for redemption for them, because there has been so much hoopla about them. I am not seeing the big difference in cost savings. Happy for those of you who have.

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    1. I’m right there with you – I hate shopping at Aldi! I only go in there because their prices on produce, baking staples and a few other things are generally lower than the grocery store. I agree – the cashiers rush you through the checkout process. Sometimes I just make them wait on me and I don’t let it get to me. I’ve also asked them not to throw my eggs into the cart!

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