1. You need to bring a quarter to “rent” a cart. You’ll get it back when you return the cart. Frequently, someone will hand me a quarter in the parking lot after I finish loading my car and take my cart with them. Win-win!
2. You need to bring your own grocery bags. I bring a few bags with reinforced bottoms for regular grocery items and an insulated bag for refrigerated/frozen foods (they can serve double duty and keep your food hot the next time you get takeout!). I always have a Flip and Tumble bag in my purse because they roll up really small just in case I get more than my regular bags can handle. Most of the produce is prepacked but occasionally there are loose mangos, artichokes or avocados and the like and these reusable produce bags work well. If you forget, you can buy paper, plastic or reusable bags for a small fee at check out. Some Aldis have leftover shipping/display boxes available for free for groceries as well.
3. The sales start on Wednesday. Check your ad and if there is anything marked “Aldi Finds” that means it is a special item like a great deal on household goods ($25 enameled Dutch oven anyone?) or meat. It will be available until it runs out (they don’t restock Aldi Finds) but popular items can run out quickly so if there is something you really want, it might be worth it to try and run there at some point on Wednesday. Smaller Aldis may not have large items in stock (like gas grills, tables, and even mattresses) so it is always a good idea to call to double check if your store is carrying it before making a special trip.
4. Aldi is much smaller than regular grocery stores so it is easy to get in and out quickly. The aisles are clearly marked and logically grouped into produce, meat, baking, canned goods etc. Seasonal, household or Aldi Finds are often in the same, separate aisle (except meat, which is in a marked bin with the rest of the meat, of course). Don’t forget to look in the large free-standing waist-high freezers/refrigerators–they often hold the sale items.
5. Aldi hours can be more limited than that of larger supermarkets so check before you go. Our local stores are normally open either 8AM-9 PM or 9AM to 9 PM M-F with slightly shortened hours on Sunday, closing at 7 or 8 PM.