When I’ve talked to people about Aldi one of the things that I have found that people find most daunting is the prospect packing their own bags. Depending on the norms where you live it is apparently not unusual to go your whole life without having to pack your own groceries. Here is a quick guide to packing efficiently and safely.
Remember to bring your own bags! Aldi does not supply bags for groceries of any kind. I like flat-bottomed, reinforced bags and I always have at least one insulated bag with me for refrigerated and frozen items. In the summer, I also bring at least one of these ice packs to keep things extra cold. A cooler in your truck is another good idea if, like me, your Aldi is a bit of a distance and you live in an area that gets hot. When I use a cooler, I don’t pack up my cold items in the store, I leave them in the cart and pack the cooler when I reach my car. I also bring a foldable bag in my purse I case I need it in the store. I keep additional flat-bottomed bags in my truck as well–there has been more than one time I’ve had to pack an extra bag or two at my car!
Read my guide my guide to checking out here before you go for more tips about check out.
- Designate bags for each type of item. Personally, I do 1-2 pantry bag(s) for canned goods and other nonperishables or nonfood items, one “fragile” bag for things like chips or bread, one (non-insulated) bag for refrigerated produce like mushrooms or spinach, one bag for room temperature produce like tomatoes or citrus, and an insulated bag for any meat, dairy or eggs. I do not pack things like 10 lb bags of potatoes. This makes both packing at the store and unpacking at home so much easier.
- Distribute weight evenly! Don’t make one bag so heavy you can’t lift it. This sounds obvious but it is really easy to do. I either put overflow in my foldable bag or combine the functions of bags (like putting canned goods under the fragile items) as needed.
- Know the capacity of each bag. I lost a great Wonder Woman bag when I put one too many can in it and the handle snapped. Luckily nothing else was damaged when it collapsed in my driveway.
- Place heavier, flatter items on the bottom of the bags and smaller, lighter items on top. In my perishables bag, I place packages of meat on the bottom then top with cheese, sour cream etc then perch light items like eggs on top. If I don’t have room for eggs, I place them in the bottom of the “fragile” bag.
- I have never had a problem with packages of meat leaking at Aldi (I think because the meat arrives already packaged to Aldi vs. a butcher packaging it in store) but keeping a plastic bag handy is always a good idea–place the packages of meat in the bag before packing into the reusable bags to help contain any leaks.
- Don’t stack bags in your truck! Place heavier bags towards the front so they do not slide around and crush items in smaller, lighter bags.