Alright, full disclosure.  I've only been to Aldi twice. This growing chain of affordable grocery stores is very popular in Minnesota and beyond.  I definitely could have benefitted from some of this information before I went to Aldi the first time.

So if you haven't been this will should help you.  But even if you go all the time, it seems like these tips might help you out as well.  I can't help but question a few of the tips.  So read on and see if you agree or disagree.  Or maybe just question some things like I do.

Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash
Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash
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1. Bring a quarter for the cart: Aldi does not pay extra staff to collect the carts and bring them back to the corral.  Instead you put in a quarter deposit to get your cart out, then when you return the cart to the corral you get your quarter back.  I knew nothing about this on my first visit and was super confused.

2.  Always use a cart:  Apparently you should take a cart even if you don't have a lot to get because the cashiers use your cart and the last customers cart as they check out your groceries due to lack of counter space.  I had to figure this part out, since you need your cart to get your quarter back.  No worries, you'll walk out with a cart. Trust the system I guess.

German Grocery Chain Aldi To Invest $3.4 Billion Into U.S. Stores
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3.  Unload heavy items first:  I'm used to big-box stores like Costco where you leave this stuff in the cart.  Apparently it's not like that at Aldi.  They need to go up on the conveyer belt and first is best.

4.  Don't chit-chat with the cashiers:  This advice comes from a self-proclaimed "superfan" of Aldi.  She says that cashier productivity and efficiency are closely monitored to help keep costs down so we should let them work.  I don't know anyone that works there so I can't confirm this info. I get it, but it's one of the things I question, I'm paying so I guess I want to act in whatever way I choose.   But, I guess she's saying we should be friendly, but not overly-chatty.

5.  Grocery bags and bagging:  Bring your own bags and plan on bagging your own groceries. If you don't bring bags, you'll have to pay.  .12 cents for paper bags or .69 to .98 cents for reusable bags.  I did not know that cashiers do not bag at Aldi, so that first time I went, I just kind of went with it and acted like I knew.  Hopefully this helps you to know before you go so you're ready for it.

Get more tips from "superfan" Patty Catalano.

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