My Tuesday afternoon routine used to go like this:
- Drop my son off at his violin lesson. (At that point, the clock was ticking!)
- Make a U-turn and head to my favorite store, ALDI.
- With shopping list in hand, make a mad dash through the store and emerge on the other side with enough groceries to feed my family of 6 for the week.
- Drive back to the violin lesson in time to meet my son at the door.
Total elapsed time: 30 minutes!
I considered it a triumph to get all the grocery shopping done in under 30 minutes (including the short drive and checkout)! It was so good to get that task out of the way in such a quick turnaround.
A huge thanks to ALDI for sponsoring this post! My very enthusiastic opinion is completely my own. Make sure you grab a copy of the FREE printable 7 dinner meal plan for ALDI below.
Why I love shopping at ALDI
Price. Honestly, ALDI has most of the items on my shopping list at a better price than any other local store. Eggs are routinely 99 cents a dozen, butter is $2.99 / lb, and cheese is $3 / lb. Prices do vary from store to store, so it’s always wise to know what a good price is for an item in your own area.
Quality. ALDI has removed artificial colors and ingredients from their own SimplyNature line of products (source). I appreciate being able to buy organic and non-GMO items at ALDI prices!
Selection. The organic section is wonderful – and growing! They’ve got plenty of gluten-free items for my son with food allergies. They’ve got delicious cheeses, a variety of non-dairy milks. I’ve just discovered their line of flavored burgers which make dinner so unbelievably easy.
Time saved. Shopping at a larger store can be a huge time suck! It’s so easy to go in and come out with way more than you have written on your list. With ALDI, the potential for distraction is much smaller – there’s no endless aisle of toys or cards. There’s no pharmacy. The produce section is modest.
ALDI 101 – what to know before you shop at ALDI
If you’ve never shopped at ALDI, you’ll want to be aware of a few things before you go.
Bring a quarter. You have to use a quarter to unlock a shopping cart and etiquette encourages you to bring it back. This isn’t a problem because the parking lots are much smaller than the typical grocery store.
ALDI does a lot to make their operation efficient. You’ll never see an employee standing around – these people are busy! When the cashier lines are short, the employees go back to restocking and tidying up the shelves. When they’re working the register, they are fast.
No weighing of produce. Instead, these items are packaged up for sale (3 pounds of apples, 2 green peppers, etc.) A few things are sold by weight and packaged with the weight and price already marked (like fresh meat and bananas). Some items are sold at a fixed price that other stores usually weigh (like a fixed price for a head of cauliflower or a set price per peach or plum).
You’ll bag your own groceries. At ALDI you have to bag your own groceries – this saves tons of time in the checkout line, especially when you’re behind people like me who buy so. much. food.
Bring your own shopping bags (or buy them in the checkout lane). Or you can bring a laundry basket like I do. I know lots of people are used to getting these for free, but it’s really such a waste of plastic the way other stores bag groceries.
Check the specials. ALDI has specials that rotate in and out frequently. A large section is devoted to seasonal items such as outdoor toys, gardening items and kitchen tools. We bought a juicer at ALDI one year that was the same model as one I found for 3 times the cost.
Free ALDI meal plan with easy dinners!
Psst! Want a peek into my meal planning binder?
I created a video tour of my meal planning binder so you can get a quick look into my binder and see how I plan out the menu for the week.
You can find ALDI online here:
Are you an ALDI shopper? What would you add to this list?