There are some huge mistakes everyone makes when shopping at Aldi. Going to the supermarket can often feel like a chore — something that you do while battling the Sunday Scaries to food prep for the week ahead. You know there are going to be long lines, you’ll have to confront temptations in the frozen foods aisle (*ahem* ice cream), and you’re bound to forget something on your list — probably the one major item you came for in the first place.
Indeed, food shopping can feel like a nightmare — that is, unless you shop at Aldi. One of the fastest-growing retailers in the country, Aldi has nearly 2,000 stores that serve millions of Americans every month, according to its website. Additionally, it’s on its way to becoming the third-largest supermarket in the country.
For many people, shopping at Aldi is actually quite an easy and breezy experience. That’s thanks to the chain, which has undertaken a number of initiatives to ensure that shoppers save money and time while grabbing their groceries; you’d be mistaken not to familiarize yourself with them. Here are huge mistakes everyone makes while shopping at Aldi because they didn’t know better.
You made the mistake of calling Aldi instead of talking to someone in person
First thing’s first: Aldi is a very customer-focused grocery store, and they don’t just say this to fill their website with jargon, either. They actually take actions to prove that they care about their shoppers. One example of this is that Aldi doesn’t list their local phone numbers on their website, as they don’t want you to call them if you have any questions or concerns. That’s one of the huge mistakes everyone makes at least once with Aldi.
Instead, Aldi would rather speak to you in person. Communication is key, after all, and it’s no secret that having face-to-face conversations is more effective than trying to figure things out over the phone or, worse, by email. “To streamline our operations, we want to engage with you personally,” their website reads. “Please visit your local store with any questions you might have.”
To find your local Aldi store, you can check out Aldi’s Store Locator, or contact the customer service department. Don’t hesitate to waltz into your local grocery store and chat with the store manager about any questions you may have while shopping.
Everyone makes the mistake of not using the Aldi app
There are two huge mistakes that people make at the grocery store: 1. You went shopping while hungry. Your eyes are always bigger than your stomach, and your wallet won’t appreciate it. 2. You shopped without a list. Again, your wandering eye will convince you to buy a whole lot more than you need.
Fortunately, Aldi makes grocery shopping simple by offering the ability to create a shopping list via its mobile app. Say goodbye to the pen-and-paper lists of the past — the kinds of lists that don’t promise your products are in stock. We’re living in more advanced times these days.
Easily use the app’s shopping list tool to create your list of must-have items that are available in your Aldi store. All you have to do is download and install the free app, then get create a list before you head out. You can even search “special buys,” and keep an eye on what your total will be, which means that you can actually stick to your grocery budget. Watch out for the sneaky ways Aldi gets you to spend more money, though.
Don't make the mistake of ignoring Aldi's recipes
Aldi is more than a supermarket; it’s also a one-stop resource for all things grocery. This means that not only can you find your favorite products in Aldi stores across the country, but you can also try out Aldi’s recipes with those groceries. That’s right: Aldi offers recipes on its website that you can check out and cook for yourself. Whether you’re looking for dinner inspiration or some ideas for your next special occasion, Aldi offers a range of recipes that you can categorize by time of day, diet, type of food, holiday, and more.
You can learn how to make all kinds of delicious foods, such as roast turkey with herbed butter with white wine gravy, harvest apple walnut stuffing, backwards s’mores bars, or chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. You can even find drink recipes for cocktails, smoothies, shakes, and non-alcoholic beverages on their site. So don’t make the huge mistake of ignoring Aldi’s recipes before hitting the store to shop for your next meal or dessert. Additionally, read this before stepping foot into an Aldi again.
You didn't use your SNAP benefits at Aldi, which is a mistake
If you are struggling to afford groceries to feed your family, you’re not alone — and Aldi is here to help. According to Tech Crunch, the online grocery delivery service Instacart made an important change for Aldi customers: they’ve partnered up to offer eligible shoppers Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assistance. Some 36 million people receive SNAP benefits (AKA food stamps), according to the program.
SNAP is administered by the U.S. government for qualified individuals. It offers individuals financial assistance with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Those who are eligible can use the card like a debit card to purchase qualified products in authorized food stores like Aldi. These products include meats, veggies, cereals, bread, poultry, fish, fruit, and more.
Eligibility for SNAP benefits varies by state. You can visit the eligibility checker on the U.S. government benefits page to see whether or not you qualify for assistance. If you want to learn more, visit the SNAP State Directory to contact your local office. It’s a huge mistake if you don’t check you eligibility, as you can save a lot of cash if you qualify.
It's a mistake not to grab People's Pick while shopping at Aldi
In case you didn’t already know, Aldi products are actually mostly from Aldi itself, according to the supermarket’s website. In fact, more than 90 percent of Aldi stores consist of Aldi-exclusive products. Moreover, one in three of these Aldi-exclusive products is award-winning. These include organic meats, fresh produce, gourmet cheeses, sustainable seafoods, specialty wine, trending products, and diet-specific items like gluten-free options. Who knew ALDI has an award-winning $10 bottle of wine!?
One of the best things about Aldi is that the grocery store offers People’s Picks, too. This is a nationwide, consumer-voted awards program that reveals the country’s favorite Aldi products. So it’s worth looking out for the little blue People’s Picks logo stickers on the winning products in stores around the country. After all, consumers voted for these products for many reasons, so it’s a huge mistake not to give these items a try yourself.
Don't make the mistake of skipping the Aldi finds
Aldi Finds are some of the best items you can find in the store. So don’t make the huge mistake of overlooking them while shopping there, because they won’t last forever! Each week, the supermarket sells limited-time-only specialty items, as well as various seasonal products throughout the year. For example, these October Aldi Finds were a steal for under $5!
Aldi is always testing new products to feature as finds, too, from unique foods and home goods to gardening supplies and pet accessories. Also included in Aldi Finds are weekly produce and fresh meat specials. In 2019 alone, the company tested more than 4,800 ALDI Finds — and some of them even became product lines, like the Earth Grown line of vegetarian and vegan foods, and the Aldi-exclusive brand of gluten-free items LiveGfree. “If an item sells well, it could come back as an ALDI Find throughout the year or even be added to our everyday selection,” the website reads. “Our goal is always to provide fun and exciting ALDI Finds shoppers will love.”
You made a mistake if you didn't get fresh produce while shopping at Aldi
There’s nothing like going to the local farmer’s market to pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables. But the problem with markets is that the produce is always so expensive. Aldi, however, is known for the fresh produce it sells for reasonable prices.
Aldi teams up with growers from around the country to source the freshest fruits and vegetables, as well as support local farms. Additionally, the organic produce, such as the bananas, tomatoes, avocados, apples, and salad mixes, are only treated with pesticides that are derived from natural sources, according to the Aldi website. To that end, you don’t have to worry about non-organic chemicals or toxins on your veggies. Plus, you don’t have to break the bank to add some berries to your morning breakfast.
So don’t make the huge mistake of forgetting to add fresh seasonal fruits and delicious vegetables to your cart the next time you’re shopping at Aldi. You’ll regret it if you leave without these items, even though some say don’t buy your produce at Aldi.
If you didn't get Aldi-exclusive seafood, you made a mistake
Aldi is recognized around the country for its award-winning, Aldi-exclusive seafood section. The supermarket works with partners like the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) to source seafood products that meet sustainability criteria from the Marine Stewardship Counsel (MSC) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP). These products all have easy-to-spot seals on the packaging, so you can be sure that your seafood products are ethically-sourced. “Our approach is based on sourcing our fish and shellfish products from responsibly managed fisheries and farms that have minimal impacts on the wider marine environment and are committed to human rights and fair labor practices throughout the supply chain,” the website reads. So don’t make the huge mistake of skipping the seafood aisle the next time you’re shopping at Aldi.
Not only are Aldi’s seafood products sustainable, but they’re also scrumptious. Choose from a variety of delicious seafood items like Atlantic salmon, tilapia fillets, and steelhead trout, and never be disappointed. Plus, you’ll know exactly what you’re eating before you spend dollars on these products.
Still, some say you should think twice before buying seafood at Aldi, just FYI.
If you don't shop at Aldi, you're making a mistake
Grocery shopping can cost a pretty penny, especially if your mouth isn’t the only one that you’re feeding. People spend hundreds on groceries every week. In fact, according to The Ascent, consumers spent an average of $660 on food every month in 2018. Additionally, groceries accounted for 7.3 percent of total household spending every month in 2018. That’s a lot of money.
Fortunately for Aldi fans, the chain takes prides in offering shoppers great value so they don’t have to spend nearly that much. Without skimping on quality, Aldi offers customers pretty good prices. And we’re not the only ones who think so — Aldi has won awards for its value offerings. That’s why it’s a huge mistake not to shop there!
Aldi shoppers save up to 50 percent compared to traditional grocers. “For nine years running, Aldi has held the esteemed title of Value Leader among U.S. grocery stores by Market Force Information, and Aldi has been No. 1 for price according to the dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index Report for three years running,” reads their site.
Don't make the mistake of skipping price readjustments at Aldi
Ever buy a product from Aldi and take it home, only to realize that just a few days later, it dropped in price? Trust us, it happens all the time. You see the same item on the shelf for a fraction of the cost that you paid for it. It makes you cringe, and wish you waited just a few more days for the product to go on sale.
But we can’t live with regrets, and Aldi makes sure that you never will, either. At Aldi, you can take products back for price readjustments if and when the prices drop. That’s right: just take your receipt to the store where you purchased the product, and the store manager will make the adjustment for you, according to the store site. Just make sure that you keep an eye on product prices the next time you go shopping, and carry your receipts with you in case you notice any drops that could get you some cash or store credit. And don’t make the huge mistake of being too complacent to check!
Did you make the mistake of buying recalled products at Aldi?
Every now and again, retailers recall certain products. This can happen for a number of reasons, but it’s really quite crappy for customers who already made the huge mistake of purchasing recalled items.
But if you’ve purchased a recalled product from Aldi, don’t forget to reach out to the store to get your money back, as they’ll refund you. You can even find a list of recalls here. “From time to time in the retail world, questions regarding a product’s quality or safety — or errors in its packaging or shipment — may arise,” the store site reads. “On those rare occasions, Aldi has a plan to swiftly and effectively remove such products from the store.”
Basically, Aldi will automatically pull products from its shelves that don’t meet Aldi or government standards. And if you’ve already brought one of these items home, you can just bring it right on back.
It's a mistake not to order your groceries in advance for pickup at Aldi
One of Aldi’s nicest perks for customers is that you can order your groceries in advance and easily pick them up, according to the supermarket’s website. You choose what you want to purchase, and someone at the store will go around and scoop up all of your groceries for you. When they’re ready, you just have to swing buy and grab them.
If you’re really in a time crunch or aren’t feeling up to hitting the store in person, you can have your groceries delivered to your home, too. Through Instacart, an online grocery delivery platform, you can order your products online and have someone deliver them directly to your door. You’ll even get free delivery on orders of over $35 if you are a first-time customer. Just shop the hundreds of items on the website, and then sit back and relax while someone else does the legwork for you. Don’t make the huge mistake of shopping in person when you don’t have to!
Everyone makes the mistake of forgetting their quarter and recyclable shopping bags at Aldi
There are two things you should never forget when you’re headed to Aldi: 1. Your quarter. 2. Your reusable shopping bags.
For one, Aldi uses coin-operated shopping carts, which means that you’ll need a quarter in order to snag one. The $0.25 deposit might seem like a scheme for the supermarket chain to make more money, but it actually saves customers money — and you get your quarter back at the end of your trip! This is because the company doesn’t have to hire extra staff to collect grocery carts, according to the Aldi website. The reason? The deposit ensures that shoppers return their carts to the corrals in order to get their coins back.
Reusable shopping bags also help Aldi save money, as the company doesn’t have to cover the costs of the bags. Plus, reusing grocery bags helps to protect the planet from plastic waste and keep the environment clean. While Aldi customers don’t need to bring their own bags to shop at Aldi (there are bags, both plastic and canvas, for sale), bringing your own bag is highly encouraged.
Don't worry if you made the mistake of not knowing where your products come from at Aldi
Ever think about where your products come from? Most of the time we grocery shop, we’re just thinking about what we want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the upcoming week. Or maybe we have a special event on our minds, and we’re considering the diets of the company we’re planning to host.
However, it’s also important to think about the origin of your products — and Aldi makes it easy to do just that. “Whether it’s ensuring safe and fair working conditions, being committed to human rights and fair labor practices, making sure our suppliers are treated fairly, or making sure our products are sustainably sourced to reduce the environmental and social impacts of their production, we put our suppliers first,” the company says on its site. It really is a huge mistake not to care about these things, after all.
Also, Aldi’s Social Standards in Production guidelines outline the “minimum social standards” for its suppliers, and you can learn more about its relationships on their website.
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