I didn’t go to Aldi for a very long time after it opened here in Gympie. Not because I didn’t want to – mainly because I wasn’t sure what to expect. ‘But they won’t have the brands I know and love!’ I cried….. But now I’m truly a convert. I love most of their products – there are a few I could leave – but that is the same anywhere…. What I really love is the savings and how cheap my fortnightly/monthly shop now is because of this wonderful place.
Aldi is a German owned company that buys in bulk to pass the savings on to you. They don’t stock many fancy items – they specialise in staples and day to day food a normal family would consume. Nearly every item you buy at Aldi WILL be cheaper than the Woollies or Coles Supermarkets – quite significantly in same cases. But just because you are paying less, don’t think you are compromising on quality. I think a lot of the Aldi products are equal or superior to those (Cowbelle Cheese….. mmmmmm)
It really is a new type of shopping experience so your first time can be quite a shock. Forget everything you have learned at Woollies or IGA, this is a new and streamlined way to shop.
Step 1: Before you leave
Go online and familiarise yourself with their products and specials (www.aldi.com.au). Make sure you carry a $2 coin for the trolley’s – no trolley boys here – you place $2 in the slot and take your trolley – and return it when your done (to get your $2 back). Aldi do sell trolley tolkens – I keep one on my keyring for times I’m out of coins (often…)
Take a whole bag full of bags – used shopping bags or the eco-type are perfect. Bags will cost you extra, but they are available if you forget. Aldi also sell the freezer bags for your cold goods. But if you carried an esky or similar in your car – again you won’t need to spend the extra dollars.
Step 2: The Shop
If it’s possible, leave the kids with a relative the first time you go so you can really have a good look at the products they have available. You will see many strange brands you probably have never seen before. Aldi either imports a lot of products, or has them specially made in Australia just for Aldi supermarkets – so you won’t see these brands anywhere else.
Aldi is perfect for the ‘Staple Goods’ shop. That is – items you use all the time, your pasta noodles, cheeses, bread, milk, alumium foil etc. All these items are so cheap it’s unbelievable! What Aldi is not good for is items like your favourite Cadbury Chocolate or Peters Ice Cream – if you have a favourite treat – then that sort of thing is best bought at one of the other chains. You can’t buy EVERYTHING at Aldi – expect that before you go. It’s a complimentary shopping system – buy your needs at Aldi, buy your wants everywhere else.
Step 3: Checkouts
Stack your goods on the conveyer belt just like at any other store. When you get to the front – you are required to turn your trolley around – and abutt it to the counter. Then a very efficient lady WILL check you bag, and will proceed to scan your items at about a thousand kilometers an hour. You have to keep up and put all the goods into your trolley. Now isn’t the time to bag it all up individually and sort – you’ll hold up the line! (unless you have hands like lightening of course!). That’s what the long counter behind the checkout is for! So be prepared for some fast paced action. Think of it as semi-self-service.
Aldi charges extra for the use of credit cards – so don’t use one if you can.
Now your all prepared for your first trip – what was your first trip to Aldi like?