2020 was one of the biggest years of change of the last century. As citizens, people have learned to live a new life full of social distancing, online communication, and additional health and safety precautions. The same changes and more are being instilled in the world of grocery stores. Every chain has had to completely reevaluate how to best fill their customers’ needs. One brand that has been working incredibly diligently at cutting costs while promoting safety has been the same store that is currently working towards becoming the United States’ third largest grocery retailer: Aldi! Grab the flyers, sit down and get ready to save with these 10 SHOPPING SECRETS Aldi Doesn’t Want You to Know!
10. Shop Aldi from your Sofa
In 2020, as the world has drastically changed around us all, customers have had to adjust to new ways of grocery shopping. While everyone continues to socially distance for safety reasons, grocery shopping can feel like an extremely anxiety-provoking situation. Luckily for Aldi shoppers, Instacart has arrived to save the day! Starting in 2018, Aldi launched their online grocery delivery service through the Instacart platform. No longer would customers have to enter the store and spend all kinds of time walking up and down the aisles trying to remember where the canned tomatoes were. Long gone are these issues of the past as Aldi has begun focusing on allowing the customers to do their shopping from home. Although this may increase their staffing costs, it has become a necessary expenditure in 2020, as personal shoppers and order fillers are becoming more of a commonplace job. Aldi is also now beginning to offer curbside pickup to help guarantee customers have quick access to their groceries if the items are needed in a faster manner. It’s amazing how technology has changed the way in which we bring home the bacon! Everyone can feel a little safer out there knowing that companies are working vigilantly to update and reflect on the times we’re living in, making sure everything is as safe and convenient as possible.
9. Baked Goods are Discounted Days Before Expiration
A great tip on saving money while shopping at Aldi is to check out the discounted bread section. Although the baked goods are reduced to 50% off, they are actually discounted five days before their best before date, meaning that these treats can still be fresh for days before losing their quality. This means that loaves of bread to use for French toast on Sunday morning to the cakes and donuts for Saturday tea are all discounted to save customers a little extra cash. This ends up being a mutually beneficial exchange for both the customers and the store as well. Rather than wasting entire shipments of baked goods, Aldi has the opportunity to sell as many of the products as possible prior to the expiration date. Although the bread may be a little bit less fresh than what’s on the full price shelf, most of the time there is no noticeable difference. In addition, a shopper can always feel like they are making a smart choice for both their wallet and the planet by keeping the bread from going in the trash bin. Next time your at Aldi, see if there’s any discount bread specialties that belong in your cart, who knows, you might go home with the best bread you ever had!
8. Don’t Have a Quarter for the Cart? Don’t Stress!
Is there anything worse than showing up to the grocery store to do your weekly grocery shopping, only to realize that the carts require a quarter – which of course, you don’t have on you? Aldi is prepared to help customers handle this small and yet annoying mishap that always seems to happen to the best of us. If any customer arrives at the grocery store without a quarter in hand, all they need to do is speak to a cashier and they will be happy to assist them by producing a quarter. Many may wonder what the point is of the cart quarter system if they are so willing to offer up a quarter to any customer who missed the memo. The entire purpose behind the system is to decrease costs and increase customer satisfaction. One of the biggest issues at any grocery store is runaway carts left in the parking lot. These carts have the potential to be pushed by the wind and have even been known to smash into cars. This can cause huge liabilities for the grocery store and so typically they hire someone to clean up the carts and continually keep the corral full. Aldi has realized that by adding a quarter requirement, not only will they decrease their labor costs by encouraging people to return their carts in order to get their quarter back, it also helps decrease the possibility of cart theft. Who knew that one simple change could bring so much positivity! We suggest that shoppers always return their carts to the corral, quarter or not, as a simple act of safety and kindness.
7. Aldi is Coupon Free
One of the biggest things that Aldi owners do not necessarily advertise to their customers is that they do not accept most coupons! Although this can be incredibly frustrating for the customer at checkout, there are good reasons behind their refusal of coupons. This refusal to accept coupons usually even extends to manufacturers’ coupons, however as Aldi does not often stock name brand products, this is less of an issue. No harm, no foul, right? Although most coupon kings and queens live for the additional discount they get at the checkout, with Aldi the best price they can offer has already been put on the shelf. Meaning there’s no need for coupons when the items are already at their cheapest price! Continuously changing sales and signs takes up employees time and in turn costs the company money. Although selling items slightly cheaper from the start may seem like it will become a money loss over the long term, the savings have been calculated by head office to offer the cheapest pricing possible. It is extremely difficult to know exactly how much time and work is equivalent to how much money, but Aldi has hired some of the best efficiency experts in the world to guarantee that they are one of the fastest and cheapest grocery stores around. So although the coupon at the cash register may be denied, feel secure in knowing that all the products in your cart are just about as cheap as they can be!
6. Paper or Plastic? Pick Reusable!
Another fantastic way that Aldi secretly works to save you money is by charging for plastic bags. This is becoming a more common practice in the United States, however, it is fairly standardized in Europe where Aldi originated. Although Aldi still offers both paper and plastic for self bagging groceries at the checkout, it also charges the customer based on both the size of the bag and the number of bags taken. This can range from just a few pennies to nearly a dollar so it’s best to keep those extra cents in your pocket and opt for shopping with reusable bags. All those tiny plastic bag purchases add up over time! Not only will reusable bags guarantee that a customer is continuously saving money while shopping at Aldi, it is also one of the best strategies for helping to reduce the use of single use plastics. Considering it takes about a thousand years to break down plastic and for these bags to decompose, this is an amazing and simple change that can make a big difference. Using reusable bags can save both your wallet and the planet! It’s a little just something to think about if you want to reduce your ecological footprint!
5. The Aldi Brand Products Might be The Best to Buy
A major reason that many shoppers have avoided Aldi for years has stemmed from the fact that Aldi offers many of their own individual store brands instead of the traditional name brand products that customers are familiar with. Kind of like what Costco does. Although many recognizable products are still available at Aldi, sometimes the pricing on these items is preferable at other locations. This is not the case with Aldi’s personal store brands that offer incredible value in terms of both quality and pricing. Aldi’s store brands are backed by the “Twice as Nice Guarantee” meaning that if an Aldi brand product does not satisfy, the customer will receive a full refund and an entirely new replacement product. This helps tell customers that Aldi’s private label brand is absolutely phenomenal. No company would be willing to offer such an incredible return policy unless they felt certain that their products could stand up to the test. One example of their phenomenal quality is the maple syrup that is offered under the “Specially Selected” brand. Its sole ingredient is reported to be 100% pure maple syrup. Considering many name brand pancake syrups are nothing but sugar and corn syrup, this is impressive, especially coming from a store brand. The pricing of their items also can’t be beat so be sure to try the Aldi store brand instead of the popular big name next time and see how wonderful it can be to have your cake, and eat it too!
4. Aldi has a Secret Twin: Trader Joe’s!
The next fact on the list of things Aldi owners don’t want customers to know is the fact that Aldi has an extremely long and complex history with a twin brand. A twin, you say? To begin, it’s important to understand that in Europe there are two versions of the Aldi Store: Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud. This translates to Aldi North and Aldi South! The reasoning behind the two versions of the store starts with a disagreement between two founding brothers. As cigarettes grew in popularity, brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht feuded on whether or not to sell cigarettes in the Aldi locations. The issue was regarding whether the sale of the product would attract potential theft. Unable to come to an agreement, the company was split down the middle and the two Aldis were born. You may expect that since there is only one Aldi in America, the two brands combined to pursue western expansion, or perhaps only one half of the company pursued American investment. The truth is actually much more surprising! Both Aldi Nord & Aldi Sud are currently operating in the United States, however under a name that many may not expect. While Aldi Sud has kept the Aldi name in The United States, Aldi Nord is currently operating under the Trader Joe’s name! Yes, your local favorite grocery store is actually an Aldi branch! This is probably no surprise to fans of both the stores as everyone knows what amazing products and deals are available at both locations!
3. Small Staffing Means Big Savings at Aldi
Aldi has an incredibly smart way of keeping all those grocery costs down. While most grocery stores are overfilled with staff cleaning out the aisles, running the cash registers, and completing any other grocery store tasks, Aldi has opted to remove a great deal of the manual labor from the store, effectively being able to completely cut out much of the required staffing. They’ve done this by seamlessly cutting costs with the addition of things like the cart coin return system, self checkouts, and items remaining in their original shipping boxes on the shelves. Basically, it means that there are fewer people walking around the store, and more money going into the bank. Paying less staff means that the additional savings can be passed directly to the customer which is reflected in the price of their products. Although this type of shopping experience isn’t for everyone, it can be a great option for independent shoppers who require very little assistance. It’s safe to say that despite the pleasant experience for the customers, it isn’t something that the employees love. Feeling understaffed can be stressful but it’s Aldi’s job to ensure that the process is speedy and pleasant for both the customers and the employees. Employees are often the location’s best customers, so guaranteeing their happiness is just as important, if not more, than the average customer. You know what they say – customers will never love a company until its employees love it first!
2. Aldi’s Return Policy is Extraordinary
One thing that Aldi owners definitely do not want you to know is just how phenomenal their return policy is. To begin, so long as you have your receipt, almost anything can be refunded in the original payment form, be that cash or credit. With the exception of alcohol in some states, and a 90 day return policy relating to technology items such as computers, one can feel confident that their receipt in hand will allow them a full refund. And for those who have lost the receipt, where we’ve all found ourselves at some point or another, Aldi is still happy to offer a store merchandise credit to assist in purchasing a new product. Even better than their initial return policy is their “Twice as Nice Guarantee” which ensures that any Aldi-exclusive brand item will not only be refunded at the full value if the customer is unsatisfied, but it will also be completely replaced in its entirety. That means that if the laundry detergent wasn’t working right, Aldi will not only refund the value of the product but give the customer a brand new container of detergent! This not only ensures that the customer has an amazing experience if there are any issues regarding returns, but it also forces the Aldi Brand products to live up to the same quality that competitors offer. The company is not interested in continuously refunding and offering free products – it’s a money loss – so therefore they ensure that the groceries are phenomenal!
1. Wednesday is the Best Shopping Day at Aldi
One of the best kept secrets about Aldi is about which day of the week you choose to shop there. According to some employees, the absolute best day to take a trip to Aldi is Wednesday. On Wednesdays, Aldi does two things that make it the superior of shopping days. Firstly, Wednesday is the day that the weekly produce goes on sale! This means all the best fruits and vegetables from peaches to mushrooms are put on sale for customer convenience. This can be a great day to meal plan while shopping for the entire weekend. Considering Aldi is already one of the absolute cheapest places to buy produce, these sales can make a massive difference on a weekly or monthly grocery bill. In addition to produce sales, Wednesdays are the day when many of the locations restock the Aldi’s Finds section. Why is it important to shop the same day the restock happens? Well, some of these finds are so incredible that they are gone before the afternoon is over! There’s nothing worse than showing up to a sale and realizing that everything good has already been taken by an earlier bird! Getting up early and making this trip a new addition to the schedule can save some serious cash! Next time you’re planning an Aldi trip, try and schedule it for Wednesday morning. You won’t be disappointed!