Shopping tips for beginners from Aldi

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX)-On Aug. 24 in Ocean Springs, Aldi will open its first store on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and shoppers are raving.

In an effort to keep costs down, Aldi operates a little differently than most other grocery stores. And it’s that slight mystery that adds to the anticipation. Here are some things to know before your first Aldi shopping trip.

1. Bring a quarter for a shopping cart

Don’t worry, you will get your coin back. But to use a buggy, you need to put a coin first to unlock it from the others. When you return it, they give you the coin back. Remember, they’re cutting costs and that means they’re not paying an employee to take care of all the lost buggies that people leave in the parking lot.

If you’re going to be a regular, you might want to pick up the Aldi Quarter Keychain. It sticks to your key chain so you always have a quarter with you. The store is always bringing out new designs, so you’ll be able to find one that suits your style.

The Aldi Quarter Keychain attaches to your keyring so you always have a coin with you to...
The Aldi Quarter Keychain attaches to your keyring so you always have a coin with you for a shopping cart.(WLOX)

2. Bring your own bags

If you ever shop at Sam’s Club, you should be used to this one. Just bring your own reusable bags or grab an empty box from a shelf to help you get everything out. The no free bag policy helps reduce costs and you can feel good about using less plastic. If you don’t have to-go bags, you can buy reusable bags at the store. You will find them for sale at the checkout.

See also  Women's football team in demand after England's historic win

3. Pack your own purchases

This one should be obvious as you have to bring your own bags. The cashier will scan his items and load them back into his buggy. Usually he will pack the items for him after you pay. The good news, however, is that he prefers his food to be bagged exactly as it will be packaged at Aldi. (Because you’re doing the bagging. Do you get it?)

4. Coupons are not allowed

If you love clipping coupons and combining them with weekly deals, you’ll have to save that hobby for another store. More than 90% of everything sold in Aldi stores is packaged under the Aldi brand. And for the few national brands in the store, they don’t accept coupons. There is one exception. Occasionally, Aldi will print and distribute coupons for a special regional promotion, such as a grand opening. So if you go to the Ocean Springs store’s grand opening, you can score one of Aldi’s elusive coupons. But they won’t be online. They are always delivered to stores or personally mailed.

5. There is a hall of shame

The Aisle of Shame is an affectionate nickname for Aldi’s central aisle that features seasonal items that change every week. But it is even more than that. There is also a blog and newsletter for Aldi fans, which you can find at aisleofshame.com and there is a Hall of Shame Facebook Page and Facebook Group with 1.3 million members. This is part of what sets Aldi apart from other grocery stores. It has a kind of cult following, I mean, community following.

See also  You've been shopping wrong at Dollar Tree

6. Aldi’s return policy is 🔥

They call it their Double Nice Guaranteed. If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with the quality of any Aldi brand food, Aldi will replace the product AND refund your money. You must have your receipt if you want a refund the same way you paid. But even if you don’t, they’ll give you an Aldi Merchandise Credit gift card equal to the current retail price of the returned item. Computers and electronics are the only items that have a time limit for returns. They must be returned with a receipt within 90 days of purchase.

7. Aldi offers grocery delivery and pickup

Aldi’s delivery is operated by Instacart. So if you already have an Instacart account or the mobile app, simply sign in with your email address and password. You also can visit store.aldi.us and enter your zip code to determine if your local store offers delivery and/or pickup. Learn more at www.aldi.us/en/pickup-delivery/grocery-pickup/

ALDI will open 150 new stores this year, 20 of them in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. By the end of 2022, ALDI is on track to be the third largest grocery store in the country.

Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here for subscribe to our newsletter.