Aldi is designed around having the quickest, most efficient service of the grocery chains. This means some “perks” like cashiers that pack your bags are not available. Here is a handy guide to navigating checkout.
- Bring your own bags! I like flat-bottomed, reinforced bags and I always have at least one insulated bag with me for refrigerated and frozen items. In the summer, I also bring at least one ice pack but my Aldi is a 15-20 minute drive so this may not be necessary for you. They are great ice packs though, they recently kept perishable groceries cold in a cooler for over 4 hrs. I also bring a foldable bag in my purse I case I need it.
- The cart you “rented” for a quarter is most often not the cart you leave with. Cashiers will start filling up the (empty) cart of the person before you before you have time to unload all of your items on to the belt.
- It does not matter what order you put the items on the belt, they will be placed willy-nilly into the cart. Fragile items will often be put in the child seat.
- Take your bags out of the cart before checking out and giving the cashier your now empty cart.
- Take the cart to the bagging area and begin to bag your groceries.
- Load your car.
- Return the cart to the cart area and retrieve your quarter.
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The checkout and cart rental are definitely the reasons I avoided Aldi for way too long. I don’t like not knowing the procedure. I hope this post will give other people confidence to go to Aldi for the first time.
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I regularly shop at two Aldi stores, and there’s always a great deal of cart-bartering in both parking lots. People just arriving “buy” the carts of people who have just unloaded their carts into their cars, saving both a trip to the cart area. More often than not, the “owner” of the cart doesn’t even take the quarter, paying it forward, and encourages the next person to do the same. It’s very friendly.
That’s fun! I’ve encountered a bit of that too, thanks for sharing!