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ALDI 101

A couple of weeks ago, when I announced that I would be traveling to Chicago to visit the ALDI headquarters, quite a few people asked me "What's ALDI?". While I was a bit taken back by their question, I realized that not everyone has an ALDI near them (that's going to change soon!), so I was more than willing to share a detailed post today on what exactly ALDI is and why everyone and their mama should be shopping there!

ALDI cares. They care about saving their customers money and they care about providing them with high quality products. This is a pretty good combination, wouldn't you say? The first way ALDI saves us money is by requiring us to insert a quarter to use a cart during our shopping trip. When we're done with the cart and have returned it to the designated cart area, we get our quarter back. By removing the middle man from the equation, AKA the employee who has to push all the carts back, they are saving themselves money and then passing the savings on to us! And they're protecting our cars from possible damage by wandering carts!

The same idea is applied to ALDI bags. You have to pay for a bag if you need to carry your groceries back to the car, or you can bring our own bag. You're probably thinking that other supermarkets give you bags for free, but the cost of the bag is actually included in your grocery prices! With ALDI, you're only spending between 0.5 - 0.15 cents on a sturdy bag that is reusable for consecutive shopping trips. Oh, and there's more. Not only does ALDI save you money by allowing you to bring your own bags, but it also doesn't hire any baggers to pack your stuff. No money spent on hiring a bagger means lower prices on grocery items!

Now, speaking of employees, if you're in the checkout line at ALDI, you'll notice that the cashiers will have all your items rung up in just a matter of seconds. How? Because ALDI makes sure to include a UPC code on all sides of their products, so that no matter which position they're in on the register, they're likely be scanned instantly. ALDI is all about being efficient. Especially so when it comes to stocking shelves.

ALDI actually doesn't have any shelves! Rather, ALDI displays all its products in their cartons, so imagine how much easier it is for employees to re-stock everything? And once the cartons are empty, shoppers are free to use it to take their groceries home. Bada bing bada boom! ALDI saves on overhead costs and we get free boxes. Also, every single ALDI store has the same layout. So, no more of trying to figure out which aisle has what and where. You'll be able to find your way through any ALDI store easily and locate any product you are looking for right away.

So what kind of products does ALDI offer? All the essential kitchen staples, from fresh meat, fresh produce, canned and dry goods, a variety of cheeses, to frozen foods, dairy products, beverages, and pantry items. They even have an organic AND gluten-free line! Now, although ALDI only sells the most popular grocery store items, it has a Special Buys section tailored to in-demand products for that specific time of the year. For example, right now, you'll find a wide selection of gardening tools and plants and in a few months, you'll find many back-to-school items.

And when it comes to ALDI prices, they absolutely can't be beat. This is due to the ALDI business model that I briefly mentioned earlier. They've eliminated all extra expenses so that they can pass those savings on to us. The main way they keep product costs down is by selling their own exclusive brand. I know non name brands are usually associated with poor quality, but ALDI products are actually manufactured by the top leading food suppliers in the country. Their products also go through extensive taste testing in the ALDI Test Kitchen, so ALDI isn't just selling you anything! They genuinely care about selling you the best of the best.

You may occasionally find name brand items in ALDI, and this is because ALDI wasn't able to create a product that met or exceeded the quality of the national brand. Also, if for any reason you are not satisfied with an ALDI product, national brand or not, ALDI has a Double Guarantee policy which allows you to get a full refund of your purchase and a replacement product!

Aside from having their own brand, ALDI  saves money by only hiring a small staff for each store and training them to do every job in the store. And here's a fun fact: ALDI is the first store to give part-time workers (more than 25 hours a week) full health benefits! How snazzy is that? I appreciate a store that treats their employees well.

And did I mention that ALDI doesn't keep their employees working late unnecessary hours? Yup, ALDI is only open the hours that people mainly do their shopping, which is 9-9 Monday through Saturday, and 9-6 on Sundays*. This also reduces labor, electricity, and heating expenses.

So, that about sums things up! I could probably go on and on but I'll cut myself off here before this becomes an ode to ALDI!

But honestly, writing down this information for y'all is making me wonder how I have ever lived before ALDI. I can tell you this much, I wasn't saving up to 50%** on groceries like I am now!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by ALDI, however, all opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

*Store hours vary on location
**Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.

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