Behind the Scenes Tour of Aldi Grocery Stores – What's Up with the Quarter?

Aldi Grocery Stores

How do Aldi grocery stores help you save money when you can’t use coupons?

This past week I was personally invited to attend a behind the scenes tour of an Aldi grocery store in Beechmont, Ohio which is located near Cincinnati.  I was really excited to be invited, but was also interested to understand how they keep some of their prices so low.  I mean, how can one offer avocados THAT cheap.

We arrived at the location and the first question was, “What’s up with the quarters?”  At Aldi you have to have a quarter to release a cart to use during your shopping.  (Ask me how many times I’ve forgotten mine.) Once you finish your shopping, you get your quarter back when you return your cart.  This saves money.  Why?  Because Aldi grocery stores do not have to employ someone to collect the carts in the parking lot.  They pass that savings onto you and me and our love for avocados.

Aldi Grocery Stores

The word that came up most was efficiency.  I love this word.  It’s a sibling of Cleverly Simple.  Did you know that?  Anything a store does for efficiency makes me grin because I like when things work well and all in the name of savings.  Here’s a few examples of the efficiency you’ll see at Aldi Grocery Stores.

**There are a number of bar codes on every product so that when the cashier scans the item, they’re more likely to be able to do it in one swoop!  Look at a bag of chips the next time you’re at Aldi.  It’s covered in bar codes.

**The items in the store remain in boxes.  The boxes are specifically designed for Aldi so that when the employee stacks the item, they can just simply remove the top and it’s ready for sale.  The boxes are also designed with a specific color to blend with the product.  Instead of having an employee stack the items nice and neat on the shelves, they just remove the box top.  Fast.  Efficient.

Aldi Grocery Stores Freezer

**The freezer rolls to the front.  The employee loads the items from the back, we buy from the front.  In this way there is a rolling use of goods and no rotation is needed.  It keeps things fresh.

Side note:  Those sundae nut cones look good!

**You have to bring your own bags or purchase bags for a very small fee when you shop at Aldi.  As they put it, no bags are free.  You pay for them in some way when you’re shopping at every grocery store.  At Aldi you have the control to decide if you would like to or not.  Bringing your own bags means more savings for you and me.  Plus, I like the control of bagging my own groceries.  No bread on the bottom of the bag for this girl!

Aldi Grocery Stores produce

**The produce signs are even efficient.  An employee suggested that instead of constantly changing out the signs with the fluctuation of produce prices, that they design a sign where the price can change but the sign stays in place.  Aldi uses suggestions like this from their employees so that they can be more…. wait for it…. efficient!

All in all, I was very impressed with my Aldi tour and there was too much efficiency to share in one post.  I was most impressed by how they value their employees.  They give benefits at 20 hours and train each employee in every task within the store.  I like to support a company that supports their employees.

I have been shopping at Aldi for awhile, but to be honest have been focused primarily on the produce.  While walking the aisles I discovered quite a few items I had not tried, including diapers.  How did I miss that Aldi had diapers?  Have you had an experience with them?  I’m going to try them out soon.

Aldi Grocery Stores Snack Cart

What else did I walk away with?  Aldi was a sponsor of the Savvy Blogging Summit I attended and I grabbed yogurt covered raisins while there.   Addicted!  They also had fruit leather.  Amazing!  Aldi gave me a gift certificate as a thanks for taking the tour with them.  I plan to use it this week for my shopping trip with the Aldi grocery stores deals and will share with you what I bought!

What’s your favorite Aldi grocery stores product to purchase?


  1. Spencer grrenhill says

    Just a great store, seems like a, the employees like.working there, and they are always helpful.

  2. Bev Huntington says

    Yes, these are things I am keenly aware of- having had worked for a large Ohio grocery store company over 19 years as a manager. Aldi’s has it right & is why they will succeed. I am glad you bring it to light for others. Kudos. I’m interested in the savvy blogging event as I’ve never heard of it. But I’m just a lil newbie to blogging.

  3. Lori says

    I love Aldi’s but I don’t love their produce. I have yet to purchase a carrot there that didn’t have a funky taste to it, so I gave up. When I find produce locally/USA grown and not on the top 10 list I will purchase sometimes. I always purchase my American cheese, organic butter, organic pasta and organic pasta sauce there when they have in stock. I buy their eggs and milk ,at my Aldi’s milk is 1.99 everyday, Love that :) And just recently they started carrying organic fresh spinach. I really appreciate that they have started carrying organic products at affordable prices it really helps with the budget.

  4. Tammy says

    We move about every 2 years (hubby’s job) and never heard of ALDI till we hit Georgia. WOW I averaged $96 every2 weeks and never really a want or need to shop in between. Now when we relocate my first visit is to find ALDI locations in the new place and plan house hunting around ALDI locations. Unfortunately in 2010 we were relocated to Houston. No ALDI stores …. until the month we were relocated to Rhode Island. Houston got 11 stores in May of 2013 and the one that would have been my neighborhood store opened on the very day I left. Looks like we might be back in Texas next – El Paso, no ALDI there.
    There are only a few items that I don’t get at ALDI. We are hooked on Kraft Mac & Cheese, Pillsbury Pizza Dough and Lays Chips. Other than that, there is no reason to even visit another grocery store if an ALDI is nearby.

  5. Pauline Komar says

    I received a lovely invitation to the opening of the Fayetteville,NY store and have tried to RSVP and have been unsuccessful trying to reply.I am looking forward to the open house.Thank you for your attention to this matter.

  6. Donna says

    I get many things at Aldis. Chips, olive oil, butter, cheese, produce, plastic bags, trash bags, toilet paper, cake mix, frosting, and pasta just to name a few. But my favorite thing of all time is the chocolate chips!! Everyone loves my chocolate chip cookies and the secret is the Aldi brand chocolate chips. I get about 10 bags every Thanksgiving/ Christmas season( when they put them at the cheapest) and put them in the freezer!! Yum! Yum!! I stock up on name brand items if they are cheaper then Aldi when I have the coupons but I get Aldi items for most everything else ( except for Chocolate chips Aldis all the way on those)

  7. kara horner says

    I have always purchased name brand diapers until your suggestion to try the Walgreens brand (they worked great, thanks!)

    I recently tried the Aldi diapers and wasn’t impressed. They were flimsy and didn’t hold moisture very well. I am using the pack up for short term wear only. First product I have ever DISLIKED at Aldi though!

  8. amy w says

    I have a few things on my Aldi’s list that are GO-TO beyond the produce!
    * Olive Oil. You simply can’t get a better deal on olive oil!
    * Spices. You know how it is… you run out of a spice and there aren’t any good sales/coupons for it. Aldi’s has great deals on the standard spices
    * Chips. We get chips every once in awhile and when I have a hankerin’ for them it’s always the week they aren’t on sale/coupon elsewhere. So… Aldi’s it is.
    * Bread. I know you bake your own bread but theirs is really good! Also love their bagels
    * Cream Cheese (the spreadable kind)
    * Baking Mixes. I haven’t had a ton but I haven’t been disappointed yet!
    * Food Storage Bags if you are in a pinch
    * Canned Black Beans (we eat a lot of beans/rice/chicken)
    * Fruit Bars (the “nutri-grain” kind)
    * I also usually get my flour & sugar there because I don’t stock up on that (I HATE to bake. lol.)

    Those are my favs off the top of my list!

    • says

      This is an awesome list! When we were on the tour someone mentioned the olive oil has being a great deal. They also mentioned that the cake mixes baked up better than the name brand! I’m going to give those a try this week. Thanks for your suggestions. 😉

  9. Jenele says

    I do buy Aldi’s diapers and wipes. I’m a mostly cloth diaper mom, but my kids can’t wear a cloth diaper overnight. They wet right through layer after layer and they have a sensitivity to their own urine. (This is totally the discussion you wanted to have, right?! Lol) Anyway, my oldest only wears a diaper at night and sometimes doesn’t even need it, but when he does, it doesn’t leak. My youngest has to wear a doubler with their diapers, but he has to with every other diaper I’ve tried as well, so this is the most economical solution. I’ll also put their diapers on the little guy if we leave the house for an extended period of time. I dislike hauling around dirty cloth diapers.
    Both diapers and wipes are fragrance free and that is the only way they come. I have to purchase fragrance free, so I love it. They recently changed their wipes a bit and there is less in the pack, but they are larger and softer. They are also half of the price per wipe than the cheapest I’ve found anywhere near me.
    There isn’t much I don’t buy at Aldi, but my favorite is probably the produce!

    • says

      Ha! Jenele, you are hilarious. Thanks for the all the info and I LOVE that they are no fragrance. My kids have sensitive skin. I will most definitely pick up a pack this week to try.

  10. LynetteC says

    From what I can tell Aldi is expanding to Texas…. but I doubt Brenham will see one! Fun event though!

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