Buying tips for Aldi beginners

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OCEAN SPRINGS, Mississippi (WLOX) — On August 24 in Ocean Springs, Aldi will open its first store on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and shoppers are thrilled.

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

1. Bring a quarter for a cart

Don’t worry, you’ll get your shift back. But to be able to use a buggy, you must first put on a quarter of it to unlock it from the others. When you bring it back, you get the quarter back. Remember they are cutting costs and that means they are not paying an employee to pick up all the misplaced strollers people leave in the parking lot.

If you’re going to be a regular, you might want to get the Aldi Quarter key fob. It attaches to your key ring so you always have a quarter with you. The store always offers new designs, so you can find one that matches your style.

The Aldi Quarter key ring attaches to your key ring so you always have a quarter with you for a shopping spree.(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 hang an empty box on a shelf to help you carry everything. The no bag free policy saves costs and you can feel good about using less plastic. If you don’t have bags to bring, you can purchase reusable grocery bags at the store. You will find them for sale at checkout.

3. Pack your own groceries

This one should be obvious, since you have to bring your own bags. The cashier will scan your items and reload them into your stroller. Typically, you then pack your items after paying. The good news is that you prefer your groceries bagged exactly as they will be bagged at Aldi. (Because you do the bagging. Do you understand?)

4. No coupons allowed

If you enjoy clipping coupons and tying them to weekly sales, you’ll have to save that hobby for another store. Over 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 attend the Ocean Springs store opening, you might just get one of the elusive Aldi coupons. But they won’t be online. They are still distributed in stores or sent to you personally.

5. There’s an Alley of Shame

The Alley of Shame is an affectionate nickname for Aldi’s mid-aisle which features seasonal items that change weekly. But it’s even more than that. There is also a blog and newsletter for Aldi fans, which you can find at alleofshame.com And there is a Alley of Shame Facebook Page and Facebook group with 1.3 million members. This is part of what makes Aldi different from other grocery stores. He kind of has a cult following, I mean, a community that follows.

6. Aldi’s return policy is 🔥

They call it their Twice the Nice Guarantee. If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with the quality of an Aldi branded food product, Aldi will replace the product AND refund your money. You must have your receipt if you want the 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 on returns. They must be returned with a receipt within 90 days of purchase.

7. Aldi offers grocery delivery and pick-up

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

ALDI is opening 150 new stores this year, including 20 in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. By the end of 2022, ALDI is on track to become the third largest grocer in the country.

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