Planning your trip to Aldi

There’s no need to be scared of a trip to Aldi, it just takes a little planning.

aldi trolley

While Aldi may be winning the hearts (and wallets) of more Australians every day, there are still many who have yet to venture into the unknown of this German-owned supermarket.

Put off by tales of strange products, some shoppers are still reticent to embrace the adventure that accompanies a weekly shop at Aldi. Determined to undertake the shopping experience for myself, I packed my bags (literally) and headed for my nearest store.

If I’m honest, I’m no stranger to Aldi, but I am usually reactive to the specials advertised in its weekly catalogue. I spend many a happy summer’s evening with my nifty outdoor setting that I had to get up early one Saturday morning to secure. At $99, it was an early trip worth taking.

Be prepared
Think of taking a trip to Aldi like visiting a new country – do your research and be prepared. As you would if you were looking for a deal on a specific destination, sign up to Aldi’s newsletter and get the specials delivered direct to your inbox.

Make a list of all the attractions you want to see
In other words – write a shopping list. Don't be too specific about brands, rather wait and see what’s on offer once you get there. A streamlined product range means that you won’t be overwhelmed by choice and while you’ll still find some of the big brands, this is the perfect time to try something different.

Pack your bags
Although shopping bags are offered at Aldi, they will cost you 15 cents each for heavy-duty plastic bags or 99 cents for a fabric bag. It’s better to be a responsible ‘traveller’ and take your own.

Don't forget the local currency
Or at least a dollar for your trolley. There are no shopping baskets on offer so unless you have someone to help carry your shopping as you tour the aisles, you will need a trolley. And you might want to consider using cash to pay for your goods. While EFTPOS payments are free, you will be charged a percentage for using tap and pay cards and credit cards.

Try the exotic
Enjoy the local produce, but don't be afraid to try something more exotic. While you may not recognise some of the brands on offer, you can take comfort that there is a likelihood they will be from Australian suppliers. However, this is your opportunity to try some overseas delicacies that don't come with the same expensive price tags that you find in your local deli.

Don't be swayed by the souvenirs
Yes, you can find some weird and wonderful products in the centre aisles of Aldi. On the day I was there, I had my choice of power tools, exercise equipment, gum boots and even a model kit of the Cutty Sark. Aldi has recently expanded its range of natural and environmentally friendly products that hold their own against some of the more expensive brands – both in looks and performance.

Don't worry if you forget your favourite toiletries
Whether you need a new mascara, wrinkle cream, cotton buds or even sun screen, the Lacura range has you covered and at a fraction of the cost of some high street brands. Many of the Lacura products have won awards and with slick packaging, you won’t be embarrassed to have them on display in your bathroom.

Relax with a glass of award-winning wine
Ok, I don't mean actually sit down and drink it in the middle of the store, but at $6.99 for the award-winning, South Australian One Road Shiraz, you’d be forgiven for being tempted. And if you would like to reminisce about a steamy, hot night drinking Rioja in Spain, then at $9.99, a bottle of Baron Amarilla Rioja Reserva shouldn't break your budget. If wine isn’t your thing, then let’s not overlook that Highland Black Eight-Year-Old Scotch Whiskey ($34.99) has just been awarded the Double Gold prize at Melbourne International Spirits Competition.

Don't get lost, follow the signs
You really don't need a map to do your shopping at Aldi. The height of shelves means that from just about anywhere in the store, you can see the clear signage of where products are. No more wandering aimlessly looking for eggs!

Talk to a local
But talk quickly, as you won't be at the checkout for long. No, your bags won't be packed for you and yes, you will have to have your trolley unpacked and ready at the other end to catch your items, but you won't spend ages waiting in long queues. There are no self-service checkouts at Aldi and if the line at one of the registers becomes too long, another checkout will be opened.

And as you load your shopping into your car, relax in the knowledge that you have conquered the great unknown, and most likely saved yourself a tidy sum of money. Oh, and don't forget to return your trolley and retrieve your dollar coin!

Not sure where your nearest Aldi store is? Find out at Aldi.com.au

Debbie visited the Aldi store at Moorabbin Airport, Victoria

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    johninmelb
    30th Aug 2017
    10:41am
    Yet another opportunity for the misinformed and ignorant Aldi haters to have a rant.

    Why do you keep writing articles like this? They are unnecessary. The sensible and informed people on low incomes know the value of Aldi, and how to use the store as part of our strategy to reduce costs and still be able to eat reasonably well. I mostly only buy the Australian made and sourced items, and avoid the middle aisle, unless there is a very compelling offer on something I really need, and at a price I can afford.

    And despite what the ratbags keep telling us, I have only been able to find two German made item in the last 10 years of shopping there. Even in the UK Aldi stores I could only find a couple of German made items.
    Rosret
    30th Aug 2017
    11:32am
    I think its quite well written.
    There isn't an Aldi in my area so when I do go its a novelty.
    I don't respond to the specials because they are gone 5 minutes after opening time on Wednesdays. I would love to buy some of the things on offer but I am not that keen on making the trip for nothing.
    Most of the products I like are either missing or at exactly the same price as the others so if I used Aldi I would have to do two individual shops.
    However sometimes - like butter - same brand $7 for 250ml at my local store and $4.60 at Aldi. I am not sure how butter got to be so expensive but that makes it well worth the travel time and petrol.
    Trees
    30th Aug 2017
    12:07pm
    Got to agree with Rosret, its a well written article, take from it what you need if you are not a regular or have not been to Aldi.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2017
    1:11pm
    A useless article, its only a supermarket and smaller than the other 2, you don't need a road map, gps, treasure map etc, etc. Get a life people! Debbie makes it sound like a trip to outer Mongolia!
    Rae
    30th Aug 2017
    2:29pm
    We usually find German products around Octoberfest time. Specialty cheeses, process meats, beers, nuts, breads, cakes, biscuits and confectionary. The product is usually well packaged for freshness. We never miss that week or two if we can help it. Either late September or early October.
    My Dutch- Indonesian friend keeps an eye out for products from Holland as well. Especially the liquorice treats and pickled fish and vegetables.

    30th Aug 2017
    11:25am
    That's a strange comment; 'If I'm honest...'!
    Are you not usually honest?
    Weird!
    Rosret
    30th Aug 2017
    11:36am
    Its because his article title is informing first time visitors. He actually goes quite frequently. :)
    I do need help - bags, money for trolleys etc. If you don't go all the time its nice to have a run down on the how to.
    seabird
    30th Aug 2017
    11:55am
    Am I the only 1 in Perth that thinks the design of the pay & pack is horrendous. I have always had the habit of sorting my shopping when unpacking my trolley, but the aldi check out, forces a rate of speed that I now never do more than 1-2 bags of shopping there as you end up with the staff, pushing your shopping into your trolley if you are not quick enough. I understand that that is how they keep costs down. Less staff = faster pace, but much prefer to do a big shop elsewhere. I am young/active so I don't know how those that can't react quickly cope. I like thier products & prices so do keep going back.
    johninmelb
    30th Aug 2017
    1:26pm
    Doesn't bother me. I make them wait. They can go as fast as they like, and I take no notice.

    I don't deliberately hold up the queue, and I move the items to my trolley as quickly as I can. Best part for me is that once I have all my stuff back in the trolley and paid for, I can then pack it MY WAY at my leisure.

    In one of the two Aldi's I go to, one of the checkout staff members told me to tell them to slow down if they were going to fast, and I do. But I also put all my things on the belt in a particular order, to make it easier for me and slow them down.

    TRY TO REMEMBER ONE IMPORTANT THING - YOU ARE THE CUSTOMER.
    Just be nice to the staff, and they will look after you.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    2:13pm
    Just put in back in your trolley in the way you want it as it takes no longer than just throwing it in any way. I actually like ALDI as I know where everything is and not have everything mixed up in bags that I have to sort once I get to the car. Yes I put perishables in eskys in my car.
    Wendy HK
    30th Aug 2017
    8:01pm
    All you need to do is put all your items back in the trolley and then pack at your leisure at the bench.
    I have 4 cupboards where my groceries go and I love taking my time putting my groceries for the appropriate cupboard in separate bags and making it easy for when I unpack at home.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2017
    11:57am
    Back of car is a better place to pack them as you don't have to lift them back into the trolley. I have eskies for perishables as well.
    mike
    30th Aug 2017
    12:06pm
    Our nearest Aldi is an hours drive away, so when I spot something in the catalogue, we try to fit it in with our weekly shop trip. The problem with that, even using the current weeks catalogue, which is delivered sposmadically, is that SORRY, That item doesnt go on sale until SATURDAY, and that one finished on THURSDAy, too bad today is Friday. Now when we get the catalogue, it goes straight into the bin, unlooked at . Why would you bother. However, last year in MUNICH, we visited a German Aldi, and it was a wonderland of exotic items, all labelled in German. German bread like we had never seen here in Australia, cheeses, loads of wonderful chocolate, different varieties of milk, and the exotic suasage, wow, nothing like we see here. If you really want to try a real Aldi, go to Germany
    Trees
    30th Aug 2017
    1:02pm
    sign up for the online notifications, as above in the article - problem solved
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2017
    11:59am
    My closest supermarket is Aldi. We are spoilt for choice around here with 4 Aldis, 5 Woolies, 4 Coles and umpteen IGAs within half and hours drive. With more being planned I am told.
    Trees
    30th Aug 2017
    1:14pm
    Now that I shop at Aldi for 95% of my weekly shop, just for giggles & feel to better about packing my own groceries I go online afterwards & take the cheapest Woolworths product on offer compare the price & see how much I'm saving. Spent $87.26 at Aldi this week, saved $33.38 on what I would have spent if I shopped at Woolworths. Worth it? absolutely, haven't come across any product I wouldn't buy again either.
    johninmelb
    30th Aug 2017
    1:34pm
    Have you tried the Aldi crumpets?

    They are so disgusting, you wouldn't even give them to your dog. There is a reason why Golden Crumpets are three times the price (less if you only buy on special like me).

    Their margarine has palm oil in it, and tastes awful so I give that a miss also. Always have Meadow Lea and nothing else. Buy it in bulk when on deep discount at the other two supermarkets.
    Trees
    30th Aug 2017
    1:43pm
    No I don't like crumpets. Only buy butter, toast with plastic margarine is a no go for me :) There will probably be something in the future that I won't like in the Aldi brand but so far so good
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    2:06pm
    I can't believe people actually eat margarine myself. It is just so full of nasty stuff including lots of yellow food dye to make it yellow. Agree it even tastes like plastic.

    Never tasted their crumpets or anyone elses.

    Aldi is good for the basics but not for meat or fruit.
    Wendy HK
    30th Aug 2017
    8:08pm
    Trees - I did that the first time I shopped at ALDI and spent $50 less than I would have at Coles.
    Johinmelb - we love ALDI crumpets - they are the same as the brands at Wollies and Coles.
    Old Geezer - my fussy hubby always loves the meat and the veggies are as fresh as the others.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2017
    11:51am
    My fussy partner knows by the taste that I have bought meat and vegetables from Aldi and says they taste old ie not fresh.
    johninmelb
    1st Sep 2017
    7:49pm
    WendyHK,

    Aldi crumpets are definitely NOTHING like BRAND NAME crumpets at Coles and Woolworths. They certainly look and taste nothing like Golden Crumpets, the leading brand.

    However, I don't buy Coles or Woolworths Own Brand Crumpets, so I guess you are comparing them to your rubbish Aldi crumpets.

    Even the Queen of money saving and using Aldi, Cath Armstrong of Cheapskates website, does not buy Aldi crumpets.

    Aldi reformulated the recipe for their crumpets in late 2016 and since then they are virtually inedible.

    With prices of raw ingredients increasing, Aldi are reformulating products with cheaper ingredients and re-tendering contracts to new manufacturers to keep the prices down in their fight against Coles and Woolies. Quality suffers.
    Rocky
    30th Aug 2017
    1:26pm
    The only thing I don't buy at Aldi is Peanut Butter because it has sugar in it
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    2:02pm
    Sugar is good for you.
    Maggie
    30th Aug 2017
    3:15pm
    And the peanut butter in other shops does not have sugar in it?
    Pushkin2
    30th Aug 2017
    4:07pm
    Good one Old Geezer. I can just imagine thousands of diabetics, dieticians and other health professionals frantically reaching for their keyboards.

    But of course you were only joking, weren't you?
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    5:38pm
    Nope sugar is far better for you then any of those chemical sweeteners. Nothing tastes worse than those diet soft drinks.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2017
    9:01am
    The fact that sugar is less harmful than chemical sweeteners doesn't make sugar good for you, OG. It's harmful in the quantities most people in 1st world nations consume it and in the forms it's generally consumed.
    Old Geezer
    1st Sep 2017
    10:59am
    Rainey sugar is good for you and so is fat.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    2:09pm
    OK the first time you go to ALDI you will be hard pressed to find anything you want to buy. But once you concentrate on the actual product and get rid of all that brand name conditioning you will find that is quite easy to buy what you want without wasting time choosing from umpteen products.
    Star Trekker
    30th Aug 2017
    2:24pm
    I purchase the glass display cabinets when they are in store (about once a year) They are cheaper than Fantastic Furniture and just the colour is different. I also purchase their laundry boost & rinse as Coles & Woolies don't stock them in their homebrand.
    chris
    30th Aug 2017
    2:48pm
    just be sure to check the catalogue for the date in the week, or next week, that the item that you want is on special, as Aldi like you to visit them frequently.
    Maggie
    30th Aug 2017
    3:17pm
    How can you make a statement about a percentage charge for using tap and go without saying what that percentage is? I have never had to pay extra.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    3:56pm
    I disable my cards so the tap and go doesn't work as it is so dangerous having that facility on your card. Also if it doesn't work then you can swipe it and not pay the fees.
    johninmelb
    30th Aug 2017
    4:02pm
    The percentage for tap and go is .5%

    Check your receipts. If you have paid a surcharge It will be listed at the bottom.

    I haven't used an eftpos card before, only my credit card, so I always pay the surcharge. Still very cheap compared to other shops who whack on a surcharge. I only pay a few cents anyway, so I am not bothered. My groceries are still way cheaper than buying at Coles and Woolworths.

    30th Aug 2017
    3:58pm
    How much did YLC get paid for this article?

    I avoid ALDI unless im in a hurry and its the closest supermarket aroud.

    The layout is confusing, supermarket is clutterred and messy, the place is usually full of bogans, they charge credit card fees and the checkput process is crap
    Pushkin2
    30th Aug 2017
    4:08pm
    Ditto
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    4:13pm
    Nay Aldi good as you don't pay for all that fancy stuff in other supermarkets.
    Trees
    30th Aug 2017
    4:32pm
    What works for some doesn't work for others. For me its a basic layout that works but maybe that is because I am a bogan clogging up the isles :) Checkout is fast & efficient but that is just my experience. Credit card surcharges/pay pass surcharges are not exclusive to Aldi you maybe want to check out other credit card purchases for a small fees that you aren't aware of.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2017
    4:33pm
    Grocery shopping, should be a relaxing enjoyable experience

    ALDI shopping certainly isnt

    For my monthly fix for novelty food items - I generally got to Chinatown and other ethnic grocery shops .
    Trees
    30th Aug 2017
    4:58pm
    You're joking, grocery shopping an enjoyable experience? maybe that is true when you are retired but when you work full time it is a burden, either you do it after work in a rush or you lose part of your weekend rushing around. But like I said what works for one doesn't always work for the others....
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    5:36pm
    Grocery shopping is a get in get it and get out as fast as you can experience. Nothing relaxing and enjoyable about shopping at all.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2017
    6:58pm
    Poor Trees and OG

    I find great pleasure in finding fresh vegetables and great meat cuts and coming up with resides in my head for dinner an dlynchc over the nest few days

    Feel sorry for you both
    Wendy HK
    30th Aug 2017
    8:17pm
    I reckon its the best supermarket for pensioners etc., and yes I guess we are bogans but we are all nice and not condescending like some.
    Its quite simple to work out where the products are and there are also no frills and quick checkouts which is why the prices are cheaper.
    We have never paid EFTPOS fees.
    and Raphael I feel sorry for you - just keep out of ALDI - its for people who don't swan around when buying groceries.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2017
    11:48am
    Raphael no need to come up with recipes in your head as all you have to do is go online and check out the specials in fresh vegetables and meat etc and then write them on a list with whatever else you need to make meals. Then it's in and out in a flash and you only buy what on your list. Saves not only money but heaps of time too. Less exposure to the bugs people have in supermarkets too so one stays healthier as well.

    Why not take advantage of those food stores set up for pensioners and those on low incomes? Awesome bargains in them too. Everything I donate to them they give away too. Yes as someone who donates I get too see what they have on offer.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2017
    5:29am
    I enjoy grocery shopping. We drive our camper truck so we can stack cold stuff in the fridge and we drive down to the riverbank and make a picnic lunch. Stores are a 30 minute drive away from our home so we plan to do a lot of shopping and errands after we get the groceries and we make a day of it.
    We do most grocery shopping at Aldi but also go to Coles and a veggie store, and a specialty chicken shop that offers great specials on drumsticks and breasts. Aldi is great and generally cheaper, but I notice the savings are reducing. I think Aldi has forced Coles to be more competitive.
    Alky
    30th Aug 2017
    5:22pm
    Still waiting for Aldi to open in Tasmania. I've shopped there when I lived in Melbourne though, and my experience with them has always been good
    SuziJ
    30th Aug 2017
    5:50pm
    Not a fan of Aldi. It sometimes has my staples for around 1-2 cents cheaper, but it's really not worth the hassle of going out of my way to another part of the city to get my shopping.
    Thai Traveller
    30th Aug 2017
    8:40pm
    Your comment about a trolley at Aldis costing a dollar is totally untrue. You put a coin in the trolley lock to take one out, and you get your dollar back on returning the trolley instead of abandoning it in the car park. My friends who introduced me to Aldi have almost every electrical item in their house from Aldi's, purchased as they came on sale. These range from a wide screen TV, to microwave, induction cooker, kitchen stove and on and on.
    Their prices are extremely good, and I love the specials such as the recent sale of Dutch cakes and biscuits.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2017
    11:55am
    I picked up some tokens at a seniors expo I think so I just use them instead of coins.
    Thai Traveller
    31st Aug 2017
    7:51pm
    Old Geezer: you only need one token, as you can use it over and over again. Provided of course you're not a trolley dumper, as you get your token or money back each time your trolley is parked back at the store.
    Old Geezer
    1st Sep 2017
    10:49am
    It is amazing how many times people just say take my trolley as they are too lazy to take it back and don't want to dump it.
    KB
    31st Aug 2017
    3:54pm
    We have a smaller local store. You have to take and use your own plastic bags. Being disabled I would like the options of shopping baskets to sit on top of my walker. Shopped there once and came with $10.00 in my pocket. Aldiis have positives and negatives for me.

    1st Sep 2017
    5:30am
    Love Aldo, but looking forward to going to Costco.
    Mandy
    4th Sep 2017
    10:50am
    Aldi does not have an express till which can be frustrating when you have a few items and there are full trolleys ahead of you, though some customers will let you go ahead. We usually do that when the situation is reversed. Aldi does not have a return desk which means you have to join the buying customers. This can cause a delay to them as queries can sometimes take time. Both Coles and Woolies are prepared unless otherwise stated, to give rain-checks when out of specials, while Aldi does not. There is also a tendency to compare Aldi prices with the branded prices of the other stores. Also I think that Aldi attempt to mislead the customers by making their packaging almost identical to the branded products. The home brand products of Woolies, Coles and IGA are clearly different. I do shop at Aldi but not exclusively.
    johninmelb
    4th Sep 2017
    11:15am
    There are no rain-checks at Aldi as the specials are clearly identified as limited stock, and once sold they're gone. End of story. They cannot offer rain-checks as they are (for the most part) once off items made or procured for that week's special buys promotion.

    All other stores do exactly the same thing. Read the fine print and you will often see a "no rain-checks" rider on some items. Do Coles and Woolies still give rain-checks? I've never been given one.

    I am not sure how you think Aldi mislead customers with the packaging when everyone knows that at least 95% of the stock in an Aldi store is Aldi's own brand. How is that confusing? If you are not sure, it clearly states on the package that it is an Aldi brand or made for Aldi. How do I know that and you don't???

    Of course all home brand products of each store are different. Each store formulates the recipes for it's own products, and tenders the manufacture out to the cheapest bidder. Given the small manufacturing base in Australia, it is likely that many of the products are made by the same manufacturer, but in different production runs. There are several "contract" food manufacturers around who will make a product for you. Basics like flour, sugar, etc don't change significantly whether you buy home brand or brand name. I've never had a cooking problem using home brand flour as compared to White Wings or any other.

    LIke you I don't shop at Aldi exclusively. There are some things that I will only buy brands, ie Dilmah Tea, and of course things that Aldi does not stock.
    Mandy
    4th Sep 2017
    1:02pm
    Johninmelb I did not say that I was fooled by the packaging. I just pointed out that they try to make their labels very similar to similar branded products. If this is not to try and deceive the unwary than why not clearly label them Aldi (not fine print) as do Woolies, Coles and IGA? I did not say that I found most Aldi products differ much from branded products but similarly I have also found the home brand products of the other stores which are price competitive with Aldi, are mostly acceptable.
    Yes I have received rain-checks from Coles and Woolies many times, even when they have had the product but not the flavour I want. If you do not find the product on the shelf, ask a staff member. If they are out of stock they will offer you a rain-check unless this has been clearly excluded in the advert.
    mike
    11th Oct 2017
    11:02am
    Saying Aldi is cheaper than others is misleading. Comparing generic Aldi brand with non generic brands at Coles or Woolies is very misleading. You should compare generic with generic and then you will find there is not much difference at all. Also choices at Aldi are very limited meaning you will still have to finish your shop somewhere else, Also their catalogues are weird. Our nearest Aldi is 55ks away, and if whe spot an item in their catalogue, we are told, sorry that finished on Wednesday, and that item doesnt start till Saturday. No sorry, we live 55ks away and we wont be back tomorrow, I will just go to Coles., thank you. Why would anyone bother going to Aldi? However, the best Aldi store I was at was in Munich, they had so much beautiful local produce, cheese, breads, dairy, heavenly chocolate, sausages. nothing like the rubbish they sell over here.
    johninmelb
    11th Oct 2017
    3:28pm
    The dates when items are on sale are clearly marked on the front page of the catalogue and at the top of every page inside.

    For all their faults, one thing Aldi IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR INABILITY TO READ.

    Also, the chocolate they sell in Europe is the same chocolate we get here in Oz. Made in Belgium as far as I am aware. I don't buy it often, and don't have a pack here to check.
    dontwantwun
    11th Oct 2017
    1:39pm
    Aldi has some very good products but don`t shop there if you only need a few items. The queues can be horrendous , especially on pension days.
    They also prepack veges a fair bit, improving though.
    Otherwise good.
    micky
    29th Mar 2018
    10:07pm
    try aldi expressi coffee beautiful


    Tags: money, food, budget, aldi

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles