Wednesday, February 25, 2009


My mother shops at Aldi.

And, being her son, and respecting her opinion, I thought; OK, I should give it a try.

The first thing I noticed was I had to pay a quarter to use a shopping cart. I never thought my mom would pay to use a shopping cart.

The store is very unimpressive looking, but clean. And, the selection, well it wasn't great. It seemed to cover the basics, but not much more. No deli, no bakery, no food samples; this place is pretty spartan. Products are stacked on the floor in original cut out boxes. The prices are simply marked. I really don't recognize a lot of the brands.

What I do recognize are the prices. They are low. As I move through the aisles, I can find most of what I want, even a few luxury food items. I modify what is on my list to what they have. And, as I spend more time there, I start to "get" what they're doing.

Well, it's time to check out. I grab a bag. They charge me for it!! How could they do that? Aren't bags free? Apparently, at Aldi, they're not. So, I change my behavior, no bag. The checker goes through my stuff and I have money ready. I estimate what's there and wait for the total. $16. I've got a lot of stuff here. Are you sure, $16? Yes!

I pull my $.25 cart out the door and head to my car. I unload my stuff, reminding myself to put one of those fabric bags I have in the back seat next time. I return my cart to the cart area and put it back. I see someone link their cart to the one in front with this chain deal and get their quarter back. And then I look at the parking lot, no stray carts anywhere.

Efficiency, it's everywhere at Aldi. They put out less bags, less dents in cars, and reduce overhead. They stock their shelves in an efficient manner. There is no wasted energy. They make you a partner in saving money. This is a business model that makes sense.
Aldi is pretty smart, and so is my mother. Brilliant!!


  1. But did you find whole wheat pizza crust at Aldi?! ;-)

    Quite a few stores are starting to charge for bags -- I think Ikea is another one. And Costco has never had bags, you pack your stuff into boxes.

    You hit on my pet peeve here -- people who abandon their shopping carts in the parking lot so they can roll into other people's cars. I mean, is it REALLY such an effort to bring the cart back to the store or to the cart corral?? Meanwhile, I'm sure these people think nothing of walking all the walking they did in the store that they just left Grrrr.....

    OK, off my soapbox :-) Time to catch up on your other recent posts.....

    BTW, there's still time for a bar wench to join the family!! ;-)


  2. OK, here's a summarized version of How To Pick Up A Bar Wench:

    1. Go to bar -- the skankier, the better.

    2. Take a good look around (assuming you can see through all the smoke).

    3. Locate cigar-smoking, booze-swigging woman sitting at bar.

    4. Approach said woman and pull out your tackiest pick-up line -- for exmaple "Hey... somebody farted. Let's get out of here."

    5. Said woman thinks you're cute and hot and falls for your tacky pick-up line.


    Let me know how that works out :-D ;-)


  3. Sorry, didn't mean to injure you!! ;-)