Whenever I mention my favorite store in the world — Aldi — I tend to find at least one other person who shares my obsession. We Aldi Moms are a noble tribe of bargain hunters who have been initiated in the ways of German-owned efficiency and, at times, complete randomness. (Is that a shop-vac for sale in a grocery store? Why?) We love this place, and we want you to love it, too. There are some things only an Aldi Mom can teach you... whether you have any desire to learn it or not. But seriously, bear with us because you will love it.
As with any number of stores people get obsessed with, there's a meta-aspect to the obsession, which, in turn, makes the whole experience that much more fun. We know we sound like we joined some sort of cult and we're OK with that. Plus there's something about shopping, for lots of us, that scratches the ol' hunter/gatherer itch. Who doesn't like to scratch an itch, people?! And while I do love me some Home Goods and Target (so, so much), and other obsession-level stores, there's a guilt that comes come along with shopping there (did I need to spend $150 on sunglasses and tchotchkes?) that doesn't exist with Aldi. Because everyone needs groceries. And you know what, also maybe that shop vac. You know what, I'll just get it and then I'll have it. Just in case.
And so, in order to spread the (fanatical) love, here is some advice, from one Aldi Mom to maybe, just maybe, another:
How To Lower Your Grocery Bill
Aldi Moms love a bargain, and helping someone else save money only improves that rush of adrenaline. Granted, the main bit of advice here is, "Seriously, do all your shopping at Aldi," but a true Aldi Mom (and they will let you know who they are) will be able to tell you what's going to go on sale that week and what items are always good to stock up on. It's largely straight forward, but the nuances will carry you ever farther in realizing your dream of cutting your grocery bill by a third.
It doesn't have to be your only dream, but it's noble, people!
What's On Sale Where
Why spend more money for the same thing somewhere else?! An Aldi mom has a running mental inventory of literally every item available in her local store, and she will let you know if you can get something you need there or if you'll have to journey elsewhere. So before you make the trip, ask the Aldi mom in your life. She will know, almost mystically. We all have our weird superpowers, and this is hers.
How To Host Everything Without Going Broke
I moved to my first home last summer and, naturally, everyone wanted to come see it. Which is great! I definitely wanted to show off the new digs... but hosting a BBQ every damn weekend for a few dozen people gets expensive fast. Lots of expensive weekends after dropping thousands of dollars on a new house is not ideal. Fortunately, Aldi was there to help me out and I could feed people without spending the whole party stressing about how much it was costing me. A tried and true Aldi Mom can immediately point you toward the party favorites.
Always Browse The Middle Aisle
Look, do you need a bunch of scented candles? A slate cheese board? A deep-fryer? Do you need red pepper jam? No, but you know what? They're available at a very cheap price in the magical middle aisle, which is routinely filled with absolutely random stuff that will not necessarily ever show up again. It's like Narnia: unexplained but wondrous. So live your best life and go for it, mama. Besides, even if you buy it you're still going to come out spending less than you would have elsewhere.
How To Develop A Love Of German Snacks
Aldi is German and, as such, has a bunch of specialty items that you otherwise can't get in the United States. (My favorites are the ones that involve chocolate, and there are a lot.) I know a bunch of German expats who love Aldi because they can get comfort foods from home. You, too, will soon develop a Deutsche palate, and it is sehr gut.
How To Remember Reusable Bags
Lots of people want to make an effort to use reusable bags, regardless of where they shop, but often find themselves leaving the house without them. Since you have to bring your own bags to Aldi (or buy your own at check out, and who wants to do that?) Aldi Moms have a special knack for remembering their totes.
Different people can give you different tricks, but here's mine (as someone who drives to the store): unload your groceries when you get home, then hang the bags on your front doorknob. That way, the next time you leave the house you'll bring them out and stick them in your car. That way you don't have to remember to bring them with you when the time comes; your car is just where the bags live.
How To Become A Bagging Genius
In addition to bringing your own bags, you have to do your own bagging, which can, admittedly, be sort of be a pain in the butt. Aldi Moms adjust quickly, though, and become organizational goddesses in their own right. They can be your guru in this crazy game of grocery Tetris, for they have perfected their technique to a damn art form.
How Very Little Brands Matter
While you can get some brand names at Aldi, mostly you're going to be purchasing from their line of goods. Us Aldi Moms don't care, and we will proselytize on this point to our last breath. Now, if you're like me, you may be dubious about this point. I remember being given off-brand foods as a kid and being told they were "the same thing." I knew that was a lie because I had taste buds. But because I had these experiences you should believe me, because I would not take such a claim lightly. I know what it's like to be gaslit by my mom who insisted Cheari-R's are the same exact thing as Cheerios. THEY'RE GROSS, MOM! YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE TO ALDI!
How To Never Talk About Grocery Shopping
Because, OMG, we get it. Aldi is great. Please stop telling me about how much you spent on groceries or how good the tikka masala simmer sauce is. Literally no one cares anymore, Janet!
You will learn, quickly, to avoid the topic of grocery shopping, because you just don't want yet another conversation to turn into one about Aldi.
There Is No Avoiding Conversations About Aldi With An Aldi Mom
Because we will find a way to work it in literally every time. Deal with it.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.