Here’s some good news for Aldi shoppers! Your go-to store for organic food, European cheese and other recommended buys at remarkable prices is now offering delivery via Instacart around the country.
The company’s pilot program tested out Instacart delivery in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago. It proved to be an epic success, with responses described as “overwhelmingly positive.” Now the service is rolling out to roughly 5,000 ZIP codes in 35 states (including 75 major markets, such as San Diego, New York City, Miami, Raleigh and Minneapolis). You should be able to sign up for grocery delivery near you in time for Thanksgiving!
I’ll let you in on a secret: While I love to bake and do my fair share of cooking, I can’t stand grocery shopping. Wandering giant supermarkets seems like it takes forever, plus I hate navigating aisle after aisle just to find a jar of molasses for my favorite recipes.
Aldi stores, on the other hand, are much smaller. That means when I’m running in for a dozen eggs to complete my easy weekend brunch, I can be in and out of the store in record time. Or, if I’m doing my shopping for the entire week, I can be confident that the trip will take half the time—a huge bonus for me.
Oh, and let’s not forget that Aldi clerks are lightning fast. Your cart will be loaded with all your great deals before you can even pull your wallet out of your purse.
In addition to being smaller than your typical supermarket, Aldi stores stick with a pretty consistent floor plan from store to store. That means when my friend asks me to pick up a bottle of wine on the way to her dinner party, I can stop at her neighborhood Aldi and know exactly where to find it.
It encourages green habits
At home, I try to be as green as possible, but one eco-friendly habit I had trouble with was remembering to bring my reusable shopping bags with me to the store. However, shopping at Aldi has trained me to keep a few totes stashed away in my car. To keep prices low, Aldi doesn’t hand out paper or plastic bags, so shoppers have to bring bags (or buy some of their reusable totes) to carry out their groceries. After a few trips without, you learn that lesson fast! Now, I have to learn how to keep these bags clean—turns out they get grimy fast!
The staff is paid well
I love that Aldi provides me with inexpensive groceries while also providing their employees a decent wage. Entry-level employees start making $12 an hour (sometimes more), and managers can make up to $94,000 a year. It’s a great gig for all types of folks looking to make just a little more, plus I’m sure an employee discount doesn’t hurt!
Shopping at Aldi, you may have noticed that many of the brands are a little unfamiliar. Brands like Baker’s Corner, Friendly Farms and Priano are all exclusive to Aldi. If you’re like me, branching out to new products like this can be a little worrying—What if it’s not good? What if it doesn’t work in my recipe? But Aldi offers a double guarantee for all their exclusive products. If you don’t like an item, they’ll refund your money and provide you with a replacement.
No parking lot dings
The parking lot of most supermarkets is a total zoo. Close spots are hard to come by and there’s always a rogue cart or two waiting to put a ding in your car. At Aldi, you never have to worry about that nonsense. When you rent your cart at the start of your trip, you’ll have to return it to the bank of carts to get your quarter back. Safely locked in place, these carts aren’t out in the lot looking to wreak havoc.
Every week or so, Aldi brings in a fresh batch of new, limited edition products at low, low prices. One week you may find an inexpensive folding table and supplies for your next tailgate, the next it might be children’s toys and books, and after that maybe some great seasonal decor. You never know what will be in the Aldi Finds section, but it’s always a thrill to find a few unexpected bargains in addition to your grocery deals.
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How Aldi grocery delivery works
Through the Instacart partnership, you’ll be able to order whatever you’d usually buy at Aldi via Instacart’s website or app. (Including packaged foods plus fresh fruit and vegetables, organic and antibiotic-free meats and more.) Instacart shops for you, picking up all the items you ordered and then delivering them to your home.
Choose a delivery window—anywhere from an hour or up to a week later
The service is reported to cost $5.99 plus a slight surcharge on Aldi products vs. in store. You can skip the delivery fee by paying $14.99 a month for an Express Membership through Instacart, but that’s probably best for super-frequent shoppers.
But! You can give grocery delivery a shot without having to pay the $5.99. For anyone who’s curious, Instacart’s delivery fee will be waived for your first Aldi order. Plus, all first-time Instacart customers can get $10 off their first three ALDI orders of $35 or more. Just type in the promo code ALDILOVE.
RELATED: Don't shop at Aldi without these nifty tips
Tips and tricks at Aldi
Tips and tricks at Aldi
They avoid brand names
At most supermarkets, you’ll find tons of big-brand items, but at Aldi, a whopping 90 percent of the products are private label. By avoiding brand names, Aldi can skip going through another company and offer you cheaper prices. Don't miss this explainer about the hype surrounding Aldi.
They have a small selection, meaning smaller stores
Did you know that Aldi only offers a selection of 900 core products? Since they don’t have national brands, they have less to warehouse and display in the store. This means having smaller stores compared to most other grocery retailers, and in return, smaller rent prices! Make sure you buy these 5 items next time you’re at Aldi.
They use boxes, milk racks and pre-packaged produced
Boxes aren’t the only way Aldi saves time (and money). Products such as milk and even produce help reduce the upkeep at an Aldi store. Milk already comes in racks, and produce is pre-packaged and ready for checkout. Check out these ways to spend less at the grocery store.
They use energy-efficient lighting
In a press release in February 2017, Aldi announced its initiative to save money by remodeling some of the stores. A modern design (and even using open ceilings) will bring natural lighting into the store, making it environmentally friendly, too. They’ll even use recycled materials, energy-saving refrigeration, and LED lighting.
They use fewer workers
Aldi will often schedule only two or three staff at a time. That’s nothing compared to the number of employees you’ll see at other markets. With the way Aldi is designed, not as many workers are needed to stock the shelves or keep things in order. This also allows the store to pay those few employees a decent paycheck.
Aldi customers bring their own bags
Aldi doesn’t bother buying as many plastic bags as other stores, thanks to their bag policy. If you end up using an Aldi plastic bag, you’ll have to pay for it. This is to encourage customers to bring their own bags—keeping the store a green environment and putting money back into customer pockets. Here are some other grocery shopping secrets everyone should know.
They don't have a ton of TV ads
Have you ever seen a Walmart or Target ad on TV? Yes. Aldi? Probably not as many. Although Aldi does have a small television campaign, advertisements on television aren’t seen as frequently as other popular name brands. This means Aldi has extra money to save for what they do best—bring you cheap prices.
They have smart shopping-cart rental system
No need to have someone working the shopping carts all the time with a system like Aldi’s! In order to use a cart, you must put a coin in the cart to unlock it. This gives people an incentive to return the cart and get their money back. Didn’t know about that? Well, here are 5 things to know before shopping at Aldi next time.
They're about consumers, not profits
Unlike most supermarkets, Aldi doesn’t charge suppliers for shelf space and keeps their terms simple. According to Australian newspaper The New Daily, Aldi claims it wants “to suck the profitability out of the [supermarket] industry in favor of the consumer.” Every decision the company makes always has the customer in mind, and it pays off. Next, don't miss these 29 things your grocer won't tell you.