Aldi may offer a discount shopping experience, but it also stresses me out so much that I have to grab my blood pressure pills after a big Aldi shop.

My bargain-hunting instincts draw me to the supermarket like a bee to honey but Aldi definitely has its unique quirks, which often drive me insane.

Pressure Boiler

Whenever I shop at the popular retailer, I feel like I’m in a pressure-cooker. First, it’s the adrenaline rush of securing those precious special buys. Joining the queue snaking out the door, feigning a casual no-care attitude but as soon as those doors open, harnessing my Olympic sprinter spirit to grab an underpriced kitchen appliance or rare facial cream.

Sometimes I have to take my school-aged daughter with me so we can get there in time for opening. I give her strict instructions to stay well back as I battle the over-eager hoards. She is always wide-eyed in disbelief after seeing how some of these grown-adults behave.

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There are no organised shelves openly displaying sizes of clothes. No at Aldi, there is just a big pile of all-sorts. So it’s up to us to dig, rifle and sift through the bundle to find the elusive size. Add 10 other desperate mums searching for the exact same size 12 all-weather rain jacket (in black, not that disgusting lumo green) and you’ve got instant mutiny.

Violence On The Aisles

Emerging from the throng, slightly startled that I was still standing, in one-piece, I felt battered, bruised and shell-shocked from the whole experience. One time, I had my earing literally ripped out of my ear in the crush but most of the time, it’s just an elbow in the side or a shove from an over-zealous discount-hunter.

Yikes…The Check-Out Awaits

But then I realise that I still have to cross the check-out gauntlet and my heart sinks.

Right…I can do this! Be strong!

As soon as I approach the check-out lane, my pulse-rate quickens, palms get sweaty and my breathing goes all shallow as I anticipate the nerve-wracking payment process ahead.

No Trolley = No Chance

I didn’t have a coin to ‘rent’ a trolley and I forgot to bring a bag…and of course in the world of bargain-buster stores, no baskets of any sort are provided. So I have my 10-or-so products in a delicately balanced pyramid and I weave through the shoppers praying that my stack of goods don’t come tumbling down.

Pshew, the conveyor belt at the check-outs is in sight and I lunge gratefully for the black strip, dropping my load most indelicately.

Aldi checkout

No To Newbies

There are many unwritten rules to ensure that you adhere to proper protocol at the Aldi registers. And woe be you, if you’re new to the whole Aldi thing. There is just not time to teach a newbie what to do – learn and observe….quickly!

I get more nervous as I inch closer to the checkout. I always forget where to stand and how insanely stressful it is to pack your products in half a millisecond while fellow shoppers harumph loudly that you are taking longer than you should.

Before becoming an Aldi checkout person, I’m sure they have to go to speed checkout school. They scan through those items at lightning speed and you have to have superpowers to keep up. Can you please just stop for a second so I can breathe!

Don’t Be A Packer!

Yes, I know that the correct code of conduct is that you definitely don’t even try and pack your haul into bags. But rather toss them into a trolley and then head over to the packing shelf to transfer your goods into bags. But it just seems like doubling-up on the effort and I just can’t help trying to be a super-packer at the register, and as I said before, I didn’t bring a coin for the trolley. I’m clearly not the Aldi poster-mum…far from it!

Dirty Looks

And I’m certainly not the only one. Recently, an Aldi shopper shared her woes on a facebook group saying that she got evil stares from other shoppers after doing a massive shop.

The mum wrote: “The dirty looks I got when I filled up the conveyor belt at Aldi by other impatient customers, who thought it was the end of the world that someone was doing a big shop, was phenomenal.”

She then called on Aldi to introduce express lanes for the “grumps who basically want to shiv you like a prison line for smokes in commissary because they want to get ahead”.

What Aldi Says

An Aldi Australia spokeswoman said that while they “constantly review” processes they had no plans to introduce express checkouts.

“Shopping at ALDI is a unique experience, but one that we are proud of,” a statement read. “We constantly review our processes and are open to receiving customer feedback to ensure we continue to deliver exceptional value and great service to our customers.

“Our checkouts are known for efficiency and speed and we have found that the current checkout format meets the needs of our shoppers.”

What is your experience shopping and paying at Aldi? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.

More On Mouths Of Mums

  • I have a aldi where I work and always see the really long queues especially during lockdown this put me of trying for special buys


  • We dont have an Aldi, I’ve been to one in Victoria tho. I found it to be too rushed at the check out, too stressful for me


  • Im not really a fan of Aldi but its very obvious that Coles is one of MOMs sponsors. So many pro-coles and pro-kmart articles. Now it looks like its time to bag the competition.


  • My most hated place to shop, it’s an anxiety riddled place and I just can’t love Aldi.


  • We do shopping Aldi at time to time because of their prices. But i do agree with some points above.


  • I have two Aldi’s near me and have NEVER seen anything like what is mentioned above. Sure you don’t always get everything but I’ve never seen people tussle over things. And at both Aldi’s if you have a sizeable shop and the person in line behind you only has a few items they ask if you mind them serving the other person. I don’t think many people would complain about that!


  • i just don’t like that you can’t do a complete shop there. You can get many things but not all, so you end up having to go to another supermarket. Most of the time it’s just not worth the effort for me.


  • I’ve never been to Aldi’s and after reading this I’m never going to. I’d rather pay a bit more and get through stress free.


  • I wish they did express! I never buy a full trolley


  • They do need some signs at the register


  • I love their Special Buys but have heard such horror stories I don’t queue up for them. We chose to visit the day after a Special Buys day and managed to pick up 2x water tanks left. That’s how I prefer to shop there.


  • There are multiple reasons why I don’t buy at Aldi.


  • I shop at Aldis on a Friday evening and somehow there aren’t long queues so the counter experience is stress free. I keep my shopping bags ready and money to pay so that I don’t waste time looking for them. I avoid the Special Buys as there have been complaints about some electrical items. People who shop in Aldis know the procedure they have to go through so if they don’t like it, they should avoid going there.


  • I can see how it could be stressfull.. especially if you’re trying to get those bargains as they come out. But for me it’s usually a relaxing experience.. touchwood! Shop in the morning just after they open, mainly looking for everyday essential groceries, sometimes pick up those special buys bargains (the ones that didn’t sell) for even less than they were originally (always a good feeling), usually let people with bigger trolleys than mine go first (and actually they seem to do the same for me when I’m just grabbing one thing… which I never find in those stores with express lanes… so maybe just being polite is the thing to help it all work out.


  • Shopping at Aldi is alqays nerve wracking. Thank fully our lcal store doesnt seem as bad as some of the others!


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