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.
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.
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!
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.
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