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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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Mish-Mash

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

  • this was me the first time I ever went to do a proper grocery shop – I am afraid to say it scared me for life (over 14 years ago) – I have only just ventured into my local aldi to see if it was even possible to get one of their special buys for my husband’s christmas present this December (I didn’t even bother to be there when the store opened I just went in on a whim that afternoon) and luckily they had plenty and the store was practically empty. Still not sure I will ever go a big grocery shop there I am a bit spoilt by the coles online, delivery to your door experience but now knowing that my local is often quiet I will happily step foot inside the door with my 10 year old to help me grab some bargins from the special buys bins (they were great for christmas presents this year I must admit!)

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  • Totally agree!! Every time I go aldi I mean like I’ve done a gym workout. Would be a lot better experience if they helped pack the bags….

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  • I don’t shop at Aldi, my local store is a mess, can never find anything. If people find it that stressful I would shop elsewhere, try and support local business if you can.

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  • I rarely go for the special buys. Mostly I just get the tuna and 2 minute noodles from there so I am in and out quickly

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  • Positives in my opinion:
    Fresh fruit and veg at great prices.
    Doesn’t take long to find products therefore I don’t spend too long in there shopping.
    Some great products in bulk like cleaning products and toilet paper.
    Afforable products overall.
    Negatives:
    The packing your own groceries.
    Doesn’t have alot of meat product variety or bread products like other supermarkets.
    The coin in trolley is a pain when you don’t have gold coins or it doesn’t take your gold coin cause they trolley is damaged.

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  • Still not a big fan of Aldi. You can’t do a full shop, the quality isn’t always there, and the checkout experience is awful!

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  • I don’t tend to go on specials days as it gets too busy.

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  • Unfortunately we don’t have an Aldi in my home town, I’d love it if we had one as when I’ve visited ones there are so much bargains to choose from and great products on offer. I’d suggest if this lady doesn’t like the pressure then she shouldn’t go!

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  • I find Aldi less crowded and quick to get through checkout. Admittedly it can be a pain to pack the groceries and not all products are available. Not too stressful for me.

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  • Couldn’t agree more with everything written! It can be so stressful lol

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  • I like Aldi for certain things

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  • No a fan of aldi to be honest…Coles and Safeway have similar priced products with their own brands and they offer rewards.

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  • I don’t go to Aldi much, only usually if they have something I want on special – so it’s usually quick and easy!

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  • seemed to work fine and efficiently when doing a smallish shop. not sure how id go trying to pack so fast with a large shop

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  • I\’ve never had an issue while shopping at aldi. I don\’t worry about any specials and if there is something there I\’m not first in line to get it, if it\’s there it\’s there.

    Reply

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