- If you are brand conscious, Aldi is not the place for you. Everything is either their own store brand or some brand you have never heard of. Reviews seem to say the off-brands suffice just fine, but I know some people like to recognize a name, and there are definitely some things that I prefer to buy from a known reliable source.
- You will have to put in a quarter to get a shopping cart. This will allow you to unchain it from the rest of the carts. However, once you re-chain it at the end of your trip, you'll get your quarter back! And don't be embarrassed if you can't figure out how to reconnect the chain because, well, I might have had trouble too.
- They do no accept credit cards. They can do debit or cash.
- Bags are not free, and there are no baggers. You can either bring your own, which I do anyway, or pay a few cents for either a paper or plastic bag. The checkout clerk will put your items back into your cart and then you can go over to the bagging table they have set up to put them in your bags. I actually like this, because I am pretty particular about how my items get bagged and this gives me total control over it.
All of these things contribute to their ability to keep prices so low: buying cheaper brands in general, no risk of losing carts, no passing on of the cost of bags to your cost for foods, and only having to pay one employee per checkout lane. There were no frills to the inside of the store, but it was impeccably clean. They also had a security guard who was very prevalent, which I chose to take as comforting rather than frightening. All in all, I had a fun time discovering the inexpensive items on each aisle, and I will definitely be back!