Yeah this sounds like a really weird how to doesn't it? The thing is Sam and I pretty much exclusively shop at Aldi (but much of what I write here will also apply to Lidl) when we tell people this they look at us with the crinkled up face of disbelief, like it's not possible to do. Well, yeah it is and we've saved ourselves a ton of money doing it so here are my does and don't s (free free to add any I've missed out in the comments!).
(It's worth pointing out that Sam is a vegetarian, I choose not to cook a separate meal for myself containing meat because frankly I'm just not bothered about eating meat everyday.)
One of the great things about Aldi is that they have twice weekly special buys on all manner of random stuff from pillows to peonies, lunch boxes to lawn feed but once it's gone, it's gone. My first tip would be to get the Aldi app on your phone it lets you know about the next three or so special buy days coming up and what's on offer. If like us you own an allotment or have a garden it's worth waiting until they get their garden supplies in, we get all of our propagators, twine, pots and compost there (the compost is a bargain £1.99 for 40 litres). The app allows you to plan ahead and compile a shopping list for your next visit.
Some of the other special buys I would recommend include their gin, tights, frying pans, spectacle wipes (yeah yeah I know), chocolate and wrapping paper. I could add more to the list but things would get boring,
Know that you're there to get ingredients
One of the things that people don't get when we say we shop almost exclusively at Aldi is how can we get everything we need there? Well I won't pretend that we haven't changed the way we purchase and prepare food, we make things from scratch a lot anyway but did have to plan what we were going to make so we could get the ingredients we needed from Aldi rather than going to another supermarket to get a ready made version. You will get all of your basics there no problem, their fruit and veg is well priced (but can go off quicker than vegetables from other supermarkets) and things like toilet roll is cheaper than even the basics ranges at other supermarkets without having to use an entire roll to get your *cough* business done.
Abandon snobbery at the door
It took me a long time to do this. When we started shopping there I didn't trust the meat, didn't want to eat any of the frozen food, wouldn't go near their beauty products at all but as I got over my own snobbery I realised just how much I have been paying over the odds for things. The shampoo I get is 69p and is as good as the branded £4 bottle I would previously pick up, the painkillers work just as well as those from Boots, the cold meats and cheese taste A.M.A.Z.I.N.G and their booze is really, really well priced (beware like most other shops their prices did go up on booze over the Christmas period so stock up early for the cheaper price!). You won't get the range of ready meals or the broad selection you get at the bigger supermarkets but if you weight that up against how much you could save, for us at least it seemed like a reasonable price to pay.
What do we get from other supermarkets/shops?
- Cat litter
- Indigestion tablets
- Roll on deodorant
Seriously that's it.
The Aldi cat litter is really clumpy and heavy, I haven't seen them sell indigestion tablets (uuuuuuuuugh having indigestion tablets even be on our shopping list sucks, getting old sucks!), their mascara is really bad and I haven't braved using their roll-on yet.
A note about how to be efficient at the check out
The Aldi checkout process seems to really freak people out, but guys it's really efficient and awesome, be cool! Don't be one of those people trying to pack your bags at the till, just sling your stuff back in your trolley, pay and take yourself over to the handy shelf area where you can pack your bags at your leisure it makes the whole thing much less stressful. Not only that the staff can get people through those tills fast, which means they're not paying staff to be sat there for more time than they need to be WHICH MEANS THEY KEEP STAFFING COSTS DOWN AND THEREFORE THE PRICES ARE LOWER!
Believe it or not this post wasn't sponsored, I just really thing that we need to change the way we think about food shopping!