Day 3014 – Even If you Have The Resources, You Need To Have Access To Them – or – Life Lessons In The Aldi Parking Lot

I absolutely love shopping at Aldi. Especially since the rebrand/remodel. I love being able to get amazing deals on our food. It has helped us eat really healthy affordably. There are “downsides” like waiting in line for a while, things not in stock, and having to have a quarter to get a cart.

I’m not a purse girl, at all. I either have a backpack with the kitchen sink or I only have my “wallet” (a business card holder with my credit cards and ID), clip my keys to my belt loop, and my phone. For the past year or so, I’ve also carried a coin purse with gift cards, cash, and loose change. A few nights back when I went to get groceries, I thought, I don’t need cash or giftcards, so I’ll leave this at home. Famous. Last. Words.

I used to be in the habit of keeping a roll of quarters in my car for parking meters. Now, I just keep some change. I ALWAYS have several quarters in my car for Aldi.

When I arrived at Aldi to shop, I went to grab a quarter. Nothing. A few pennies, no quarters. “Oh crap.” I looked in the console between the seats. Nothing.

Thus began the longest search of my life.

I turned the car inside out, finally deciding I had to look for pennies to get a quarter. I went through the car several times. I had secret hopes that someone would just happen to see me searching and give me a cart. A lady walked up next to me, and I thought of making a joke about digging for change, but I didn’t want to sound desperate. Wouldn’t you know, she gave her cart to other people, and not in exchange for a quarter. DOH!

Onward I forged. I FINALLY found the 25th cent, and upon counting, realized I had 26 cents. I traded in my quarter at the cash register, then washed my hands in the bathroom.

I had never used the bathroom at Aldi. Before the remodel, and for many years, Aldi has had a, well, not very good reputation. Just as a trashy kind of place, not the best quality, etc. But it has saved us so much money, and since they started accepting credit cards, not debit cards, we shop there almost exclusively. So for years, I had this idea that the bathrooms would be trashy. Friends, the bathroom was beautiful! I never would have expected that! I’m not sure if that was part of the remodel or if it was always that nice. That was definitely a good reminder to not judge things without knowing the full story.

It also made me realize that I had more than enough resources (money) to get a cart, but I couldn’t access those resources. I knew I could drive to the apartment to get a quarter, but was that really worth the extra drive? I have to make sure that I have access to the resources I need in life. I have access to countless books at the library, but if I never go, I’ll never get to use those resources for my benefit. Part of the reason I’m rereading my entire blog is to find the diamonds to share with others on Pinterest (ha ha, MUCH harder in the first year or two of posts). I have lots of resources and information here on the blog about a number of topics, but if I don’t get them in front of people, they won’t have the impact I want (more I do’s that last until til death do us part, more people actually taking a road trip instead of wishing they could, etc).

Oh, and I have a whole bunch of quarters in my car now.

Here’s the state of the change I did find!


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Day 2672 – Why Aren’t You Shopping At Aldi??

I came across this article about visiting Aldi for the first time and thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about them!

Bret and I are BIG fans of Aldi. I find it interesting that it still has a stigma when I tell people we shop there. I wanted to share a few reasons why we think this amazing place! We average about $50-80 a week for both of us to eat. And we eat pretty healthy – quinoa, veggie, salmon mix for most meals, veggies and hummus, cereal, boiled eggs, sandwiches, nuts, etc. Their food is made pretty cleanly too. I love picking up an item and seeing like 2 ingredients.

One thing you sometimes need to keep an eye on is the produce. The only problem is it goes bad faster than other stores. I have found their organic produce has always been spot on. AND they have a double guarantee, so if you need to return something you get a refund AND a replacement.

Another benefit is not having to clip coupons.

In my mind, I’m a master couponer, finding amazing deals and saving us thousands of dollars a year. In reality, I’ll clip about 10 coupons every few months and maybe use one of them. I will look for deals and coupons when I need something, but in practice, I really suck at couponing. Here’s where Aldi saves the day, every time. I don’t need to look for coupons, the prices are consistently SO low.

The main downside is I can’t get everything I need there. So I either go without or go somewhere else. Thankfully, we have a lot of great grocery stores nearby to fill the gaps.

So give Aldi a chance friend!

Have you shopped at Aldi? Did you love it or hate it?

Fun fact, these are from Aldi!