Every Aldi shopper knows that, when it comes to Aldi, the issue of shopping bags isn’t like in other stores. For one, you have to either bring your own bags or buy some at the store. For another, you have to bag your own groceries. Aldi doesn’t give you bags for free, and its workers aren’t going to do much more than put your stuff back in a cart after they scan it.
Aldi sells a few varieties of bags for those who need them, ranging from simple paper bags to more deluxe insulated thermal bags with zippers. Somewhere in between is the Aldi Insulated Bag.
This bag is a Regular Buy, which means you can find it in stores all the time. At the time of writing, the bags cost 98 cents apiece. By my measurements, the bag is roughly 20 inches wide and approximately 19 inches tall.
According to the fine print on the bag, it is manufactured by Papier-Mettler KG, a packaging company, and is a product of Germany. The bag is made from Low Density Polyethylene — in other words, plastic — with a minimum thickness of 2.25 mil. It’s made of at least 40% recycled material and is designed for at least 125 uses. The fine print also has the usual warnings about keeping away from children, as this is, after all, a plastic bag.
The fine print, helpfully, also includes cleaning instructions: rinse the bag with liquid dish soap on the inside and hang upside down to dry.
The bag appears to have two layers: a thin outer plastic and a slightly thicker, firmer inner plastic. The bag can be locked closed with a series of buttons and holes that click together when pushed against each other. It’s not an airtight seal, as there is some open space on each side. The handle seems to hold up well when the bag is full, but I’d be nervous about putting too many heavy items inside.
The bottom is v-shaped, which means that, unfortunately, you can’t easily sit it upright like you do paper bags, at least not without loading it up. That makes it a little tricky to get some products in, especially when it’s empty.
I think that, in terms of insulation, you get what you pay for. This isn’t a cooler, or even a thermal bag: it’s a plastic bag with a little extra plastic lining. It won’t keep your frozen stuff frozen for hours. It will, though, help keep the chill in for a little longer than a paper bag. It will also hold up against condensation better than a paper bag.
The Aldi Insulated Bag is a cheap way to help contain cool products until you get them home. It is only thinly insulated and is no substitute for a cooler, so in that sense you get what you pay for. It’s also a little tricky to fill, thanks to the fact that it doesn’t easily sit flat when opened. It claims to be good for 125 uses, but it’s an open question if the plastic construction can last that long.
If you have a long commute from the store to your home and you need a little extra insulation, this might work in a pinch. Otherwise, most shoppers will want to spring for something that is easier to use and more likely to last.