Not too long ago, we wrote a (slightly tongue-in-cheek) post about how we think each Myers-Briggs personality type might shop at Aldi. It got us thinking about how shopping at Aldi is a unique experience that brings out certain traits in different people, for better or worse. It’s not like shopping at other grocery stores where people are likely to get in and out in a routine fashion and with very little interaction with other people. A trip to Aldi is unlike shopping at any other store. That’s why we’ve compiled an unscientific list below of the kinds of people you may meet at Aldi.
The Pay-It-Forward Saint
As you walk up to the store to do your weekly shop, this person is returning their cart to the corral. Instead of plugging it in and retrieving their quarter, they pass the cart to you free of charge. This often sets in motion a cycle of generosity as subsequent shoppers continue to pass their carts on throughout the day. Sometimes humans aren’t so bad after all.
The Box Collector
Just like there is really nothing shameful about the Aisle of Shame, there also is no shame in forgetting to bring your own bags to Aldi. This person collects empty product cardboard boxes to stash their stuff in as they make their way through the store, saving them from having to purchase bags at the checkout. As an added bonus, the boxes make great cat beds/hideouts.
The Early Bird
Arrives at opening on the first day new specials hit the shelves in order to get the best selection. By far, most Early Birds are considerate. A small, unfortunate minority falls into the category of …
A nuisance shopper who clears the shelves of all of the keto bread or wine Advent calendars, either to save for themselves or to sell on eBay, leaving nothing for the rest of us. May the fires of a thousand slow Walmart checkout lines curse you for all eternity.
The Aldi Nerd
Compulsively stalks the middle aisle, taking photos to share on social media fan pages where people might get testy with each other about the sugar content of a kids’ snack food. Asks random fellow shoppers if they know where the ranch is.
The Cart Liberator
Sneaks a quarter into a cart in the corral, pulls the cart out a few inches, and leaves it ready for the next shopper to grab. Some extremely generous souls with a pocketful of change might free an entire row of carts as a more impressive act of random kindness.
The Employees’ BFF
Is friends with all of their local store’s cashiers and stockers because the staff is such a small group that it’s easy to get to know everyone through the course of weekly shopping trips. Jokes with the cashier at the checkout, shows the latest picture of their kids or grandkids, and asks how the cashier’s Aunt Mildred is doing after her hip replacement surgery.
The Low-Information Consumer
Doesn’t understand that Aldi Finds are only in stores for a short time, until the limited stock sells out, and that they don’t get restocked. Tracks down store managers to ask why a certain Aldi Find like a toaster oven or their favorite frying pan they bought two years ago isn’t currently available. Also emails Aldi Reviewer staff asking if they can order the item from us. (Spoiler: no, you can’t.)
A long-time Aldi shopper who has a fine-tuned mental map of exactly where everything is in the store and knows what specials are on shelves this week and what’s coming next week. Eagerly points fellow shoppers unsolicited toward the best products like the “red bag” chicken and Mediterranean Herb Salmon. Helps other shoppers find the canned chili or taco seasoning or those cool hiking boots they spotted in the ad. Can explain the finer points of how Aldi and Trader Joe’s are related.
The Instacart Shopper
Recognized by their speediness, ID lanyards, and the multiple orders they’re juggling. Best to give them some space to work their magic.
The Food Pantry Volunteers
You’ll recognize these kind folks by their carts filled with cartons of nonperishable staples like pancake mix and peanut butter. Aldi’s low prices make it a hub for people looking to stock food pantry shelves and make the most of their donation dollars.
The Fruit Picker
Painstakingly digs through the bins of oranges to find just the right bag while other people wait behind them in the notoriously crowded and narrow Aldi produce aisle. This leads to the next kind of person you may spot at Aldi …
The Aisle Blocker
All of the aisles at Aldi are narrow enough that anyone can unwittingly become an Aisle Blocker as they’re searching for their favorite frozen egg rolls or looking for the Wahlburgers. It’s good to extend grace toward fellow shoppers and try to be self aware as you personally navigate the store.
The Quarter Fiend
They’re like the McDonald’s Hamburglar, but they run off with your quarter instead of your hamburger. This person approaches you as you’re returning your cart to the corral to get your quarter back. They offer to take your cart and hold out their hand to give you what you presume is a quarter. Instead, you feel several coins tumble into your hand. As the Quarter Fiend walks off with the cart containing your sacred Aldi quarter, you’re left staring at a dime and three nickels and feeling irritated about having to dig in the change jar at home to find another quarter to put in your keychain quarter holder.
The “Aldi’s” People
The Just-the-Basics Shopper
(Short for The Aisle of Shame-er.) Is here for ALL of the specials. Scours the ad and makes much ado about deciding what Aldi Finds to put on their shopping list each week. The air fryer or the shower curtain? The swimming pool or the accent cabinet? Heck, you only live once, so let’s just get one of everything. Victoriously shouts “caw caw” on their way out the door.
The Good Line Samaritan
Because Aldi has no express lanes for people who are only buying a few items, some generous shoppers with full carts will offer to let another shopper with just a handful of items go ahead of them in line. It’s a kind gesture that we see a lot, and on top of low prices and an ever-revolving array of fun specials, it’s just another perk of shopping at Aldi.