Grocery Shopping with Kids at ALDI

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Grocery shopping with kids can be a tricky affair, but after 19 years of parenting, I realize its value: in spending time together, learning about commerce, and teaching them the value of a dollar.

I’m pleased to be partnering with ALDI for this post. I’ve been compensated for my time, but all opinions are my own.

Grocery Shopping with Kids at ALDI (6)

I celebrated my 19th momiversary this month. That means I’ve gone grocery shopping with kids a few times in my life. Just a few.

Oh sure, there were seasons when I couldn’t wait for my husband to come home just so I could go grocery shopping alone. Now that life isn’t overwhelming in that three-toddlers-hanging-on-my-leg kind of way, I’ve gained some appreciation for the process of going grocery shopping with kids. Not only do we build our relationships as we deal with mishaps, tempers, and tantrums, but my kids also learn valuable life skills and the value of a dollar.

Over the years I’ve learned some things about how to make such a trip a success. One of the keys is to involve my kids in the process.

That played out pretty well recently when I went grocery shopping with kids at my new ALDI. Last month our neck of the woods celebrated an ALDI Grand Opening in North County San Diego. All the kids wanted to go with me and see what the to-do was about. (My college son missed out on the adventure because he had class.)

Grocery Shopping with Kids at ALDI

Since I had already experienced a taste of ALDI foods and brought some samples home, the kids were pretty excited about heading there to shop. Here’s how they were involved in the process:

1. Oh! the quarter for the cart!

I told you before that you need to make a quarter deposit to use a grocery cart at ALDI. FishChick9 planned ahead and made sure she had one in her purse. Seemingly everyone wanted to check out the quarter mechanism on the cart. Such a novelty!

Grocery Shopping with Kids at ALDI

2. We used the buddy system.

Instead of roaming the store in a herd, we broke into smaller groups, big kids pairing up with younger ones. The kids enjoyed the freedom, and since ALDI has a smaller footprint than most stores, I wasn’t worried that they’d be too far out of range.

3. I gave the kids each a budget.

We’d heard so much about the “fun food” at ALDI, I gave each child a $5 budget to spend however they liked. It’s always so interesting to see what catches their eyes. There’s a variety of both food and non-food ALDI finds to choose from. Letting the kids shop for themselves is also a great way to get them to notice the prices of things and to learn to be wise shoppers.

Grocery Shopping with Kids at ALDI PIN

As you can tell, most of the kids drifted toward snack foods. I’m so glad they did because we got to try some yummy things. Those Specially Selected Dark and Milk Chocolate Coated Butter Cookies are AMAZING!

4. The kids read labels.

Since FishChick7 has nut allergies and since she was paired off with a big brother, he was my first line of defense in reading labels and not letting her choose foods she wouldn’t be able to eat. Yes, I read labels again to verify, but it was nice to have them prescreened while I did the rest of our shopping.

I appreciate that ALDI has very clear labeling on all their products. Those of you shopping gluten-free will be happy to know there’s a complete section of the store dedicated to gluten-free products.

5. The kids did some meal planning.

I was really impressed with my older boys who spotted ingredients we regularly use at home and pointed out which recipes we could make with ALDI ingredients. We snatched up a couple jars of the famous Deutsche Kuche German Sauerkraut as well as some country-style pork ribs to make Slow Cooker Sauerkraut and Pork as well as shrimp and pasta to make Shrimp with Noodles and Cream Sauce.

6. The kids helped bag the groceries.

One of the ways that ALDI can offer lower prices is by keeping a low overhead. For example, since you bag your groceries and return your cart, they don’t have to pay someone else to do it. This translates to lower prices for you!

This is also where grocery shopping with kids can play in your favor! While it may take them some time to learn, it will pay off in the long run. Work is good for kids. And honestly, I end up bagging my groceries half the time at most other stores anyway.

Grocery Shopping with Kids at ALDI (7)

7. The kids loaded the car and returned the cart.

It’s not often that I take five kids shopping with me. Grocery shopping with kids – FIVE of them — provided lots of helpers. And maybe one or two squabbles about who got to return the cart and retrieve the quarter. Ha!

The kids had a great time perusing all that ALDI has to offer. They’ve already zoned in on some favorite purchases: Clancy’s Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips, Specially Selected Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls, Lunch Mate Never Any! Uncured Black Forest Ham, and the aforementioned Specially Selected Dark and Milk Chocolate Coated Butter Cookies. 

All their chatter has their older brother eager to go grocery shopping at ALDI. Maybe I’ll hand him my list next week?

Keep up with ALDI on the web!

For cooking tips and the 411 on what’s fresh at ALDI, be sure to add ALDI to your feed!

What’s been YOUR experience grocery shopping with kids at ALDI?

This post is sponsored by ALDI. I have been compensated for my time spent writing. All opinions are mine.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Wendy Clark says

    I love Aldi! Seriously, their lower prices has helped my family so much. I am constantly amazed at the lower prices and the quality of products I buy. I also have older children now and I usually take one to help me bag and laod the groceries. And I know they wont’ admit it, but they love to get the buggy and return it. 🙂

  2. Alison says

    My kids love those Mamba candies – they always bring their own money for those. I let them spend it only if they behave 🙂 I love that those candies don’t have food dye.

    • Buying candy and snacks is not a regular habit here, either, but they had heard so much about ALDI, they were really excited about buying fun food.

  3. Andrea says

    Shopping at Aldi with kids is so much easier than other stores. The smaller size of the stores helps me relax and not panic when my escape artist 3 year old turns the corner before I do. Since there aren’t 500 different brands and varieties of each product (just imagine the ketchup aisle in a larger store. It’s ridiculous!) to choose from, I get to reserve some brain power and my shopping trips are much faster. As a bonus, with the prices, I’m able to say “yes” to many of my kids’ requests to try new items. I absolutely love Aldi! Saves me money and sanity ?.

  4. Charlotte says

    I love ALDI! We get about 75% of our grocery shopping out of the way there. Can’t beat their price for bread, produce and some of the staples I always keep around for a quick lunch.
    I could live without one on the way home from work, but I would definitely not be happy about it.

  5. Melanie says

    Great idea to give them a budget and let them choose some items, will have to try it!

  6. Stephanie M. says

    How lucky you are to have an Aldi near you. Where I live, there is not an Aldi. But giving your kids a budget is wonderful. They will learn at a young age the value of a dollar. I remember when my kids were little and we would go shopping together, I would put what I needed in the cart and by the time I got to the check out so many things were missing. When I turned my head, they would take out certain things thinking they would help me save money but put in the things they wanted. There were always mystery items that I picked out of the cart when it was time to pay. No matter how many times I told them not to do this, they continued to until they were old enough that they didn’t want to go shopping with me anymore. It’s not their fault; someone (me) wasn’t “minding the store”. LOL But now that they are all grown up, they are much more mindful when they go shopping. It all comes back though; eventually the “curse” will come to them. Ha Ha.

    • That’s hilarious. I did that once and I got so busted by my dad, I didn’t try it again until I was a teenager and didn’t care. haha!

  7. Dennise says

    i LOVE my Aldi and just found out they are building a NEW store! I have mixed feelings about the new store. I’m hoping it’s bigger so it will carry more items found on my weekly Aldi app. The down side I think will be the location. From what I see now it could be a bugger to get into and out of due to traffic flow 🙁 My current store is off the main drag and requires a few turns to get there. The New store is on a main street and across from the Super WalMart(means more traffic)
    I will still shop Aldi but may have to alter my shopping time 🙂

    • It is nice to have your choice of locations, though, right?

      • Dennise says

        No. They will be closing the original location when the new store opens.
        I have mixed feelings about EVERYONE learning about Aldi LOL I’m glad ALDI is successful enough to be able to build a bigger store and offer more but it seems it’s ALWAYS busy when I go no matter when I go. :-/

  8. Meagan says

    I love Aldi! The smaller footprint of the store makes it so much easier to get in and get out. Now that my kids are a bit older (5 & 7), they enjoy helping bag the groceries and they take turns getting & returning the cart. They love getting the “Aldi quarter” out of our car’s console and it just makes their day if someone happens to leave a quarter in a cart. Aldi’s low prices and high quality products are a big help to keeping our family’s budget on track. Once you get accustomed to Aldi’s prices, you will have sticker shock most other places.

  9. Donna says

    Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels. That’s all I’m gonna say. I buy a box a week at Aldi. My daughter and I are addicted.

  10. Rachel says

    My kids (ages 8, 6, and 5) know our Aldi so well, that I just have to tell them what we need and they run off and find it for me. I don’t have to worry about them because the store is so small that I can see down practically every aisle. 🙂 We do at least 80% of our monthly shopping at Aldi. Love their prices and our staff is super friendly.

  11. Serena says

    We love Aldi! I spent 1/2 to 3/4 of my budget there (not really many options where we live, the other portion is always Meijer!). It’s easier to shop there with my kiddos, my 4yo is always excited about the quarter and helping me in the store so he gets to keep it. 😉

  12. Aubrey Jensen says

    Just a question…#6 is on the way at our house (my oldest is 10…whew!). Right now, we do almost all of our shopping at Sam’s Club. Have you found that you can shop exclusively at Aldi with a large family and meet budget (or go in the black!), or is it a “supplement” store to Costco/Sam’s ? Just wondering if it’s worth the effort…It’s challenging enough in my season just to make a Sam’s run. 🙂

    • Congratulations on the new baby! That’s almost the spread we have for our six kids. I think my oldest was 11. Anyway, ALDI is not close to my house, so it hasn’t been feasible for me to do all my shopping there, so I can’t speak to this in specific terms.

      I’d say generally, it really depends on how YOU shop and how YOUR family eats, what’s close to your home, what’s convenient for your shopping. When you’re adding Baby #6, you have to think practicality as well as price. What’s going to be easiest for you? Where does your husband feel most comfortable shopping? How close are the stores? These are things to keep in mind as you make plans.

      I’d definitely start filling the freezer. 😉

  13. Joleen says

    Aldi is such a life saver for our family in terms of being able to stock up 1-2 times a month on the everyday necessities and staying on top of our budget. Our family also can indulge in treats like the german chocolate, and those chocolate butter cookies. May I suggest you use those cookies for a s’mores treat? We tried that this summer as an alternative for “marshmallow sandwiches” because our youngest (3 years) had a hard time holding the grahams with the chocolate and then the marshmallow. They are a little bit richer in flavor so we all can only eat one but such a good treat for the summer months.

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