According to my sources (the friendly cashiers and manager at the Aldi located on Liberia Ave. in Manassas) the newest Aldi in Northern VA is scheduled to open on Dec. 5th, 2009 ** UPDATED: OPEN HOUSE ON DEC. 4th 11 AM – 4 PM. GRAND OPENING DATE: DEC. 7th, 2009 AT 9 AM!** in the Portsmouth Shopping Center (10294 Portsmouth Rd, Manassas, VA 20109) in Manassas (just off of Sudley Road/VA-234 exit# 47 off of I-66). The opening date has been pushed back a few times, but I’ve seen official printed confirmation of the opening date. See my post here.
Aldi consistently has the lowest everyday prices on groceries in our area (that I can find!) including $1.99 for a gallon of milk, $0.30-$0.50 for a cucumber, less than $1 for a dozen eggs, bananas at $0.39 per lb, etc. I’ve written other posts about Aldi and my shopping experiences before, which have all been positive. I did want to point out that Aldi has its own unique “shopping culture” which is important to note before you shop there. Just yesterday I went to Aldi and at check-out noticed a “first-timer” who had 2 full-of-energy elementary school aged kids and her elderly mother along for the trip. She was a little slow loading her groceries onto the belt (which was no problem… I wasn’t in a hurry and there wasn’t a long line) and seemed a little confused that she had to buy bags, so she bought a reusable “green” tote. When everything was rung up she handed over her credit card and got upset when she found out that they didn’t accept credit cards, only cash or debit cards. She seemed flustered and upset since she bought a substantial amount of groceries and owed over $100 and didn’t have the cash or a debit card on her. She made the comment that she probably would never come to Aldi again since they don’t accept credit cards. The manager came out and explained their payment policy and that a lot of people don’t know the policy and run into the same predicament she did. If the bill had been $40 or less they could have possibly accepted a check. The lady’s mom pulled out her debit card, and all was taken care of.
I wanted to tell the lady not to be discouraged and to give Aldi another try (and bring some cash next time) because their low prices are worth it! On my way out of the store I noticed that the accepted payment methods are clearly listed on the front entrance window, but if you’re not looking at it, and just walking into the store without stopping to read it, it could be easy to miss (especially if you just automatically assume they accept credit cards like every other grocery store).
Has anyone else had any interesting trips at Aldi? Were you surprised by anything on your first visit like needing a quarter to use the grocery cart?