Unwritten Rules of Shopping in Aldi or Lidl

There are some unwritten rules of shopping in Aldi or Lidl, read on I will try to explain them!

I’ve been shopping in Aldi and Lidl for a couple of years. In the last few months I’ve noticed just how busy it’s getting. They used to be a fairly quiet place to shop. I think it’s fabulous that so many people have now discovered the treasures that they hold. But I also chuckle to myself every time I go in the shop and see someone who has clearly never been before. New shoppers stand out by a mile!

Shopping at Aldi and Lidl is unlike any other supermarkets experience. There is an unspoken and unwritten set of rules to follow when shopping there. If you’ve never been there before it can be quite daunting at first. So long as you grasp the rules quickly you will soon be fitting in like the rest of us! The planning starts before you leave the house too so don’t just expect to turn up!

The Rules (The unwritten rules!)

1) Bags – As with all shops now you’ll need to take your own bags, while they do sell them at the till for emergencies what you really need is some nice wide bottomed hessian type bags. They are perfect for packing up everything at the end, so you can see when you get home where everything is. I did see the other day someone in there with some fab bags that clip onto the shopping trolley and sort of line it. They looked fab and perfect for shopping there. I’ll be on the look out for those. Also make sure you take more bags than you think you’ll need. Trust me you always need the extra ones! No one ever goes to Aldi or Lidl and leaves with just an item or two!

2) £1 coin or a shopping trolley token. The trolleys always need them and even though you might think you can get away with a basket for just a few items, you never leave with just a few. Once you’re inside you’ll end up wanting to buy more than a basket full! Always have your coin or token ready for the trolleys.

3) The aisles won’t look anything like you are used to, theres way less choice which is a good thing. Believe me when theres only one type of baked beans it takes seconds to pick them up. Last time I went to Tesco to buy beans there was nearly a whole aisle of them, it took me ages to make my choice.

Although all the different beans looked great you’ll waste no time picking beans in Aldi, just pick them up! Although there are some branded goods most of the brands are their own and having tried most of them you probably won’t notice any difference between your usual brand and the Aldi or Lidl one. So just take a punt and try them, your purse will thank you!

4) The middle of the store is usually reserved for a variety of household goods stored in metal cage type storage bins which change on a regular basis. Each week new things are added. Try not to block the aisle hanging around the items though! If you want to know the price of something just look up, its usually there somewhere!

5) Wine – Don’t overlook it, you may be in a budget supermarket however both Aldi and Lidl sell some really great award winning wines. At great prices, the prosecco is fabulous! They usually have descriptions up as well as any awards, have a good look at them all. This is one of my favourite unwritten rules!

6) Checkouts – If you have a trolley full of shopping go against your instincts and pick the longest queue! Why you might ask? Well you need as much time as possible to remove all your shopping from the trolley and put it onto the belt before the cashier starts putting it through the till. If you spot someone with just a few items always ask if they want to go before you. Not only will they be grateful for getting through quicker but it buys you more time to get all the shopping on the belt.

7) Once all the shopping is loaded onto the belt get ready to whizz your trolley round to the other side of the cashier. There is no space to pack your bags there. I will say this only once…..


As soon as the item is scanned get it in the trolley. The lovely workers of Aldi and Lidl are the fastest scanners I know. The shopping will be coming towards you in a blur. If you get behind with putting things back in the trolley just do the one arm sweeper movement to get the shopping in the trolley, so long as there’s no eggs already scanned through you’ll probably be ok! If you want the shopping in any order in the trolley then you have to plan ahead and put it on the belt in that order. Don’t try to do it as its coming at you at 90mph through the till!

8) Once you’ve paid your bill (and got over how much you’ve saved!) quickly move away from the till to the packing bench. If its full and it tends to get like that at the weekend then just wait for a spot. Get your bags out and start to pack up, replacing the bags in the trolley as room is made for them. Once you’re packed you’re pretty much done. On the way out pick up a leaflet for next weeks special offers, it’ll save you time looking next week and stop you looking like a newbie!

If you have any more tips to add please do let me know!




30 thoughts on “The Unwritten Rules of Shopping in Aldi or Lidl

  1. Mum Tum Diaries on March 12, 2015 at 9:45 pm said:

    Haha this is so true! It always annoys me when people hang around at the till and start checking their receipt when it’s my turn and the cashiers start scanning. It’s a race to catch the items! I take bags too, I do chuckle at people balancing items they have brought in their arms! I love Aldi, just wish they did bonus / loyalty points like lots of other supermarkets! 🙂

    • If I’m ever unlucky enough to get behind a newbie at the till I sometimes want to just elbow them out of the way or shout at them if they hang around at the till. Like you say my stuff will end up on the floor if they aren’t out of there in two seconds flat! MOVE along people we don’t have time to pack our bags here at the check out!

  2. We started shopping at Aldi a few month ago and it’s great, though it’s a bit of a trek as it’s in the next town, though there is talk of one being built just down the road so fingers crossed! Great list and excellent advice!

  3. Love this I’ve been shopping in aldi and lidil for a while now i remember the first time i just didn’t get it cuts like you say theres much less selection now i love it still amazed by the great deals i get!

  4. I remember my first time in Aldi and how different it was, especially the till part, I started to pack and it was building up thankfully the lady said, don’t pack just chuck it in, the bench by the window is for packing 🙂

    Saves us a fortune shopping there as well, and most things are just as good.

  5. I’m always surprised by how much cheaper it is to shop in Aldi. You’ve got some great tips here, packing at the bench not at the till confused me the first time, I had no idea what was going on with my shopping being flung into the trolley! #thelist

    • I think most people who haven’t been before are so used to the “Do you need help with your packing” approach that its a strange concept to fling it in as fast as you can ad pack later!

  6. I LOVE Lidl!!! The Prosecco is lush!
    Great tips!
    I always get in a real flap as the cashier puts the food through so quickly that I can’t get it in the trolley quick enough. You have to be pretty fit and on the ball to get everything off the conveyor belt!
    I always come out sweating!!

  7. I love Aldi and Lidl, we’ve always used them for top up shops, but we do our main shops there now and it saves a fortune. You can always tell when someone’s new as they look really confused about not being given carrier bags! x

    • Yes I slowly eased into shopping there but like you I now do the main shop there and have done for a while. Once you know the layout it gets easier doesn’t it!

  8. Great post, number 6 and 7 are always the bit that worries me when I go on my own! I definitely pick the longest queue when I can and then set the bags in the trolley so we can just throw the shopping in to them as quick as we can, means we only need to do a little rearranging at the bench. 🙂 x

    • I tried that but I just get stressed out so I went back to the pack afterwards method, it made the bread less squished and the eggs stay in one piece!

  9. Fab tips! It stressed me out the first time I shopped in Aldi, because they scan it so quickly and I couldn’t keep up. These tips will really help people that haven’t been before. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

    • The products go through the checkout so fast they are blurry at times, I think it’d be better if there was a slide system into the trolley rather than all that bending! lol!

  10. Clare Sheldon on June 21, 2015 at 4:35 pm said:

    What really puzzles me is what you supposed to do if you use a basket rather than a trolley at Lidls. I assumed (quite reasonably, IMO), that you would use the same procedure as with a trolley – once your items have been scanned by a check-out operator, you just bung everything into the basket and then take it over to the packing area to pack your stuff into your own bags at your leisure. But NO – apparently, if you use a basket you are expected to leave it BEFORE you have left the check-out area and somehow struggle with all your stuff by hand to the packing area – it is totally insane! Well, if Lidls are going to take that attitude with baskets, I would much rather they didn’t provide them at all – just expect everyone to use trolleys, then there would be no question of not taking your shopping receptacle through the check out!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, you pose a very interesting question. One which I guess I have never had cause to think about before. I must never have used a basket before. But like you say why provide baskets if you can’t take them through? Hmmmmm I will now be on the look out for what other people do to solve this!

  11. This till method/layout that Aldi apply sums up everything thats wrong with people today! Just another number to them, so if choosing to bag items when at the till…..as a paying customer we all should have the right to do so!

  12. speedscanner on July 11, 2016 at 7:19 pm said:

    As someone that works in one of these shops, and a highly trained speed scanner, its the speed that we get you through the check out that keeps the prices down for ALL customer. This is why you pay more at the other supermarkets as they have staff dedicated to sitting at the tills all day whether there are customers or not, in aldi and lidl, we are never idle, we do all tasks, tidying up shelf stacking etc in between serving, making us more productive = less wages and cheaper prices for customers. We do work extremely hard, and it is very frustrating when you have the customer that looks down their nose at you when you advise them about putting stuff back in trolley and packing at the bench at their leisure. Some people have a terrible, “why should i attitude” or who do you think you are? I will pack where I want. which means every customer in the queue is held up. Have to say most customers understand and are a pleasure to serve.

    • Great to hear from you. I’ll second the hard working thing, the staff I see are always busy trying to do lots and lots at speed! I appreciate how hard you work to keep us all happy! Thanks for stopping by to read!

  13. Harriet green on July 3, 2017 at 6:43 pm said:

    That,s not true about needing lots of bags , i for one do not shop in lidl,s or aldi
    Only on t he odd occasion, i mostly look at the non food products,

    • Thanks for your comments. I was just advising for those who haven’t been before, it was better to be over prepared than having to buy bags. I hope you enjoy the experience and get some great bargains from those middle aisles.

  14. Lester Turnage on July 16, 2017 at 9:06 am said:

    How do they handle handicapped people? Do they have someone to help them take their stuff to their car? I am 90 years old and can’t hand carry a lot of groceries to my car using my one hand and the other holding my cane.

    • I’m sorry I’m not sure of the answer, however there are usually lots of staff around so if you ask I’m sure they would be more than happy to get someone to help you. Might be best to ask when you arrive at the till rather than waiting until the end. Let me know how you get on. Thanks for commenting.

  15. Crystal on February 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm said:

    Hi all. I live in the US and have been shopping Aldi for about 14 yrs. I love it! I have saved lots of money and like every thing I’ve had there. The first trip was confusing but no worries to catching on. As for the lot of bags, you are very right! I take many as I always have a trolley full. Once you start shopping there you will start buying everything there! As for the man above, complaining of packing at the till. That is just rude and typical of most Americans now days. Like everyone has to stop give them what they want. Look, aldi works this way. If they don’t like it may they shop elsewhere. The workers are fast, efficient and helpful. I can get in and get on. By the way, i am an American. I’m just tired of how people have gotten. Just selfish.

    • Thanks for your comments. Glad to hear you love Aldi. I just can’t bring myself to shop anywhere else now, the products are much cheaper, and fantastic quality too.

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