The Best Time to Shop at Aldi, According to Experts
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The Best Time to Shop at Aldi, According to Experts

Jul 04, 2023

Discover the best times for scoring deals, fresh items and hard-to-get Aldi Finds, without the crowds, at this fan-fave budget grocery store.

Kris Osborne is a writer, recipe developer, digital storyteller and professional home economist (PHEc) who has written about food, lifestyle, beauty, shopping, parenting, and health and wellness for over a decade.

With its no-frills approach to business, thoughtfully curated private-label products, affordable prices, highly anticipated weekly product launches and an almost comical number of award-winning wines, it's clear why Aldi is a fan favorite. Add in Aldi dupes of name-brand products that actually live up to the hype, and the fact that the chain regularly crushes it at the Product of the Year awards, and Aldi is easily one of my favorite stops as a Canadian who travels across the border to shop.

But anyone who has braved the crowded aisles of this small-footprint store knows that timing is everything when it comes to an enjoyable Aldi experience! So, what time of week is best to shop at Aldi? I dug deep, scoured the Aldi website and spoke to two content creators and avid Aldi shoppers to answer some of your most burning questions.

Ashley Williams: Williams, a stay-at-home-mom of four, started Oh hey, Aldi six years ago with an eye to creating affordable meals. "I found a lot of my conversations revolving around how to stretch your grocery budget while feeding your family well," says Williams. With Aldi, she found that she could buy store-brand items that were just as good as their name-brand counterparts and "sometimes even better." Oh hey, Aldi became a fun way for her to share exciting finds and great deals, as well as a few things "you just didn't know you needed."

Cayla Mettenberger: Mettenberger, a newer-on-the-scene creator, is also contributing to the conversation through her platform Aldi Girl USA. In operation for just a few years, Aldi Girl USA is quickly becoming a trusted voice for all things Aldi, including weekly finds, recipes, food and product reviews and everyone's favorite IG scroll-stopper—grocery hauls! She was already a more-than-frequent Aldi shopper when she came across an Aldi fan page while scrolling and thought, "I could do this … for my area." And she did! Now she loves "being a part of the Aldi nerd community."

Together, we may have cracked the code on the ultimate Aldi shopping experience. Let's dig in!

If there's one thing I've learned through doing this research, it's to prioritize Aldi Finds!Aldi Finds are special limited-time products that Aldi features in their stores on a weekly basis. There you'll discover everything from food and drinks to home goods, home decor, clothing, seasonal and outdoor products and even children's items like toys, tableware and stools. Each week, new and exciting products arrive. Then, just like that, they're gone again. They sell out fast, sometimes even within a few hours! And once they're gone, they're gone, says Williams.

Aldi Finds are released every Wednesday or Sunday, depending on the store. If you have your heart set on a particular Aldi Find, head to the Aldi website to find out when your local store restocks. It's the best way to ensure you'll be able to get it.

And don't forget to peep the discounted aisles, as well! "Because new items are coming in weekly," says Williams, "[the previous week's Aldi finds] are rotated to the discounted aisle often." Strolling through there, you might luck out and find "an even better deal!"

Like most grocery stores, Aldi restocks fresh items daily. On their Store Stock and Aldi Finds FAQ page, they say, "Fresh produce is delivered daily, and each week we release a new selection of Aldi Finds," adding that they "work hard to ensure [their] stores are fully stocked with fresh food and grocery essentials everyday." Indeed, Mettenberger says that she sees the staff at her local store "restocking regular items all the time," a reflection of their commitment to freshness and quality. So confident they "have the best quality products around," Aldi offers what they call the Twice as Nice Guarantee." If you're not 100% satisfied with the quality of any product you buy, Aldi will replace it and refund your money. So, if you find that a product isn't up to your freshness standards when you shop at Aldi, know that you can return it.

You're in luck! Deals are plentiful at Aldi every day of the year. Affordability is one of the principles the store was founded on, and it continues to be a huge reason for their success. According to a 2019 story from the public policy think tank American Enterprise Institute, Aldi was cheaper than retail giant Walmart by 18%. After competing with Aldi for over 20 years, former Walmart CEO Greg Foran reportedly said that he never underestimated them, admiringly calling them "fierce," "good" and "clever."

Aldi keeps their prices low by using an ultra-efficient business model. Rather than offering a vast array of product choices like traditional supermarkets, Aldi sticks to a carefully curated selection of private-label items. Shopping carts require a quarter deposit, which helps reduce the need for employees to round up stray carts. Cashiers are speedy because they don't bag groceries—customers bag their own items at a counter space after checkout. And aisles are simple, almost warehouse-like, without many frills or elaborate displays. This DIY, no-frills approach translates into savings for shoppers every day.

If you're looking for a quiet time to shop at Aldi and you have the ability to shop in the morning during the week, Williams says you're likely to have a "quieter, more peaceful" experience. The one exception to this is Wednesdays, of course, when many Aldi locations release their Aldi Finds. "Wednesday mornings are BUSY and crowded," says Mettenberger. Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 8 and 10 a.m. are your best bet for a quiet shopping experience. And if you can make it right when doors open, you may even find you have the place to yourself!

Not a morning person? Aldi UK shares this helpful visual on the best times to shop at the store, and evenings score as the quietest. Mettenberger says it's similar in the U.S., where she specifically finds the hour before closing to be "very quiet." Of course, the exact timing may vary slightly, depending on your preferred store's opening and closing hours and the population density of your area. So if you want to home in on the specifics, use the store locator tool and contact your local store directly. Either way, mornings and evenings typically both offer advantages.

On the other end of the spectrum, many people just want to know when the Aldi peak times are so they can avoid them. And guess what? There's actually data on that! In a report published in April 2023, Drive Research showed that more than half of consumers (59%) shop for groceries on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, placing weekends at the top of the peak. While that research wasn't specific to Aldi, both Williams and Mettenberger agree that the trend applies to the store, citing weekends as some of the busiest times to shop there.

During the week, it's best to avoid lunchtime and post-work shopping trips, when you're more likely to encounter longer checkout lines and rushed, grumpy consumers.

Major holidays tend to throw typical shopping patterns out of whack, so it's best to shop for nonperishables as early as you can. Otherwise, it's a bit of an "expect the worst, hope for the best" situation. Last year Mettenberger thought she'd be ahead of the game by doing her holiday meal shopping three to four days out, but "there was no good time," she says. "Since the pandemic, things have definitely been busier, especially around the holidays," she adds. As everyone stocks up on holiday essentials, prepare for the aisles to be a bit more chaotic and give yourself a special treat for making it through.

It was clear from my research that Wednesdays won the gold! Per usual, Aldi restocks its shelves on Wednesday mornings with essentials and perishable items. But in a synchronous meeting, most stores also release their coveted Aldi Finds then too, making Wednesdays a double blessing. If Aldi Finds are released on a Sunday at your local store, then Sunday may be your blissful day.

According to the popular Aldi fan site Aisle of Shame, Aldi restocks in the morning and again after the 3 p.m. shift change.

For getting your hands on any coveted Aldi Finds and picking up the freshest perishable items, shopping first thing on a Wednesday or Sunday morning (depending on your local store) is your best bet.

Like most grocery stores, Aldi is busiest during lunchtime, after work on the weekdays, and on the weekends.

Luckily, there are two answers to this question. Aldi stores tend to be much quieter in the evenings, an hour or two before closing, and first thing in the morning on weekdays—Wednesdays excluded.

You can never have it all, but with Aldi you can have a lot! Depending on your priorities, there are optimal times to find the most value, abundance, quality, efficiency and overall enjoyment in your shopping experience. But oftentimes, they intersect. If all else fails, think of it like a treasure hunt. From the latest Aldi FInds to an array of award-winning wines and food products, Aldi is full of riches just waiting to be found (and tasted!).

Ashley Williams:Cayla Mettenberger: