The Real Reason ALDI Makes You Pay to Use Their Shopping Carts

Updated: Apr. 01, 2022

Before you complain about having to pay 25 cents, read this.

The Real Reason ALDI Makes You Pay to Use Their Shopping Cartsjax10289/Shutterstock

The biggest draw about ALDI is their super low prices. The German grocery chain first came to the United States in 1976, and its customer-first approach and high-quality products have been attracting more and more customers every year. But one unexpected item you will have to shell out some change for is your shopping cart. Find out what makes ALDI store brands so great.

If you’re a regular, you’ve probably had a few laughs watching the baffled looks on customers faces when they approach the lines of chained up carts. The process to get one is simple: Pay a quarter to unlock a cart, do your shopping, return the cart after loading your groceries in your car, and you’ll get the quarter back.

The cart rental system is all part of ALDI’s business plan to keep prices low. Making customers put down a small deposit to unlock a shopping cart keeps them from being left around the parking lot and potentially scratching or denting cars. It also keeps ALDI from having to send an employee out to collect them all day. “By not having to hire someone to police the shopping carts, we are able to pass the savings on to our customers,” ALDI states on their website. Here are some more reasons why ALDI’s groceries are so cheap.

If you don’t want to deal with unlocking the cart, find a customer who is almost finished with theirs and give your quarter to them in exchange for their cart. Since they just scored some pretty good deals on their groceries, they’ll probably be happy to oblige. And before you head inside, make sure you add these items you should always buy at ALDI to your grocery list.