Hesperia, CA – By Simone Graham – Editor – HDG: Keep a quarter stashed in your wallet if you plan to fill the cart with groceries at Aldi.  The cart handle has a coin slot for that quarter to encourage you to bring back that cart exactly where you got it when you went into the store.  Push the cart back into the one in front of it and out pops your quarter for you to drop back into your wallet ready for the next trip to Aldi.  You must take your own bags as they do not bag groceries for you; all your items will go right back into the cart.  The store provides a long counter opposite the checkout stands for customers to bag their groceries and has an ample stock of reusable bags to purchase.

You may have heard that Aldi and Trader Joe’s are related.  Well, yes and no. Karl and Theo Albrecht had a disagreement over selling cigarettes.  They became Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud with Karl controlling territory in southern Germany, more of Europe, the U.K., and Ireland and Theo territories north of the Rhine and much of Europe. They both have stores in the United States, but while Trader Joe’s is based on the American grocery store model, Aldi is an exact import of the German store model.  Bag your own groceries, put your cart back where it belongs, and save money with a smaller, store brand selection.

The Hesperia Aldi opened one day prior to its Grand Opening and handed out complimentary shopping bags, invited customers to pick up some items from a sample table, and had employees available around the store to answer questions. At the exit, some ladies from Guerrero Tortillas were frying up quesadillas for customers (Yes, I had one even though I am on a diet… story research and all). Thursday, September 14th is the Grand Opening and the first 100 customers have a chance to win their Golden Ticket worth $100 Aldi Gift Cards, free samples, free shopping bags, and a chance to win free produce for a year. Friday is the bean bag toss with store staff and a chance to win up to $20 in Aldi Gift Cards. On Saturday and Sunday come for the Family Fun Activity from 11 a.m. to 7p.m. with balloon animals and face painting for the kids and another chance to win free produce for a year.

Aldi is known for its fresh produce, lower prices for its store brands, and German specialty items. You will not see an entire row of any type of packaged food and very few national brands we are accustomed to seeing in our super markets. You will see Benton’s cookies, Savorite crackers, Southern Grove snacks, Village Bakery items, Chef’s Cupboard soups, and L’Oven and Simply Nature breads and artisan Specialty Select breads. There is a wine section complete with a selection of mostly California wines, but it also offers Spanish, Italian, French, and Irish wines and spirits. The dairy section has milk and eggs at very reasonable prices. Find more product information at

Aldi accepts most credit cards and food stamps, but does not accept coupons or WIC. The store does have a motorized handicapped shopping cart parked at the end of the checkout stands.  It did look like there was only one, so you may have to wait to use it.  The restrooms are open to the public and there is a Koala changing station in the Women’s restroom. The drinking fountains outside the restrooms are adult and child size.

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