Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Aldi L Plates - My Graduation

For those not in the know - In Australia when you are learning to drive you first get your L Plates.  You must be supervised by a licenced driver and do 120 hrs of logged hours driving before you can sit an exam (both written and practical) where if successful you will be given Red P Plates for 1 year and then Green P Plates for a further 3 years before being issued with a full drivers licence.  (long sentence!!)

So what has this to do with Aldi?  Plenty, because as a new user after many recommendation from my fellow bloggers from all over the world, i tried them out.  I can tell you that after my first visit i came out shaking.  None of you mentioned that the scanning person is as fast as lightening nor that you are expected to be at the other end to catch your groceries like a backstop in a pro baseball game.  At the same time you have to juggle all the goods back into your trolley without squashing anything and then proceed to a bench and sort it all with your "own" bags.  Good Golly!  I was almost white.

So, my first step was to go back and buy my "own" bags including a couple of thermals (love those). 

So why have i graduated?  After several return visits i now have it all worked out and have my own game plan.  I've mastered the stare and got myself all set up and I'm able to judge my competition, the checkout guy/girl.  First when i put my purchases on the belt I now know that whatever goes through first is going to end up on the bottom of the bags at the other end so i arrange them in groups of type (canned, cold, breads & biscuits, fruit etc) from the most sturdy of each group to the most fragile.   Then while I'm waiting for the preceding customer i whip out all the bags and open them right up so they look like fish with gaping mouths just waiting for nibbles.   I nominate which bag is for what and then as they go through I'm filling up each bag in turn and moving onto next with my card between my teeth ready to hand it over in a nanosecond.   I tell you, i feel like i need to raise my hands in the air when its all finished, like those guys who put the tyres on at car races (you know the pit-stop boys) so someone can hit a stop watch.    It certainly feels like a race to me.  

Now Aldi shopping trolley designer (probably a man), I've got a bone to pick with you.  Are you 6 foot tall or am i the only one on the shorter side.  When you have to load and unload quickly, how are you suppose too when you cant reach the bottom of the trolley.  Its so deep.  Two days ago, i was undertaking my game plan and actually pierced my nipple hurt myself on the top of the trolley (OK, the boobs are rather large, but I'm not Robinson Crusoe).  Ouch!  I couldn't stop as there were 15 manic shoppers following that all looked like they were warming up for an Olympic event  (picture leg shakes, shoulder shrugs and head rolls).

My Nemesis - The Aldi Trolley

So after said experience,  and since no one was taking any notice and giving me a trophy for my heroic efforts, i now feel entitled to award myself Red P Plates maybe even Green ones. 

Don't believe me, then check this out.   I'm not alone.

On a good note, I'm saving heaps of $$$.   Using the hints and tips you guys have provided and shopping carefully, Ive now cut my shopping bill in half.   Its amazing what you can do when you have to.  Since my hubby lost his job before Christmas, I'm working hard bringing slightly less than half our usual income and making sure that every $ counts.  Rhonda from Down to Earth taught me that a dollar saved is worth more than a dollar earned ie. it has more buying power.  So what i do earn is working double time.   I use to do all my shopping at a major local retail outlet.  Ive been going there for 15 years and i miss the interaction with the staff who have watched my son grow but i was on auto-pilot and wasn't really paying attention to prices - i didn't need to.  Well needs must now.   So thanks for all the suggestions on frugality and for all the uplifting stories that make my day when I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

Thanks for visiting Living in the Land of Oz   


  1. Hi Lynda, found your blog by clicking across from "Froogs". I'm also in Victoria. I had to laugh at this description of, so true! I can't reach the bottom of those trolleys either, plus my clumsy gene goes into overdrive as they hurl the shopping off the end of the conveyor belt. Nightmares, I tell you! Great to find your blog :)

    1. I had to laugh. On the weekend Hubby thought he would help and tried to intervene in the packing stage and i literally (before i could stop myself) smacked his hand away and said - DONT! You'll mess me up. Its become like a game to me to be as efficient as possible.


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