I do the grocery shopping in our house. It’s been that way for years—a combination of two things: my wife hates it, and I like going, once I get going.
However, a second inertia occurred several years back when I regularly went to Aldi and to Kroger, with a list for each. Aldi offers great savings on a short but significant list of food items consumed at our house. However, that meant two stores in one outing—an extra stop, parking twice, and checking out twice. It became easier to buy everything at Kroger, rationalizing that paying for convenience can be worth it.
My officemate, Anne Stahl, loves Aldi, and praises the bargains there. I would agree but had settled into my Kroger-only ways. Never underestimate, however, the slow and steady influence of what friends are enthusiastic about. Anne wasn’t trying to recruit me to Aldi; it’s just that she enjoyed mentioning items on sale and the dishes that she cooked with them, and I have enjoyed many of those leftovers that she has brought to the office for Karen and me.
A couple of weeks ago, I unexpectedly found the idea of a trip to Aldi appealing for savings on a few items. Once in there, things escalated, and since then, the cart has gotten fuller and the list longer on bargains for familiar foods around our house. Aldi and Kroger are both back to where they were a few years ago.
Aldi keeps its prices down in two ways. A customer puts a quarter into a cart to separate it from its row, and then gets the quarter back by attaching the cart back to its row after loading the car. Then too, the customer can buy bags, but mostly, customers use discard boxes from the store to pack their own groceries.
An unexpected pleasantry also occurred at Aldi. A female employee with a huge pallet of items to stock was in the middle of the store when I asked where the canned nuts were. She could have said, “You walked right by them when you came into the store.” Instead, she enthusiastically took me over to them. I felt like an idiot, but she never implied that.
Later, I was hunting salsa, and she walked me over to it. Not only that, she on her own explained about the different salsas, to which I said, “You should be in sales.” It is inspiring when people go beyond expectations in small duties.
This return of Aldi all began with thinking about habits. Life is full of habits, getting started with one or trying to break one. Often, success hinges on overcoming inertia. It is useful to weigh time expended and the value of that extra time when deciding on whether to shop at only one store or two. In this case, a revived memory of some really good savings led to the return to Aldi, plus my wife compliments me when I tell her the savings on this or that item, and what husband doesn’t like that?