This Aldi Cart Hack Allows You to Shop, Even If You Forget a Quarter

No need to turn around and head back home. You can still shop at Aldi even if you don't have a quarter!

Grocery shopping is often one stop of many errands in the day, so it’s understandable if you forget your shopping list or coupons every now and then. But if you frequent Aldi, you know there’s one thing you absolutely cannot forget to bring—a quarter.

The grocery store has roots in Germany, where customers must insert a coin into a lock to free a cart before shopping. Basically, no quarter equals no cart, and you’re on your own. Fortunately, this Aldi cart hack will save the day if you’re in a pinch.

Keep an eye out for September’s best Aldi finds.

How to Shop at Aldi If You Forgot a Quarter

You don’t have to skip your shopping trip!

If you don’t have a quarter, the first thing you can do is politely ask a cashier to borrow one from the register. That way, you can follow the process, and return the quarter to the cashier after you check out and lock the cart back up.

If you’re in a hurry and the cashier is occupied with a long checkout line, use your house key in place of a quarter. The back end of almost any key you have hanging on your key chain should fit neatly into the deposit lock, stay held in place and release the cart. A key is obviously something you don’t want to forget, so at the end of your shopping trip, return the cart and you’ll get the key back. How clever is this Aldi cart hack?!

Don’t miss this list of the best things busy parents buy at Aldi.

Why Does Aldi Need the Quarters in the First Place?

You may have wondered why Aldi groceries are so cheap, but what about the need for a quarter in the first place? The quarter process exists not only to keep carts from being stolen and to hold shoppers accountable, but it actually saves customers—and the store—money. According to Aldi, “this 25 cent deposit ultimately saves our customers money because we don’t have to hire extra staff to collect grocery carts.” Find out the secrets that Aldi employees would never tell you.

If you frequent this grocery store, catch up on fact versus fiction with the truth behind popular Aldi rumors.

Hannah Twietmeyer
Hannah is a writer and content creator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for all things food, health, community and lifestyle. She is a journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a previous dining and drink contributor for Madison Magazine.