Why Does Aldi Charge for Carts?

You have to keep an Aldi quarter handy—here's why.

Aldi’s been a part of my family for a long, long time. Whenever I’d tag along with my dad for grocery shopping, we couldn’t forget our Aldi quarter! The stores may have looked a lot different 20 years ago, but the premise has stayed the same: high-quality products at a low price. That’s why we all love Aldi so much.

But why does Aldi charge for carts in the first place? It’s one of the secrets Aldi employees want you to know.

How Aldi Carts Work

This is no secret to Aldi regulars, but these shopping carts come with a price. It’s possible you’ve seen the absolute confusion on the faces of customers who are visiting Aldi for the first time—how in the world am I supposed to unlock these things?

It’s simple, really. Take a quarter and insert it into the designated slot at the top of the cart. Unchain your cart and proceed with your shopping. Once you’ve finished, simply rechain your cart and collect your quarter. If you’ve forgotten a quarter, you can use this Aldi cart hack to shop—and then buy an Aldi coin keychain to make sure you never forget your quarter!

The Quarter Helps Customers Save Money

We’re used to going to larger stores like Walmart and Target and seeing employees collect carts from corrals in the parking lot. We’re also used to seeing abandoned carts in parking spaces, in the grass and out in the middle of nowhere. Renting carts helps eliminate practically all of those issues.

“This 25-cent deposit ultimately saves our customers money because we don’t have to hire extra staff to collect grocery carts. To unlock a cart, customers have to insert a quarter, and this deposit ensures shoppers return their cart to the corral to get their quarter back,” the Aldi website says. Not only does this help keep Aldi’s groceries incredibly cheap, but the parking lot stays neat and organized, too.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

Melany Love
Having always wanted a career in writing, Melany couldn't have found a better place than Taste of Home to begin. When she's not scribbling in her notebook or working at her computer, she can be found experimenting with new recipes or relaxing with a book and her cats.