I went to Aldi yesterday with a $25 gift certificate. Not a gift card, a paper gift certificate. I got about $12 worth of groceries and was told by the cashier that I could not receive cash back.

I pondered that for a moment.  Who in today's retail climate expects to get money back from a gift cert, card or unreceipted return? Not me. I asked if I could just have a new certificate with the difference.

The minimum amount on a cert is $25, a manager told me. It's not possible to write one for less. Do you want to just take what you have or go back for more?" I was asked.

I'll go back for more, I said, noticing that the single line to checkout was now about five carts deep. As I added groceries adding up to $25, I estimated that it would take me 10 to 15 minutes before I was checked out. I went to a closed line and put my stuff down on the belt. I was reaching over to take back my certificate and leave without my groceries when another cashier opened the line I was in. 

In a sense I butted in line--it has happened to me several times at Aldi when a new checkout line is opened. The person at the end of the line (me, in this case) gets served first and the person waiting the longest has to wait even longer.

I don't claim to be perfect. I cut in line, guilty. But I will never buy anyone an Aldi gift certificate if this is what they have to go through. Aldi is a low-frills, low-tech company. The idea that they switch to gift cards like most every other worldwide retailer will probably fall on deaf ears.  Heck, even their regional managers aren't provided company email addresses. They have to use personal ones.

Will this experience stop me from shopping Aldi? Of course not. I appreciate their low prices. I just won't buy their gift certificates.

Has anyone decided to quit clipping coupons and waiting for Cub/Rainbow sales and switched to Aldi instead? Not a bad idea in my opinion. A big time saver.