Shopping Guide

20 Ways to Save Big at Aldi

By Meagan Morris

You already know that Trader Joe's is a fantastic place to stock up on diet- and wallet-friendly fare, but you might not know that Trader Joe's brother store, Aldi, can save you even more money!

Those of us in the United States are finally clued into what Europeans have known for years: Aldi is where it's at. The grocery store—born in Germany—is home to a ton of foods that are easy on the wallet and on the waistline. But, where do you start? We've compiled a bunch of money-saving tips for the next time you hit Aldi. Just make sure you bring a quarter, 'cause you can't pile your cart high without one! And if you love these tips, don't miss the 14 Money-Saving Secrets from Costco Employees.

1
Keep Your Receipt

The Double Guarantee policy is truly one of the best reasons to shop at Aldi and is one of the best return policies in retail. If you buy something and don't like it, you can bring it back with your receipt and they'll give you an equal item and your money back.

2
Bring Your
Own Bags

One of the first things you'll notice about Aldi is the no-frills atmosphere; Whole Foods, this is not. The simple interiors and store set-ups are designed to keep labor costs low so they can pass on the savings. (There's a reason we said it might be the cheapest store to buy organic groceries at!) The shelves are often stocked with merchandise still in the boxes and you must bring your own canvas bags to pack your purchases—or pay to get plastic bags (if the stores even stock them).

3
Stock Up On
Canned Goods

Canned goods are one of the biggest deals at Aldi, according to one Redditor. "I go to Aldi specifically to buy canned goods like green beans, corn, and soups," the Reddit user wrote on a recent thread. "I can tell no difference and they are half the price of brand names—and even priced less than other grocery stores' store brands."

4
Know That Produce is a
Good Deal, With a Catch

Produce can be hit-or-miss at even the most high-end grocery stores, but many Aldi regulars say the store's selection is pretty good—as long as you plan to use them soon. (Don't miss these 25 Ways to Use Almost-Spoiled Food!)

"The fruit and vegetables are fine, if you use them right away. Just don't expect them to last more than a couple days," Redditor redshoewearer wrote recently. "But if you need salad and cucumbers for that night, it's fine. Also the tomatoes seem to last pretty well. But again, just don't expect to store produce in your fridge for two weeks before you use it. If you plan carefully, you can do fine with produce."

Some of the best buys produce-wise are bagged salad mixes, strawberries, bananas, and colored bell pepper packages.

5
Check the Bargain
Bins at the Front

At most stores, the bins around the checkouts, entrances, and exits are filled with impulse items that end up wasting money. Not at Aldi! The bargain bins are filled with different items at a steeply-discounted price—and you never know what you'll get.

"They have some seriously good deals on the bargain bins as you enter the store," Reddit user shawmatic wrote. "I got a set of head/tail lamps for my bike for $6.99! These would cost [more than] $30 at a bike shop and I can tell no difference between them."

6
Meats Can Be
a Good Deal

Some people incorrectly assume that a discount grocer like Aldi only sells highly-processed meats. However, many customers swear by their meats—and some stores even sell bacon-wrapped filet mignon for super cheap prices.

"Ground turkey," one Redditor said of the meat he always gets at Aldi. "It costs about $1.60/lb at Aldi, and it's a great replacement for ground beef if you season it up a bit."

Another swears by the pork shoulder and whole chickens. "[They are] the cheapest by far. They don't always have them, though. If you're into cooking these things, buy a bunch when they're there and freeze whatever you aren't cooking in the next few days." Check out 20 Make-Ahead Meals to Keep in Your Freezer for inspiration on what you can buy, cook, and save for later.

7
Milk is Often
a Loss Leader

A gallon of milk can be a huge money-saver at Aldi, as long as your state doesn't have dairy price limitations. Many times it's a loss leader, meaning the store prices it at a very, very low cost to get people in the store. Some Redditors report getting milk for $1.99 a gallon!

8
Get Some
Sweet Stuff

You'll mostly want to focus on the healthy, non-processed foods Aldi has to offer, but even candy and items for cheat meals are a great deal. "If you like maple syrup, it is very cheap and good quality," Gogotogo wrote. "Buy the chocolate. Every chocolate bar I've bought at Aldi has been good."

9
Check Labels

Though Aldi sells food like any other grocer—meaning nothing sold is "old" or expired—some customers recommend checking sell-by dates so there aren't any surprises when you get home.

"Make sure to check the date on milk," one Redditor wrote in a recent thread. "It's usually much cheaper, but the sell by date is sooner than other stores." And if something does expire too soon? There's the double guarantee, so you won't be out any money.


Put yourself back in control
of your weight, your health, and your life!
Strip added sugars from your diet and melt fat from your belly.

10
Check the
Deals Online

Aldi doesn't do a lot of advertising, but it does send out a flyer that lists the specials for the week. The flyer is also posted online, along with a huge list of recipes that use the ingredients on sale for the week. Save time and save money? Sign us up!

11
Say "Cheese"

Cheese—like meat—is another Aldi special that customers either love or hate. "Blue cheese, gouda, feta, block cheeses, string cheese...their cheese selection has saved me tons," Reddit brittfred wrote. There are catches, though.

"I find that while their 'regular' cheeses can be subpar (or at least on par with Walmart's [Great Value], which is subpar in my book)," another user wrote. "Their 'fancy' cheeses are not bad at all! By 'fancy,' I mean gouda, dill havarti, red leicester, etc, as opposed to yellow cheddar, colby jack, provolone, or swiss."

12
Bring a
Quarter

Remember when we said to bring a quarter? Here's why: You have to use one to get access to a shopping cart. The reason is to keep the carts from leaving the store so employees don't have to waste time going to collect them in the parking lot.

13
Don't Skip the
Private Label Products

Private label products might seem a bit sketchy, but some former Aldi employees say they're just as good—if not better—than name brand products. "Everything [Aldi] sells is private label, and often with exclusive contracts," one former employee wrote on a recent Reddit thread. "Therefore, the success of those companies is completely tied to the success of their products in Aldi. Aldi has a lot of leverage because of this and a great influence on what products do well."

Interestingly, the products can be higher quality than name brands. "This is often the case with most products, but I believe they do a fantastic job of working with suppliers to make quality private label products at a good price so they can pass this on to customers," another Redditor wrote.

14
Understand the
Stocking Process

Aldi fan here. One reason why ALDI is so inexpensive is because they stock only the most popular grocery items and they will only stock one or two versions of those items (more often just the one). By reducing the variety, Aldi reduces the total footprint of a store and saves on real estate costs. Whereas a Wal-Mart may carry 100,000 different items (including dozens of soups and 46 varieties of dish soap) in a massive warehouse style location, ALDI will instead carry 3,000 of the most popular items in large quantities with little to no variety. Embrace the we-made-the-decision-for-you situation and turn your attention elsewhere. Studies say we make approximately 200 food-related decisions a day; this makes it all that much easier to be smart with your money (and your waistline)!

15
Go For
Their Organic

The Aldi Simply Nature brand (the name of the store's organic packaged goods) is filled with good buys, including organic honey, K-cups, and free-range chicken broth. There's also a good selection of gluten-free goods sprinkled throughout the store, which do tend to sell out fast.

16
Look For
"Theme Weeks"

Aldi might be no frills, but it's never boring. The stores often have "theme weeks" in which they stock new products that aren't necessarily routinely stocked. The weeks are all different and range from ethnic cooking to gardening supplies and more!

17
Keep Your Eyes
Peeled for
In-Store Savings

Look for special stickers on random products (like meat) for extra in-store savings that aren't advertised in flyers or online. Often these are high-value discounts, meaning you can save even more for items on your list without any extra planning on your part.

18
And Score Some
In-Store Coupons

Aldi doesn't accept manufacturer's coupons for goods; most are private label brands, anyway. Of those national name brands, Aldi says it doesn't accept coupons because it negotiates "the best possible prices with our suppliers." That's not to say you can't use coupons, though. Often the store will have in-store coupons that are good for products. Much like in-store savings, these coupons are randomly posted throughout the store and often change. Speaking of stretching your cash, find out 17 Simple Ways to Save $255 a Month on Groceries.

19
Submit Receipts
to Money-Saving Apps

Are you dying to use a manufacturer's coupon at Aldi? There's a workaround, but it takes some effort on your part. Smartphone apps like Snap, Checkout51, and iBotta have coupons for money back on milk, produce, and meat. Many of these apps take Aldi receipts—check in the FAQs to be sure—to get extra money back in your pocket after you get your grocery haul home.

20
Grab Your Wine
For Less

Brother store Trader Joe's is known for it's Two-Buck Chuck wine, but Aldi is gaining a reputation for the cheap-but-tasty wine sold within its walls. "I love their Winking Owl wine... I think it's just Gallo wines with different packaging," Reddit user DollyWobbles wrote. "[It's] $4 a bottle at the store near me and darn good quality!" With prices like that, we hope all you Aldi shoppers are scoping out our exclusive 20 Eat This, Not That! Tips for Drinkers!


MORE FROM EAT THIS, NOT THAT!

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Put yourself back in control
of your weight, your health, and your life!
Strip added sugars from your diet and melt fat from your belly.