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Between rising grocery costs, shrinking product sizes, and the price of meat going up, saving money at the grocery store is a top priority. You may have heard how shopping at Aldi can save you a lot of money on groceries. But why is Aldi so cheap? There has to be a catch, right? From their cheap wine to their low prices on meat and produce, we dug around to find out exactly why their products are so cheap compared to traditional grocery store chains. And once you’ve seen the deals at Aldi, you won’t even care that you can’t use food coupons when you shop there.
Plus, Aldi’s return policy is pretty generous for a grocery store. Their “Twice as Nice” guarantee will refund or replace your purchase if you’re not fully satisfied. And yes, this policy even covers their food.
Why is Aldi so cheap?
According to the Aldi 101 page from their corporate office, the top objective at Aldi is to give you “high-quality products while helping you save on groceries.” If a product or service is not needed, they don’t do it. This focus helps them keep their operating costs low. They don’t carry a wide variety of items like Walmart, either. By keeping their core selection low, Aldi can keep their backstock smaller, which means a smaller building and a smaller rent cost!
The Aldi Quarter saves them labor costs.
If you’ve ever shopped at Aldi, then you know you need your handy-dandy quarter to unlock a shopping cart. (You get it back once you return the cart to its proper area.) Instead of paying an employee to round up the carts, Aldi has you do the work for free.
Related: 15 Tips for How to Save Money at Aldi
Aldi shelves are stocked in no time.
Products on Aldi shelves are still in the box in what they call a “Display Ready Case.” Aldi requires all of their suppliers to ship their products in a Display Ready Case. Instead of paying their employees to create visually appealing displays of products, Aldi employees just stack the boxes on top of each other, making it easier to stock shelves quickly.
You bag your own groceries at Aldi.
Unlike other grocery stores, no one bags your groceries at Aldi. This keeps the lines moving faster and requires less employee overhead costs. You can either bring your own reusable bags, purchase a bag, or snag one of the empty boxes you’ll find throughout the store.
Aldi has exclusive brands to help you save money.
Aldi has three exclusive brands: Simply Nature, liveGfree, and Specially Selected. According to Aldi, these products cost up to 50% less than the national brands. And many of them taste the same, if not better! All of the Aldi-exclusive brands are free from certified synthetic colors and have no added monosodium glutamate (MSG) or partially hydrogenated oils.
You won’t find many Aldi ads on TV.
In case you didn’t know, TV ads have a high sticker price. By eliminating TV ads, Aldi saves money and can turn that extra money into cheaper grocery prices for you.
Why is Aldi meat so cheap?
Aldi meat is cheap for a unique reason. When you’re in a standard grocery store buying Tyson chicken tenders, you’re not just paying for the chicken tenders — you’re paying for the Tyson brand name to be in the store. The chicken tenders at Aldi are the same quality as Tyson products, but they’re not as pricey. Aldi does this with all of their meats, which are priced lower than the brand names at competitor stores. They also source their meats from regional farms, which helps keep transportation costs low.
Don’t be afraid to buy your meat at Aldi even if you don’t recognize the brands. With Aldi’s return policy and their Twice as Nice guarantee, you can always get a refund or replacement if you’re not completely satisfied.
TIP: Look for the “Aldi Savers” price tags to save even more. I recently saw Smithfield Fresh Whole Boneless Pork Butt Roast on sale for $1.99 per pound. The same exact brand and product at Walmart was $2.94 per pound. When I’m cooking with a pork butt roast, I always buy at least six pounds, so buying it at Aldi would save me at least $5.70.
Why is Aldi produce so cheap?
Like the cheap meat at Aldi, the produce at Aldi is also locally sourced, which keeps costs down. As gas prices go up, those higher prices get thrown right back into the products we purchase. By keeping the distance that a product needs to travel low, that means less gas and less overhead cost.
Related: Here’s how we use the Aldi app to make shopping lists and find their weekly ads.
Why is Aldi wine so cheap?
If you’re looking for a nice bottle of wine and don’t want to spend your whole paycheck on it, take a look at Aldi’s wine selection. They locally source their wine, just like the meat and produce. You’ll find red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, rosé wine, and specialty wine.
Just because the wine is cheap at Aldi doesn’t mean it’s horrible. Aldi wines have actually won many awards. While you’re shopping for wine at Aldi, look for the award plaques on the price tags or on the online listing. The Côtes de Provence Rosé was a World Beverage Innovation Awards Finalist, for example.
TIP: The top cheap wine at Aldi is from a brand called Winking Owl. If you’re familiar with Trader Joe’s wine, it’s most like their famous “Two Buck Chuck” bottle (aka Charles Shaw).