Knowing how to shop at Aldi is the key to scoring rock-bottom prices. There are a bunch of reasons we’re fans of Aldi shopping, and most of them boil down to the fact that Aldi is so cheap. However, not everything at Aldi is the deal of a lifetime, so knowing what to buy (and what to skip) can really pay off.
How to Shop at Aldi
Unfortunately, Aldi doesn’t accept coupons of any kind. So unlike Walmart, you can’t use manufacturer coupons at Aldi to save more on essential items. However, there are a few things to know when it comes to making the most of Aldi’s low prices.
Related: We just found out that Aldi is buying Winn-Dixie — and Winn-Dixie couponers have raised some valid questions.
1. Be on the lookout for Aldi Savers (aka Aldi clearance items).
Aldi Savers are basically Aldi clearance items, which are everyday products with reduced prices. When you shop in store, look for the yellow and red Aldi Savers tags on the shelves. You’ll see the sale dates listed right there on the tags so you know how long each offer is available.
2. Shop on Wednesdays to get the first pick at Aldi Finds.
Aldi Finds are limited-time specialty products that range from unique foods to unexpected items like gardening needs, pet supplies, holiday items, and sought-after Aldi dupes. Once these items are gone, they won’t get restocked. Aldi Finds sell out fast because they’re great deals, so be sure to grab them as soon as you can!
Aldi releases a new weekly ad every Wednesday, so Wednesday morning is the best time to shop at Aldi for the biggest selection of Aldi Finds. You can see the Aldi Weekly Ad on Aldi.com or in the Aldi app (iOS / Android).
3. Bring your own grocery bags (or a laundry basket) to Aldi — they don’t have free bags.
Unlike other grocery stores, no one bags your groceries at Aldi; instead, they scan your items and put them in a cart next to the cashier. This keeps the lines moving faster and requires less overhead cost for employees.
When you shop at Aldi, you can bring your own reusable bags, purchase a bag there (for $0.05 – $0.10 per bag), or snag one of the empty boxes you’ll find throughout the store.
TIP: Another favorite Aldi hack is to keep a spare laundry basket or tote bin in your car. On your next Aldi trip, just put the basket or bin inside the shopping cart and fill it up as you go. That way, you’ll save a step and make the unloading process even easier at home.
4. Don’t forget a quarter for your Aldi shopping cart.
If you’ve ever shopped at Aldi, you know you need your handy-dandy quarter to unlock a shopping cart. When you return your cart to the proper area, you’ll get your quarter back (so it doesn’t actually cost you $0.25 every time you shop).
Instead of paying an employee to round up the carts, Aldi has you do the work for free. This is just one of the many ways Aldi keeps prices low and labor costs down.
TIP: Want an easy way to never forget your Aldi quarter again? Get an Aldi quarter holder! Prices start at $0.99 when Aldi has their Quarter Keepers in store.
5. Skip Aldi delivery and pickup — you’ll save at least 17% by shopping in store.
Aldi grocery pickup and Aldi grocery delivery are available through Instacart, but you’ll pay more for both services. Instacart prices on individual products are higher than they are in store — and that’s without the added tip and delivery fee factored in. Take a look at these price differences:
- Burman’s Ketchup: $1.75 in stores / $1.95 grocery pickup
- Appleton Farms Premium Bacon: $3.99 in stores / $4.39 grocery pickup
- Nature’s Nectar Apple Juice: $1.89 in stores / $2.09 grocery pickup
Final Price: $7.63 in stores / $8.43 grocery pickup
For just three items, you’ll pay an extra $0.80 with Aldi grocery pickup. And if you order a trunk full of groceries for pickup, you’ll see prices 15% – 17% higher than you would in stores.
6. Use rebate apps like Ibotta to save more at Aldi.
Maybe you can’t use coupons at Aldi, but you can use rebate apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Fetch Rewards to earn cash back and rewards on produce and name brands like Chobani yogurt and Kevita Kombucha — all things that you’ll find at Aldi.
After you shop, save your receipt and scan it with whichever rebate app you’re using to save more.
What To Buy at Aldi
Knowing how to shop at Aldi is one thing, but which items give you the most savings? Some items may seem like a good deal but actually aren’t. Other Aldi items are so cheap, you literally shouldn’t buy them anywhere else. Spoiler alert: some Aldi grocery items are even cheaper than Walmart. Here’s more on what to buy (and not to buy) at Aldi:
7. Meat, produce, and butter are the best deals at Aldi.
Not to sound like a fangirl, but Aldi offers great prices on so many things. Some of the top items to buy at Aldi include meat, produce, and butter. Since Aldi doesn’t accept coupons, we compared the prices of products at Aldi vs. Walmart without coupons factored in.
8. Aldi has some of the lowest prices for gluten-free items, but it depends what you buy.
Gluten-free living ain’t cheap, but Aldi offers some relief to your grocery budget. Some categories (like bread) offer just slight savings compared to other grocery stores, but when you shop at Aldi for gluten-free stuff, it was a toss-up with Walmart.
Related: One category where Aldi brands truly shines? Dye-free items! We did the math and found that Aldi dye-free foods are up to 85% cheaper than competitor brands.
9. Buy three-wick candles for just $4.49 at Aldi.
There’s no denying how much we LOVE our Bath & Body Works candles. But we can’t always wait for Bath & Body Works Candle Day to come around in December. Aldi candles to the rescue! Their 3-wick candles are similar to what Bath & Body Works sells and are just $4.49 each. Even with a sweet Bath & Body Works coupon or a major sale, you won’t find candles for that low of a price.
Not only that, but Aldi’s candles have a great scent throw, helping to spread the fragrant smells all throughout my house. Scents rotate through the Aldi Finds section, so if you stumble across a scent you love, make sure you stock up.
10. Don’t buy Aldi diapers or anything else you can get for less with coupons somewhere else.
Don’t get caught up in the Aldi hype … there are a few worst things to buy at Aldi — especially if you can use coupons on them.
Aldi diapers aren’t the actual cheapest on the market. Walmart’s store brand “Parent’s Choices” beats out Aldi by a cent per diaper. If you’d like to exit the generic diaper world entirely, find out how to get cheap diapers.
Aldi also sells Tide Pods, but you can buy them for less at Walmart even without coupons.
Related: Here’s what Aldi fans say are the best Aldi products of them all.
11. Does Aldi sell gift cards?
Yes, Aldi sells gift cards in increments of $5 for up to a $100 value, but you can only buy them in stores. Gift card selections may vary by store, but these are some of the gift cards we’ve seen at Aldi:
- Best Buy
- Google Play
Keep in mind — Aldi gift cards are nonrefundable, and you can’t redeem them for cash.
12. The Aldi return policy is pretty generous.
The Aldi return policy (aka their Twice As Nice Guarantee) gives you a refund and a replacement for any Aldi-brand product. To qualify, you need to bring in the product packaging and any unused product to your local Aldi and request a store manager. As long as you bring in your receipt, you have limitless time to make a return. The only exception is electronics, which you have 90 days to return with a receipt.
The Twice As Nice Guarantee doesn’t apply to nonfood Aldi Finds, alcohol, national brands, and non-quality related issues.
13. Don’t have an Aldi near you? Check out where Aldi is opening new stores in 2023.
If your area doesn’t have an Aldi yet, be patient. They have an ambitious goal to open 120 new stores by the end of 2023, so your area may be next! In 2023, they’re expanding to Baton Rouge and New Orleans — two firsts for Aldi.
Check out this list of where Aldi is opening new stores in 2023:
- Tempe, AZ
- Coachella, CA
- Murrieta, CA
- Coral Springs, FL
- Crestview, FL
- Miami, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Bellwood, IL
- Fort Washington, MD
- Flowood, MS
- St. Charles, MO
- Hempstead, NY
- Orchard Park, NY
- Cleveland, OH
- Kent, OH
- Massillon, OH
- North Canton, OH
- Westlake, OH
- Philadelphia, PA
- St. Marys, PA
- Thorndale, PA
- West Chester, PA
- Wyomissing, PA
- Memphis, TN