Aldi currently operates in 36 states and opened its 2,000th store in the United States in June — and now the grocery chain has plans to expand to 38 states with the addition of four Arizona stores later this year and a Louisiana location in the near future, Supermarket News reported. The chain plans to open 70 new locations by the end of 2020.
With so many stores, chances are there is already an Aldi near you or will be soon. The popular chain boasts that it offers “impressively high quality at impossibly low prices” — but there are ways to save even more on your next Aldi shopping trip. GOBankingRates spoke to shopping experts to get their best tips on how to spend less on what you buy.
Last updated: Sept. 4, 2020
Study the Online Circular
Before going to the store, do your homework.
“Spending just a few minutes reviewing Aldi’s circular online can help you plan meals more thoughtfully to save money,” said money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. “This allows you to see what’s on sale for the week and choose recipes that use the cheaper ingredients to reduce your food budget further. It’s easy to do — just search their online circular by ZIP code to see their current and upcoming weekly deals.”
Shop Deals Early
Once you’ve studied the circular to see the sale items, aim to get to the store as soon as the deal is available.
“Try to shop the first day the new deals are released since popular sale items can sell out,” Woroch said.
Browse the Aldi Finds Section
“Always check the Aldi Finds section when shopping in-store,” Woroch said. “This section is filled with seasonal items and household and grocery goods at a very reduced price. You can even take a peek on their website to see what is currently offered at your local store as well as a look ahead to the next week’s Aldi Finds clearance deals near you. This gives you a leg up so you know when to shop a hot item that will sell out fast.”
Use Coupon Codes for Online Orders
When buying groceries online, always check for coupon codes.
“Although Aldi does not accept manufacturer coupons because they already offer the best prices around, you can still save money with online coupon codes,” Woroch said. “You can find deals for online grocery delivery services through sites like CouponFollow.com, which offers deals like $5 or $10 off your order at Instacart. Since more people than ever are using online grocery delivery services, this is an easy way to save extra on your order.”
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Take Pictures of Your Receipts
You can earn cash back on your Aldi purchases using the Fetch Rewards app when you submit a photo of your receipt.
“This free cash-back shopping app rewards you for all your grocery purchases with points that you redeem toward free gift cards to stores like Target, Walmart and Amazon,” Woroch said. “The amount of points you earn is based on the types and brands of grocery items and household goods you buy, but it’s an easy way to get something back for all the items you’re buying anyway and the free gift cards can offset future grocery purchases, or can be used toward gifts for the upcoming holidays.”
Bring Your Own Shopping Bags
“Bringing your shopping bags can save you money since you have to pay $0.10 a piece for their shopping bags,” said Lindsey Maxwell, co-founder of Where You Make It. “You can save grocery money, especially for large families who need more bags than usual.”
Check Expiration Dates on Bakery Items
Always check the expiration dates when you’re shopping in the bakery section, Maxwell said.
“You can save money by getting 50% off items that are two days from expiring,” she said.
Avoid Certain Costly Items
One of the best ways to spend less at Aldi is to remove items from your grocery list that you can get cheaper elsewhere.
“You might be better off purchasing paper products and brand-name items at another store where they accept coupons,” Maxwell said.
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Shop on Wednesday
“On Wednesdays, Aldi’s previous week’s flyer savings overlap with next week’s flyer savings,” said Jim Pendergast, senior vice president of altLINE, a division of The Southern Bank Company. “Wednesday is also when the ‘Aisle of Dreams’ gets new, way-discounted items.”
Always Opt For Store Brands
This is an easy tip to follow as Aldi stocks primarily store-brand items.
“Don’t be afraid to try store brands,” Pendergast said. “You won’t find Fritos or Velveeta here, but you will find worthy substitutes.”
Know That Not All Discounted Items Are Advertised
In addition to the weekly circular deals, you can find discounted seasonal items in clearance bins as well as scattered throughout the store, according to The Krazy Koupon Lady.
Shop With Discounted Gift Cards
Look for discounted Aldi gift cards on sites such as Raise and Gift Card Granny. When you use these to pay for your groceries, you’re automatically spending less money.
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Use Empty Boxes If You Forget Your Shopping Bags
If you forget to take your reusable shopping bags to the store, you can avoid Aldi’s bag fees by using empty boxes instead, according to The Penny Hoarder. Look out for empty boxes at aisle endcaps and elsewhere around the store.
Make a List
Although this is a good rule no matter where you shop, it’s especially important at Aldi, where there are temptations around every corner. Making a grocery list and sticking to it will make sure you stick to your budget.
Download the Aldi App
Aldi’s free app allows you to peruse available savings easily. You can get weekly Aldi Finds updates, see which items have new low prices and browse weekly ads.
Look Out for Red Stickers
Items marked with a red sticker have been discounted at least 50%, according to Love Money. Keep an eye out for these stickers to get the best prices on the items on your shopping list.
Shop With a Cash-Back Credit Card
You can shop with credit cards at Aldi, so opt to use a cash-back card to get money back on every purchase.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 17 Ways To Spend Less at Aldi