13 Foolish Ways People Waste Money at Aldi

Aldi is known for its low prices, but it’s still possible to make money-wasting mistakes at the grocery chain.

Aldi store in Brattleboro
Updated July 18, 2024
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Thrifty shoppers adore Aldi — and it’s not hard to see why. From its large inventory to its affordable prices, Aldi can be a great place to shop.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that you cannot waste money at Aldi. Avoiding the following errors is a great Aldi hack to keep more cash in your wallet when shopping at the grocery chain.

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Settling for something you don't want

Piman Khrutmuang/Adobe shopping organic fresh fruits

Aldi primarily stocks private-label brands, not items from more popular brands that most American consumers are familiar with. Buying such private-label brands can be a great way to save money on groceries.

However, you're not really cutting your costs if you buy a private-label brand you don’t want. After all, it’s difficult to make yourself eat something you don’t actually enjoy.

Settling for something you don’t want can result in throwing hard-earned money down the drain if you end up with expired, uneaten foods.

Not grabbing an item when it's available

Syda Productions/Adobe woman with food basket

Aldi’s inventory shifts constantly from season to season. If you find something you like, grab more than one. Once your favorite product is gone, it’s likely gone for a long time, and possibly for good.

In particular, stock up on the best deals while they are available. This can save you money over the long haul.

Spending money on a cart and not getting the cash back

Davizro Photography/Adobe shopping cart full of food

Aldi doesn’t pay employees to chase carts that are scattered all over the parking lot. Instead, it has customers put down a quarter as a deposit that they get back once they return the cart to its designated place at the store.

If you don’t return the cart, you’ll be out your 25 cents. You might be surprised by how quickly those quarters add up.

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Buying something that picky eaters in your home will reject

Korta/Adobe shelf in the supermarket

If you have a household of picky eaters, Aldi’s private brands might be a major turnoff.

Remember, you aren’t saving money by making a more affordable purchase if you buy food no one will eat.

Shopping at Aldi when the nearest location is far away

Song_about_summer/Adobe car driver on steering wheel

Aldi’s bargains are great, but it’s not easy to save money if you spend a lot of cash on gas just to reach the nearest store.

Weigh transportation costs against grocery savings when deciding whether a trip to Aldi is worth it or not.

Not looking at the store circular in advance

mila103/Adobe young woman looking at bottles

Aldi’s store circular showcases its weekly deals. Checking out the latest edition before hitting the store lets you plan meals around discounted items.

By prioritizing whatever is on sale, you can maximize your spending power.

Failing to shop at Aldi soon after deals are unveiled

A_B_C/Adobe young woman shopping healthy food

See a great deal in the Aldi circular? Leave for the store sooner rather than later.

It’s guaranteed that you are not the only shopper who covets these deals. Wait too long to shop, and the items you want could be gone for good.

Not browsing the Aldi Finds section

Seventyfour/Adobe man holding shopping list

Aldi Finds is a great place to discover clearance deals. You can nab groceries and household goods at seriously reduced prices.

Make sure to hit up the section whenever you visit the store in person so you can take advantage of these on-site deals.

Forgetting to bring your own shopping bags

Jasmina/Adobe man holding reusable shopping bag

Aldi charges 10 cents for each disposable shopping bag you use. Just like the quarters Aldi charges for each cart you don’t return, that money can add up over time.

Avoid this unnecessary cost by remembering to bring reusable bags.

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Overlooking deals on baked goods

Eugen/Adobe woman browsing bread

Aldi often discounts baked items by 50% once they're a couple of days away from their expiration date.

Don’t forget to browse the bakery for perfectly good baked goods at a cheap price.

Not checking for discounted gift cards

nmann77/Adobe handle of a shopping cart

You can save some money ahead of your shopping trip by purchasing Aldi gift cards at a discount.

Check out sites such as CardCash, Raise, Giftcards.com, and Gift Card Granny to find the best deals on discounted gift cards.

Forgetting to download and use the Aldi app

Koshiro/Adobe aldi brand logo

Didn’t have time to read the Aldi circular this week? No worries — you can check it out on the go via the free Aldi app.

Of course, you have to download the app first before you can take advantage of this feature. So, add it to your phone before your next shopping trip.

Not shopping with a rewards credit card

Yi_Studio/Adobe pile of credit cards

Using top rewards credit cards when you shop can help you earn cash back or other perks on every grocery purchase, including purchases made at Aldi.

Make sure to check out credit card offers to find the card that gives you the best rewards.

Bottom line

jetcityimage/Adobe aldi discount supermarket

No matter how much you save by shopping at Aldi, there are always ways to further cut your costs.

Steering clear of the mistakes on this list can help you avoid wasting money. Keep these errors in mind the next time you shop at Aldi, and make sure not to fall into such money-wasting traps.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.