5 reasons why you SHOULDN’T shop at Aldi

5 reasons why you shouldn't shop at Aldi

Anyone who is close to me knows how much I love Aldi.

PAUSE.

Yes, you read the title right- “5 reasons why you SHOULDN’T shop at Aldi”. Bear with me.

RESUME.

Growing up, my parents often shopped at an Aldi near our house. Without looking at packaging, I could always easily identify what had been bought at Aldi. The graham crackers tasted like cardboard. The marshmallows weren’t spongy. In reality, all the items probably weren’t that bad, but I had it in my teenage mind that anything bought there was truly sub-par.

My friends, this is no longer so. Aldi has changed GREATLY for the better, even in the past year.

So without further ado, here’s my backwards plug for Aldi-

5 reasons why you shouldn’t shop at Aldi.

  1. You shouldn’t shop at Aldi if… you love artificial dye, added MSG, and partially hydrogenated oils in your food.                                                   

    As of late last year, Aldi has removed all of these from its exclusive “Aldi” brand products (which are over 90% of its products!). Certified synthetic colors have been replaced these ingredients with natural, plant-based ingredients such as beet juice or turmeric for coloring. 96% of Aldi’s products already did not contain additional MSG; this percentage is now up to 100% as of 2016. Partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, are a source of trans fat which the FDA has recently mandated be removed by food manufactures by 2018. Aldi is ahead of the game! Here is Aldi’s official press release announcing the above mentioned official product reformulations. ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff                                                                                               ffffffffffffffffffffffffff    

  2. You shouldn’t shop at Aldi if…you dislike inexpensive generic brands that taste just as good, if not better, than the originals.  

    Here’s a secret I’ve discovered- Aldi exclusive Millville brand’s Crunch Granola Raisin Bran cereal has more raisins than the original Kellogg Raisin Bran Crunch. I’m not going to go as far to say that all Aldi brand items are comparable or better than their original competitors because I have not tried all of their products. However, I have found this to be true of most products I have tried. The cardboard graham crackers and hard marshmallows are a thing of the past! If you’re not satisfied, they will not only refund you for the item, but they will replace it, too, with their Double Guarantee policy.    ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff     ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff    

  3. You shouldn’t shop at Aldi if… saving money on organic and gluten-free items makes you cringe.ALDI_Grocery_liveGfree_LandingPage_948x228_Desktop_e7de177fac

    (picture taken from http://www.aldi.us)

    Aldi’s “liveGfree” brand offers tons of gluten-free options. From pancake mix to frozen items to pasta to dessert items, there really is a surprisingly wide variety of extremely reasonably priced gluten free items, which can be browsed here. Also, Aldi is adding more and more organic products to their “SimplyNature” (organic) line. They carry USDA approved organic almond butter, canned goods, fresh greens, salsa, chicken broth, and many more organic items.ALDI_Grocery_SimplyNature_LandingPage_948x228_Desk_ceb7015899

    (picture taken from http://www.aldi.us)

    They also have an organic produce section, as well as a selection of produce grown by local farmers. To be honest, their produce can be hit or miss. Which leads me to my next point…                                                                                                                                            ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff        ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff       

  4. You shouldn’t shop at Aldi if… you can’t tolerate doing slightly more work to save large amounts of money.

    It’s true, I usually have to visit another grocer in addition to Aldi. A large typical grocer carries approximately 30,000 items. Aldi carries a fraction of the amount of items, narrowing in on the most commonly bought items. So while you may not find Thai chili paste, matzah ball soup, or other niche items, you can probably still complete about 80-90% of your shopping at Aldi because they do carry the basics. I was very pleased to see recently that they started carrying items like barley and quinoa, which I used to buy elsewhere. It seems like they are always adding new items to their shelves that I used to have to go elsewhere to purchase. A caveat to this is my aforementioned comment about produce. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s not. I can’t always get all of my produce from Aldi. Veggies are usually fine, but fruit can be questionable at times.  However, when I do go elsewhere, I still save by using my favorite money saving app ever!

    In addition to usually having to make two grocery shopping trips to complete my shopping for the week, know that at Aldi you have to bring your own bags (or else you will have to purchase bags), bag your own items, and also bring a quarter for the use of a cart. The first few times you shop at Aldi, these can seem like a pain (especially if you’re not prepared!). However, these minor inconveniences cut costs big time at Aldi, which make it more affordable for you and I. Also, encouraging consumers to bring their own bags is very eco-friendly! While it is nice to have someone bagging your groceries for you while you check your email or respond to texts on your phone, the damper of having to bag your own groceries into your own bags really pales in comparison to the money you can save by shopping there. Which brings me to my last and final point…                                                                                                ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff        ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff       ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff        

  5. You shouldn’t shop at Aldi if… you hate saving money in general!

     (In case you can’t see a trend here on saving money…) It hurts my brain thinking about all the cash I wasted on grocery shopping prior to a year and a half ago, when I started shopping at Aldi. I kid you not, our grocery bill used to be over $100 every week (for 2 people at that time!), and now with pretty much the same items (and also some additional items since we have added a member to our household), it falls between $50-70/week, depending on what we’re cooking. These are crazy savings! Canned black beans are 59¢. Huge bottles of spices are 99¢. You can’t find those deals anywhere else. The money we spend on groceries each month is pretty much half of what it used to be shopping at Mariano’s or Jewel-Osco. I’m never going back to my old money-wasting ways!

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In conclusion, if you have fallen into the trap of turning your nose up on Aldi under the assumption that its products are sub-par just because they cost less, I beg of you- GIVE IT A CHANCE. The money you will save is convincing enough, alone, and the products will speak for themselves. Do a blind taste test comparison if you really want to put their food items to the test! Then you can be the judge. Whatever you do, at least give it a try. It’s silly financially not to. You won’t regret it.

 

**If this post didn’t convince you to try Aldi, read this article that I came across shortly after I finished my post. It came out YESTERDAY from Yahoo! Finance, entitled, “Why Aldi is the Grocery Store of the Future” 

 

Lastly, “Like” my Facebook page by clicking the “Like” button below (or on the side bar) to stay updated on more ways to save!

 

5 reasons why you shouldn't shop at Aldi
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How I made $101 in 1 week by doing practically nothing

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Us Bacons are on a budget.  Most people are, I suppose, but this is a fairly new commitment for us.  We have gone through periods of extreme saving throughout the span of our marriage, but never quite had details set in stone to stick to.  It’s hard to fully follow through with something when you don’t have specific goals in mind.

So the second week of January (we were a little behind the curve on timing), we sat down and budgeted every dollar (thank you, Dave Ramsey). Our short-term goal?  Pay off debt.  Our long-term goal?  Buy a house in the next 3-5 years.

Naturally, we are looking for any and every way to save.  I saw a friend of mine post about a rebate app on Facebook, and I would have never guessed that within about 1 week I would have made $101… and not even off rebates.

To disclaim from the front end, no one is paying me to review this app or to promote it.  I just really am impressed with the concept of the app and how simple it was to make money.  Additionally, there really are no “catches” or “hidden fine print”.  If there were I would not have the nerve to post this!  I have explained below how to use the app and to make the most money off of it.  *Disclaimer over*

The app is called Ibotta.  When I first learned of the app, I was hesitant to even download it because we shop mostly Aldi (a post on how much I’ve come to adore Aldi over time coming soon…) and Aldi is not a supported store for Ibotta rebates.  However, they have nearly almost any other grocer and pharmacy you can think of.  There are many from all over the country.  Specifically in Chicagoland, they have rebates from Walmart, Mariano’s, Jewel, Meijer, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Whole Foods, the list goes on…

Although they didn’t have the store we shopped at the most, I decided to download the app anyways to check it out, since we do occasionally go to Jewel, and live about 4 blocks from a CVS pharmacy.

I was pretty amazed at the rebates I was finding.  The lowest I could find was $0.25 and the highest was $6.00  They carry rebates for tons of standard grocery items, types of alcohol (I’ve noticed those have the highest rebates), medicines, baby products, cleaning supplies, and more!  They even have rebates on Seventh Generation products and Hyland’s baby products (such as Nighttime Tiny Cough Syrup, or Tiny Cold Teething Tablets).  [[Side note- I will disclaim that I have noticed that some rebates come and go.  So while these are current rebates available, by the time you read this I have no guarantee they will still be available.  I was very sad that I only had 1 opportunity to earn $1 back from Ben & Jerry’s icecream!]]

Anyways, check out the app yourself if you’re curious to see some of the rebates they offer.  But I have included 2 screenshots so you can get a (small) sample of the vast amounts of rebates available.  I will then explain how to use/earn with the app.

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How to use the app for redeeming rebates:

After downloading and signing up (WHICH… STAY TUNED TIL THE END FOR $10 FREE CODE), search any store for rebates, or search for any specific product. You can see the search bar in the pictures I posted above.

From there, click on the rebate you would like to redeem.  This (for example) will pop up.  Click “Unlock $x.xx Cash Back” (insert whatever the rebate amount is for “x”)

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Occasionally they will ask you a random poll question such as (in this scenario) “When do you and your family most enjoy eating a bowl of cereal?”  Options: For breakfast, as an afternoon snack, for dessert, while watching tv.  (If you’re curious, I legitimately enjoy eating cereal in all of these scenarios.  But I choose “for breakfast” to appear to be normal…)

 

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From here, you can see that the rebate has been unlocked.  Also note the expiration date of the rebate.  You must use it before this date (each expiration is different).

Now.  IMPORTANT- YOU MUST UNLOCK THE REBATES YOU WANT TO USE BEFORE GOING SHOPPING.

AGAIN- YOU MUST UNLOCK THE REBATES YOU WANT TO USE BEFORE GOING SHOPPING.

(repeated for emphasis)

 

**EDIT**- Ironically after being so emphatic someone informed me that they have been able to use receipts retroactively (in other words, did not unlock the deals before purchase).  But I also know two people that have tried this thus far and it has not worked.  So feel free to try it- no guarantee it will work though!

 

Anyways, moving on.  Next, do your shopping.  BE SURE TO SAVE YOUR RECEIPT.  I was not in the habit of this until very recently, so this takes some extra effort on my part.

When you arrive home, click the “verify purchases” option within the app.  You should be able to then select all of the rebates you have unlocked.  Sometimes will have to scan the barcode of each item, sometimes you will not.  If you do have to do this, this should take you about 2 seconds per item, because it matches the bar code very very quickly.

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Your last step is to scan your receipt (which you will see an option for).  For some stores, you just scan the QR code for the receipt.  Mariano’s has a very cool option where you just link your card to the app and you don’t even have to scan the receipt since your card automatically tracks your purchases for rebates.

 

Now, please note that you must hit a balance of earning a minimum of $20.00 before cashing out with PayPal or Venmo.  If you prefer a gift card to a retailer, you must wait until hitting $25.  This doesn’t take very long to do, especially after first signing up.  You can choose gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Express, iTunes, or a few other options.

 

How did I earn $101 in a week?  Upon signing up through my friend’s referral and redeeming my first rebate, I received $10 free.  That’s already halfway to cashing out at $20.  If you sign up in the month of January, you can get an additional $2.  These are redeemed through the “Bonus” section of the app.  As I just mentioned, the $10 free does not come through until you redeem your first rebate within 30 days.  So basically, you can start with $12 free once redeeming your first rebate.  That’s already 60% of your way to being able to cash out at $20.

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Then, I redeemed some more rebates over the course of the past 9 days.  But the most lucrative thing that I did with this app was to SHARE IT WITH OTHERS.  Get your own referral code under the “invite friends” tab and put the link on your facebook page or text it to friends.  I can honestly say before this I had never once in my life promoted an app.  But with each referral, the person you refer gets the free $10, and you receive $5 once they redeem their first rebate.  So they get $10, you get $5.  Everyone wins!  Who doesn’t want to save on groceries?  And who doesn’t want $10 free dollars?  I have shared this app with quite a few people, so that is where I made most of my money the last 9 days.  It took VERY little effort on my part.  And you’re not inconveniencing anyone or asking them to do you favors.  You are benefiting them by giving them $10 from your referral, in addition to the hundreds of rebates they can unlock to save money on everyday items.

Here is a screen shot of some people who used my referral code and the money they got back from rebates.  As you can see, someone saved as low as $0.50 in one shopping trip, while someone else saved as high as $9.25 in one shopping trip.  Amazing!

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So if you would like to try Ibotta to save on groceries and pharmacy items, use this link with my referral code for the $10 free!  Then we both can save.  If you have any questions, comment below or contact me directly.

And YES, I have successfully redeemed my $101 with no fees.  I had it sent $71 to my PayPal on Saturday (two days ago) and the money has already come through.  Today I sent an additional $31, which is still pending.

So that, my friends, is how I made $101 in 1 week.

GET THE APP HERE (includes my referral for the $10 free)

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How I made $101 in 1 week by doing practically nothing! SUPER easy way to earn cash by making the most out of an app.