Aldi Doesn't Accept Manufacturer's Coupons For A Noble Reason

Aldi is known for its low prices and great deals. The popular grocery store has a myriad ways to help keep costs down. You won't find too many employees around the store, just the ones running the registers and stocking the shelves, and you'll certainly have to bag your own groceries. Out in the parking lot, you'll need a quarter for a cart, which you should be sure to return to the cart corral to get your quarter back, an arrangement that eliminates the need for employee cart collectors.

Savvy shoppers in-the-know are all about deals, and therefore naturally flock to Aldi. But oftentimes, said savvy shoppers use manufacturer's coupons, which you won't find accepted at Aldi stores for two good reasons. One, most items you'll find at Aldi are Aldi-branded, which allows the grocery store to set its own deals on these items whose quality they promise "is equal to or better than that of the established brands." Two, when Aldi does carry name-brand items, they have negotiated with the brand for the very best deals and then pass the savings on to the consumer (via Aisle of Shame). According to Aldi's FAQ page, the store " takes pride in making grocery shopping smart, fast and easy. Aldi shoppers do not have to clip coupons to find the best deals because we offer the lowest prices on groceries every single day."

The best way to score a deal at Aldi is to shop the sales

Consumer savings expert Lauren Greutman explained the science behind Aldi's choice not to accept manufacturer's coupons. "People need to know that they have one of every type of product. You're not going to have a huge list of peanut butter to choose from. There are different kinds of cereals but not everything you want. If they can make [a product] better and cheaper [than a national brand] they will carry their own. If they can't and the name brand is better they'll carry them," Greutman said (via NBC News Better).

The Aldi FAQ page is also quick to point out that if you find an Aldi-specific coupon on social media, it is not real and not valid.

One Redditor, u/karma-twelve, had great advice if you're looking for great deals to score at Aldi sans-coupons, writing on the r/Aldi forum, "What I will recommend is that you grab a flier/look online because they have pretty good sales every week. There is also a discount area (in my store at least)."

Beware of fake coupons

Knowing that Aldi doesn't take manufacturer coupons should make it that much easier to save time and avoid scams when hunting for deals at the store. This extends to electronic coupons as well. An online search for Aldi coupons will mainly turn up advertisements of in-store offers that feature weekly deals.

In 2018, Aldi's official Facebook account specifically called out another fake coupon that was circulating the internet. The coupon was being shared on Facebook and Twitter, offering $75 off with any purchase of $80 or more. While many users eagerly blasted out posts and screenshots of the crazy offer, others noted some bogus typos that gave it away. The affordable grocery store franchise clarified: "We don't offer electronic coupons and they won't be accepted at our stores."

Not only would using a phony coupon lead to embarrassment at the register, scams like this one might include phishing links that can be used to steal your personal information. While the thrill of a deal isn't quite the same without a coupon to prove it, it's best to trust that Aldi's prices are a bargain to begin with.

Aldi wants you to embrace the deals they already offer

In a way, deals are baked into Aldi's business model. Because of this, manufacturer coupons aren't really needed in the first place. Name brands are few and far between at the store, with around 90% of its stock comprising private, Aldi-brand products. Those who have developed preferences for certain brands might find this restricting, but there's a whole world of Aldi-brand copycats that many shoppers claim can be just as good, if not even better, than their name-brand manufacturer analogs. 

For example, Aldi's store-brand ketchup is cheaper than Heinz, and arguably close in taste. Or, take Aldi brand's chocolate hazelnut spread, Berryhill Hazelnut Spread, which comes as a sweet deal by being 41% less than the name brand option: Nutella. The same can be said for many of the store's cereals, snack bars, and frozen food alternatives: taste differences aside, the value that Aldi offers in these copycat products can be hard to beat. The quality of the items is often comparable to manufacturer products, and their prices can often beat deals you might scrounge up elsewhere through coupons. 

Whether you're a fan or hater, it's important to recognize that Aldi doesn't operate like most other grocery stores. Its reasoning for not accepting manufacturer coupons comes down to a fundamental mission of providing consumers with low-cost food and products from the get-go.