Signs, signs, everywhere the signs: How to read ALDI price tags
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For those of you who are newer to ALDI, I thought it might be useful to do a brief rundown on the different kinds of price tags you will see in store — and on how these show which items are limited time special buys that you’ll want to stock up on before they disappear. So, here’s how to read ALDI price tags (and how this can help you avoid disappointment).
ALDI Regular Buy Items
Let’s start with the baseline for comparison: Straight up yellow shelf tags with black printing indicate on them indicate ALDI’s regularly-stocked items. While prices may from time to time and store to store, a yellow tag indicates that your store normally carries an item, and that it should be there for the foreseeable future.
Of course, ALDI occasionally does discontinue even the occasional regularly-stocked item. Yellow-tagged items, however, aren’t slated as limited time ALDI Finds or Special Buys — which we’ll talk about next.
Every week, I tell you about a few of my favorite ALDI Finds, which are limited time special buy items that are available in stores only while supplies last. This is one way in which ALDI keeps their limited selection fresh: They bring in new finds every single week as older ones rotate out. Many (but not all!) of these ALDI Finds are located in a special buys Aisle of Randomness in the store, as well as in separate refrigerated and freezer sections set aside for this purpose.
You can always tell an item is a limited time ALDI Find if you spot one these red & white price tags in store. The small date on the lower right under the price shows when they started to stock the item, helping you gauge how brand new it is to your store. Some especially limited or popular ALDI Finds sell out the first day, while others might be available in store for several weeks.
This all depends on the item and how much stock your store happened to receive. So, if you spot an ALDI Find you like, be sure to stock up while you can! Some ALDI Finds tend to show up on a regular rotation; others might be available only once a year — or might be a test, never to reappear. This all depends on the item in question.
You can view some current and upcoming in-store special buys using the ALDI Finds tabs across the top of their weekly ads page, but note that pricing and availability may vary by region.
ALDI Red Hot Specials
Now we’ll muddy the issue a little bit: Behold, a yellow tag with red print! Red Hot Specials are always limited time special buy items, even though they might sport a yellow tag: The red printing and the date in the lower right-hand corner are your clues. These are often seasonal specials, such as this football-themed bakeware that went half price after this year’s football season ended.
You may also see Red Hot yellow tags on a red and white ALDI Finds tag, making it more clear that these are limited time special buy items. Red Hot indicates that this is an ALDI Find that ALDI wants to especially promote as either a great item, or a fantastic price.
ALDI Seasonal Favorites
While ALDI Finds are often in store only for a week or two (or until they sell out), ALDI Seasonal Favorites tend to stay on the shelves for a longer period. Look for blue tags with the Seasonal Favorite logo to mark items that are often available in store for a month or more.
These can include seasonal holiday items (cranberry sauce & canned pumpkin appear in stores before Thanksgiving and hang around until January, for instance), as well as products that are more appropriate during particular weather (ice cream bars in the summer, say).
Now, let’s muddy the tags further: Sometimes, instead of sporting blue tags, seasonal items have black and white tags with a “seasonal item” note at the top left. Why? Who knows, but they’ll always somehow be clearly be marked as seasonal.
Also: Be aware that ALDI often classifies items you might not think of as seasonal in with these seasonal buys, such as cornstarch and refrigerated pie crust. Always pay attention to shelf tags, so that you know if you need to stock up on a product while the stocking is good.
ALDI Markdowns and Clearance
Whenever you see a price sticker on an individual item at ALDI, you can be sure this is a clearance item. What you see on shelf is what’s available, while supplies last. (It’s worth noting here that clearance prices and timing will vary by store — these $.10 valentines at my store might be $.50 at yours, might be gone from the shelves entirely, or might still be full price.)
Also be on the lookout for red $ off or half price clearance stickers at ALDI, most often in the meat & seafood and/or bakery sections of the store. One nifty thing to note is that if you see multiple dollar-off stickers on meat, they are additive: Two $2 off stickers means that you get $4 off that item!
You might also see handwritten clearance tags, especially on older ALDI Finds that your store wants to clear out to make room for a new batch of limited time items. Take these as a sign that you’ll really want to stock up on Finds you like while they’re on clearance, because hand-written discount tags means they’re definitely on their way out.
Summing up the signage
So, let’s sum up all of this signage: Unless you see a plain yellow tag with black printing on it, the different colored shelf tags generally mean that you have a limited time to pick up a given item at ALDI. Pay attention to shelf tags to help you avoid disappointment when one of your favorite items is no longer available in store; you’ll know what you need to stock up on before it disappears.
And, always be on the lookout for great clearance deals at your store!