Three Non-Typical Stores I Shop At To Save Money

Do you like to save money on food and other household items? I’m guessing the majority of people would put up their hand, and say, “ME!” Well I’m going to share some tips with you about three non-typical stores I shop at to save money in these areas. If we want to save more money, sometimes deviating from the norm is the way to go.

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The first of the stores I shop at to save money is Aldi.  Aldi is primarily a grocery store, but they also include household and seasonal items that you would not expect. For instance, I purchased our compost bin there. A bit of a weird purchase at a grocery store, right? But if I remember correctly, it was cheaper than a {affiliate link} similar compost bin on Amazon.

Aldi is a great place to shop for your basic groceries such as milk, eggs, butter, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables. It will definitely save you money in those areas. But do look your fruit over well. Occasionally it will spoil quickly once you are home. I also stock up on baking essentials like sugar, all-purpose flour, chocolate chips and more. There are snacks you can stock up on for the kiddos, although they will not all be name brand.  I have been a meat snob in the past at Aldi, and don’t buy a lot of meat there, although I have relaxed on this and do occasionally.  I do frequently buy fish and frozen bags of chicken thighs or breasts there.

Aldi has also expanded to include more organic products and I have seen gluten-free items available as well. Not so long ago, one of our two local Aldi stores renovated and expanded. I seemed to see more variety of products after that. And, this may not be important to everyone, but I loved that the new shopping carts there had two seats in the front! With three kids I now can put the two youngest in the seat. At other stores, sometimes I have had one child in the seat, one in the cart, and the third child on the end. These double-seaters make shopping easier in my opinion.

Aldi Shopping Tips

Just a couple tips to remember when going to shop at Aldi for the first time. Take a quarter. Yup, I’m serious. The shopping carts are chained together in front of the store, and you need the quarter to release one. When you replace the cart after shopping, you can get a quarter back.

Three non-typical stores I shop at to save money

Also, Aldi doesn’t bag your groceries or even give you bags to put them in. You either have to purchase bags, or like many people do, bring your own {affiliate link} reusable bags. I keep bags in the back of my vehicles for this purpose. I also have a thermal picnic Thirty-one bag that I use for cold items. I push my shopping cart out to the van, and unload my groceries into the bags there. If there are empty cardboard boxes on the shelves, I believe Aldi allows customers to take those to put their groceries in as well. Check with your store.

And one last tip about Aldi, at the checkout be sure to place your heaviest items first on the belt. The cashiers are trained to be efficient as possible. They quickly whisk your items through and place them in an empty cart on the other side of them. Usually they try to set more fragile items on the cart seat area, but I like to make sure they ring up those items toward the end. It may be my personal preference, but I like to think it helps keep my groceries in better shape.


The second of stores I shop at to save money is much more unique. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is a store that sells about anything you can imagine, including food, housewares, bedding, clothes, garden tools, toys, and more. For whatever reason, those items can’t or won’t be sold at a regular store so Ollie’s sells them at a discount.

Now to be honest, Ollie’s is not in the best of shape nor the cleanest-looking store. At least ours isn’t. But if you can overlook that, you might want to try shopping there. The stock they carry varies and is not predictable. I like to stock up on brand-name cereal when available, as well as buying various snacks for the kids. Sometimes I purchase different spices and real vanilla there. It’s also a place I can save money on K-cups  for our Keruig machine. Personal care items like shampoos, body washes, and toothpaste from brand-names might be available too.

Ollie’s also has a big selection of books if you want to purchase a gift for a reader in your life. You can get good deals on those.  And best of all hit them up for toy deals before Christmas! Or wait till after Christmas, and shop the steeper savings when they discount the deals even further  to stock up for the next year!

For even more savings, join “Ollie’s Army” and get their store rewards card. According to their website, after you earn so many points, they send you a 10% off your next purchase card in the mail. How about 10% off name-brand items that are already discounted?  Sometimes they even send you a 15% off card. I used one of those with my last visit there.

Three non-typical stores I shop at to save money

Christmas Tree Shops

The last on this list of non-typical stores I shop at to save money, is Christmas Tree Shops. Despite the name, they are open year round, and like Ollie’s sell a wide variety of stuff. Right now, you can hit them up to buy sunscreen and other beach items. In fact, I bought a beach cart from them last year. According to one of the employees, their beach carts are a popular seasonal item. So if you want a beach cart, maybe check theirs out. But if you miss out, here’s a similar {affiliate link} beach cart on Amazon. Can’t promise it will be as good a deal though!

Maybe I’m weird, but when I think of going to Christmas Tree Shops, it’s often for K-cups. Those little things are expensive, but Christmas Tree Shop sells unique kinds at a discount. It gives my husband the opportunity to try different types of coffee, without us feeling like we are spending too much on it. I can also sometimes get tea K-cups for myself, since I’m not a coffee drinker.

Three non-typical stores I shop at to save money

I usually browse the housewares, and might pick up tin foil pans which are handy for freezer meals, or to gift a meal to someone who’s had a baby. I enjoy looking around and maybe picking up little items I need (ok maybe want!). I almost always go thru the food section to see what they have, and maybe get a few items.

They sell many body care products, for infant thru adult. I can’t guarantee that everything will save you money, but if you price-check you may find they beat other stores on some of the prices. Home decor is another type of items they carry, but I rarely shop for that stuff. Although, we have bought ornaments and Christmas lights there!

Christmas Tree Shops does sometimes have store coupons for 20% off a purchase on occasion, those are nice for when you want to shop there around the holiday season. If you sign up with them, you can get the coupons in your email. And I think they will scan them off your smart phone.


Anyway, that’s a little info on three stores you might want to consider shopping at if you don’t already. I definitely recommend the first two for saving money. Christmas Tree Shops may not save you quite as much. But saving anywhere is helpful for all of us. Do you have any favorite stores you like to shop to save money at? Please share it in the comments as well as any secret tips for shopping there!



 Three non-typical stores I shop at to save money. These stores offer grocery and household items at discounts. Find bargains and save money while shopping.


I am married with three young children. My husband and I are both registered nurses. I like to try new ideas out, and will obsessively research whatever that latest idea is. We like to try different ways to decrease our living costs and save money. My husband is great at building/fixing/diy etc. and figuring out how to implement my new schemes.

11 thoughts on “Three Non-Typical Stores I Shop At To Save Money

  • June 28, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Very informative post! 🙂 I personally love Aldi! They have products that I can’t find anywhere else (e.g. frozen Mediterranean veggie mix)

    • June 28, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Thank you! I’ve read Aldi is planning to open more stores. Happy shopping while saving money!

  • June 28, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    We don’t have any of these store in our area, but I sure wish we did! Thanks for sharing!

    • June 28, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      Maybe one will open up someday soon! thanks for visiting!

  • June 29, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Hi Char. I love all three stores. Ollie’s and the Christmas Tree Shop are great for household and outdoor items. Thanks for sharing your post on Sunday’s Best.

  • June 29, 2017 at 11:11 am

    These are some great tip, Char. The nearest Aldi is around 30 min away from my home. I don’t regularly shop there but I try to go there at least once every two months.

    • June 29, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks Shamira! I’ve kinda been doing a “big” grocery shop to Aldi every other week, then we fill in from other stores as needed. I.e. to pick up milk, (cause my kids go thru fast) or other stuff I don’t or cant’ buy at Aldi.

    • June 29, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Yes, shopping can be easier alone.

    • December 1, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Yup, many ways to find good deals. Gotta save where you can!


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