I've Got Some Money Saving Type of Questions

Updated on December 16, 2010
T.M. asks from Brooklyn, MI
28 answers

As everyone else, I'm looking to cut cost where ever I can. So I'm wondering about a few things below.

1) Bounce Bar: Does this really truly work?

2) ALDI grocery stores: I've never been to one so I have no clue what they carry or what they are like. Are they a good grocery store? Are their prices really save you money? What do you find are the best types of items to buy there?

Any other savings tips you may want to pass along would be fantastic!

Merry Christmas to you and your families!

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answers from Dallas on

Love Aldi - always my first stop when grocery shopping, so nice to walk out with a cart full of bags that I only paid $40 for.

Bounce Bar - I have one, works good for softening/freshening, not so much for static cling. We have BAD static here, especially in the winter. I have to use a dryer sheet with the Bounce bar or my clothes come out all stuck together. My MIL bought it for me and she tells me her grandaughter uses two Bounce bars and they work fine for static, so maybe I just need a new one. Oh - and the one in my dryer has been there for 6+ months, so if you don't have a static problem it is cost-effective.



answers from Atlanta on

I have been to Aldi once and wished they would put one closer to my home or I would go more often ;()) I have been to Trader Joes-I thought they were too expensive and the qulaity wasn't at its best either. Meaning I bought two 4 packs of peaches once and all of the peaches were bad except for ONE!!! It was too far of a drive to complain about it so I threw them away. My husband works for Publix which is a huge grocery chain here in the south. We don't even shop there except for their BOGO's otherwise Walmart it is. According to the hubs Walmart is about 17% lower than the other grocery chains around here. I go to several different places to save money but it has to be "on the way" meaning I don't drive out of my way because the savings might not be that substancial to offset the cost of gas.



answers from Detroit on

I shop fo many items at Trader Joe's. Just an example...a big bag of salt and pepper chips is $2.49 there...same type of chips and size at Busch's is $5.49. Agave at Trader Joe's is $2.79...Kroger $5.29. Trader Joes' also has lots of things that are good for you...organic, no hormones added, range fed etc, that other stores might not carry.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Ok this is what i learned when we had NO MONEY!!! You can shop for groceries and the 99 cent store, dollar tree, big lots, some thrift stores have bread and stuff and out here where I live there are numerous charities to help with boxes of food like churches. Also the bounce bar... I have one and I love it. I like my clothes extra soft so I put one dryer sheet in with it as well. MMMMMM love it!

We have call our auto insur and cut the cost by $30 a month just by cutting down on how much we drive. Cable company was willing to give us a deal for 6 months for internet and had to go to the lowest package plan. Saved $40 a month. We only have a house phone for internet (although we can still use it if we want) that is only $5 a month.

We went to PagePlus cellular and save GET THIS $100 a month for 2 phones. We have unlimited plans for $45 a month each.

We have called the gas company and get a discount program. I cant remember what it is called but we save like 20% a month on our gas bill.

Freecycle.org is a great place to get things you need or even want for FREE!!!!

Craigslist and Ebay.....great way to shop.

Thrift stores too.

Good luck Sweety..... You can do it!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I've not used the Bounce dryer sheet/bar. so i can't offer you advice there.

Aldi - our Aldi is a BASIC store and SOME international mix. Go with a shopping list and see if they have what you need. if not - leave. It's not worth your time or money to buy something that 'might' work.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

my sister does the grocery game and swears it saves her TONS of money!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I love ALDI and I save so much money there. I buy baked chips there, plain potato chips, salt n vinegar taste just like regular - fritos and dorito (generics) don't taste the same as name brand, but still work. I always buy all baking stuff, cooking spray, spices, peanut butter and jelly, milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, cereal, bottled water, bread, fruit, lettuce, bacon, fresh meats (I don't like the frozen meats because they are cheaper cuts lots of fat), frozen chicken breasts are good, frozen veggies, canned goods, ice cream, popcicles, juice. I always go to ALDI first and then to a regular grocery store for specialty items or stuff they may not have. Their produce and meats used to not be fresh and in my opinion, they've really come a long way and are adding more and more all the time. I struggle getting stuff from a regular grocery store like a box of cereal, I can't spend $4 on a box when it's $1.98 at ALDI. Defanitely worth your time to check it out. You can also go online to ALDI.com and put together menus and it'll print out your shopping list. There's also a ton of recipes out there using only their ingredients.

I also don't buy cleaning products - I clean with baking soda and vinegar, very cheap and chemical free.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Aldi's is a store chain out of Germany. It is awesome but one of those stores that only carries what they can give you a good deal on, and that changes from week to week. I always go there first. Quality is surprisingly excellent. Fit & Active line of foods is great. Cosmetics are excellent. Frozen stuff, salad dressings, baking mixes are amazing. Prices fantastic. Bring your own bags or use their boxes or buy cheap bags from them. Bring a quarter to get a cart/quarter returned when you're done with cart. Nice, clean bathrooms. Inexpensive flowers. You're gonna love it but it takes a bit to get used to these stores. They also carry some gift items and kitchenware. Didn't like the toilet tissue but that's the only things I was disappointed in.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

We shop Aldi's all the time. I find the onion, carrot, and potato prices to beat the other stores almost every time. Same with cheese, butter, margarine, OJ, ready-bacon, and breakfast sausages. Often kleenex as well.

They have a selection of canned veg and fruit, tuna, sardines, pasta (spaghetti and macaroni, not a large variety), white rice, canned soups, ramen noodles, fresh produce, cheese,milk, eggs, butter/margarine, bagged salad, some frozen foods (veg, meat fish, and complete meals, eg Salisbury steak), kleenex, toilet paper, paper towels, various cleaning supplies/trash bags, snack foods (chips, pretzels, tortilla chips), candy, health/beauty items (shampoo/conditioner, hand soap, deodorant). Seasonal mdse may include toys, charcoal, clothing, flip-flops etc.

Mostly they have their own brands, not the "name" brands.

What you need to do is note the prices of things you normally buy at other places, then compare to Aldi's. Definitely worth checking out!

K. Z.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

First off, I do think the Bounce Bar works. I don't use it personally, but the couple I do in home nursing for uses one and I do their laundry, and it always smells nice and clean. The only con would be that when the bar is empty, it kinda doesnt want to come off the inside of the dryer. Second, I never shopped at Aldi, but I just discovered using coupons for groceries. I do most of my shopping at walmart and they take competitor coupons and price match on food from any store. So shopping alone at a walmart supercenter with coupons and price matches from other stores will save alot on groceries. Just buy the sunday paper, and clip.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Saginaw on

I'm not sure about the Bounce Bar, haven't used it yet.

Shopping at Aldi is cheaper than just shopping at a normal grocery store, but you could save more by couponing. Almost everything carried at an Aldi store is Aldi brand. It's like an entire store full of store brand products, so it's going to be cheaper. Plus you have to use a quarter to get a cart (so you have to return it yourself, saves on need to hire someone to do it) you have to bring or buy your own bags, and bag your own stuff. Most of the things I've eaten from Aldi were good. But like I stated before, you could probably save more couponing (and matching sales), but that takes some time. But even with couponing there are some things that don't really go on sale or have coupons, so buying them at Aldi would be cheaper.



answers from Colorado Springs on

I'm not sure about your specific questions, but you might want to check out
moneysavingmom.com and groceryshrink.com. They do all the work for you as far as finding deals and coupons, etc. And, everything they offer is free.



answers from Detroit on

Aldi has the best price on Apple juice always, period!! Also coming from Britain I love their European stuff - great German cookies, chocolate and desserts and fab seasonal stuff I cannot get elsewhere (or for 4X the price via the internet). Good for snack stuff and canned goods too but if you are a brand buyer forget it. If like me you buy on price rather than always plumping for Heinz, Campbells, Mrs Fields etc then you will not be disappointed. Remember your refundable 25c for a cart and bags/boxes to pack



answers from Lansing on

Do you have a Kroger? You can download coupons onto your Kroger Plus car through their web site, and you can still use regular coupons too! Good luck!



answers from Lincoln on

Bounce bar works just fine, but doesn't save you money. Doesn't last nearly as long as they say it does, for my family it cost a lot more per month.



answers from Detroit on


I like ALDI. I like another response stated get mostly everything there and the things I can't find I get from a grocery store like Kroger. Like another mama said go with a list and see what they have, try those items out and see which ones you like and which ones you would rather have the brand name for.

I like to buy their meats also, I would like to go to the farmers market but since I live in the city I don't have one really close.

There is not too much EXCEPT their Miracle Whip & Mayonnaise brand that my boys & husband don't like. I'm not a super picky eater so those things weren't that bad to me.

I'm not sure what a Bounce Bar is, but if they are dryer sheets I really like the Sams club brand. If you don't have a membership you can get a complimentary day pass and shop bulk ocassionally for non-perishable things or find someone who does have a membership and go get a few things when they go shopping.

Hope this helps.



answers from Detroit on

Can't help you on the bounce bar (I have no idea what that is), but I am a complete Aldi convert. I do my big grocery shop there and then pick up a couple of things I can't get there at Kroger. I usually spend about $70 every time I go, and that's for a family of 4.
It's a small grocery store (4 aisles) and you can't get specialty stuff there, but if you're not picky, it's worth the price. No name brands (or very few), but my husband (who is the pickiest out of all of us) has said he likes the Aldi brand better than the name brand sometimes.
Try it twice and see what you think. I think it's totally worth the savings. Some things to keep in mind:
1. Bring a quarter to "rent" the shopping cart. You get it back when you put your cart back.
2. Bring your own bags, or be ready to pay about 7 cents a piece for them.
3. Bring cash or a debit card. They don't take checks or credit.

Good luck!



answers from Detroit on

I shop at ALDI whenever I can. Yes I save money, but the catch is that their brands are strictly generic. But I find the quality of the food is just as good as the name brands, and I find real savings. if you know your prices you will save money. I find the prices cheaper than Save-a Lot, which is another competitor store in the area where I live.



answers from Detroit on

I use Bounce Bars. Do they work? Yes. Do they last as long as they say they do? Not in my house. I have a baby so I'm doing at least 1 load of laundry every day and for me it is never as long as it says on the package. I use it for convenience, but have never calculated if there is any cost savings.

As far as Aldi goes, if you do not have time to "shop the sales" like I do, then Aldi is probably your best bet. They have good prices on things, but I match up coupons with sales, and I find that I still get things cheaper elsewhere this way. But if I'm in a hurry, I need to get some things and I don't have time to look at my sale papers, then I go to Aldi. But like others here have said, they don't always carry everything you need, you have to bring your own bags or be prepared to pay for them, and you need a quarter to use a shopping cart!



answers from Kalamazoo on

I haven't tried the Bounce bar and probably won't because then you use it for every load whether you want to or not, so I doubt that it's cheaper. I cut my dryer sheets in half and use them primarily for fleece, pajamas, and sheets (only things that I notice usually get static in them) - jeans, towels, socks, don't need it. Towels are actually less absorbent if you use fabric softener on them. In the summer there is so much humidity in the air that I don't need to use fabric softener at all.

Shopping around for things that you have monthly bills for can save you a lot too. It takes a little leg work up front but then you save each month. Even if you had the best deal when you signed up for your phone, garbage, cable, etc, they most likely have been raising the rate on you over time. It's worth it to shop around every year or two and either move to another company that offers a better price (often a "new customer" rate), or if you really like the company you are with, tell them you know company xyz has a better deal and you will switch to them if they don't lower their rate.



answers from Detroit on

Hi Tyra---My only suggestion at this time is to eliminate dryer sheets entirely and use the dryer balls, I got mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Not only are they reusable for many loads, but you are also eliminating exposure to chemicals that are more than likely dangerous for your health. You may be interested in and learn more at this site: http://ewg.org/healthy-home-tips/checklist.

Never been to Aldi, but my grocery shopping strategy includes shopping for different items at different stores. There are variations between all of them on any one single item. Be sure that you shop the perimeter of the store as the healthy foods are located there. The more expensive prepared and convenience foods and less healthy foods are in the interior, for the most part. But, be sure to NOT skimp on healthy foods, fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds. When you invest in a healthy grocey budget, you will save money in the long run not having to go to the doctor as much or fighting a degenerative disease.

Let me know if you'd like to more about how to eat healthy on a budget, got lots of great ideas from a Naturopath I work with through a series of wellness classes she teaches. Good luck! D.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I can't comment on the Bounce Bar (do you mean the fabric softener thing? I don't use ANY fabric softener.)

But I am a huge ALDI fan. You will not see brands you see in your grocery store there. That's the idea. So don't expect that.
Take a quarter for a buggy (you get it back when you take the cart back)
Take your own bags. They sell bags but they don't give them away (Plastic .10/ea, paper .05/ea. I think.
Use cash or a debit card b/c they don't take credit cards.
Produce is VERY reasonable (pineapple-.99!!!)
I buy sugar, flour, cheese, fruit, lettuce, cucumbers, green peppers, red peppers, broccoli, melons, etc.
I also buy hot dog & hamburger bus, cresccent rolls, cinnamon rolls, ice cream, salt, pepper, condensed sweet milk (for 2 recipes), "cream of" soups for cooking, non stick spray, detergent, paper towels, tissues, paper plates, freezer/fridge bags, trash bags--what DON'T I get there? Not much. I have bought their meat--it's fine, but I prefer to go to our local farm for meat.
For about $50 you can fill your car's trunk!



answers from Cleveland on

I luv luv luv ALDI's and or SAV-A-LOT (same idea diff name) I buy alot of things there. But from what i understood they take foodstamps (if you qualify for them but not WIC.. kinda strange to me).

I go there first before I go the huge supermarket change to get things that I may still need and they dont have.

I've never had probs w/ their meat or frozen veggies, yogurts, cheeses, lunch meat.. etc. I only buy the fresh veggies (celery, grn peps..etc) if I plan on using them within a day or two, they seem to turn bad quicker :( You'll find out what you like and don't like. Personally I dont care for the side noodles they seem to starchy to me but usually the supermarket has a 10 for $10 deal so it's ok. Also sometimes you find stuff there and the next time you won't. As far as everything else it's a great place. Good Luck saving money :)




answers from Detroit on

If you have a he dryer unfortunalyt they don't but if you have a non he they are the bomb i love them. I had a dryer and used it it was so cool for 4 months i didn't use bounce sheets or downey than my dryer died and had to get a new one got a he and now it get s too hot in the he's and they melt in a week. Also I don't specially go to aldi's because the food choices are not appetizing to me. I use to shop at kroger but recently switched to Walmart. I do go back for certain stuff like good nights for the kids. I do walmart and save at least a 150.00 a week. You can also go on grocerygame.com and join there and they will also teach you how to save when I used it I saved 50 dollars at kroger. Also if you cut coupons i am sure you do but that helps and the only thing i like about kroger compaired to walmart is. the 5 for 5 or 10 for 10 sales because if you have a coupon and don't want them all you buy how many you want than go ahead and use coupon get even more off the 5 for 5. Stay away from Miejers. They are so high. Everytime i go there i spend 200.00 dollars on half of what i get at kroger or walmart. Good luck oh try to make stuff from scratch helps to like pancakes and cakes



answers from Lansing on

We have recently started changing our habits to make our money stretch further as we have less $$ and more people to support now. We are also looking to be more environmentlly responsible.

We ditched dryer sheets and no bounce bar--they contain all kinds of terrible chemicals and harmful effects. http://ecochildsplay.com/2009/01/16/toss-those-harmful-dr...

We have opted for 100% Natural Wool Dryer Balls, work awesome to soften clothes, reduce static and reduce drying time. We bought ours from Shauna at www.bouncing woolies.com

We have changed over to cloth diapers and wipes.
I made double sided flannel 12 x 12 cloth "paper" towels
Also made 8 x 8 cashmere "tissues"
We are contemplating "family cloth" essentially cloth TP
All of these items are also available for purchase online--I try to purchase from other work at home moms as much as possible.

We also use baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice for most of our cleaning.

There are so many things we can do to save money and to be more eco-responsible.

We are just getting started in this direction and hope to do much more in the near future.



answers from Allentown on

I shop at ALDI, but only for certain items which I buy by the case- canned mushrooms, black olives, green olives, green beans, corn, canned spaghetti sauce (for in a pinch). I never buy meats, cheese, dairy, or produce- they aren't great quality and I notice the difference.(I buy local when possible, and organic-no nitrate meats for myself and the kids) I also shop at a store called Amelia- they are a restaurant outlet store- I can get wings, chicken tenders, brats, etc. bulk and they are great tasting for my hubby.
I also do my household item shopping online, cheaper then my grocery store brands, and much healthier for my family. Products are concentrated so I save money and contribute toward the environmental solution! I shop before the 10th of the month and get 15% back to save on my next months order!
These are little things, but I have found that I am able to save my family money by doing taking these small steps!
I also wanted to add that I do just about ALL clothing shopping at consignment stores with the exception of socks and underwear. ;)




answers from Saginaw on

I usually base my dinner menu for the week, on what's on sale when you go grocery shopping.
I mean...there are some dishes I make with hamburger, some with boneless skinless chicken breast, some with other cuts of chicken, some with steaks...you get the idea. whatever is on sale, is whats for dinner!

I wait until the boneless skinless chicken goes on sale for like $1.79/lb (usually about once a month) and I buy alot of it, like 6 or more family packs! (we eat alot of chicken) I trim it and put it in ziplocs based on how many I usually use when making a meal, and freeze it. I NEVER pay full price for chicken. I just replenish the stock whenever there is a sale.



answers from Lansing on


There are many ways to save money. My biggest question is how much money do you spend on food each week and how many people are in your family? These numbers are constants and can't be changed and will determine your lowest spending point. For example, we hosted a foreign exchange student last year so our family went up by one person and our grocery bill also went up as a reflection of our family size.

But, I do have two ways you can save money:

1. Use half of the detergent you normally would for each load of laundry. See if there are any changes to how clean your clothes are afterward. I have been able to cut down the amount of detergent I use for each load and have saved a ton of money and our clothes are softer and just as clean as before.

2. Use vinegar and baking soda to clean rather than all of the expensive chemicals. Vinegar is a natural anti-bacterial and won't harm children or pets if they accidentally ingest a small amount. A mixture of vinegar and water can be used to clean floors, kitchen and bathroom doors, and walls. Baking soda is great at removing rust stains from kitchen sinks, food coloring stains from counter tops, and a host of other stains and sticky stuff. Both of these "chemicals" are very inexpensive and safer to use than many of the products in the chemical aisle.

Also, you can clean faucets and shower heads by mixing 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons baking soda into a plastic bag and then using a rubber band to attach the bag to the faucet or shower head. This mixture will remove the calcium buildup that makes the faucets and shower heads run slowly.

Otherwise, if you are having trouble with your food budget, I would recommend looking at the types of foods you are eating and tweaking your weekly menus to include more natural, seasonal ingredients. Also, by adding different types of legumes (beans and peas) to your diet along with brown rice you can extend many meals from one night to two or three. I have lots of recipe ideas I would be happy to share with you, just send me a private message.

We use leftovers from dinner for our lunches the next day. A bag of fresh veggies, fruit and the leftovers makes a great lunch. Snacks can be easy - yogurt, some rolled oats (uncooked), a touch of jelly or jam for flavor and a handful of almonds makes a great, long-lasting snack. Much better than a handful of Cheetos or other type of pre-made snack mix.

Good luck paring down your monthly budget.

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