ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This is the third and final post in our ALDI 101 series. But I have to be honest — I kind of don’t want this series to end!
I have been having so much fun reading your comments over email, tweets, Facebook, Instagram, and in the comment section below about Aldi! From those of you who have been longtime fans and have shared your great tips and favorite items, to those of you who may have never set foot in an Aldi but are considering giving it a try, it has been so cool to hear about each person’s unique experience with the store. I have to admit that a reader totally made my day when she shared that she ventured into an Aldi for the first time this week, and loved it. That is so cool!!!! :-)
Well after our first two posts — Why I Shop At Aldi and How To Shop At Aldi — today is the post that gets down to specifics on what to buy at Aldi. I feel like I should probably give a huge disclaimer that this post is based 100% on personal opinion. I have all of my own quirks and preferences, and as you will see below, there is a large section of the store (cereals, many non-organic meats, pet food, makeup, etc.) that I have not tried because those areas do not fall in my normal grocery shopping. And I’m sure there are plenty of items where our opinions may just simply differ! The pina colada popsicles that I adore just may not be your thing.
So please feel free to take this post with a a big grain of Aldi’s sea salt. ;) My hope is to offer a few starting points, and then hopefully you can try some new items and form your own opinions. To organize this post, I have included a few brief thoughts about each section of the store, and then a brief “to buy” and “not to buy” list of specifics. As always, I would love to have you share your thoughts on what you like to buy in the comments below.
This concludes our Aldi series! Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and I look forward to resuming regular recipe posting with you tomorrow!
The pantry items are where I recommend people start at Aldi. Almost everything I’ve ever tried in this section is high-quality and consistently way cheaper than anyplace else. Granted, again, there is only one of most items to choose from. So you do not get the option of white whole wheat flour, unbleached or barley flour — there is usually bleached all-purpose flour, and that’s it. But this is an awesome section to stock your pantry, and even try a few of their specialty pantry items in the process.
What To Buy:
- baking essentials (flour, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, basic spices, condensed milk, etc.)
- real vanilla extract
- chocolate chips (semi-sweet, butterscotch,
- nuts for baking (pecan halves, walnuts, almonds, etc.)
- garlic vinagrette (with the garlic floating on the bottom!)
- Fit & Active light balsamic vinaigrette
- natural peanut butter
- clover honey
- whole wheat pasta
- potato gnocchi
- strawberry light & crispy cereal bars
- oatmeal (any kind — there are lots of options!)
- dried beans
What Not To Buy:
The only iffy pantry item I have tried at Aldi is their chili powder, but I’m a bit of a spice snob. I think that you get what you pay for anytime you buy $1 spices at a grocery store. I’m also not a big cereal connoisseur, but I do know that their version of Cheerio’s does not taste exactly like the original. Just like at any grocery store, many of the cereals or granola bars are made with extra sugar, so be sure to check out the labels if you’re going for healthy.
Snacks and Sweets
There is actually a really wide variety of snacks and sweets to choose from at Aldi! I don’t usually let myself buy potato chips at the grocery store, but when most all of their chips are under $2, I have to admit that I have now sampled quite a few. And they are pretty much awesome. :)
What To Buy:
- dry-roasted almonds
- waffle bowls
- tortilla chips (restaurant-style, blue and multigrain varieties)
- sweet potato chips
- kettle chips (sea salt & vinegar and jalapeno are my favs)
- moser roth chili chocolate bars
- anise pizzelle cookies
- Haribo cola candy
- chocolate-covered coffee beans
What Not To Buy:
I don’t have any no-buys in this section. I will just mention that occasionally the lower prices equal lower serving sizes in some products. Again, to use chips as an example, often their bags are only about half full. So plan accordingly. (Or just use it as an excuse for portion control!) ;)
Dairy & Refrigerated Items
This is one category where it is “to each his own”. The majority of Aldi’s dairy products are not organic, although more and more organic options (and alternatives like almond milk!) are starting to pop up. The refrigerated section also seems to have a lot of variety and turnover, so while there may be marscapone and brie some months, they might not be there year-round. Still, my cart is always filled with lots of items from this section each time I go! And I always stock up on butter each time I’m there. It tastes great, and it is always so cheap!
What To Buy:
- fresh mozzarella balls
- hummus (roasted red pepper, garlic and cayenne are my three favorites)
- fresh salsas (I love the medium)
- soft cheeses (gorgonzola, blue, goat and feta are usually available)
- cream cheese (regular and reduced-fat)
- greek yogurt (often they have the Fage brand, and I also like their black cherry)
- original organic soymilk
- natural almond milk
- skim milk, 2% milk, whole milk, half and half, heavy cream (none are organic, but they are pretty good!)
- cinnamon rolls
What Not To Buy:
Obviously if you are looking for organic, anything that is not marked as such is a no. I also think that many of their block cheeses are ok, but probably about worth what you pay for.
Ok, people, this has become my favorite section of Aldi! Trust me — there is some amazing produce to be found here at some of the best prices I’ve found. But here’s the deal…
You must be smart about choosing your produce. Just like at the normal grocery store, not every piece of produce is going to be perfectly ripe or at its peak season each time you visit. Case in point — Aldi can have incredible deals on avocadoes. (They are $0.19 each this week!) But if the avocado is wilted, or hard as a rock, it’s probably not a good day to buy it. The same goes for if you see any produce that looks super over- or under-ripe. If it looks iffy, you should probably wait until your next trip. Or you may need to eat it immediately, or wait a week for it to ripen if need be. But most of the time, I am completely impressed with their selection of ripe, affordable, delicious produce.
Most of their produce is also not organic, so just a heads-up if that is an important factor to you. Also many of their produce items (onions, zucchini, oranges, apples, kiwi, etc.) come in bags or in bulk. So there is not always the option to buy a single of some items.
Still, I always load up my cart with Aldi produce, so here are some of my favs!
What To Buy:
- baby carrots
- green onions
- sweet mini peppers
- specialty lettuce
- berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
- zucchini and yellow squash
What Not To Buy:
Again, anything that looks iffy. I find that their roma tomatoes typically are not very ripe or flavorful. And I would also offer a special note on the bananas — they are awesome, but often they are over- or under-ripe, so you need to eat them in the proper timeframe.
As I said above, I prefer to buy most of my meat organic, so I haven’t tried tons of Aldi’s refrigerated meat options. But they have some killer deals on meats, especially in their weekly fresh meat special buys! Be sure to always check for those specials when they are published each Wednesday, as they tend to disappear quickly! A lot of the meat at Aldi is also seasonal, so be sure around the holidays to check out their hams and turkeys. They are amazing!
What To Buy:
- turkey bacon
- ground turkey
- thick peppered bacon
- spiral-cut ham
What Not To Buy:
Just a heads up that their cheapest bacon is really thin and not very lean. I would “splurge” and go for one of the thicker cuts, since that is practically the same price as the inexpensive bacon at the regular grocery store!
Thus far, I have had 100% positive experiences with the canned and jarred section at Aldi. They have a great selection of your basic canned fruits and veggies, and lots of canned sauces and such to choose from. And the prices are fantastic! Once again, I would caution to read the labels. Their canned peaches have a ton of sugar, as the generic canned peaches do at most stores. And some of their sauces and soups contain more processed ingredients than I prefer, as is common in many jarred sauces. But still, don’t be scared of any of the canned produce from Aldi — it’s awesome!
What To Buy:
- canned veggies
- canned fruits
- canned beans
- jarred marinara sauce
What Not To Buy:
Anything that you might be iffy about being overly-processed. (Look for some Gimme Some Oven recipes for easy alternatives to make soups homemade!) And again, keep an eye on the sugar content with canned fruits.
To be honest, this is a section that I don’t know a ton about. I usually stick with pretty straight “ingredients” in the frozen food section — frozen fruit, fish, veggies, etc. So if any of you have insights on more of the prepared frozen foods, would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
What To Buy:
- jumbo shrimp
- fruit popsicles (pina colada, lime and strawberry)
- moose tracks ice cream
- frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries, etc.)
What Not To Buy:
Any of their frozen shrimp that are not “jumbo” are tiny. I have also not been super impressed with their frozen salmon. Like most salmon in that price range in any grocery stores, it seems a little lacking in flavor. Also a heads-up that most of the frozen meats are not organic.
Gah, I wish I had more experience here! I promise you guys I’m not a super health nut, but I also pretty much stick to water, tea, juices and coffee in life. So I have hardly any experience here when it comes to beverages. But my friends tell me that most of their options (like the Aldi brand of Crystal Light, teas and flavored sparkling waters) are pretty much identical to the originals. Here are a few that I have tried.
What To Buy:
- sparkling juice (I love all of them!)
- refrigerated 100% orange juice (go for the nicer of the two options for better flavor)
- Naked juice (when in stock)
- flavored sparkling water drinks
- iced tea
What Not To Buy:
I am definitely a big of a snob when it comes to my coffee. So I shy away from any of the bulk or super inexpensive coffee options, but I am sure they are comparable to their counterparts in the regular grocery store. I was also unimpressed by the cheap refrigerated orange juice — seemed to concentrate-y for me.
First of all, it’s important to point out that wine and liquors are not available in all Aldi’s. I live in KC, and our Kansas stores are not allowed to carry alcoholic beverages, but most of the Missouri locations do. So this will depend on your state.
A reminder to all who are iffy about the cheap wine at Aldi — this store is owned by the same company that is the home of 2-buck-chuck, Trader Joe’s! So before you immediately write off the drink section, I would recommend you try a bottle or two. In my experience, you get what you pay for and a little bit more. The $3 wines taste maybe like a normal $5 wine. The Bailey’s knockoff isn’t precisely like Bailey’s, but it’s darn close and a great deal for a fraction of the price. But my favorite of all time is available seasonally, and I wish it was offered yearround — Aldi’s sangria! Oh man. I never knew that I would like sangria from a bottle, but this stuff is crazy good. And you get an enormous bottle for like $4. If you see it, you must try it.
What To Buy:
- SANGRIA! (seasonal)
- wines in the $5-10 range
What Not To Buy:
I think you get what you pay for with the super inexpensive budget wines — they are definitely hit and miss.
For some reason, I held out on this section of Aldi for years, and now I have no idea why. They have some terrific household products at amazing discounts! Especially since I typically get annoyed at having to spend money on these things anyway, it’s awesome to have a more affordable option at Aldi. Two areas that I have not tried are their pet section and the makeup. Would love to have you chime in if you have experience with either of these!
What To Buy:
- disinfectant wipes
- plastic freezer and sandwich bags
- trash bags (they are thin, but they do the job)
- Crest toothpaste
- women’s razors
- pain relievers (ibuprofin, etc.)
- ultra soft & strong toilet paper
- paper towels and napkins
What Not To Buy:
You totally get what you pay for with the super cheap ($1 for 4 rolls) toilet paper. It is super thin and not very soft. But their thick TP is awesome!
My Top 10 Favorite Items At Aldi:
9. roasted red pepper hummus
8. fresh mozzarella balls
6. sea salt pita chips
5. pina colada popsicles
4. artichoke hearts
3. almond milk
Other ALDI 101 Articles:
I LOVE Aldi and am a huge fan of their Fit and Active line of products. However, I will never, ever again buy diet soda there. I know I should not drink diet soda at all…. but since I do, the Aldi brand just does not cut it. Thanks for highlighting such a wonderful grocery store! I don’t understand the stigma against it — it has saved us lots of money of the years.
I stock up on a lot of pantry items there, and I’m always amazed at how cheap their eggs are! Plus, I really like their seasonal section. They always have something interesting I want to try. I was giddy for days when I saw they had knock-off Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies there for a couple of weeks. I won’t tell you how many boxes I bought ;-)
@Trish Dollar General stores also sell knock-off GS cookies. They don’t have all of them, but they do have Thin Mints.
Thanks for the tip! I know where I’m heading to later :)
Thanks so much for this series. Im going to check out aldi this weekend for the first time!
Thanks so much for this series! I too love Aldi. We are coffee snobs as well, but i can vouch for their whole-bean coffee in bags. I wouldn’t use it for pour-over coffee, but it is a decent substitute for high-end drip coffee every once in a while.
You are spot on, Ali! I am a nut for their steam in bag edamame in a pod. I buy their chunk light tuna (because there is VISIBLE tuna fillet in the cans for $0.69/can) and their butter like I’m doomsday prepping. I love their tortilla chips and while their orange juice concentrate isn’t great for drinking, it’s FAB for cooking with- I like a dollop or two in the slow cooker with a pork shoulder. I’m not super huge on their fresh meats, but adore their frozen salmon and tilapia! ALDI is an important tool in feeding a family of 7!
Fit and Active Carmel Rice Cakes are fabulous!
Fresh Sweet Onion Salsa is the best ever!
I really loved to read your articles about shopping at Aldi. I live in Germany (so please excuse any mistakes in this post :-)) and we have an Aldi in nearly every city. I want to tell you a few funny stories about Aldi here in Germany.
For a long time Aldi was „the poor man store“ in Germany too. People came with their Mercedes, shopped and packed their goods in bags with a logo from a shop with a better reputation. Today nearly everybody shops at Aldi.
A few years ago, shopping at Aldi was very trendy. There were several Cooking Books published all focused on things you only could buy at Aldi, they were called „Aldidente“:
https://www.amazon.de/Aldidente-preiswert-schlemmen-Discounter-erforscht/dp/3821815892 or https://www.amazon.de/Aldidente-italiano-Susanne-Fr%C3%B6hlich/dp/3821835591/ref=pd_sim_b_7
The cashiers are really fast. In Germany Aldi refused to install scanner checkouts for a long time because it would have slow down the checkout-process. The cashiers had to tip a three-digit number for every item in the store, and they had to learn them before they were allowed to work at the checkout.
Please forgive me but I had to laugh a little bit about your „how to“, bringing your own shopping bags, the cart-debit system, not accepting credit cards and bagging your items by your own is normal for every store in Germany not only Aldi. I think, if I will come to the USA, I will really really need some advice for shopping at another store than Aldi.
I’ve shopped at Aldi on and off for awhile – it’s a great store! Thanks for reminding me of so many awesome reasons why I need to make it a priority to shop there all the time for the basics. Great series, Ali!
I love it! I think I might make a trip there today for some of this sangria you talk so highly of. We might need a little on Saturday :-)
This is my favorite post of the series yet, because this is always what I think about when trying out a new grocery store – what is worth buying, what is not. Even when something’s cheap, it’s the WORST when you try it and it’s just plain bad. This series has been SO helpful to me, and I’ve already got my first Aldi trip planned for this weekend – so pumped! Now on to making my list… :)
My husband and I love to shop at Aldi! We usually do most of our grocery shopping here. He loves the tortilla chips, better than name brand chips. The kosher dill pickles in the refrigerated section are the best pickles I ever tasted! We also buy the almond milk, butter and the blue, Gorgonzola and Parmesan cheeses here. Very delicious, especially on the salads made with their romaine lettuce in the same section. I can go on and on but I will add one final item, their chocolate is the bomb! And they have an awesome nut selection :) (ok, two final things)
I’ve only been to Adli once, but we’ve been talking about switching over recently to save money, and now we definitely will – thank you very much for sharing your advice in this series, I’ll let you know how the switch goes!
I’m kind of obsessed with aldi! My usual aldi buys are… Sweet potato chips, dark chocolate, cashews, pistachios, tortilla chips, dried cranberries, dried apricots, natural PB, milk, eggs, cheese, spinach, avocados (even if they are rock solid. I put them in a paper bag above the fridge a few days to ripen. Bonus is that they won’t be bruised) onions, celery, cabbage, oranges, baby carrots, frozen veggie pizza…. Then I zip across the street for fresh tortillas, cilantro, and garbanzo beans. Aldi takes some trial and error but once you know what you like there, it’s easy to save time and money by relying less on the big stores. Great series Ali :)
My son loves the Light and Fit Brand (I think that is what it is) of cereal with red berries (it’s like the Special K with red berries). We buy it by the case. It is actually cruncher and has more flavor and berries.
I buy the dog products including dry and canned food and my dogs love! And WAY cheaper!!! This has become my new favorite place!!!
Thanks so much for this series. I just moved to Missouri and we have an Aldi here. I had never heard of the store. I went once and it was a disaster because I didn’t know I needed a quarter for my cart, or that I needed my own bags, etc. But after reading all your articles I am definitely going to give Aldi another chance. Thanks!!!
Love this series on Aldi’s!
My top ten must buy things at Aldi are-
Deli sliced swiss cheese
Dry Pinto beans
Half & half
Fish oil/ vitamins
Salt & vinegar kettle chips
Anett- I can remember when our Aldi cashiers had to memorize the codes for all the items in the store too.
This is soooo great! I am making my first trip this weekend and I am so excited about being super prepared and saving some $! Thanks for sharing!
I just went today for the first time in over a decade thanks to your lovely reporting :) I couldn’t believe how much I was able to get for the money and was impressed especially by the meat section, which I had assumed would not be that good. I know that I easily saved $20 at least from what I would’ve paid at HyVee for the same items, and although I certainly can’t by everything there, I can at least spend a lot less time and money at the bigger grocery stores now. Love the Fit&Active brand too. Thanks so much for the inspiration!
The gallons of regular milk is a fantastic deal. I’ve rarely seen them priced over $3 a gallon lately. Insider tip: it is Prairie Farms milk! I don’t know how to explain it, but a local dairy farmer friend who sells to Prairie Farms explained the coding to me. It’s got a different label, but it’s the real deal for half the price!
I bought my husband their generic ground coffee and he didn’t like it at all. To the point that he threw it out, rather than drinking it. We figured it was worth a try though.
I’ve been an Aldi shopper for several years but just recently discovered how inexpensive their baby wipes are. They beat just about any sale at 72 wipes for $0.99, which works out to 1.4 cents per wipe!
I’m relatively new to the Aldi scene, but was immediately hooked after my first trip last fall. I was convinced to go by a coworker who was a former regional manager for Aldi. She shared stories of traveling to produce packing houses and seeing identical produce being packaged for Aldi, Kroger, etc, with a different price point placed on each item depending on its destination store! My family became hooked on the Choceur brand Belgiun Chocolate Truffles that were in stock over the holidays. They sold for $2.49 per box and truly rivaled Godiva! My brother-in-law, not knowing where they came from, said they were the best truffles he ever tasted. I ended up buying MANY of them for holiday entertaining and to use for teacher gifts. A pretty ribbon and a label further dressed up the packaging for gift giving. They were a hit! I can’t wait to try the Sangria.
While their milk is not organic, it is hormone free. I get it all the time, and use their whole milk and their plain yogurt with cultures to make homemade crockpot yogurt. I use their simply fruit spread to sweeten and flavor the yogurt. As cheap as Aldi’s little tubs of yogurt are, the homemade is even cheaper!
I find their coffee comparable to Folgers or Maxwell House in taste, but not in price. The BIG can is only $5.49!!! No amount of couponing or shopping at a warehouse club store will get it that cheap. If you want fancier coffee, they do have their brand of that as well, but I’ve never tried them.
I have just loved this series! It just affirms my love of Aldi even more :) Mine and my husband’s favorite buys are: eggs, parmesan cheese, greek yogurt (when I don’t make my own), edamame, sweet potato chips, frozen berries, avocados, and pickles! We just love Aldi and do most of our shopping there. I can say that every time I get pistachios they just don’t taste that great to us, but I also used to live in California so might be spoiled by the fresh nuts I got right on the side of the road from farms :)
Thanks Ali for this 3 part series! I am an Aldi regular, but must admit haven’t tried their pineapple. Shame. I also love their sangria. I did not know they were owned by the same people that own TJ’s. Now I love them even more. :)
So enjoyed reading this mini-series! I’m a huge fan of Aldi and have shopped there for years, but this post encouraged me to try a few things I’ve shied away from before– and I didn’t know about their app! That’s going to be super-helpful. :) One of my family’s favorites is Aldi’s spaghetti sauce– it’s SO cheap and tastes infinitely better than the expensive brand-name sauces I grew up with. Thanks again for the great series.
some of the items I have loved from Aldi’s –
1. Small dark chocolate bars in a 5pk I think.
2. Some kind of creamy coconut ice cream bar in a blue box. Think it’s different that your pina colada.
4. seasonal- jarred saurkraut
5. Seasonal – beer bread mix
6.Have tried their ground coffee that’s in a bag like Dunkin Donuts – very good
7. red pepper hummus -I agree
8. Weekly specials in the center,esp. kitchen deals – good buys
9. All the baking supplies and nuts
I agree with Cynthia! I love their bagged coffee. I use the ground coffee with the blue or red on the label. (opened my last package so I don’t know the name!) My daughter uses the donut shop coffee exclusively. They’re great and I’m a coffee snob! Plus the one pound package is $4.99.
I don’t shop there a lot but like their frozen cordon bleu chicken breasts ($1 each!) which my kids & husband like (def not organic, but easy & cheap for weeknight dinner!) Also like their chocolates, frozen berries & fresh strawberries when on sale. The hummus is very good. They unfortunately seem to never have romaine lettuce or green onions. I tried a frozen lasagna from there and we threw it out it was so bad. So definitely hit & miss. Was not impressed with the fresh meats.
I love Aldi. I have been excited to see a number of organics the last few times I have been to our store. Apples, lettuce, potatoes, and raw cheese were among the organics I found. They save me so much money, and the quality of most of their items is great.
Aldi is a weekly stop for me. I buy my monthly shopping elsewhere, but my weekly milk-eggs-bread shopping is at Aldi. Where else can I buy honey crisp apples for $1 a pound?! I haven’t been very adventurous with their prepared items, but I haven’t had anything bad in the dairy, produce, or meat departments. One item that I haven’t seen mentioned is the Southern Style Chicken Breast in the frozen foods. For $5, you get 9 large servings of seasoned, breaded chicken breasts. It is delicous and easy to prepare. Also, I buy whole frozen chickens there for less than $5. Score!
We LOVE the Southern Style Chicken Breasts! I get those and we have chicken sandwiches on the weekends for lunch or for a quick dinner during the week. They are really tasty! I used to buy the Tyson breaded chicken patties – not anymore!
I am fairly new to Aldi and like all stores and brands, you have to try it to see what you like and what you don’t. I definitely stock up on staples, cereal, eggs..etc… at Aldi. We like their juice, milk, most cereals, yogurt covered raisins…and I stocked up on canned pumpkin during the holidays!!! The only things I have had that I did not care for were the frozen tilapia and frozen salmon. And the bananas are always in the bags at my store so the inside ripens quicker than the outside so I have bought green bananas hoping to let them ripen at home only to find the inside had already ripened. But everything else I have tried has been great! Just a tip…I rarely have cash/change so I keep a quarter in my cup holder in the car and it is my “Aldi Quarter.”
I too have an “Aldi Quarter” in my van. :)
I keep my Aldi Quarter in the inside door handle of my car. :)
I really love that Aldi labels its food so well since my son has Celiac disease and I need to shop gluten-free. I don’t have to worry at Aldi–things are almost always labeled gluten-free if they are and it is easy to find it on the packaging. My kids are huge fans of the Fit and Active Fruit Strips. Really I just love Aldi though. I have gotten to the point where I too buy probably 50% of our groceries there. My weekly routine involves buying milk, eggs, produce, chips, fruit strips and whatever else I need for that week. I did not care for the flour tortillas at our store. I noticed they carried different ones in FL (versus OH where we live). We love the generic Chex from there, and it is gluten-free. I have the same issue at my store where the bananas are always in bags. Sometimes they are okay and sometimes they are not.
Just wanted to chime in on the pet product section. I’ve tried their cat litter and it has been hit or miss for me. The first time I bought it I really liked it and it was such a great deal! The next time I bought it I found it to be really dusty. Haven’t bought it in a while so might have to try it out again soon. Other than that I have really liked most things I’ve bought there! Thanks so much for your recommendations…looking forward to trying some new things out! Oh and my boyfriend really likes their brand of “Honey Smacks”, even says he likes it better than Kellogg’s.
I never comment (just found you via Pinterest) but I’ve got some Aldi tips as well. I loved it, stopped going for a couple years, and I’m back now that I’m a better label-reader.
Don’ts (in my opinion): Soda (brand used to be called GT Cola – or as we dubbed it “Gross Tasting” Cola!), Aldi Oreos (ew – get the original!)
Loves: fresh mozzerella, shredded cheese, cream cheese, butter, pasta, mushrooms, frozen tilapia, bags of baby spinach
They used to have yummy frozen crab cakes (2 for $3.99, I believe) which were great for work lunches, but I haven’t seen them in awhile.
I get the refrigerated biscuit dough, frozen italian meatballs, lobster tails, triscuit-like crackers, chili con queso cheese, cajun rice mixes, pasta side dishes, small salad bags, German beer, Riesling wine, O’Donnell’s Irish Cream, Lambrusco wine, and butterball turkeys. One time I was there and they were selling gallons of whole milk for a quarter!
I drive around my local area a lot for work and always made it a point to stop when I was near an Aldi (it was about 45 minutes away!) I was super happy when they opened one only about 20 minutes away and typically along my work route – as a result I stop by now once or twice a pay period.
I typically shop at Aldi for meats, canned goods, chocolate treats (soo good!), milk, eggs, and of course PRODUCE!
The chicken breast (when on sale, frequently I may add) is 30 cents cheaper a pound than the cheapest name brand store sale price. I buy several packages, rebag into smaller containers and freeze. I also pick up the manager’s specials on meats or anything else that is appealing – got corned beef for St. Patricks day for $7 and that was regular price.
Products I absolutely love:
The shampoo and condition – it is knock off of matrix biolage and smells just like it. I also realized that my wavy hair is less frizzy.
Cocoa Rice cereal – I have always preferred the off brand of this type of cereal. No idea why :)
Coffee House coffee – it tastes great. The ground type has an uneven grind (and I recently read a story about many companies mixing in cheaper ingredients to ground coffee to offset price so I may invest in a coffee grinder and buy the whole bean). Back on topic, the taste is great even if the ground is not very consistent.
(Brown Bag) Tortilla chips – we eat lots of tortilla chips (and pretzels) and my husband commented on how tasty they were. I don’t like them as much as they are more like a homemade type as they are thicker but that is a personal preference.
And of course the produce and fresh meats. The take and bake pizzas look great but I haven’t tried them yet.
After reading all of your tips, my husband and I decided to try out Aldi today. It was the first time I’ve been there in my adult life and I must say, I was pretty impressed!! The store was bright, clean, organized and the staff was crazy efficient! Since i was a child, Ive always viewed this store in a negative light… it was far different than i remember ( in a really good way).We were actually able to find organic milk and the avocados were a third of the price we pay at out local grocery store. I really had no idea you could buy so many staples and fresh items at Aldi!!Thanks so much for this series, it really opened my eyes!!
My friend and I bought the cheap-o ground coffee to be thrifty and we regretted every cup. I’m not a coffee snob by any means, but it was not good. I think after a couple pots we threw it out and stuck to just cheap brands from other stores.
Don’t throw anything from Aldi away. You can bring it back to the store with your receipt and they will refund your money! It makes all their products worth trying. If you just got a bad batch of something, you can get a new item AND your money back, if you so choose. I personally didn’t like their dishwasher liquid so I returned it and just got my money back. No need to get another one since I knew that bottle wouldn’t have been any better. You get what I mean.
if you don’t want it replaced, they will double the money they give you back… you can choose between money back and a replacement, or double money back! we have only done this once, but i was super impressed with their satisfaction guarantee policy.
I’m not sure if anyone commented on this, but in my area (southern Indiana) Aldi is the only store that has normal carts with TWO child seats side by side! At every other store you have to get the big ‘ol semi-carts to get an extra seat or two. So I think that’s awesome!
Yes, ours has these too! It threw me off the first time I went because I kept trying to put my baby in the middle but couldn’t buckle it right. Then I figured it out and thought it was so neat you could fit two kids in there!
YES! Great thinking Aldi! Multiple points on the double seats from this mom! :)
Aaah! How funny. Before I left Texas, we didn’t have Aldi there. Then I came here and was introduced to it (it’s a German company). At first I was very much, “Eeeeh? What?! No! I’m not shopping there! There’s a normal grocery store across the street!” but then I got it. And my what to buy list is pretty much the same as yours. The only thing I won’t buy at Aldi is their meat. It’s just not comparable to what I can get at a normal grocery store.
Well done, Ali! My daughter sent me your link to read. I will now enjoy your blog as well. I just wanted to add that I feel Aldi’s has really stepped up their product lines and offer so much more than years ago. It really just used to be the basics, but now they even carry real maple syrup and steel cut oats. A friend brought over a jar of name brand Tostitos salsa recently and the Aldi’s brand I had were in identical jars and the look and taste were the same as well. Also their specialty aisle has some amazing products with their ceramic cookware in blue and red for under $30 they feature in the fall a steal!
I just said the same thing. Growing up I was always told not to buy meat at Aldi’s but over the past few years I have noticed their meat selections have gotten so much better. We actually bought all of our employees hams and Butterballs Turkeys at our Aldi’s for their Xmas “gifts”. I think that Aldi’s has definitely stepped up their game.
So my hubs and I tried Aldi yesterday and I think I’m in love! We had a cartful and I was getting worried about how much the total would be and was then SHOCKED that it was only $45! I about fell over. We were able to get everything on our list too except for 2 things (air freshener and C batteries). Thanks for all the tips – they came in handy and we will definitely be going back!
I’ve been trying to post a comment since your first aldi post. I’ve never tried it, always been a bit leery and now I CANNOT WAIT TO GO!!! Thank you SO MUCH for putting this all together!!!!
I completely agree with your selections!!! I would add the lunchbox cheese snack sticks, both mozzarella and cheddar/mozzarella blends, I also use the canned soups (especially tomato, cream of chicken/mushroom to use in recipies.) The cranberry juice blends are fine too. I have recently tried their “silver” vitamins for those over 50…identical to the name brand. The bagged oranges last for weeks and are incredibly reasonable. I LOVE ALDI!
First off, I love Aldi, too! You are absolutely right about their produce, I buy berries and pineapple and most of my salad makings there. The ground beef is great, especially the higher (85% or 90%) percentages. I found the cubed steaks and stew meat to be gristly. The cheap wines are positively wonderful for cooking! My son loves to cook with wine and we keep a red and a white on hand for that. Before Christmas last year, they had a chicken salad with walnuts and cranberries in the deli section that was positively to die for! I miss it. Thanks for this series, I’m going to link to it on fb so my friends can see it!
#1 THEIR BRAND of ham, everyone including the one that HATES ham loves this ham at the family meals.
#3 baking supplies
#4 thin bagels…they just started carrying this locally…
Aldi is my favorite grocery store. I shop there every week. I find they have really good yogurt (Light & Fit) as well as the bagged salads. You can’t beat their prices and the quality of their food is comparable to any grocery story.
Don’t get jealous guys-I have an Aldi underneath my building where I live! I don’t even have to step outside, I take the shortcut through the garage! It’s awesome!
I was practically raised by Aldi and my parents always bought us snacks from there, we played outside a lot and burned it off and we turned out fine :-) Their canned tomato sauce is great for cooking. I agree with the items mentioned.
During Christmas at mine they bring in toys for the kids, my husband bought my 9 month old some V-Tech baby toys for fraction of the cost!
Hi Ali, I was so happy to read your 3-part series on Aldi. A few weeks ago, I discovered that there is an Aldi under construction just 15 minutes from my house. I had only just recently heard about it but did not know much about it, so your posts were very helpful. I am definitely going to check them out for certain grocery items once they open. Groceries have gotten so expensive and although I try to be careful, I could stand to reduce our grocery bill. I’ll be saving your posts for reference for when our new location opens here in Katy, Texas. Thanks!