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ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi

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Aldi 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

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!

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

Pantry Items

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
  • breadcrumbs
  • whole wheat pasta
  • potato gnocchi
  • strawberry light & crispy cereal bars
  • granola
  • oatmeal (any kind — there are lots of options!)
  • rice
  • 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.

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

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!)  ;)

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

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)
  • marscapone
  • 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!)
  • eggs
  • 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.

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |


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:

  • pineapple
  • lemons/limes
  • baby carrots
  • celery
  • mushrooms
  • green onions
  • sweet mini peppers
  • specialty lettuce
  • berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
  • zucchini and yellow squash
  • kiwi
  • pears
  • mangoes

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.

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

Refrigerated Meats

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
  • turkeys

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!

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

Canned/Jarred Goods

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.

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

Frozen Foods

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
  • tilapia
  • fruit popsicles (pina colada, lime and strawberry)
  • moose tracks ice cream
  • frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries, etc.)
  • edamame
  • asparagus

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.

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |


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.

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

Alcoholic Drinks

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
  • Bailey’s

What Not To Buy:

I think you get what you pay for with the super inexpensive budget wines — they are definitely hit and miss.

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

Household Items

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!

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

My Top 10 Favorite Items At Aldi:

10. edamame
9. roasted red pepper hummus
8. fresh mozzarella balls
7. sangria
6. sea salt pita chips
5. pina colada popsicles
4. artichoke hearts
3. almond milk
2. butter
1. pineapple

ALDI 101: A 3-Part Series On Shopping At Aldi |

Other ALDI 101 Articles:

ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi |

Thanks so much for following with the ALDI 101 series! Now it’s your turn to share — what are YOUR favorite things to buy at Aldi?

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537 comments on “ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi”

  1. Love this post! Stumbled upon it on pinterest and read it to validate my own love for Aldi.
    I would like to add that they have 100% juice juice boxes that I stock up on for my boys. It seems that they only carry apple juice and they used to have a 100% juice Fruit Punch option that I miss.
    I have not read the other comments or the earlier posts, but I have to add that the new stores that are popping up have an uneven number of aisles and I end up having to fight the flow of traffic which is a No-No in to Aldi regulars. So newbies, follow the flow and try not to back track with your cart if possible!

  2. I love, love, love ALDI! I stock up on real vanilla extract and butter there! I also really adore the produce section!

  3. One thing you should try for snack are their version of “Gushers” in my opinion they are waaay better than normal ones, and they have less sugar. Also there three pack peppers are always a good bet and their refrigerated crescent rolls taste better and are better for you.

  4. I absolutely love Aldi! My son has a milk allergy and instead of constantly checking the labels at WalMart or Kroger, at Aldi I can look for the “lactose free” label that is clearly marked. The fresh mozzarella balls is delicious and we use them on pizza but with my son’s allergy he couldn’t have pizza. Aldi has a solution for us! They have sliced lactose free mozzarella and now he can have a real pizza with real mozzarella! Who wants a pizza with cheddar cheese? Not this woman. Not only do they have lactose free labels but they clearly label things as gluten free in which my Aunt has celiac disease. Going on a gluten free diet can be insanely expensive but Aldi has CHEAP gluten free products which is nice! I do love that they import different foods from different countries as it was a German store. In my area we have mostly Latin or Oriental foods instead of German, Greek, English, Scottish, etc etc and it is nice to explore. Obviously I could keep going on and on about Aldi and the foods but I’d be here all day doing it!

  5. I shopped at the newest Aldi’s near me for the first time today. Boneless,skinless chicken breasts were on sale for a great price. And hopefully, I bought the sangria that you are talkig about. The brand name is Sangriana from Spain. It was $6.99 which isn’t bad. I’m also trying the natural peanut butter which tastes really good. Next time I’ll be a little more adventurous!

  6. I have been super impressed with Aldi baby wipes and diapers! I bought some when I didn’t want to make an extra trip to Wal-Mart and was pleasantly surprised! They work as well as Luvs (my fave brand) and no leaks! And wipes are 99 cents and diapers are $4.99. Can’t beat that! Also, the Chaza Moscato is yummy. :)

  7. We love there cereals!!

  8. Aldi carries tons do GLUTEN FREE items and they have been a life saver for me. What a deal…healthy food at a great savings. All the other charge me double for gluten free food. Thank you ALDI.

  9. Aldi is actually part of the company that owns Trader Joe’s. If you are familiar with both stores, you will see overlap in many of their products. The only difference is packaging. Of course Trader Joe’s has nearly all organic and “natural” products, but our local Aldi is starting to carry them now too.

  10. Biasini Lambusco is good stuff! So is the Chianti.
    My kids love tacos so i always stock up on tortillas. Not always perfectly shaped but about 1/3 what I pay elsewhere.
    The produce is usually nice, but I have never seen a ripe banana, always green! I even have a toaster from Aldi that I have had a couple years and it’s great! Oh my boys love Ramen and Aldi is by far the cheapest. I sometimes forget the gluten laden stuff! I make them Ramen poured over a bowl of fresh spinach tomato and onion.

  11. I always shop at Aldi first. Whatever I have left on my list that I can’t find at Aldi, I buy somewhere else. If I am not satisfied with the look/feel of the produce at our local Aldi, I take their circular to Walmart and price match.

  12. I once saw on the news that Aldi’s allows 30% worms and maggots in their canned mushrooms as they said it was a natural occurrence and could not be prevented. The same goes for their canned vegees but I did not hear what the bug was that was allowed in their canned vegees as I just had come in from the outside and turned on the news. Needless to say, what other allowances does Aldi’s allow that we know nothing about? I don’t shop their anymore! I now only eat fresh or frozen vegees however I still buy canned pumpkin for my dogs but not from Aldi’s.

    • You know that this is the case for every food supplier in the US, right?

    • I wish I could find that news report as I have never found maggots or worms in any of the canned goods I have purchased from Aldi’s. I highly doubt the authenticity of such a report, especially since it is the FDA that sets the allowable limits of insect parts in foods in the U.S., and not the store itself. So, if you are worried about bugs and worms in canned or processed foods, you most likely shouldn’t eat anything canned or processed, as the government sets that limit and all stores would allow it.

    • Proviide a source or STFU. “I once heard on the news..” should be treated as “I am making this up as I go”.

    • Actually, I just found a NY Times article from 2009 that said the FDA itself allows some maggots in canned mushrooms (20 maggots per 100 g mushrooms)and allows some bugs,worms, etc. in some other canned foods, so Aldi probably isn’t worse or better than any other store.

  13. Buy plants at Aldi. Annuals and holiday plants a week before a holidays!!!

  14. I love the bread, ill buy 4-5 loaves and freeze it. It stayed better than any high dollar bread I’ve seen! Milk, eggs and produce are also favorites.

  15. I am hesitant to post this as this is a “secret insider” Aldi whisper at our store…(we don’t want it to sell out). if you like Chick Filet chicken, Aldi carries an identical product. Southern Chicken (in the frozen section)…it is real chicken breast, no fillers…actual chicken breast…the number varies according to bag depending on the size of the chicken is breaded, seasoned and just cooks in the oven for 20-25 minutes (or you can fry but I like to bake it). You can serve as chick filet sandwiches on their awesome buns and cheese or you can serve as part of an Italian meal with their tortellini and sauce or whatever. The packaging is nothing that I would HAVE NEVER purchased but I was turned on by an employee (i’m a food snob). It really is awesome. Cook a piece for a great lunch with salad, cook for an entire dinner, cover with Sweet Baby Rays buffalo chicken sauce for an awesome salad with their blue cheese. I’m finishing a glass of wine right now and am feeling generous so I am going to post and hopefully you can enjoy before I become very protective of this ingredient and keep for our secret consumption!

    • Good to know! My husband and I have quit going there due to the company’s stance on equal rights, but doing the recipe from scratch is so time intensive that sometimes I want to just phone it in…this will be on the next shopping trip!

    • I am curious to find out what the company’s stance on equal rights is….please share!

    • Thanks for the suggestion regarding chicken breasts. I probably would never try them.

  16. This is a great list and thank you for sharing! Just a heads up on the Aldi Produce. Aldi sprays their produce with pesticides IN THE STORE before putting it out on the floor, which means they have a fresh coat of stuff you don’t want to ingest. Therefore, it is imperative that you thoroughly clean all of the produce before eating it. I only purchase produce there that can have the skin removed prior to eating.

    • ACK! Thanks for sharing that!

    • Where did you get the idea that Aldi sprays their produce with pesticide in the store? That’s absolutely ludicrous. What reason would they possibly have to do that? Pesticides are used on crops in the field to keep insects from destroying them.

    • There is no way any pesticide is sprayed on produce in a store backroom. This is not even close to true!
      OSHA and other agencies (health department, etc) would be ALL Over ALDI, and this has not happened.

      This post has to be a post from a competitive grocer’s employee, etc.

    • Worked at various Aldi’s as management for 14 years. The only pesticide used is an aerosol fly spray. Produce is displayed as received. It is handled piece by piece for defects. Our policy was “Picture Perfect Produce.” All stores receive their produce from central processing warehouses. Produce is packaged per buyers specs. The only difference is in how the produce is handled when it gets to the store. At Aldi, produce was to be sold from truck to truck for a majority of the items. Aldi voluntarily tags their produce as it’s received in the Aldi warehouse with self imposed expiry dates before shipping to the stores. Most items carry a 5 day expiry minus one day warehouse turnaround.

      Busy Aldis receive produce 3-5 times a week. The best time to shop produce is usually early in the morning when displays are at there freshest and not yet picked over.

      One last, Aldi started a new program 8-10 years ago. They choose several produce items each week to feature at a 50% discount off of their normally low prices. These items are usually in a set location each week, then move back to their normal location the next week. At the time I worked with Aldi they were taking a 5% markup on produce. It is pretty much a lost leader for them as much as they throw away to keep it looking good. If your experience with produce hasn’t been good at your local Aldi, then there is the presence of poor management.-)


  17. I <3 Aldi. When someone is sick or experiences a death in the family, my "go to" recipe is Shredded Chicken Tortilla Soup. I can run down Aisle 1, 2, 4 and hit the rear of the store. Quick and easy, all the ingredients needed. Tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, 2 cans tomato w/green chilis, 1 pkg taco seasoning, 1 box chicken broth, 1 can each, whole corn, black beans, white beans, seasoned chili beans, and 1 pkg boneless chicken breasts. Put chicken in crockpot. Add contents of all the cans, the chicken broth and the taco seasoning. Stir lightly. Cook 6 hours on low. Remove chicken, shred, and add back to soup. Serve with sour cream, cheese and chips. Everyone loves it and asks for the recipe.

  18. Their fish is farm raised and from China, not good. Most of what you say is accurate from my point of view.

  19. I drop a comment each time I especially enjoy a
    article on a website or I have something to valuable to contribute to
    the conversation. It’s triggered by the passion communicated in the article I read. And on this post ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi | Gimme Some Oven. I was moved enough to drop a leave a responsea response :-) I actually do have 2 questions for you if you usually do not mind. Is it only me or do a few of these comments appear like coming from brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting at additional sites, I would like to follow you. Could you make a list the complete urls of your social sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  20. For me, Aldi is the store that I compare all the other grocery stores against when my weekly ads come out. That is my standard. Thankfully in the town I live in, all of my grocery stores are in a small geographical area, so if I choose to get a few things that are on sale from a competitor, I don’t have to spend the money I am saving on gas just to get there.
    I also make it a personal challenge to find a way to make from scratch as many packaged and processed foods as I can. From chicken nuggets to mac and cheese, my frozen veggies are either from our garden or bought when they are on a GREAT sale and processed at home my me and my girls.
    90% of the bread products eaten in our home are made at home. We shop local and resource local. Sometimes our menu is dictated by what is in season and what is available, but for us this is a welcome challenge. We cruise through websites to find new, old, obscure and yummy-sounding recipes to use what is available around us.
    Aldi is an life-saving resource for things we use daily. Even though some offerings may need some extra attention, it is worth it to know that while saving our family money we are providing the most wholesome foods we can create.
    Bon Appetite fellow mommies, and good luck finding the good food deals!

  21. Thoughts on red meat quality?

    • I have bought their boneless pork ribs to make in the slow cooker. They were fabulous! I have also bought their pot roast (when they have it, it comes with all the vegetables and is much cheaper than the same item at Walmart). That was great also.

  22. I LOVE Aldi’s. I usually do a huge store order about every month and a half. When my daughter was a toddler I could get almost everything there for under a $100. Now I am doing good if I keep it under $180. That is 2 adults and 2 growing children. So many people have said to me “Why do you shop there? They don’t have store brands.” With the price of things you can buy one and try it. If you don’t like it give it away or throw it away. There is very few things I don’t or won’t buy from them. My husband is a bit of a cracker snob so he insists on the real Ritz crackers. My kids will eat Aldi’s brand. All there other crackers are great. We had some funky special bread and it tasted raw but if you read the packaging it was a special multi multi grain bread. My Husband wants me to get the oatmeal packs there because he says they are better than the name brands. And if you are really lucky you get deals like my steam mop for $40 or the maple tree I got for $.99. I recommend you try it. Thank goodness they have the large carts because I fill it to over flowing.

  23. I love Aldi’s, but before starting to shop there because my husband had been laid off i thought of it as the “poor people’s store” also. I had only been in there one time when my son was small. I was unaware that you had to have cash or debit card and your own bags. With a small kid in tow I was not impressed that i hauled him in and was only able to get a couple things. So i didn’t return for YEARS. (also at that time money was not really a issue in my shopping choices like it was later). At that time we started shopping there with the list then hitting Wal-Mart after. I found that it was awesome. Loved it. There are very few things that i have tried that i didn’t like. But that is the same with other store brands also. I don’t have to use coupons because Aldi’s is cheaper then brand names with the coupon and most times cheaper then the store brand items at other grocery stores. I liked this blog. Made me smile and remember my first experiences at Aldi’s. Now i am a shopping pro there. :)

  24. I first shopped at ALDI about 8 years ago when I decided to put my career on hold to stay home with my young children. My husband frowned when I came home from a grocery trip with ALDI bags because I think he thought it was a “poor people” store with low quality stuff, too. In any case I came in the house with probably 7 or 8 of the large plastic ALDI bags stuffed with items. He asked how much I spent and when I said less than $40 his jaw about dropped to the floor. Then I started unpacking the items and he couldn’t help but be impressed. Then as I prepared meals with the items over the next week, he was sold on it. I have shopped there for years. My favorite item to get at ALDI are the bags of frozen chicken breasts and chicken tenderloins. I have bought the same items at Walmart and Kroger and not only are they about $2 more per bag, they do not look near as appetizing. Walmart’s bagged frozen chicken breasts are almost greyish and I swear they look freezer burned & the ones I have gotten from Kroger at times have contained pretty small chicken breasts and are even more expensive than Walmart. The lower price and the better quality of the item at ALDI is the reason why I generally buy that item only at ALDI. Their frozen chicken looks fresh when frozen, after I thaw it out and am prepping it for cooking, it actually looks like pink healthy chicken.:0)

  25. You should reconsider your coffee snobbery. We’ve found Aldi’s ‘Specially Selected’ coffee in the vacuum block pack to be the best we’ve ever tasted. Many of our guests agree. We’ve made several converts after sampling our coffee. Don’t hesitate to try it. As usual with Aldi’s products, the quality is excellent.

  26. I do a good portion of my shopping at Aldis. Things I will not buy are the almond milk and the hamburger. Twice I have gotten hamburger there that has smelled and tasted awful. The almond milk I just don’t care for the taste. I really like the spaghetti sauce and there version of the laughing cow cheese. The frozen Mango is yummy, I leave it frozen and eat it. Overall it is a great place to shop.

  27. I do a good portion of my shopping at Aldis. Things I will not buy are the almond milk and the hamburger. Twice I have gotten hamburger there that has smelled and tasted awful. The almond milk I just don’t care for the taste. I really like the spaghetti sauce and there version of the laughing cow cheese. The frozen Mango is yummy, I leave it frozen and eat it. Overall it is a great place to shop.

  28. I have been shopping at Aldi for many years! I love many of their products but would like to share for any fellow “chocoholics” that they carry the absolute BEST chocolate around! Most of it is chocolate made in Germany and it beats the pants off most of the better chocolate in the regular grocery stores.

  29. I love Aldi’s also. Used them when stationed in Germany and was super excited when they came stateside!

    About the coffee…..My husband swears by their donut shop blend. As for other products, we have been very happy with their store products. Most of them are much better than big name store brands. I would strongly encourage everyone to give them a try and decide for yourselves!

  30. I know these posts are from April and it is now August, but our local Aldi has started stocking organic produce and packaged items. Just something to note. I also love the 99 cents pineapple!

  31. What do you think about thier bread by chance. Is the loves bread a good brand. Just bought the muti grain Love Brand and now have a toothache. Do they put alot of sugar in their bread.

    BY THE WAY, did like your website. Since I shop there at ALdi’s. Gracias.

    Elizabeth Reber (Liz)

    • I’m a real fan of Aldi for about 5 years. Prices are amazing and quality is as good or better than national brands.
      You asked about bread. I’ve tried their hot dog and hamburger buns for summer barbeques. They are usually super unbelieveably fresh and priced at about 79 cents for 8 rolls compared with about $2.50 for the big-store brand, or $1.99 on sale.
      I’m also very impressed with the quality and prices of their vitamins, razors, and make-up.
      I highly recommend Aldi, where you get SO much more for your grocery dollar.

    • I have been buying their bread products for years. Their bagels, English muffins, hoagie rolls and Oat Bran Bread (the one in the clear and blue wrapper)are very good. Maybe not as good as homemade, but, I don’t bake bread so…… Occasionally I buy their already baked cinnamon rolls and heat them in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds and my kids and their friends love them. Also, love their refrigerated cinnamon rolls that you bake—the ones in the cardboard tin like Pillsbury. They are very good. Again, though, I do not make cinnamon rolls from scratch.

    • Hate their breads, but I hate all pre-package breads in all stores. In Germany at Aldi’s, you can get fresh bread. Wonder why not in the US?

    • My kids and I love the 100% whole wheat mini bagels. A bag of 12 is around $2!

  32. As an exhausted broke grad student, grocery budgets are extremely important to me and I try to maximize quantity without reducing quality. For the first time I am living in a town that has an Aldi down the street and I’ve never shopped there before. I’ve heard bits and pieces and rumors but really no idea what to expect so THANK YOU for posting this 3-part series! I saw these posts linked in a comment on and am so appreciative, I really feel like I’m prepared to shop at Aldi and get the most out of my trip!

  33. My dad has done some research on the cereal. General mills owns the cereal so essentially you are eating the same exact thing. Because they do not allow the general mills name in germany (where aldi is based) they package it in different boxes. So if you get fruit rounds it is exactly the same as the fruit loops general mills produces

  34. I love ALDI’s! I love their pure maple syrup. I started shopping there about 6 years ago. Some of the meat is iffy but overall I am very pleased with the quality. I MUST try those Popsicles. Thanks for this post!

  35. I Love AldI, But I Don’tLiveClose To OneAnymore. Now That I Am Quitting Work To Attend School, I Am Going To MakeThe Trip At Least Once Month. At Christmas Time, TheyHaveBelgianTruffles Which AreToDieFor! I LoVe Some Of Their Products Better Than Some Name BranDs.

  36. Hi,
    Could you please tell me the ingredients in
    Aldi’s vinegar. Is it made from apples or wheat or grains, I’m not able to eat wheat or grains so this is important to me.
    Thanks so much.

  37. Have you tried their little packs (2 servings) of southwest grilled chicken (pre-cooked)in the cheese section? So ymmy on a salad…just microwave to heat! Yummy!
    What abouth those Skinny cow ice cream sandwhich rounds….chocolate mint!!!

  38. I just stumbled upon this post. I am about to be a stay at home mom, and while I have always loved Aldi, I just haven’t had time to shop there recently with a baby and limited time in my schedule to hit 2 grocery stores. I am super excited that I will now have time to do the 2 grocery store thing and can once again shop at Aldi! And it will be good for our budget since we’ll be decreasing our income with me staying home!

  39. Love Aldi’s! Their grapes are flavorful, the produce generally better than the big stores, packaged corn so-so. Chocolates, good quality! 12 Grain Bread is some of the best and $1.69 I believe. My purchases always include milk, produce, butter, other dairy/cheeses, some of their snacks, brownie/cake mixes, seasonings, and boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Oh, their cataloupes are many times better than elsewhere and if they have their gelato in, buy it! Same thing goes for their Berry Hill caramel sauce – excellent! My only negative experience was using their brand for crescent rolls and the clerk said she was surprised because they were always so good. Haven’t tried them again. My suggestion is that you will love the savings and quality!

  40. I agree with most everything you posted except the following:
    Their crackers are awful. I have had nearly all the crackers. The ones that are the worst are the wheat thin look-alikes and the Savoritz multi-grain crackers with sesame seeds. Just taste and texture is stale from the beginning, but really all the crackers taste less than marginal.

    Also, their fake Bailey’s called O’Donnell’s is horrible too and if you don’t refrigerate it immediately after opening it, it gets foul tasting quite quickly unlike Bailey’s although not a huge fan of Bailey’s either.

    Love their nuts selections. Extremely cheap and the 2# of cashews are an enormous bargain. I like, not love most of their processed cookies and snack cakes. Their chips are good, not great. Their pretzels are fantastic, the rods especially. Their cereal bars are good (fake Nutri grain). Yogurt is good, fake gogurt is great.

    I used to nearly extreme coupon with all but fruits and veggies (local huge farmer’s market) and find I don’t go to Kroger and Publix much at all except for the following: charmin toilet paper, viva & bounty paper towels, snack bags (for some reason they don’t carry snack bags, only sandwich size and larger), herbs/spices, cereals, crackers (still use coupons for all these and I like the taste and texture of the GM, post, Keebler, etc better).

  41. I enjoyed ready about Aldi store.I live in Birchwood TN. we have a aldi in Cleveland Tn. I finnaly tried it I too like the fruit when you can catch it when its good.i buy usually the spring water milk,half-and half eggs some frozen vegtables and pop-sicles too.have a very blessed life!

  42. I have to correct on your statement “this store is owned by the same company that is the home of 2-buck-chuck, Trader Joe’s!” I have always heard that once Trader Joe’s came to KC. So, I asked a friend of mine that works for TJ’s about it. They are owned by separate people, who are actually two brothers. Two brothers that do not even talk to each other. Yes, same concept that it is all direct from the manufactur, no middle man or distribution to keep the cost down low. The Aldi’s brother is very hands on in his business, while the Trader Joe’s brother is very hands off.

    • Actually – the article I just read on Forbes indicates that Aldi’s in general is pretty “hands-off” in it’s handling of TJ’s. Check it here:

    • I have to correct your statement… Aldi split into Aldi North and Aldi South (respectively) when the brother owners disagreed on whether to sell cigarettes in the 60’s. It did not make them enemies who never spoke. Aldi North bought Trader Joe’s, and it’s concept, in the 70’s. Aldi is the parent company to Trader Joe’s. Neither brother is hands on, they retired together in the 90’s and set up foundations that manage the companies.

  43. Thanks for the list! Heading there tomorrow.

  44. Liked your Aldi evaluation, I agree with all you had to say. An you did give me some info on items I have yet to try, thanks. Fruit and veg are different each time I go and so are the prices, but great. Got potatoes this week,5 lbs, they had a larger 7lb bag 2.99 I think. I have gotten baby carrots .49 and cucumbers .19 lb. This week Sugar Pops name brand about 1.50 cheaper than reg. groc. stores. I have bought the resturant type 5 shelf rack for about 20.00 or so, and saved on nice laundry containers with wheels and pull up handle(like luggage carrier) same brand as reg.groc. and dept. stores but 4.00 cheaper. And the 24 pak of pur water 2.29. Veg. chips are good, an my sister buys lots of their choc. products. They sometimes have large multi paks of the trail mix they sell in single paks at check out, very good. I did not like their brand of Cheerios (bland) an remember I got crackers somewhere I did not like, not sure if it was their brand..Thanks……….

  45. Liked your Aldi evaluation, I agree with all you had to say. An you did give me some info on items I have yet to try, thanks. Fruit and veg are different each time I go and so are the prices, but great. Got potatoes this week,5 lbs 1.49, they had a larger 7lb bag 2.99 I think. I have gotten baby carrots .49 and cucumbers .19 lb. This week Sugar Pops name brand about 1.50 cheaper than reg. groc. stores. I have bought the resturant type 5 shelf rack for about 20.00 or so, and saved on nice laundry containers with wheels and pull up handle(like luggage carrier) same brand as reg.groc. and dept. stores but 4.00 cheaper. And the 24 pak of pur water 2.29. Veg. chips are good, an my sister buys lots of their choc. products. They sometimes have large multi paks of the trail mix they sell in single paks at check out, very good. I did not like their brand of Cheerios (bland) an remember I got crackers somewhere I did not like, not sure if it was their brand..Thanks……….

  46. OOPs posted twice delete lst one, an I meant cucumbers .19 each.

  47. Don’t by the fresh pizza. It looks OK but it is by far the worst tasting pizza I have ever had. It was supposed to have sausage on it but it was some kind of mystery meat with no taste. We tried one slice and threw the rest out. Be careful what you buy at this place. Sav-A-Lot is a better deal.

    • On the contrary, their fresh (Mama Cozzi) pizzas are much better than the frozen ones available at Wegmans (in Rochester, NY). Of course, it’s a thin crust pizza, so you have to like that if you’re going to like their pizza. The Supreme is covered with more toppings than I’ve seen on any of the frozen brands, and many fresh take-out brands. I like to add some basil and some cheese, but it’s very enjoyable as is. And at $5.99 for a large pizza, it’s a bargain.

  48. What a fun read! There is an Aldi’s about 5 minutes away from my house and I have been shopping there ever since they opened about 3-4 years ago. We live in the land of the Pennsylvania Dutch and now the Amish have discovered Aldi’s! They arrive by vans, not buggies! Their neighbors drive them or they use shuttle services for the Amish community. They buy in bulk. I usually avoid getting in a line behind them. LOL!

  49. Shop at Aldi all the time.. Sunday is our produce delivery day and it is fresh and inexpensive.

    I am not a fan of there cheetos .. taste funny.
    Loved the Salt and Garlic grinder spice
    and the Mac and Cheese is good to.

  50. Aldi is owned by Aldi. Trader Joe’s is privately owned. They are not the same company, by any means. I’ve been shopping at Aldi forever. My husband is a German and when we go to visit family — that’s where you shop. Aldi has been around for many, many years in Europe. Something else that you might want to consider? Many of the broths, soups and canned goods are BETTER than national brands. Also, Aldi now carries an entire line of organic foods. :)

    • This is not true. Aldi and Trader Joe’s are sister companies, both privately owned by the German family of Theo Albrecht (since 1979).