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:
Great post. I would like to add that Aldi’s block cheeses are, in my experience, exactly like the other grocery stores, at a steep discount. It is so expensive in other stores. I am a “block cheese” snob. I never buy bagged pre-shredded cheese (it is horrid). I always buy block, then grate it into a gallon ziploc bag, and freeze it until needed.
Other items I save HUGE on are fruit cups for the kids’ lunches, and most recently, the applesauce squeeze pouches.
The garlic chive pita chips are a favorite of mine. Our Aldi also recently started carrying Aldi’s label of Terra root vegetable chips.
The one thing I have been consistently disappointed in (at all 3 of my local Aldis) and don’t buy there anymore are the bananas. I don’t know if it’s because they are bagged, but they almost always have significant brown spots inside. The other produce is fantastic though.
So many awesome things to choose from … In no particular order – the string cheese (happy farms), the honey wheat pretzels, Dino’s and Shark’s fruit snacks, every single Clancy Brand chip, Savoritz cheese baked crackers – better than cheese nips or cheez-its, all Bakers Choice items, sugar free popsicles, strawberries, biscuits, bottled water, cashes, almonds, Kids Krunch tastes exactly like Cap’n Crunch!!! Fit & Active protein bars – especial double chocolate and Carmel and Choc. Fit & Active yogurts delicious too. L’Oven Fresh bread. Funny name – pretty good bread! Willow tissues. And boulder paper plates (get the better ones – still less than half the cost of name brands).
What not to buy – Summit GT Cola! Funny label “Performance driven energy” or “For taste and fun!” Ha ha ha …
Lunch Nate lunch meats not so good either.
Great posts ! Very entertaining and informative ! You should spell your name Al(d)i from now on!!!
Wow. That was gross. I am young but disabled and single, so I’m on a fixed income. This blog entry inspired me to go to Aldi. Big mistake. Gross gross gross. And I HAD to eat it cuz I’m on a weekly grocery budget. Subpar. Looks good from far but far from good, just yucky, like clothes from Deb. Makes me not wanna try other stuff on this blog, sorry!
They double your money back. Why didn’t you return your purchases?
Well if he ate it, he’s not going to be returning it! But there are definitely things NOT to buy at Aldi. Having said that, I’d love to know specifically which things this guy got that were subpar?
I live in Denmark and Aldi seems to be WAY more popular than in the US, judging by your posts.
I’ve never experienced an unclean Aldi store, EVER. Buying your own bag and packing it yourself? Standard practice in every single store here, Aldi or not. “Paying” for a cart? Standard practice as well. You must be very spoiled over there ;)
I love pretty much everything from Aldi but especially their toilet paper is cheap AND awesome :D And garlic bread. And diapers!
We are pretty much spoiled for choice especially where *I* live, with a Trader Joe’s and a Wegmans closer than Aldi. I shop at a farmstand for fruits and veggies. Having said that, there are a lot of things I always buy at Aldi: butter, milk, 1/2&1/2, crackers, Choceur milk chocolate & hazelnut bars, corn flakes, frozen and bake-at-home pizza, guacamole, dish detergent, chips, canned tuna, hot dogs/sausage, and condiments. Their specials are almost always worth getting as well; their recliners are as good as name brands and at half the price!
Having said that, there are a lot of things I would NEVER buy (again) at Aldi: seafood, bag bread, paper goods, olives, canned soups, ice cream products.
Wegmans has better quality stuff mostly, and actually beats Aldi price-wise on (FAR superior) frozen fish and block cheese. Their bulk salsa also works out cheaper and is at least as good. Wegmans’ store-brand cereals are also better and at the same price or cheaper.
It’s worth saying that Aldi tends not to have bulk stuff like white vinegar or bulk paper goods that wind up being cheaper AND better quality somewhere like Wegmans (or ShopRite.) And apart from the chicken tenders, I’d buy my meat elsewhere.
We just opened up a new Aldi here in Des Moines a couple months ago and they have an awesome produce section and a great smart and fit line. I also was hesitant to buy their milk as I’ve been an AE milk guy my whole life. I got their 1% and it really taste just like AE and I would be the first to tell you it didn’t . Great way to save a ton of money.
So yesterday I excitedly took my first trip to Aldis. Thanks to your posts I had my quarter, my bags and cash. The first thing I noticed was how dirty the store was. Not cluttered, but dirty. Secondly I had to search for prices. Some were above, some were below-which is great. However some were blocked with boxes and some were nonexistent. Prices were really comparable to my local Reasors. I did get cake mix for 18 cents less and chocolate chips for about a dollar less. I was looking forward to stocking up on produce. Not only were the prices not better, but the quality was awful. I reached for an eggplant and they were so over ripe that my hand sunk into mush. The avocados were 49 cents which is ten cents cheaper than Reasors, but they were tiny little rocks. Meat looked good but I had no ice chest and was honestly afraid to try it given the dirty conditions. I don’t anticipate going back.
I find that different Aldi’s have different levels of cleanliness. If I were you, I would try a different one and see if they are any better. Like you, I went into a “bad” one and wrote off Aldi’s as not for me. But last week a friend convinced me to go into a different one and it was a completely different experience. The store was clean, everything well marked, fresh produce and friendly staff. Not all locations are alike, I guess.
When this is the case, please say something to the manager about the store condition. Also, follow up by writing them via Facebook or their website. Be vocal..But be polite and kind even as you are factual. Things DO turn around.
I love Aldi! All Memphis stores are clean with very efficient and friendly staff. My favorite items: Aldi brand “Triscuits”, frozen green beans, blackberries, mini peppers, avocados, specialty cheeses such as Havarti, hummus, turkey bacon, mini-croissants, nuts, women’s razors, and paper plates. I even bought my daughter’s pink glow-in-the dark soccer ball there!
I stumbled across your Aldi series and blog while searching for a recipe.
I have to say, my wife and I have been doing the “Aldi first, then secondary grocery store afterwards” for decades now. We used to have to drive two towns over to get to an Aldi, but about eight years ago they began springing up closer to home.
You’re right on the money, they are designed for staples and do NOT carry everything. Our closest store is very clean, the people super friendly and fast, and we’re recognized as “regulars” since we shop there so often. We hit them first before finishing up at a Meijer or Kroger. The cost savings is great, and we’ve found items there that are cheaper and taste way better than the national brands. We are customers for life.
My mom and I just shopped at ALDI today. We are regular shoppers too. We also always supplement with another grocery, but noticed ALDI is adding more products each week! This trip we tried the K-cups for our Keurig coffee machine which are fabulous! Also, the refrigerated pizza is great! It is $4.99 ! There are several varieties and the quality is great!! Produce cannot be beat!!
I LOVE ALDI!
I have shopped @ Aldi for years.
I think their Old Fashioned Oatmeal, semi-sweet. Chocolate chips, pizzelles, and stuffed salmon (seasonal) are my go to items. Their produce is unbeatable for price and quality. Also, their people are like their products= Always the Best!
We buy their donut shop k-cup coffee it is great. I agree their fresh produce mini cucumbers, baby carrots, red and yellow peppers, all good. Frozen pancakes and syrup are great. We like the Fit and Active rice cakes regular size and the different flavored minis. The Fit and Active vanilla yogart awesome. We do watch the canned items a lot are from China.
By far my favorite store to shop in. There have only been a few products that I was not happy with but lets be honest that goes for just about any store you go in to. I love the canned fruit, if you read the labels most of them are packed in water not syrup. The dairy is wonderful. And as far as the avocados you want to buy them on the hard side otherwise you need to eat them ASAP. What I have noticed about the produce the earlier you get there the better, by the end of the day it is picked over.
Wow, Some of the negative comments surprise me. Our store is super clean!
I did want to mention something about the shopping and comparing brands…
Lays chips v Aldi for example. Besides the price difference (1.19 v 4.29) READ the ingredients. Believe it or not MANY of Aldi’s brands have better ingredients, less trans fats etc. On your first trip read and compare.
Our store offers so very much and allows us to donate several bags a week to our local shelter.
Ali, it was a great 3 part article (even thought I am a year late in reading it) and you hit on everything beautifully.
I would post my Aldi score for today if pics were allowed but can say…
.49 for feta or gorganzola crumbles
.74 jarred pasta/alfredo sauces
.99 coconut milk 1/2 gal.
.99 AMAZING German brats and hot dogs
.99 ORGANIC baby spinach
The list goes on and please note NONE is outdated food products!!
Go try Aldi’s…. if anything and it isn’t your thing, that is OK, buy a bag of goods for under $10.00 and donate it to your local shelter. THEY will appreciate it and could really use it!!
Thanks again Ali!
PS… Also do your research and check out reviews. Their laundry soap (Tandil) is compared to Tide and has some amazing reviews and lastly, The have Choceur chocolate bars (large ones) for an average of 1.99. Their white chocolate with cornflakes and coconut is to die for, great quality, made in Germany and sells out fast. So good people sell it on Ebay for $7.99!
Oh crap, my last mention (I swear)… look up their face lotion. It is all $3.99. It has SAME ingredients as the waaay much higher end brands and if you research it, you will find thousands of woman not only love it, but it sold out and was at one time going for $50.00 and up on Ebay as well…and selling at those prices too.
So, Aldis carries a wine-based Irish cream by O’Donnells and had it in a Strawberry flavor. I would like to find some more but Aldi’s doesn’t list their phone numbers anywhere. They only list on the web their home office number. How am I supposed to find a store that has some in stock? I don’t want to drive to every Aldi store in the Kansas City area. Any suggestions?
Actually you can find your Aldiss Facebook page and ask about it? I did that with a certain product and they immediately Gave me an answer. Unfortunately mine would not be restocked bc it didn’t sell well.
To my knowledge most Aldi stores do not have a phone number at all. I don’t think they have enough employees in store to merit keeping a phone around since they’d probably be too busy to answer.
My Aldi’s store in Ohio is very clean. I’ve bought all kinds of things from the store for years and have no complaints. Love the frozen chicken breasts and their canned goods.
LOVE this series on Aldi. I’m always surprised when people are shocked that I shop at Aldi’s….until I quote the prices I pay for eggs, butter, milk, cheese…the list goes on and on. Our Aldi’s is incredibly clean and no expired products. I do the majority of my shopping there. My family really does love the pre-made pizzas in the coolers. For 4.99 you can’t go wrong. But what keeps me coming back is the quality food at a low, low price. In my top 10 would be the marinaded Pork tenderloins, Black Forest ham lunch meat, Intermingle Red wine blend (5.49 people!) and Salt and Pepper kettle chips (just to name a few).
My hubs and I have had great success with their “brick” coffee. He does the shopping so I’m not sure what the label even looks like anymore but we get lots of compliments when we serve it to guests. His mom has even started purchasing from there. It’s vacuum sealed so feels very hard and is a rectangular package but once you open it just put it in an airtight container. I think it’s worth a try! Www.ibakeit/wordpress.com
The brand is specialty selected :)
Thanks so much for this info.! I have recently become an Aldi shopper and I am convinced! But trying to convince others has been difficult… I will forward this to them…
Some of their frozen specialty items are great! We recently had Spinach and Cheese Strudel,sort of like a flat spinach pie, and it said “Product of Italy”. Which brings me to my only complaint… The country of origin is not always on the items. Everything says Distributed by Aldi, and many items DO have country of origin. I am cautious about fish that come from certain countries, and I do not buy farmed fish. I tried to look it up online, but no luck. Maybe a phone call or two would get me some answers. Anyone have any info. on this?
The eggs are terrific and the milk is Growth-hormone free.
One item I found “iffy” is frozen vegetables… I have only tried them once, and found them sub-par, but would try again… and tea from store brand teabags was weak compared to Lipton…
I have found the employees super-helpful if I had a question, and the check-out goes quickly. Their return-and replace policy is great.
Our favorite frozen veggies are the string green beans. I just put them in a large sauté pan with some chicken stock and cover and steam/sauté stirring after a few minutes. Soooo good! The best I have had from anywhere else.
I agree. I always stock up on the frozen, long, thin green beans! They are awesome. My favorite way to cook them is to just steam them, add a little olive oil and lemon pepper. A nice addition is some goat cheese, which makes a lemon Hollandaise-type sauce- yum!!
The morning blend coffee is very similar to 8 o’clock original flavor. A few dollars cheaper too.
I echo just about everything in this article! When I moved to an Aldi area, I remember thinking, “Aldi is ~fine~. But I don’t see it becoming the main store I’d choose to shop at.”
HA! It is almost exclusively my go-to grocer! And my 5 year old loves to earn the 25 cents from our shopping cart (fetching and returning the cart is how he earns his allowance).
The only item on my don’t buy list is mushrooms. I have been burned far too many times. They smell, they don’t keep, they’re filthy.
I am a pretty big cereal eater, and their Chex fakies are SPOT ON. I love them, and their price!
Viva la Aldi!!
My man and I did a taste test between Aldi Peak Bar and Clif Bar and we liked them both! They are made will all the same ingredients and have the same nutritional value.
Aldi are expanding rapidly here in the UK so we gave them a try. Obvious pros and cons – totally no frills and no nonsense, no petrol station, no café, you’re in and out before you know it. What you see is what you get. OK, most of the brands are unknown to us but if they taste good, no problem. We’ve shopped at Sainsbury’s for some years and their prices seem to just go up and up, so the bill at Aldi is quite a revelation. We do need to “top up” at Sainsbury’s for the stuff they don’t do at Aldi, (or still prefer one over the other) but the result is a terrific saving – much more holiday spending money!
I always buy my olive oil there. It is so much less expensive and tastes good.
I am gonna try and find the almond butter and edamame though. Thanks for the tips on these.
I can across this post as I was planning a work event. I am in my 50’s raised on a farm and my folks shopped here for items we didn’t harvet on the farm or garden. I also raised my family on the Aldies budget and they are now raising their families on the Aldies budget. I can’t begin to put a dollar amount on what I have saved in the last 30 years. I do agree with everything that the website has talked about. I do wish they had larger packages of cookie dough.
Wow. I had always wanted to check out Aldi. The closest store is 30 miles away. I am in MA, and we have tons of grocery stores in the area. I was amazed at how cheap Aldi was. I got a cart full of groceries for $70.00. It would have cost me so much at other stores. I am going to try to get there once a month to stock up on staples.
It is my understanding that Aldi originated in Germany. LOVE THE STORE
I especially love their butter. It has an even better taste than BRAND NAMES. Sometimes I have to make the hubby turn around to go back cuz he was in la la land and not thinking. lol Found w have saved a lot of $$$$$ shopping at Aldis
Is their chicken good? And by good I mean good quality/healthy? Where do they get their chicken from?
I’m not sure where they source their chicken. But they have started offering organic chicken recently in some stores, which I really like!
I find there can be huge inconsistency in some Aldi products.
I was buying fit-and-active cream cheese and got some that was bitter/sour. Over several months I had some good and bad.
I noticed that the Sell by info on the back of the boxes was printed in 2 very different formats. One printed in larger type was always bad. The other was always good.
Clearly they have multiple suppliers. For some items, it’s a crap shot and can vary day to day. I suspect my area receives dairy products from multiple regional off-brand suppliers.
Just some more opinions, if you’re interested!!
Aldi brand Cheetos are disgusting. But their multigrain harvest cheddar chips are very yummy!
Did you know Aldi is a German company? The German cookies they get in are absolutely amazing. I forget what the cookie is called, as it’s in German, but it’s a yellow sandwich cookie with a chocolate layer in the middle. These are absolutely divine!
Does anyone know if aldi’s is still carrying the tandil regular(blue cap)laundry detergant? Here in Ocala, fl we have been to 2 stores and all they have is the tandil he type(silver cap) laundry detergant.
Aldi opened a store in my town right by my house about a year ago, and I was thrilled to try it out. With very few exceptions I have been totally impressed with the quality, especially in view of the low prices.
You asked about pet food, and that’s one of those exceptions. In spite of my most determined efforts, my cat just refuses to like their food! Ungrateful animal. Oh well, I have to go to Target or Kroger anyway for other things.
I came across your blog whilst googling Aldi baby food reviews…. I’m from Australia and soon realized you must be American by the different products you were talking about, but so many the same! I am a major Alsi advocate! We even have a bakery section at one of the local stores here, hot bread straight out of the oven YUM! I agree about the butter too, I always stock up on the unsalted butter. The Tandil dish wash is great and so is the powdered bleach in the purple container. The baby products are fantastic…. We use the wipes and baby formula which has been really good.
We have a great meat selection here, mostly grass fed options. The diary section here is also good. Just last Christmas they started there black label selections range which is a little more pricey but so worth it, the Christmas cake in the tin is Devine!
Anyway….thanks for the good read!
We love ALDI! Re: the coffee — we have switched completely to ALDI Fair Trade dark roast. We had been using Gevalia or Starbucks, but it is just as good and less than half the price. And organic! We are pretty picky about coffee, too.
One exception to our success with ALDI products — our cats totally rejected ALDI dry cat food — even the ferals we feed wouldn’t eat the stuff. They will eat the canned pet tuna, though.
Love the butter, the lactose-free milk, the specialty cheeses, the veggies, the canned stuff, the low sodium chicken broth, and the hamburger is great. We don’t use processed foods either, so couldn’t say about those. I didn’t have a problem with the chili powder, but I beef it up with extra garlic, oregano and cumin anyhow, and have never tried it all by itself. The other herbs are just fine.
I tried the jarred spaghetti sauce and found it a little sweet for my taste. I prefer to make my own. ALDI crushed tomatoes are fabulous for that — loaded with flavor.
I like ALDI mushrooms. You have to know how to buy them. if they are not firm, or if they are bloomed out or the stems are slightly shrunken away from the base, don’t buy them. All mushrooms are dirty when you buy them. The ones at our ALDI are from the Monterey mushroom plant in California, and I lived a few miles from that for years. It is absolutely the best quality.
“Again, to use chips as an example, often their bags are only about half full.”
I don’t understand this line because they sell these items by WEIGHT and the air in the bags helps keep the stuff from being crushed.
Very surprised to read the comments on here regarding Aldi’s dry cat food. My cat honestly can’t get enough of the stuff and basically won’t eat any other brand now! At $6 for a bag that would cost me $14 elsewhere, I’m not mad about it.
We are loyal Aldi shoppers! There are some items that are simply wonderful but then there are a few that definitely subpar. Here is my short list for all of the Illinois shoppers out there!
honey goat cheese
Lit and Fit turkey lunchmeat
Honey Wheat bread
sweet potato chips
100% apple juice
vanilla almond cereal
breakfast sausage links
cream of mushroom soups
mac n cheese
bacon wrapped filet
Winking Owl wine (used to be on the great list but has been causing serious headaches and stained teeth!)
As you can see, the good stuff out weighs the bad so there will always be a space in my heart for Aldi!
It’s funny what tastes different to people! WE LOVE LOVE LOVE the bacon wrapped filets and I have no complaints about the soups-although I only use them in recipes, never just eat them. I agree about the dishwasher soap-not good. I don’t particularly love the fabric softener either.
It’s interesting that you mention the wine causing issues. Our stores don’t carry wine (MD) but my sister (MI) always bought the winking owl wine and has recently had major problems with hives/headaches after drinking it. Hmmmmm
A few things I love at Aldi:
Steamable veggies (broccoli florets and corn)
Fresh mozzarella balls
Milk chocolate chips
Chicken tenders (fresh)
Frozen pizzas-we haven’t tried any we didn’t like and my kids actually prefer the Aldi brand over others.
Coconut granola cereal
Bread and rolls (they are recently making a large round loaf-can’t remember exact name) and it is TO DIE FOR
Cream cheese danish is THE BEST I’ve ever had!
Like many others, we don’t care for the “knock off” cereals or the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
LOVE LOVE LOVE Aldi!
Thanks for posting these articles. I am a HUGE fan of Aldi and at 51, have been shopping there for over 30 years. My dad introduced me to it as a teenager, and after that I became a fan. When I was first married (early 80s), my shopping budget was $25-30 a week. So Aldi was just about the only place I could go, spend my budget, fill my cart, and feed my little growing family of 4. 30 years later, I still budget and easily feed my family of 5 (sometimes 6 with the daughter’s boyfriend staying here) on my tight budget of about $400-500 a month. I do hit other stores when they are having meat sales or other sales, but I buy a majority of my items at Aldi.
I have found very few items that I won’t buy, and surprised myself buying some things and realizing how much better than name brand they are. One thing that wasn’t mentioned is the bread/bakery products. Their Oat Bran bread is so tasty and a staple at our house. Great for sandwiches!
You spoke about coffee. We have one of the pod coffee makers (less expensive brand of a Keurig) and I love the pod coffee at Aldi. It compares easily to the WalMart and other brands I’ve tried. I prefer mine lighter, and the Breakfast Blend is perfect.
Not sure how many of you use Velveeta, but I’m sure you’ve seen the prices get crazy for it. We only use Aldi brand and it melts just like Velveeta and tastes great too. We make a hamburger and cheese dip (kind of like Rotel but w/o peppers – I’m allergic) or I make homemade mac and cheese. Either way, it’s perfect for it!
This is the only store I buy my Thanksgiving turkey at. I usually pick up two! And when you can find the hams on sale, they are definitely a buy. And if you are on a budget, buy a couple of the canned hams (around 2.49 or so), chop it up into to chunks, add it to a crock post or heavy pan of pinto beans and it makes up the most fabulous tasting pot of ham and beans. My family can’t get enough of it!
I could say a lot more, but hate to take up all your time. Aldi is a fantastic store to shop at, and today with the prices going up all the time and having to watch our budgets, this is the perfect budget-friendly store. One I can walk out of with a FULL basket (sometimes two!) and barely spend over $100. If you haven’t yet – check it out – you and your billfold will be glad you did :)
I love Aldi’s. The only thing I ever found I didn’t care for was their own Pecan Sandies. All winter there produce is always cheaper then the other super markets. When they first opened I thought I’m going to have to pay for a cart and then put it back up by the store. It didn’t take long to get used to the cart situation.
I loooove Aldi! I started going there a little under a year ago and we have saved so much money! We probably get 90% of our grocery shopping done at Aldi and we have cut our grocery bill almost in half because of it! I love that I can go there and even get “extras” (desserts, etc.) and still have a small bill. The only things I can think of off the top of my head that we haven’t had much success with at Aldi are the ground turkey and one of the options for lunch meat. There is a container that’s a small square and there is a long, skinny container (like Oscar Mayer deli meat style) – I like the long, skinny option, but really do not like the small, square one. The only other things I don’t get at Aldi are shampoo, toilet paper (we love our Cottonelle) and bread. My neighbor introduced me to Aldi and I am so glad she did!
I LOVE Aldi! When my hubby and I bought our house 12 years ago, we were right down the street from one. I suggested going there and my hubby was appalled! He was not going into that “ghetto store!” I asked him to go one time and we didn’t have to go back if he didn’t want to. We loaded our cart over the top and spent about $250. This lasted us over 2 weeks and would have been about $500 at the chain grocery store. He was hooked! We get almost all of our stuff there now except for my gluten free stuff (I have celiac). They recently added a temporary gf line and the stuff is better than the other same items I buy at Meijer and obviously much cheaper! I am on a letter writing campaign now for them to keep the gf items and hope they follow in the way the did with the Fit and Active and the natural foods they are starting to carry. I love me some Aldi!!
Molly, I work for aldi and wanted to let you know we are working on getting enough producers to go full steam with our Gluten free line :)
My daughter ahs been able to get the GF foods at ALDI recently. We have been very happy with quality and price. Please encourage them to make this a line of regular products. She too needs for health reasons, not diet.
Aldi sells some great things for the bar area. I like their Irish Cream and, though not a beer drinker, I read that they have some outstanding beer (one of which I read had won some kind of award and was only available in Holland). That being said, on winter we had stray, emaciated cats in our yard so I bought a big, cheap bag of Aldi cat food for them. My own cat had been experiencing dermatological problems for over 14 years and the vet and I had tried all kinds of food (some VERY expensive). When I ran out of her “good food” (out of laziness) I gave her the Aldi for a few days. Her skin rash of 14 years disappeared. I researched their pet food supplier and found it to be a supplier that sold organic pet food. This was some time ago, however; I was quite impressed!
I love Aldi’s and do 90% of my grocery shopping there. Just can’t beat the prices on baking goods.
The ONLY product I have been dissatisfied with is their frozen garlic bread.
Try leaving your tomatoes in a fruit bowl rather than the fridge as the cooler temperature retards the development of flavour.
My only thing about the butter is when I try to melt it, it separates into water and whatever else is in it. So I avoid that now. But I love almost everything else there.
If the butter is separating into water, then you’re not buying butter but margarine. Butter doesn’t separate when melted.
We have an aldis, but I’ve only been in it once. I had a lot of the pre conceived ideas you mentioned. After reading your article, I can’t wait to go!!! I’ve even got my husband excited about going. :). I’ll share again after we get back home. Thank you!
We had quests from Sweden last year who had 2 small daughters who were gluten intolerant. I studied up on their problem and also investigated gluten-free products in advance of their arrival.
When they arrived, their parents told me about the difficulty of buying many gluten free items in Sweden. When I showed them the “tons” of products available here in the U.S. they were amazed. In particular, I showed them the large selection of gluten-free cereals we had, especially the chex cereals. The girls loved the chocolate flavored cereals.
When they went home, we sent them a couple of “care packages” with boxes of the cereals they loved so, but it was expensive to send the packages! I wrote to the General Mills Company requesting the reason that they don’t sell the chex cereals overseas, especially in Sweden. They replied that in 1999 they signed an agreement with a UK company not to sell their product over there and the UK company would do likewise here. I couldn’t believe what I was reading!
Then, I found the Millville cereals in our local Aldi’s and they had excellent chocolate flavored cereals that I knew the girls would love (I loved them). So I sent a “care package” to Sweden and, sure enough, they loved them. However, the shipping cost was extreme.
I have been trying to find any Aldi stores in Europe that sell the cereals because I’m sure the cost to send them to Sweden would be less. I recently returned from a trip to Holland, Sweden and Finland, but could not find the cereals in any Aldi stores in those countries. (In fact, in most of the Aldi stores, the workers did not even understand my use of the word “cereals” when inquiring about them.
Anyway, I would like to know if the German stores sell the Millville gluten-free cereals? I’m sure I could find friends in Germany to send some to our Sweden friends if I could find the cereals. I’m going to start asking our friends in Germany for help finding out. I am writing this comment to see if any one knows and to pass on the amazing facts that people in Europe seemingly cannot obtain needed products like we can in the U.S. for their health issues. Sweden, in particular, seems to worry alot about other country companies selling non-Swedish products like simple cereals. Feel lucky if you live in the U.S. and have more freedom of choice than in many places!
I like to shop at Aldi but it seems to be hit or miss, so I am trying to figure out which products I should get at Aldi and which I should get somewhere else. I tried the coffee a few years ago and did not like it but seeing all of the positive comments makes me want to try it again. I bought a bag of frozen broccoli and it was mostly stems.
I tried a goat cheese and spinach frozen pizza and it was absolutely delicious! Their version of nutrigrain bars are great. I like the bagged lettuce/salad.
I buy the frozen broccoli because I prefer the stems, LOL. This is the part of shopping at Aldi that some people have a hard time with. Each of us enjoy different things. I’m not one to go looking for organics so I have more choices I think. This is where I go for shopping for basics and have been known to buy canned veggies by the case since I don’t go grocery shopping every week. FYI, most cases can slide under a bed for storage.
I tried their version of pizza rolls and tossed them. This was the first time I have ever had to just not eat or use an item from Aldi. They had almost nothing in them which was probably a good thing since it had an “off” and smokey flavor in the filling.
When it comes time to do my holiday baking I get almost everything I need here. I trust their walnuts, honey, sugar, cinnamon, butter, and lemon juice in my traditional baklava. :)
Haha bcz we took our weekly Aldi trip earlier. Your list really jive with our shopping too. However, a few of the must haves for us are….. 4 cheese marinara sauce, cucumbers, red grapes, and the meat take and bake pizza!!
My grandparents shop at Aldi almost exclusively, so I eat a lot of their brands when I visit. Everything I’ve tried is good. I like their wheat bread — it’s a smaller bag than, say, Food Lion, but the bread is sturdy and tastes great. Their coffee is okay, and I LOVE the big bags of pasta you can get for a dollar. I personally recommend their pesto and their poppy seed salad dressing — I have yet to find another brand of poppy seed dressing that I love as much!