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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. My brother and I are totally obsessed with Aldi’s and have made all of our friends and family obsessed as well!
    I advocate for this company everywhere that I go, as not only a very happy consumer, but also because I see how well the employees seem to be treated, appreciated and rewarded for their good work ethics and efforts- Very rare for the retail industry!- So, I totally encourage anyone seeking a decent environment for employment with a real chance for career advancement, to apply at Aldi’s…
    Because the bottom line is: The fact that all of the employees I have encountered are friendly, courteous, helpful & knowlegable Makes me believe that they are happy with their jobs and how they’re being treated by management… And to me, that says a hell of a lot about Aldi’s. I think this company really has it right & We Americans could learn a heck of a lot about how things should be done in order to stretch our “buck,” especially in these hard economic times!   Aldis’ founding family knew what they were doing and that’s exactly why they are perhaps wealthiest family in all of Germany!- “Hats off to you!”
    Now as far as the products themselves, I am constantly trying and exploring new things… And I must say, I have very few complaints! Many products like the condiments( ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, etc., taste like the brands we know and love)- (Heinz, Hellmann’s,
    French’s/Ploshman’s, “Respectively!”)… Other items like cookies, crackers, chips, ssnacks, eetc. can range from close seconds, to almost identical! The specialty cheeses are awesome! There bacon, butter, eggs, milk and that sort are excellent buys! The produce is usually fresh and at lower than market rates! Their  New York Strip and Ribeye steaks are actually as good as what you can get at Outback, or, other mainstream steakhouses! One of my favorite little sections is the fresh baked goods- Right down to the regular generic white classic bread- “So-ooo good!” All of the sweets in that section a pretty much phenomenal!… Now, since I’m being honest in my critique, please don’t buy all the good stuff and leave none for me

  2. The first time I shopped at Aldi’s I left! But my German-born neighbors kept raving about it. Now it’s where I shop first. I love the shoppers at Aldi’s — many more smiling faces, helpful and eager to share their favorites and little kids not so tired out that they are crying. We LOVE: sweet potato chips, ALL the produce except for the blah plum tomatoes, canned meats esp. chicken and dumplings, corned beef, and sardines, cheeses, you name it. We don’t buy eggs or 1/2 and 1/2 anywhere else, they are so fresh and the dairy has more dairy flavor…like the mid-west. Oh, and the holiday cookies and cakes, ooooh. We buy ALL our bread products there; hamburger and hot dog buns are way better than Ingles store brand at less than half price, and my fussy English muffin of a husband prefers their $1 English muffins to the $$$Thomas’s he used to insist on. And if you go early in the am you will see all the young chefs from good local restaurants buying the produce, but don’t tell on them! Oh, and don’t miss the affordable and always fresh portabella baby bells.

  3. If you like Aldi and live in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois or Ohio try out Ruler Foods if you have one in your area. They are owned by Kroger and have the same prices as Aldi but twice the variety. Anything that is not a national brand is a Kroger brand so you know the quality is there.

  4. I used to drive an hour one way to shop at Aldi – soooo glad they built one in town! My #1 fave is a Xmas special: chocolate truffles! I do probably 50% of my shopping there! Thanks for letting people know what a great deal Aldi is!

  5. The Aldis near me doesn’t have alcohol…too bad.  My faves are 1.  Moser Roth mint chocolate 2.  Terra Chips knock off for 2.79 3. 60% dark choc baking chips 4. Primo red pesto 5.  Organic chicken broth for 1.79 6. Fontina cheese wedge-when available 7. Tub of baby kale 8. Organic frozen blue berries 9. The frozen pizza with white mascarpone sauce and mushrooms is yum and 10.  Near Christmas I bought these snowball cookies like my mom and I used to make, then I kept buying them until they stopped carrying them…hello 5 lbs.  thank you, Aldis.

  6. Had my first Aldi’s experience today which is how I found this blog.  I searched for reviews because I was curious what others in my area would be saying because I left wondering how long before it would be closed. From the blog stories and the comments I’m not sure what they did with this location in east Louisville, KY.  Very little produce.  More than half of the what to buy produce list wasn’t there.   Maybe the stock was just that limited but it also seemed disorganized.  The opening isle didn’t really have a pattern to it.    Just checked the Aldi’s site – looks like this one for some reason decided not to have much there.  My mom was looking forward to it for the produce from when she was in Florida.

    • Hey Scott, that’s too bad the Louisville Aldi was a disappointment. Hopefully you’ll have a better experience at a different location!

  7. I haven’t had good luck with the mozzarella balls. My kids informed me that they didn’t taste like anything. My husband requested that I not buy the lunchmeat again, either.

    BUT, I agree on the produce, chips, granola bars, etc. They have gluten free and organic choices in those lines as well. The best item for me are the fruit popsicles. I can’t remember the brand, but the are four to a package, and come in strawberry and carribean.

    I used to be embarrassed to shop at ALDI, but now I enjoy it. Just don’t get there at the same time as the retirement home bus. You’ll wait in line a lonnnnnng time (but at least they take credit cards now!)

  8. I am a previous employee of Aldi and that was the first time I set foot in an Aldi. I was amazed at how happy my customers always were.  From young families to older people, there is something for everyone!  Even though it has been years since I have worked for Aldi, I am a devoted shopper.  I will suggest that you shop as soon as the ad is out as supplies on special items are limited.  I love the price on the speciality cheeses and butter!  My husband was a Heinz ketchup snob and has no clue that I have not purchased that brand in years!    I love the price of the chick peas and black beans!  Half of what I would pay at Hy Vee.  I even recently found grass fed beef at Aldi for a heck of a price.  The chicken stock and veggie stock is wonderful!  But my daughter’s favorite is the chocolate cake.  It taste like you bought it at a gourmet bakery!  You won’t believe how moist it is and the cost is way less than you could make it for.  We try to avoid sweets, but when we splurge this is it!  people, get out there and just go check out your local store!  I live by an Aldi and work next to two!  So I am always going to multiple locations to find a seasonal item that I loved.  Thanks Aldi for letting families enjoy some of the items we normally would not have been able to purchase  in the past!  And the organic section is growing by leaps and bounds!  Love, love, love Aldi’s!

  9. Regarding makeup, I noticed they carried the LORAC brand. I wadn’t familiar with them until I saw that brand in Costco and in several magazines. 

  10. We (aldi) are not owned by trader joes…but thank you for the article. Please note we get are getting more and more organic products all the time!  Aldi is a great place to save some money

  11. I purchased the Stonehill Seasoning packets for Beef Stew, at the end of the season and loved it so much. I went to all the Aldi’s in the Atlanta area and bought whatever was left, which was not many. I wrote to Aldi’s and unfortunately it was a limited item, and they did not have any more of this item. They believe it will be available in the future (I will buy 3 cases of it!). So my advice is, if you find something you like, buy all you can while available, since some of their items are limited. Thanks.

  12. I love their Simply Nature Multigrain tortilla chips and salsa. The Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Rice are delicious! Of course the produce is fab, but yes it can be over-ripe/under-ripe. That chocolate cake the lady mentioned earlier is completely better than a bakery cake (and I’m so picky about cake). The potatoes o brien are a great breakfast item! The Mama Cozzi pizzas are wonderful. The only 2 things that I’ve tried and hated were the instant mashed potatoes(too grainy) and the mac and cheese! 

  13. I have never thought j would ever go to Aldi I too made fun of it. Renting a cart, bagging your on groceries.. Not for me. However after seeing the ad this week I realized they have an organic section and blueberries are 1.29 that is 2.50 less than what we pay now. I decided to do some research and found this blog and read many of the success stores of Aldi. I will be going there for my first time this weekend! 

  14. Definitely buy the cheddar penguins! They’re like the love child of a chees-it and a goldfish!
    Aldi lured me in sir St Parick’s Day with 29¢/head cabbage and I haven’t been the same since. Besides the Penguins, my Aldi wins so far have been:faux all-fruit spread; fit & active protein bars; faux pop tarts; milk; eggs; kale; artisan lettuces; fresh mozzarella; bar cheeses; never any! brand all-natural nitrate-free lunch meats; spices; flour; sugar; yogurt (they even have a flips! knock off); cottage cheese; English muffins; mini bagels; cream cheese- light & regular; frozen pizzas- even the cheapest round one; mushrooms; baby carrots; sweet potatoes; oranges; ground turkey; string cheese; 2% milk American cheese singles; the specialty egg pastas (the bucatini is great); boxed Mac and cheese (we haven’t tried the cheapest one, only the mid-priced that comes in spirals, shells, or elbows); mini peppers- when they have them; potatoes;  diet cranberry juice drink; ice cream sandwiches; light Alfredo sauce; fit & active frozen turkey meatballs (must cook in liquid- soup or sauce- easy Italian wedding soup!), fit & active egg substitute, fit & active turkey hotdogs, garlic heads, enchilada kits, rice, diced tomatoes, canned beans.
    My only misses so far have been: fresh chicken breast- lots of solution, tastes overprocessed to me; light peaches & cream ice cream- tastes almost boozy- in a bad way (I actually threw this out although I know about the double guarantee, i didn’t want to deal); 3pk designer paper towels- awful! Shred and stick to everything.
    Only so-so: fit & active seasoned turkey tenderloin (tendons running through and processed meat tasting), bacon wrapped beef filets, pork chops, onions (they always go bad quickly), tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, sweet potatoes can be iffy, most produce is totally hit or miss.

    So the fresh meats & produce, not so much. Snacks, breads, dairy, frozen (except light ice cream!), and canned/jarred/boxed non-perishables get a thumbs up.

  15. My mom always raved about Aldi’s and when I tried her chicken Parmesan I decided to give it a try because the sauce was so good. I’m so glad there is an Aldi right near me. I completely agree about it not being a one-stop place (for some people), and I usually get about 50% of my groceries there.

    My faves:
    Eggs!!! Eggs are always cheaper here and recently have gone down from 1.49 to .99- can’t beat it!
    I love the cookies and cream ice-cream and coconut bars.
    Whipping cream! Way cheaper than buying in a regular grocery store.
    Kirkwood chicken breast strips. I prefer chicken breast fresh as the precooked tends to be more salty, but this product is affordable and convenient for salads.
    L’oven whole grain wheat bread.
    Bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breast!  Bought it once and it was heaven! I can’t seem to catch it anymore :(

    The list goes on as I have quite a few staples. If you are on a diet especially low-carb Aldi is great because they will have all your meat and veggie staples. But if you cook a lot you will likely need to go to a bigger store for other items for your recipes.

  16. Just wanted to share my Aldi experience with you! I was really amazed at the quality of the items that I purchased! I live in New Jersey and my local market is grossly overpriced and owned by Albertsons but called Acme. I usually only shop at acme because it’s so conveniently located – around the corner! But with that being said I am delighted at the quality of produce I purchased from Aldi!!! As a single mom of  a 6foot 13 year old growing boy and a 9 year old daughter, food is a major part of my monthly budget. We are for the most part healthier eaters. We loved the produce! Especially the gala apples, the blueberries, strawberries, asparagus and the pineapple!!! The Greek yogurt was better than chobani- and had a fresher creamier taste. The granola was wonderful, and butter and soft cheeses were also very high quality. I stocked my pantry with black beans, corn, tomatoes(Spanish and Italian varieties) olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, sundried tomatos, olive oil, pastas, and haven’t had one complaint about any of the products! I didn’t purchase any beef – because I’m not a beef lover. But the chicken breast was good and the chicken thighs were very good! The pork chops were amazing and the pork tenderloins were really soooo very good! My children really enjoyed the frozen pizzas and crunchy fish fillets and their prices made it easy for me to really stock up!!! I spent $200, but have enough food for  3 weeks. I usually spend about $400 at my regular market. Lastly, I love that you bag your own groceries in your own bags- wasting less is very important to our family. Our cashier was very polite and courteous! Aldi is my new favorite!!!

  17. I’m back!! :) 

    I was doing my weekly Aldi run and saw a woman checking out a beverage in a euro style glass bottle. I asked her where she found it and she pointed me to the right aisle. The product was Efferve sparkling lemonade (she had taken the last pink lemonade) and it comes in a reusable euro style glass bottle (so adorable). I had to let it get cold before I tried it and it was so good! Will definitely be a staple from now on.

    • Oooh, thanks for sharing, Nia! I’ll have to give it a try, especially since I’m a total sucker for some cute packaging. ; )

  18. Thanks so much for walking me through my first Aldi’s experience. I had never shopped at one because I was afraid I wouldn’t know what to do since things are so different from other grocery stores!  I decided to try shopping there today and sat in the parking lot for quite some time reading your blog in preparation for my visit. I found it by searching for “how to shop at Aldi’s” and was so happy to find just wat I needed to know. Thanks to you, things went pretty smoothly! There was only one awkward moment. It’s actually comical now but I was pretty embarrassed at the time. It involved an unfortunate incident with returning the cart. I had no idea how to do it and ended up creating a line of waiting customers and locking my groceries in the cart! I’ll know next time and there WILL be a next time since I ended up loving the place overall! Thanks again! 

    • Hey Rhonda, I’m so glad you found my guide helpful! And I know what you mean about your cart incident, that whole process is a little confusing at first! : )

  19. What you’ve mentioned about Aldi is the complete opposite from my local one. Here, the lines are really slow, the employees are not friendly and I just overall don’t like shopping there. I’ve also noticed that most things are cheaper elsewhere with coupons (or other store brands) thus I’d rather shop at someplace like Walmart or Target because Aldi doesn’t accept coupons and Walmart/Target will also price match if you bring in the Aldi ad. Also, DO NOT BUY THE SPLIT TOP WHEAT BREAD HERE! You really get what you pay for and it’s not that good. Also, it had blue spots appear on two different occasions BEFORE the expiration date had occurred. I’ve noticed at other local retailers (like Cub Foods) it might be a bit more expensive but the bread is fabulous and doesn’t have any blue spots appear even a few days after the expiration date (it just might get a bit harder). I think the main thing to buy at Aldi would be produce and maybe some staples (like sugar or flour). I’ve noticed that the baked chips are only about 1/6 of the bag which really doesn’t save you money and my dad doesn’t like the olive oil because he thinks it has a poor quality. Basically the only things we buy there are produce, bagels, and croissants (at times). 

    • Hey there, thanks for your tips. That’s too bad the Aldi near you is disappointing!

  20. thanks for this lovely series on ALDI. 

    we had three of them open up here in Huntsville and Madison, AL, a couple of years ago.
    I was totally psyched because I already had been told by a friend how awesome they can be.

    the reality is even better than he led me to believe.

    just last night, I paid a visit to the closest Aldi store, 
    and was delighted to find it had expanded the beer selection to include a couple of craft-type beers.

    although I was a bit skeptical of the seemingly-generic India Pale Ale on sale, 
    I gave it a go (for about $1.00 less than I’d pay for the least-inexpensive IPA at Walmart)  
    and was quite pleased to find it a pretty decent representative of the style.

    (would totally buy again.  it was quite nice to drink — JUST MAKE SURE IT’S COLD.  cannot stress that enough!
    it was kind of — no, VERY — not-so-good when warm.)

    it was all the nicer because I’d not enjoyed the other, more pedestrian beers from Aldi nearly as much.  

    • Sure, we’re happy you found it useful! :) Thanks for sharing your experience (we’ll have to try that IPA)!

  21. i shop  very  frequently  at  aldi.  uptown chicago  facing  new target …they  have  good  stuff at  good  prices..employees  are  very  nice  people..but i  noticed  an old  security guy  with glasses, whenever  i go shopping  he,s  standing  talking  to  ladies ,i said  ladies for  hours is  that  his  job ..sometimes when  theey finish  talking  he folowed ladies  staring  at  their  butts ..check  this  out  or  ask  ..once  he was  running  after  an old man who stole  sothing  maybe but  he  couldn,t  catch  him…  

  22. Hi,
    read all three pages, well done. Aldi came here to BG [OH] in 2007 and I lived close by so I went. It took a bit of time for them to get settled in and squared away, but I prefer them to Walmart/Kroger/etc as the prices are much better for an old tightwad bargain-hunter like me! I have an old-time butcher shop, a big lots, Aldi and a walmart within a mile, so everything’s covered. My Aldi faves–Frosted shredded wheat, the sourdough bread-$3/24oz loaf but worth it, dairy, meats [even better marked down] and as for wilted produce, you have to watch for that everywhere, it’s universal! Most of it is always good. And no, they don’t carry everything, if you want a left-handed turkey baster, go elsewhere. They carry one selection per item, not fifteen varieties of ketchup. That’s way they keep prices low! If you can get past that, you’ve got it made! And I’ve had two problems in 8 years and they were both resolved to my satisfaction instantly. I love Aldi’s, if you’ve never gone, give it a go. You won’t be disappointed.

  23. I love to buy pet food for my dog here. I have tried the canned dog food but I usually buy the snacks. The milk bones are half the price of Kroger and they are made in the USA. The Dental stick chews are much less and my dog loves them, they are now made in Ireland. They have large bags of their brand of “Pupperoni” and “Bacon Strips” but at HALF the price and they are made in the US.  My  dog is large so this really saves money.

    My favorites are also the Fresh Mozzerela balls, the jarred spaghetti sauce, which is much better than Prego and the others for only 0.99!. We love the canned Corned Beef Hash and save about $1.00 a can. It is not as salty as Hormel. The Turkey Breakfast sausages, I am sure they are made by Banquet as I compared the packages side by side and they are exactly the same, ingredients and nutrition wise. Their mild is not stated to be organic however it does state that the milk is free of hormones and antibiotics! Comparing the same organic, antibiotic free milks at Kroger it is a substantial savings. The spices are great prices but I also dislike the chili spice, not good at all. I also get Pineapples and watermelon in season here…much cheaper and excellent!

  24. I love Aldi but don’t buy the ground beef! It had a funny texture like it was mixed with filler or sawdust and it tasted awful! Other than that most of their products are very good. 

  25. I agree with most of your advice here–i shopped at ALDI when I lived up north and I shop there here in SC. They have raw sugar here–for the same price as the supers have white sugar, and they also have organic coconut oil and it is VERY reasonable–less than I have seen it elsewhere. What I don’t understand about your lists are: if you only buy organic meats, how do you rationalize bacon? Also, I don’t believe I’ve EVER seen jarred marinara (or any other jarred sauce) there that did not have loads of crap in it. Wait, I may be wrong–there might have been some with extra-virgin olive oil, real parm/romano and no sugar, now that I think of it. No disrespect intended here–just questioning. Love, love, LOVE their roasted garlic hummus–but have started making my own since we eat so much of it. Yes, there are things I plan to buy at ALDI just like there are other things only bought at other stores. All in all, I was so psyched to see a local one here. The produce is often second to none–and, I have seen organic bananas at least once in a while. Also, the clementines are SO much less expensive there. We go through bags and bags!!! Thanks for your site!!

  26. Oops–forgot one thing. Never bought meat there–probably paranoid since the recall a few years back. Generally don’t like pre-packed meat like that, though, once up north, there were 3-ounce filet steaks wrapped in bacon for like $1.79 each. Not super-tender, but better than what one would expect for a higher price. And, I got my salad-spinner (a really good one) there for under $6!!!

  27. Frozen green beans are AWESOME!!!

  28. I never thought I would be an Aldi shopper, and I only went in the first time because someone told me they had a special but on grass-fed ground beef.  Now I’m a devoted shopper.  Probably about 1/3 of my groceries come from there, but only because I do a lot of shopping w/ a local farm, Costco, and my Azure Standard co-op.   Some of my Aldi favorites:
    -Almond & Cashew butters
    -organic ketchup
    -Never Any brand deli ham and uncured bacon
    -“clean 15” fruits and veggies – always pick up pineapple, kiwi, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, red onions, bananas.
    -Lifeway Kefir, because it’s the best price I’ve found.
    -Deli sliced cheeses
    -Different specialty cheeses always find their way into my basket too.
    -Gluten free pasta, bread, and wraps
    -Organic tomato basil pasta sauce
    -Jumbo shrimp
    -frozen flounder
    -Paper towel – white 
    -Sandwich, storage, freezer bags
    -Chocolate bars (the pack of 5 smaller ones – dark & milk are both the best!)
    -Chocolate chips – cleaner list of ingredients than any national brand! 

  29. This series on Aldi’s is fantastic!!! I’m linking an article on my blog to your articles- I really do think Aldi’s should come with an ‘Intro to Aldi’ handout when you walk in.  Also- the Aldi in our area has been carrying tons of gluten free and organic items lately! Thanks again!

  30. I ALWAYS start at Aldi. I have to admit that it took me about 3 times before I was brave enough to buy anything but the essentials since you don’t know the names of most of the brands (they have a few well known brands) but once I dug in and started trying different products I was AMAZED. I have found their brands to be as good and in some cases better than the well known brands we all know. There are certainly exceptions but you’ll have to try for yourself. Nothing has been abhorrent but, for instance, I don’t care for many of the frozen Mama Cozzi’s frozen pizzas and I don’t like their butter for baking (but it’s fine for cooking and slathering on toast). I’ve been shopping here now for 4-5 years and I have been trying to get more family and friends to try it. Even when I tell them that they can save 40-50% off their grocery bill, they are still hesitant. I’m a gourmand and love to cook and bake (I have a baking degree) and they know that I have a higher standard. Why they won’t bite the bullet, I just don’t know but that’s their loss and it leaves the stores less crowded for the rest of us who have discovered the delights and simplicity of shopping here. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the influx of organic and more natural products and I love trying the different things that pop up on the shelves each week. I have a great time trying all the artisanal cheeses-particularly at the holidays and the hummus is always on my list. One product I wish they hadn’t changed is the shredded parmesan but I’ve sucked it up and buy the one they offer now though I’m still not happy about it. If you check out the labels you will find that MANY of the Aldi products have less and more natural ingredients- but, of course, it varies. I’m not crazy about their pasta sauces and their most prolific ice cream brand but the Specially Selected brand chocolate and vanilla are good. I tried one gelato and it was super sweet and not that great so I haven’t tried any others. Their fruit bars are good with natural flavors and chunks of fruit. I always buy the unsweetened original almond milk and their yogurts are good as well. I love the pita chips-they go with everything. I stay away from the coffee-I’m too particular to drink these. The meats are…OK but I haven’t been crazy about everything. I like the Naan and their higher quality tp is really good and about half the price. Try the sandwich and storage bags-nothing wrong with those. I’ve tried some of their candy and some is fine. Their chocolates I’ve tried do seem to be more of a European style. I’ve sampled many wines and they are decent drinking wine though nothing special that you’d want to serve your in-the-know wine buddies. They do have a big bottle of cabernet that I buy for about $6 that I use to make a killer sangria. The cereals have been hit and miss but they are mostly fine as are granola bars and the fit & active salad dressings. You won’t find much difference in the condiments and I buy a bag of the powdered sugar almost every time I go (cookie baking season is almost here). I don’t generally buy the flour and sugar as I like cane sugar (Domino’s) and an unbleached flour but I’ve used them in a pinch and they are fine for general purposes. I like the brown rice pasta and the whole wheat and regular for that matter-I don’t find a big difference in those. My friend swears by the seasonal frozen mussels. The frozen whole fruits are a good buy. I buy as much organic as I can so I always look for organic produce but will also buy non-organic if I’m there and I need something. You can find killer deals when the produce is in season-just check it. One of the things I love is that this is a small, easily navigable store and that makes me happy. I just don’t enjoy the huge stores and if I can get it at Aldi-I do. Don’t be afraid-JUST GIVE IT A TRY. There’s a great return policy so what do you have to loose?

  31. Processed food contains too much SALT and SUGAR. There are no options of NO or LOW SALT/SUGAR PRODUCTS.

  32. I used to not shop at aldis.  There are still some I don’t like.  Luckily I really like the one on my town.  One item I was unsatisfied with was their canned black olives.  In my opinions they were much softer than name brand and I prefer the olive that held its shape as I sliced it and not broke into pieces.  I find the lunch meat that is in the clear reusable containers of a little better quality than the plastic rezip ones.  Although the deli meat still isn’t great, however I much prefer the real sliced meat over the meat that looks formed into a circle and sliced.  I recently found smoked salmon at aldi that seems to be seasonal.  This is great though because it is a nice size for a couple meals or snacks for 1 person at a good price. Their cheez it type crackers I find are closer to cheez its than the cheese nips sold at other stores which makes me happy.  

  33. We shop at Aldi for most all of our pantry items. My husband is pretty picky but he likes the chicken an dumplings in the can and if you like corn beef hash that is another good buy. We are happy with all the canned goods veggies , fruit , tomato’s , beans .. My husband did not like there milk or cottage cheese he said it has a sour taste to it .. I didn’t notice this so you will have to see for yourself. The butter and eggs are a Great Buy. The Jumbo Shrimp is an Excellent buy and they taste really good. i buy Asparagus from the frozen section , we don’t care for canned its too mushy .  Our Aldi store now has Coconut Oil and that is a very good buy. I like to buy the pepper and sea salt grinders in the spice section , they also have mixed selection like garlic and sea salt which i purchased today .  We like the cinnamon rolls , English muffins and i got the  sliced lemon cake .. very good ..there cheese selection is great .. its a very good store . Some one above mentioned how the employee’s are happy and that is true in our store to . They are friendly and  seem to know right where every thing is if you can’t find what you need.  I’m a lot happier giving my hard earned money to Aldi’s then spending it at WalMart . Well i won’t go on a rant about them but i think a lot of you know what i mean . So Great Article and thanks for all your wonderful advice . 

  34. I love Aldi, but can’t do all of my grocery shopping there. The prices on produce (I live in Nebraska) especially when in season are outrageously less expensive than competitors like Hy Vee, Spartan Nash stores, Kroger, Target and even Walmart. I just bought 2 lbs of grapes for only $1.88 and usually I pay more than that for just 1 pound.

    Some of my favorites:
    -All of the produce. Especially berries – so cheap. Brussels sprouts, potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes, oranges. 
    -Wine! Bought a great bottle of prosecco for about $5.
    -Baking goods like baking soda, flour, sugar, baking chocolate.
    -Nuts, dried fruit and trail mixes – all are great, but I love the dry roasted peanuts. Not a lot of added sugar and taste great.
    -ALL dairy. I always stock up on butter.
    -Sparkling lemonade that comes in a cute glass bottle. Have found a nearly identical product at Trader Joe’s, with a different label. 
    -Bathroom items like pain relievers, soaps, face creams. They have some name brand products for good prices.
    -CANDY! You cannot beat the prices here. My favorite Haribo brand gummy bears are just 85 cents at Aldi and $1.50 everywhere else. 

    I love Aldi!! It is a different experience but always a good one. 

  35. Yes I love ALDI. Mostly great quality, good deals. I would just comment on the author’s suggestion to buy Tilapia. I think many people know, and am surprised the author is unaware, that Tilapia is allegedly a VERY undesirable fish to be avoided. Why? Because they are “farm raised” in Asia in vats of their own feces and urine. That’s what they eat and swim in all day. So….that’s what WE are eating.

    And beware the packaging will try to fool you into thinking it’s from the U.S. Unless it’s changed in teh past year 95% of it comes from Asia. The packaging may read “Manufactured in U.S.” but if you read more closely down farther it will read “Product of China” or whatever.
    You can research it but that’s the gist of it and I’ve read time and time again to avoid Tilapia. Though yes it tastes great, it’s nasty stuff.

  36. Our family loves Aldi and I’m on board with almost all of your post. I’ll add that in the frozen section, stuff that can’t be screwed up is good, but more complex items are meh. Example: the Potatoes O’Brien are amazing, hot pockets and frozen pizza they can keep. I almost exclusively buy from the seasonal frozen case though. I hear the take and bake pizza is remarkably better than Papa Murphy’s and some delivery places, but I have yet to try it.
    Then there is, the coffee. I have tried several varieties. I was a Gevalia snob until: 1) they discontinued Stockholm Roast, and 2) we had kids. Well, the Specially selected vacuum packed coffee is delightful. The red label one (a medium roast, regular) is the closest I have found to Gevalia Stockholm, and it is cheaper per ounce than Community coffee from Sam’s Club. The Barissimo varieties are also very good. I particularly like the Peruvian single origin (fair trade) and the medium roast fair trade, and at less than $4 for 12 oz of fair trade, it can’t be beat.
    One more bit to add: their juice is also very good. We buy the cran-grape and high pulp orange all the time. Also cheaper than Sam’s and Kroger. Also, it just so happens that in north Texas, WinCo foods has moved into the market, and Aldi is in a price war with them. So Milk is $0.99, eggs are $0.79, and butter is $1.99.

  37. Love so many of the food items The Specially Selected Caramel corn and nut mix os sooooooo delicious I can’t believe it..Love the raspberry vinaigrette so much I want to drink it!!! The organic salsa is wonderful and the crackers and cheeses…great rye bread..fantastic chicken salad …oh too many to list..The cookies and chocolate are top notch delicious and so is the ice cream……The butter pound cake is the best I’ve ever had from a store ..Do NOT like the canned soups or the ketchup but the mayo is great….NOT on the Cheerios but 2 $ real vanilla?? wow….Won’t buy the jarred peaches from China anymore..but they did taste fantastic..Garlic is from China more….No on the ground beef..yes on the chicken and pork..NO on Momma Cozi pizza but love the Simply Nature frozen pizza…

    BUT the thing I haven’t read is how great the NON food items are. Fantastic quality and prices!!…No like WAY!!!!!!!! The frying pans and the bath things and all of them I’ve tried are SO inexpensive and really really good quality…………Thanks Aldis!

  38. It might be time to do another Aldi round! They have added ALOT of organic items to their store!

  39. Thank you,. I  went there today and was overwhelmed and this is really helpful. 

  40. I just got some black truffle potato chips at aldis last week and they were a big hit !

  41. I love the Aldi’s here in MD. Like others I stock up on staples, produce, eggs, and baby wipes (great makeup removers). I am hesitant still about cleaning products. I have landed some great items on sale recently. A Thai sweet chili dipping sauce for .50; Fantastic on chicken strips. I also bought a set of flannel sheets for 5 bucks. I was afraid. Very afraid. Brought them home and washed them in hot water. They didn’t shrink at ALL and are arguably the softest flannel sheets in my linen collection.

  42. I live in Australia and we shop at Aldi a fair bit. Our cats love their cat biscuits (in the bag not the cardboard box) and now won’t even eat the slightly more expensive ‘Whiskas’ etc brands (woohoo!). The tinned stuff is hit and miss but that’s normal for them. The cat litter is a big money saver if your kitties are fussy like mine and like their trays emptied frequently! 
    I have a Labrador and they eat anything and everything so she’s not the best judge on dog food, but I also have a Beagle who is slightly more fussy. They will both eat the dry dog food but I find its not so good coming out the other end… Sorry TMI, but I’ve worked with dogs for 9 years so these are the things I think about lol 

    As for people stuff goes, I am not a fan of their milk – I like full cream and it just tastes watered down. Hubby loves their chocolate milk though. 
    Their potato gnocchi is amazeballs and I find their pasta sauces awesome (tomato based). I’m also a fan of their chocolate and they do also stock regular brands at cheaper prices here like Cadbury’s, but smaller blocks etc.
    Lastly, I also had a friend who works as a cleaner put me onto their cleaning products. These are awesome, especially their shower/mould products! 

  43. If you like girlscout thin mints they have an excellent version at Aldi and only $1.25 per package. Their granola bars (regular and chocolate dipped) are fantastic too. The kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and the Aldi brand is excellent and $1.79 a box. Chocolate, Milk. Eggs, Cream Cheese, Shredded Cheese,  Soft taco shells and butter are quality items too. The only thing so far I haven’t been a fan of was their pasta sauce. Love Aldi!

    Aldi’s 100% Whole Wheat Flour is not ground up finely enough, and has big bits of the whole grain floating in it. The flour is way too coarse, my breads never rise properly with this flour. They come out DRY, DRY, DRY, and always have a bitter taste. I have tried it many times and I’m a baker experienced enough to be a professional.  I use my regular recipes  which always come out great when I use name brand  100% whole wheat flour.
    Since flour is expensive at the non-discount grocery stores, I really do wish Aldi would find a major supplier such as gold medal to supply their whole wheat flour instead of this knock off, no name company who produces an inferior product for them. Until they switch, I will never buy it again from Aldi.

    • I use their brand of flour all the time, its perfectly fine. Of course im no where near as qualified with my opinion as you are, I just know what actually tastes good after I use it in a recipe.

  45. I have found lots of  German items in Aldi’s.  German chocolates, sour kraut, cookies and candies to name a few.  I love their pizzas.  The bottled peaches are to die for.  The wines are very good.  Keep in mine that if the tag reads Special buy  you might not see it again.  When I visit foreign countries I always go to the grocery stores.  That might be why I am so familiar with the German brands.  It is nice to push a cart that hasn’t been hit by a car.  The quarter deal eliminates this from happening .  You rock Aldi’s!  Thanks for coming to my little part of the world.

  46. Don’t buy the petfood! Definitely subpar and lacking nutrition. Cats got fatter and dog got super skinny.

  47. Dairy products are great including Lactose free milk and prices are much better than other grocery stores.

    Potato chips, corn chips, nuts, baking supplies, jam, pasta , bread, pastry excellent quality and price too.

    Produce is more variable, sometimes great quality and price, but not always.

    Did NOT care for the canned tomato products. Have not tried other canned veggies or fruit as a result.

    Have not tried meat or freezer items yet.

  48. You forgot to mention the Burman’s Hot Sauce!!! Tastes exactly the same as Frank’s Red Hot ?  And it’s $0.89 a bottle compared to $2.69 for the Frank’s.  I am a huge fan!!

  49. I LOVE Aldi!!! I too am in Australia and I love their baked beans, tunas, butters & olive oil marg, I love their cheeses…jut about everything! Oh I love their tomato sauce, and their pasta sauces. I especially love their chocolates :) I love their seasonal products, easter eggs, christmas stollen, saurkraut and red cabbage. My dogs love their treats & having 4 dogs, the treats go a long way at a small price. I also like their products – quality items…their 3x chopping boards, their cast iron cookware, lol as you can see I just LOVE ALDI!!!!!

  50. I am a new Aldi shopper and discovered today that Aldi’s butter is the very same as Publix butter! I thought they were packaged the same and upon inspection of the wrapper on each stick, sure enough, the plant number was the same! So all of the Publix-loyal shoppers should give it a chance!!