Is everyone familiar with ALDI? I hope so, or this post isn’t going to make a lick of sense. Hopefully you have an ALDI market near your home and after reading this post you can rush out for all these delicious things I’m about to recommend.

I can feel some of you hesitating from here. Especially if you’re American, because ALDI isn’t like our usual supermarkets. First of all, you have to put a quarter into the grocery cart so you can free it from its chains. That feels a little weird, I know.

And then we walk into the store and we think, “Where’s the rest of the food? I see chocolate chips over here, but where are the rest of the chocolate chips? Where are all my brands?” We hunt around and realize ALDI offers only one choice for most foods. Instead of eggs from ten different companies taking up fifteen feet of cooler space, we see one brand of eggs.

Just one.

And then we panic for a minute because we wonder if we’ve really just wandered into the USSR under Communist rule. Before we have a full-blown anxiety issue and rush back out to the haven of the supermarket we know, we see the prices on those eggs and calculate the savings. We think maybe pretending to be Communist for just a few minutes might be worth it, so we stick around.

But then we wonder if these brands are worth any money at all. If I get these groceries home and they all taste terrible, I’ve just wasted $90 instead of saving $30. Not so smart, even for a faux-Communist.

That’s where this post comes in. Here are the top 10 things that I love at ALDI, and these will give you a good place to start. I think the taste is great and the savings are big enough to make it worth the effort of going to a store where you have to bag your own groceries.

top 10 things to buy at Aldi

 

  1. Milk, half-and-half, and heavy whipping cream. Delicious!
  2. Cheese. ALDI has a great selection on all kinds of cheese, from shredded cheddar to fancy goat cheese. Pick up an extra package of string cheese for the kids.
  3. Eggs.
  4. Butter.
  5. Spaghetti sauce.
  6. Frozen green beans. ALDI sells a green bean that’s much thinner than usual. Sauté them up with some almonds and kosher salt. You’ll weep a little at the deliciousness.
  7. Fruits and vegetables. Check the quality carefully, but the prices are worth the extra couple of seconds.
  8. Flour and sugars (regular, powdered, and brown).
  9. Cooking oils.
  10. Bread.

There, that will get you started. Excellent quality and excellent savings. But I know some of you are wondering the obvious–what didn’t make this list? What is not so good?

We’ve run into a few things we do not prefer. Ice cream, for example. Also their version of Kraft singles (or flat cheese as we call it in this house). I bought a package and the kids were both fussing at me, telling me the cheese was terrible.

I told them it was fine and they were being too picky. But then I ate a piece myself and realized they were right–the fake pasteurized cheese is not so good. And my husband isn’t so excited about the granola bars, either. But give them a try and see for yourself.

What do you think? Do you shop at ALDI? Do you even have one near you? What is your opinion?

 

24 Comments on Top 10 Things to Buy at ALDI

  1. Kathy Spaulding
    February 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm (4 years ago)

    Love Aldi! Braided pretzels are fab. And the beer that looks like German beer.

  2. Jessie Clemence
    February 10, 2014 at 12:21 pm (4 years ago)

    I did a little research on ALDI this morning, and they are huge in Germany. The owners are some of the richest people in the country!

    And a lot of their specialty items are gourmet German foods. So beer and pretzels are probably excellent.

  3. Anonymous
    February 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm (4 years ago)

    Are these foods free of GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, chemicals & pesticides?

  4. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
    February 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm (4 years ago)

    We don’t have Aldi’s, but Im sure we have something similar. I smiled at the flat cheese.. my kids always called the singles “cheese flaps”. We haven’t bought them in a long time, the kids now prefer real cheese sliced, but in their younger years, they were a treat.

  5. Jessie Clemence
    February 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm (4 years ago)

    Cheese flaps! I love it. They do flap around pretty well, given the right amount of energy. 🙂

  6. Jessie Clemence
    February 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm (4 years ago)

    Nope! But neither is the food we buy at the bigger stores. 🙂

  7. Anonymous
    February 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm (4 years ago)

    I believe that ALDI is one of the biggest store chains in the world. We love the store! It has slowly become our main source of grocery shopping. We stop there every week. I agree on all your 10 points. Except the ice cream. We like it. There are a few things that we’ve tried from there and we will not buy again. I just wish they took credit cards :(. But it must keep their costs down. I love some of their extra items that they offer differently each week. We purchased a computer there once and it lasted several years.

    It does remind me of the “soup” episode of Seinfeld when checking out of the store. You don’t have cash? Step aside, Maam!

  8. Jessie Clemence
    February 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm (4 years ago)

    Maybe I just need to try the ice cream again. The one time we tried it no one was impressed.

    I have never seen computers there, but I do love the new variety each week. Lawn chairs! Face masks! Humidifiers! 🙂

  9. Anne
    February 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm (4 years ago)

    I always have their tortilla chips and salsa stocked in the pantry. They also have good specialty cheeses (brie, goat, etc) for about half the price of Meijer. Also, for about 6 months last year, my Aldi had milk on sale for $1.69. The next six months they had eggs on sale for $.69. IT WAS THE BEST and now I’m totally hooked on Aldi shopping so I guess their sale worked?

  10. Jessie Clemence
    February 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm (4 years ago)

    I think it worked! I get so mad at Meijer now when I look at the milk. Why, why does it have to cost so much more?

    Of course, I was talking to a friend the other day who knows a family that only drinks organic milk–at $8 a gallon!. Makes Meijer milk seem cheap.

  11. muddledmom
    February 10, 2014 at 2:20 pm (4 years ago)

    We have one and I’ve gone in once. I have to say I prefer selection. But I went to a party where someone offered their cheese and it was really, really good. Good enough to make me shop for it. I didn’t know about the carts though. I never, ever have quarters. I have to admit I would turn around and walk out of the store if I needed a cart and it required a quarter!

  12. Jessie Clemence
    February 10, 2014 at 3:03 pm (4 years ago)

    I know! Now I keep two quarters hidden in the car. Whenever my daughter asks for popcorn money I tell her she can’t have my ALDI quarters. 🙂

  13. Gabrielle Schroader
    February 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm (4 years ago)

    Love Aldi. I keep a quarter in my van in a special spot, and the kids know it’s the “Aldi quarter”. Other things I love about Aldi – 1)Only 5 isles, so you are in and out fast. 2)Fastest checkout in the midwest! Everything is prepriced, so the cashiers just zip everthing through in no time. Even when I think a line looks long, I get checked out in 5 minutes. 3)I love my own reusable grocery bags and I like bagging my own groceries so I can put all my produce in one bag, all my bread in another bag, etc. 4)The limited selection is a blessing. No more price comparision of 8 different brands across 5 different sizes of the same product. 5)Their organic line of products seems to be growing and is very reasonable. 6)Their snack food prices are the best I’ve seen, aside from Big Lots. 7)Whenever we try something new from Aldi, 9 times out of 10 we love the quality of the product.
    Some cons: 1)The produce can be hit or miss. You must check it carefully. 2)Their limited selection can be a hinderance when you want a specific item. For example, they don’t carry decaf tea bags or pull-up type training pants. (Although back in the day I used their diapers and I was very happy with them. No leaks.)

  14. Cindy Stille Bultema
    February 10, 2014 at 4:06 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m trying to get into the Aldi routine. Seems like I usually forget my quarter, or bags, or something — but I’m never disappointed when I go. My good friend works there so she gave me a personal tour and gave me lots of tips. She also reminded me of their guarantee. If you don’t like anything (like the flap cheese) bring it back, and they’ll cheerfully give you a refund. I’ve found Aldi’s to be a super place to fill up a banana box (another tip from my friend) with food for my son in college. They love my care packages — and I love the amazing prices!

  15. Jessie Clemence
    February 10, 2014 at 4:51 pm (4 years ago)

    I forget about that guarantee. I should have taken back the flat cheese, for sure.

    You reminded me that I need to get a care package out to some of the college kids from church!

  16. Jessie Clemence
    February 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm (4 years ago)

    Another good point–the small size of the stores is a blessing! Fast, fast, fast!

  17. Jessie Clemence
    February 10, 2014 at 4:54 pm (4 years ago)

    And this just occurred to me–the internet informs me that ALDI (or part of it) owns Trader Joes. I thought that was a weird, but healthy, connection.

  18. debirussell
    February 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm (4 years ago)

    We have one in our town and I have shopped it once or twice. For me, the savings weren’t necessarily worth the seperate trip across town (ours is about 30 minutes from me) as a full time working mama. But. I feel a little inspired by your top 10 list to give it another shot. Thanks for a helpful post!

  19. Jessie Clemence
    February 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm (4 years ago)

    You’re welcome! There are times when I need what the big store has to offer, like gluten free pasta or something. And you’re right–sometimes the savings isn’t worth the separate trip.

    But sometimes I do shop in bulk there for the month. That cuts down on time issue.

  20. Anonymous
    February 10, 2014 at 11:06 pm (4 years ago)

    I love shopping at Aldi. I shop for just my daughter and I so trying to save money by purchasing in bulk at a warehouse club does not work for us. The selection at Aldi is great, I don’t need an entire aisle of boxed cereal to choose from, they have just the right amount of product. Love their produce, just purchased avocados for .69 each…I know crazy good prices.

    We are not red meat eaters and I have to say their turkey bacon, turkey sausage and ground turkey are great and always in stock.

    Our Aldi just started to carry organic produce…and I thought they couldn’t get any better!!

  21. memyselfandkids.com
    February 10, 2014 at 11:55 pm (4 years ago)

    I never heard of the store before. It sounds like an interesting store. Of course, any store where I can get a good deal is interesting to me.

  22. Jessie Clemence
    February 11, 2014 at 7:36 am (4 years ago)

    I was wondering if you had them in New Jersey. They are interesting, that’s for sure.

  23. Nancy
    February 11, 2014 at 1:10 pm (4 years ago)

    We frequent one here in South Jersey. Love my Hummus!! As mentioned above the Tortilla Chips are great. Love to buy the bag of frozen chicken breasts. Easy availability for a busy family of 2. Grab what we need and keep the rest frozen. Lots of plus-es about Aldi!! Thanks for posting