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Do you ever feel like you’re spending way too much at the grocery store, yet when you get home you feel as though you really didn’t buy all that much? I did too! Then I discovered ALDI. I’m not gonna lie, I used to be kind of snooty about ALDI thinking it was a place for cheap canned goods and that was about it. Alex was the first one to really start shopping there. She was constantly telling me how good it was. She even went so far as to do my shopping for me once. That might have been when I decided to try it for myself. And boy, am I glad I did because I find a heckuva lot more than canned goods.
When I first started shopping at ALDI I usually had to go somewhere else for the remainder of my groceries because there were always a few things they didn’t have. But they’ve increased their items so much that I can get everything I need there now. I also love, love, love going grocery shopping now. It’s always an adventure because I never know what I’ll discover. They carry a lot of seasonal items so if you’re there in fall you may see German food for Oktoberfest or in summer they have a lot of items for cooking on the grill. In addition to food, they have an aisle dedicated to non-food items. I’ve seen everything from small kitchen appliances to patio umbrellas and garden carts. I even found a soda organizer for the fridge there when I couldn’t find one anywhere else. Four bucks!
If you’ve never been to an ALDI before, it’s definitely a different experience from the bigger chain supermarkets. Take a quarter with you for one thing. At ALDI you have to put a quarter in the cart to release the chain. You’ll get it back when you return the cart so it doesn’t really cost anything. The other big difference is that ALDI doesn’t provide shopping bags. You can either bring your own or pay 10 cents each at checkout. These may seem like inconveniences but really it’s not once you know what to expect and are prepared. It’s things like this that help keep prices low so it’s OK in my book.
The other misconception about ALDI is that if it’s cheap food it must be unhealthy food. Guys, trust me on this. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Prices are reasonable at ALDI because of the reasons I mentioned above and also because of the types of products they offer. ALDI may not have as big of a selection as the big retail guys but what they do have are the things you ALWAYS need. They buy in volume which results in lower prices and they also have brand products for a lot of things too. I mean, do you really need five different options for something when there is a cheaper high-quality item available? Nope. I remember my grandma saying that when she opened a can of chicken noodle soup from ALDI she could see chicken and noodles in the top of the can. Other brand name soups? Just broth. That still holds true today.
I’ve noticed in the last few years that ALDI is really stepping up their game with healthy and organic options. It seems like every time I go in there’s a new item available. It’s also my go-to place for produce. Every week ALDI will offer a “Special Buy” on something and often it’s a produce item. The produce I’ve bought from ALDI has always been of high quality. In the summer you can pick up strawberries or blueberries for between 1-2 dollars a container. I’ve picked up grapes, apples, peaches, pears, blackberries or raspberries and even kiwi. Vegetables like carrots, celery, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes (yes, I know it’s technically a fruit) and mushrooms are also good buys. ALDI also offers an organic selection of fruits and vegetables now too that is growing.
To get you started here’s a list of some of the things I consistently buy from ALDI. I’ve personally tried every single item on this list and will continue to buy them. Prices can sometimes fluctuate depending on the season or availability. You’ll see them go down but I’ve rarely seen the price of something go above what it’s regularly priced at. Needless to say, ALDI is my number one place to shop when I’m planning a freezer cooking marathon. Read more about how I do that here. Not only am I spending way less on groceries, I’m maximizing the use I get from those groceries which is like a double-bonus.
Also keep in mind that some of these prices may be regional, meaning that what I pay in Central Illinois might not be the same as what someone else in another region would pay. Although some of the items are the same price. I visited my mom in Palm Springs, CA last year and we went to the ALDI there. The prices on some things were the same as what I pay here. No wonder the Palm Springs store is busy 100% of the time. California is an expensive place to live!
I’ll continue to add to this list as I find new things.
Things to Buy at ALDI
- Low Fat Yogurt – $0.33 per container. And Greek yogurt was only $0.55 last time I bought it.
- Eggs – the price of these have fluctuated quite a bit in the last year or so but for the last six months, I’ve paid $0.25. Yep, that’s right. A quarter of a dozen eggs.
- Milk – for over a year the price for a gallon of milk at my ALDI has been $0.98. Under $1 for a gallon of milk! That’s crazy!
- Spreadable cheese wedges – this was another recent discovery. ALDI carries 3 different varieties of spreadable cheese – plain, garlic & herb and pepper jack. This is exactly the same as the Laughing Cow version. What’s not the same is the price. $1.29 vs $2.99.
- Shredded cheese – cheddar, mozzarella or a Mexican blend – $1.89.
- Block cheese (8 oz.) – $1.79 and it’s really good cheese. They have mozzarella, cheddar, sharp cheddar and pepper jack. For a little bit more, they also carry more “premium” cheeses. The white cheddar is yummy!
- Cream cheese – they have both regular cream cheese and low fat Neufchatel for $0.79. This is half of what it is at Walmart.
- Butter – I always buy my butter at ALDI. They carry both salted and unsalted for $2.99 a pound (4 sticks).
- String Cheese – ALDI offers 2 types of string cheese – regular and a low fat version in their Fit & Active brand that’s only 50 calories. These are great to throw in a lunch bag. Only $2.29 too.
- Spices – the selection isn’t huge but the basics are covered – garlic, garlic salt, paprika, cinnamon, chili powder, etc. And all $0.99.
- Tuna – They offer both canned in water and canned in oil. Both $0.65.
- Flat Leaf Spinach (bag) – $1.49. I buy a bag every time I shop.
OK, here’s a few more ALDI items I love
- Whole Grain Waffles – $1.29. I was going to pick some of these up at Walmart and refused to pay $2.98 for Eggo.
- Bacon – the price of bacon has really increased over the last year or so but at ALDI it’s $3.99. That’s dollars cheaper than anywhere else and it’s good thick bacon, not the paper thin stuff.
- Soup – again, not a big variety but they carry the basic condensed – tomato, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, chicken noodle for $0.50. And a few Progresso-type soups like Chicken and Wild Rice and Italian Wedding for $1.59.
- Artificial sweeteners. If you use stevia or sucralose sweeteners, they are only $3.89 at ALDI. Again, a lot cheaper than other stores.
- Bottled water – a 24 pack of purified water is only $1.99.
- Spinach or Sun-Dried Tomato wraps – these are relatively new and I really like them as an alternative to sandwiches for lunch. Both kinds are $1.69 for 8 wraps.
- Grapes – red, green or black when available. Regular price for grapes is comparable to other stores – $3.98 but ALDI often has them on sale for $1.98 and I snap em up.
- Canned beans – they recently expanded their bean offering to include great northern, cannellini and black beans in addition to kidney and pork n beans. $0.55.
- Turkey snack sticks – this is a recent find of mine. ALDI carries a regular beef and a turkey snack stick. You know, like a Slim Jim? The turkey version is only 45 calories and is a great option for someone on a low-carb or keto diet. $2.99 for a pack of 12.
- Chips or tortilla chips – the variety keeps expanding with their chips. There are the usual suspects – plain, rippled, sour cream and onion, bbq, cheddar and sour cream, plus ranch and taco tortilla chips. $1.19 per bag and that also includes regular tortilla chips too.
- Sandwich thins – these are only 100 calories. ALDI carries both the wheat and white versions for $1.99.
- Pita bread – OMG, I was so happy when ALDI started carrying pita bread. Is it weird that pita bread makes me happy? Probably. Wheat and white both $1.99.
- Frozen salmon filets – $3.69 for 5 good-sized filets
There are so many more items I could include on this list but I’ll stop here.
If you’re not shopping at ALDI now you really should try it. And you have nothing to lose because if you’re not 100% satisfied with something, just return it and not only will they replace the product they’ll also give your money back. I’d say they’re pretty confident in the quality of their products, eh? I know I sound like I’m employed by ALDI but really I’m not. I’m just blown away by the cost and quality of the products and want everyone to try it! You can find their weekly ad here. Sales run from Wednesday to Tuesday. If it’s a great buy you’ll want to get there ASAP because they will sell out of it. No rainchecks at ALDI – it’s first come/first serve.
Let us know in the comments if you’re a lover of ALDI too and what some of your favorite items are!