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My Top 10 Aldi Favorites

Do you have an Aldi where you live? I've been aware of this small grocery store chain for years and years now, but I only started shopping there within the past two years or so. And the savings have been staggering!

Today I would love to share with you my top ten favorite items to purchase at Aldi, as well as other staple items that I often buy there. I'll also add in some tips for shopping there since it's not your typical grocery store.

So, grab a quarter and your reusable shopping bags (more on these later), and here we go!


Jumping right in. Out of everything I've tried there, here are my top ten favorite items to purchase at Aldi, in no particular order:

1. Crunchy Granola Raisin Bran.
I've purchased the name brand and I STILL think this one is tastier. Also, it's always $1.99.

Their version of Frosted Mini Wheats is also better than the name brand! (more frosting, YES)


2. Organic Reduced Fat (2%) Milk
A half gallon of this is $3.39. My only beef is that they only carry it in lowfat milk. I wish they had it in whole milk so that I could buy that weekly for Camille!


3. Brie Cheese
Their rounds of brie are fantastic and are a steal at $2.99!


4. Steak Seasoning 
We all know how expensive spices can be. This large container is so inexpensive at $0.99, and I use it on way more than just steak. Baked chicken dishes, roasted vegetables, grilled dishes, it's extremely versatile. I always have a container in our cabinet.


5. Sea Salt Dark Caramels
These are JUST as good as you hope they would be. Also, 1-2 are completely satisfying (they are very rich!) so you don't have to worry about wolfing down the entire container in two days. Their copycat version of the Girl Scout's caramel delight cookies, on the other hand...

Also, I should mention here that their containers like this of peanut butter cups are BETTER than Reese's! I have several friends who agree! The chocolate is thicker and richer, and the peanut butter filling is way creamier. 


6. Organic Cherry Tomatoes 
These little containers are a lot less expensive than our grocery store's organic tomatoes. Camille loves having halved cherry tomatoes for a side dish at lunch or dinner. 


7. Simply Nature Fruit Squeeze Pouches
Speaking of Camille, another favorite of ours are the fruit squeeze pouches they carry. They are $1.99. I was excited to find this one below that contains sweet potato and also is organic. Not all of the pouches they carry are organic, so I stocked up on these!


8. Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil
We all know that coconut oil is the nectar of the gods, right? I use it for everything from sauteed green beans to a facial moisturizer at night. This large jar is $4.99. Awesome price.


9. Tangy Citrus Kale Salad 
This salad kit has everything you need for a yummy side dish. We've even used it as an entree by adding in grilled chicken strips, blueberries, and pecans and tossing it all togther. This is $2.99 and I'd say it is on our meal rotation at least once every two weeks.


10. Four-pack of Artisan Lettuces
Lastly, this combination of lettuces is a great deal at $1.99. It lasts us a really long time ... at least 3-4 nights and days of big salads. I chop up the lettuce that I want to use for that meal, run it through the salad spinner to wash it, and it's all set.



Now that we've covered my favorite items, here are some other kitchen and home staples that I often buy there:

Sugar
All-Purpose Flour
Flavored coffee creamers
Fat free half and half (for our coffee)
Eggs
Organic apples, mushrooms, organic carrots, 3-pack peppers, berries
Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, squash
Melons
Frozen green beans
Frozen organic fruits for smoothies
Garlic (fresh and jarred in olive oil)
Avocados
Sea Salt grinder
Black Pepper grinder
Butter 
Kleenex
Boulder plastic zip-top bags
Bananas
Whole wheat bread
Flour tortillas
String cheese
Blocks of cheese
Fresh mozzarella balls ($2.69)
Shredded cheese
Marshmallows
Pie Crusts (fresh and graham cracker)
Cake mixes
Dried berries and nuts
Canned beans
Canned mandarin oranges (for Camille)
Baby wipes (packs are $0.85, the quality is great -- a nice version to throw in your diaper bag!)
Wine (last year they had an Altiva vinho verde I was obsessed with for $5, and their chianti is great)
Take and bake pizzas (the pepperoni and fresh jalapeno thin crust is our favorite!)

And in full disclosure, there are a few items that I tried that I would not recommend:
+ Chicken salad (Mom and I agree, we just don't love the taste of it)
+ Blue cheese (it's not as powerful of a taste as what I buy at my grocery store)


Now, a few tips and tricks to help you out while shopping there:

+ Pack a quarter if you'd like a buggy. Aldi keeps costs down by not hiring people to go corrall carts from the parking lot. You put a quarter in the shopping cart at the front of the store as a deposit, do your shopping, and then get your quarter back when you return your own cart to the front of the store. I keep a quarter in my cupholder at all times for this reason!

If I'm just running in for a few quick items, I might skip the cart and just place my items right into my reusable shopping bags. If you shop this way (with no cart), you will want to bag your own groceries right as the cashier scans them. Since you didn't bring a buggy to the checkout lane, the one beside the cashier must remain there. You will see what I mean when you shop there. :)

+ Bring your own reusable shopping bags. You can certainly purchase bags there (the paper bags are $0.06/ea, so they are certainly cost-efficient), but it's so easy to use your own bags, and great for the environment, too.

+ Bring cash or a debit card. They do not accept credit cards in order for them to keep prices low.

+ Lastly, be prepared at the checkout line. Aldi contains costs by limiting the number of employees they have in the store, but these employees are super-efficient. When you approach check-out, there may only be 1-3 lanes open. Even if there are several people in front of you, don't be discouraged -- it moves quickly. The employees operating the check-out lanes are timed for each transaction and they are some of the fastest I've ever witnessed to scan your items. They will put your groceries right into the buggy, unbagged. Have your payment method out and ready. Then you just wheel your cart over to the bagging area and you place your own groceries in your reusable bags.

I know this is a lot of information -- can you tell I love shopping there and sharing tips? Fellow Aldi shoppers, I'd love to hear your favorite items to purchase (and any you haven't been impressed with), as well as any other tips you may have to pass along!

39 comments:

  1. I'm obsessed with their ground turkey! 1.99/pound and I stock up and use it for all types of meals that require beef. Stews, casseroles, lasagna, everything. Some folks aren't fans I've been told, but me and my husband swear by it to keep meat stocked up in the freezer.

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  2. You can't even get a SLICE of brie for $2.99 at HT or Publix, this is amazing!

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  3. Great post! I need to hit up Aldi more often!!

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  4. Thanks for all the details. I just moved to a new city that has an Aldi and I've been too intimidated to go. I'm anxious to check everything out and loved reading your favorites. Those chocolate sound heavenly and I'm also curious about those spinach bites you mentioned a few weeks ago for Camille.

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  5. Well this post could NOT have come with better timing! They are finishing up our Aldi here where I live and it should be opening in the next couple of months. I've heard nothing but good things about them, so I'm excited to check them out!

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  6. It sounds like a great grocery store! We don't have one near us, but if we ever do, I will definitely check them out!

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  7. April- AWESOME post!! This was such great information- especially for people who don't know about Aldi or have an Aldi- but haven't tried it out yet. You know how I feel about Aldi....totally my FAVORITE grocery store!! :)

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  8. Their version of the girl scout tagalong cookies are amazing. I devoured them in (cough cough) one day. Whoops!! My hubby was like didn't you say you bought cookies today cause I don't see them in the pantry!

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  9. Wow $2.99 is excellent for a round of brie as well as the pricing for coconut oil and salads. There's an Aldi nearby to me and I never go there...You might have just convinced me to give it a try.

    Martinis & Bikinis

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  10. Great post! I love shopping at Aldi. I want to try the citrus kale salad you shared.

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  11. I miss Aldi! I used to shop there and loved the deal and the quirkiness of it.

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  12. I miss Aldo so much...Boone needs one ASAP! I used to buy these mini cheesecakes there in the lower floor freezers. There were usually 3 flavors in a box and were perfect for Bunco nights along with all of the cheese options!

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  13. This is so interesting. They just built an Aldi in our Target shopping center and I've been so curious. This makes me want to go experience it for myself... with my quarter and bags in tow. Thanks for the tips!

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  14. We adore Aldi at our house, and I swear, after shopping there twice, you know the store backwards and forwards and its so much less intimidating and takes less time to get in and out! We truly buy EVERYTHING, except our hamburger meat, raw chicken and deli meat, at Aldi. I am in LOVE with their cheese section. Such great prices and GREAT cheese. I love their parmesan and have two containers on hand at all times, and the Happy Farms feta, oh.my.gosh. Love it! I also love how many organic options there are, we always try to buy the Simply Nature Organic items if we can.

    Their fruits and veggies are fantastic too! I will admit, depending on when you go, the selection might be down or you may have to pick through things a lot to find the best fruits and veggies, but definitely still worth it for the price. We love their pineapples and buy 2 every time we go! Their salad options are great and they have awesome spaghetti sauce. I also echo you about their wine, fantastic! Also their sparkling wine, I always have it on hand for mimosas! Ok, I really better quit or I'll write a novel about Aldi :) Thanks for sharing your Aldi thoughts!

    Oh and before I go, I have to admit, I tried their Happy Farms pimento cheese..and it was terrible. Steer clear :)

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  15. What a great post. I have been shopping at Aldi and love the spices, produce, cheese (like the laughing cow) pita crackers, etc. Their almond milk is also pretty good too. Everything I have been using on my face I can buy there too! They have the best prices on coconut oil and honey.

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  16. i have heard of this place recently but haven't been!! you sound like a total pro!! ;) and fascinatinggg cart system they have! that's genius!!

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  17. How did you end up liking those veggie bites from Aldi you mentioned a few weeks ago - the ones that looked a lot like the Dr. Praeger's version? Do they compare or not worth the difference in price? Thanks!

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    1. They are awesome. Definitely the same product as Dr. Praegers. No doubt in my mind they are coming off the same production line! I looked for them again last week but all they had left was two boxes of the sweet potato bites. I bought them both!

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  18. This is amazing! I had no idea they had so many organic options. Thanks for sharing, mama! xx

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  19. What a wonderful post on Aldi's! It's my favorite place to shop when I need to stock up on pantry items. I love the cheese selection and cured meats. Great prices for having with wine when friends are over. I love the frozen pizzas including the sweet onion and mozzarella which we just had the other night, very good. I also like looking through the household items that they have on special every week, sometimes they have very useful items that I've been looking for at a great price point.

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  20. Our Aldi is opening in November. Now I'm so excited! Pinning this!

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  21. one of my best friends is a district manager at Aldi and it's amazing to hear her stories about the great quality, same brands, etc as other places we shop... the best way to save money and i cannot believe they have brie for $3!!!!!

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  22. I've never been to our's and I had no idea that it had such great products and deals! Thanks so much for spreading the word- now I'm going to have to go check it out!

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  23. I love, love, love Aldi for shopping! It is amazing how much you can save. I loved your advice for Aldi shoppers =)

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  24. I've never shopped at Aldi, but know a lot of people who do. This post is enough to make me want to try it - we have one near us! Thanks for all the helpful tips, sweet friend! It's always nice to know about good deals, and tips on what's worth the savings and what's not:)

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  25. Thanks for posting your favorite Aldi items. I've had some hits and misses shopping there. Their Willow Soft brand 2 ply toilet paper is great. So is their vanilla extract. I've been disappointed in a few of their crackers, European chocolate bars and some other items. I will say that I got a refund on some of the items that took back...no hassle at all! I encourage you to do more posts in the future on your best buys at Aldi as we are all trying to save money when possible.

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  26. There is a really nice Aldi outside of our neighborhood that I have never shopped at. I wasn't sure if it would be worth a trip, but looks like it would be well worth it! Thanks for posting!

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  27. I'm a HUGE Aldi fan and have saved so much money! Don't forget the wine - the "Intermingle" took 1st place in the red category at a blind taste test I did in Charlotte!

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  28. I love Aldi's, although I usually have to go to another grocery store because they don't have everything I am looking for. You have to be careful about their produce, because it's not always the freshest. And sometimes they don't always carry the same items! I purchased these amazing veggie burgers and when I went back they stopped selling them! I was so gutted. Great post!

    http://splitneedles.blogspot.com

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  29. I've never shopped in Aldi but now I'm definitely tempted. Thanks for such a useful list x

    Wonky Lauren

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  30. I actually think we're getting one of these stores in Mt. Pleasant. What a cool concept on how they keep cost down! Once the store is built I'll come back and reference this post!
    Ally- Life as I know it

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  31. No one mentioned their hummus! My favorite is the roasted red pepper one and tastes better than any I have ever tried! I also love their simply organic salsa in a jar. SO good!

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  32. I love Aldi. We have saved so much money. Took some getting used to, because it's not like your regular store. I did learn the hard way that if you find something you like--you might want to stock up because sometimes when they run out, they're out....They also have La Vie water--knock off of La Croix for $2.99/case. I think they are just as good!

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  33. I LOVE their cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce selections. They've definitely lived up to their amazing produce reputation since opening here in RVA!

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  34. I'm a huge fan of Aldi, too. Those faux Girl Scout Caramel DeLites....lawd have mercy. I can eat that whole thing in one sitting. So dang good. And their cheese! TOP NOTCH. Also, their thin multigrain chips are super yummy, too. I think Aldi's parent company is the same as Trader Joe's, so it's sort of the same concept. Thanks for posting!!! I'll be on the look out for the organic baby food!

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  35. I've started to realize how much I buy there now. Unsweetened almond milk, $1.99 instead of $4.99 for Califia Farms. The crackers are really good, I like both the vegetable and the variety pack. I just tried that kale salad and am definitely keeping one of those on hand all the time, it made for a great cheap work lunch. I've bought some of their meat and been pleased with the quality. And what makes it a fun store is that the selection is always changing. That can be frustrating when you buy something you like and they don't have it again but it means there's always something new.

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