When an ALDI discount grocery store opened up in our area, I decided to compare some prices and check out various products. I came up with a Top 20 list of my favorites products, plus a couple other lists that I hope others will find helpful as well. In general, from what I’ve found, ALDI’s groceries are much lower in price than foods from our “regular” supermarket, and cheaper by far if compared to smaller grocery stores. Other stores can sometimes have sales that are better than ALDI’s regular prices, especially if you combine with coupons, but then again, ALDI actually run weekly sales as well, and these prices are outstanding! I think some of ALDI’s products are not only inexpensive, but downright better than their counterparts from other stores!
If you happen to have a Trader Joe’s near you (known for products with healthier ingredients), check out this post on reviews of, and ingredients in their beauty products! The ingredients are looked at in light of chemicals to avoid, and how safe these products seem to be compared to those from regular super markets. ALDI and Trader Joe’s have different owners but from the same family.
One thing to be aware of is that ALDI is a smaller grocery store; some of their products are available only at certain times, so if a product is all of a sudden no longer available, you may very well find it again at a later time. They simply cannot stock all of their items at all times.
The lists you’ll find in this post are as follows:
My Favorite, Top 20 ALDI Products
Gluten Free Foods
Some Products I Stay Away From
Other Favorites, by Other People
Regarding the belief that you have to pay for the shopping cart, let me enlighten you: You do not pay to use the cart, you just put in a quarter as a deposit that you get back when you return the cart. It helps ALDI keep their prices down since they don’t have to hire cart pushers. This system saves you money and is actually common practice in Europe.
Reading labels, I have been pleased to see that ALDI’s products have greatly improved over the years and many of their products now contain better ingredients and less additives than their brand-name counterparts! ALDI seems to be making a real effort in offering healthier foods! I avoided ALDI for a few years because I didn’t like what I saw in their ingredient lists, but at this point I’ve seen such a positive change that I’m going back to shop there on a regular basis.
ALDI now carry a lot of organic products, some of them USDA approved! With low prices in addition, that’s really awesome! Look for a list of some of their organic products directly under my Top 20 list. Otherwise there are also a lot of foods that are all natural, even if they aren’t organic.
I even found one Fair Trade product, coffee, and I read somewhere that they sometimes also carry Fair Trade tea, but that it’s a hit and miss.
ALDI is also making recycling efforts, and some items have a small, green recycling label on them with information in that regard. In addition, ALDI has a double-back guarantee on their products and will replace your item plus your money back if you’re not satisfied with it. I’ve been very happy with their products for the most part.
My Favorite, Top 20 ALDI Products
These are some of my favorite products from ALDI, both because of low prices, and also quality wise. I’m sure my list will become longer soon as I continue to discover new, great products! Here’s my list, in no specific order:
1. Spices – Among the cheapest I have found anywhere, by far! (Costco and Sam’s Club have excellent prices as well.) ALDI’s spices are of great quality, I purchase them ALL THE TIME as we use a LOT of spices! I wrote a post earlier on saving money on inexpensive spices (link), ALDI spices included. You get so much more at ALDI, and for far less money! See picture below, ALDI’s brand on the left.
2. Fresh produce of all kinds, including potatoes, is much cheaper here and I have also found it to be very fresh at our store. Broccoli comes tops-only in packages and is still cheaper! Wow! LOVE IT! Some items, such as peaches, may be a bit smaller than I’m used to, but it still is a better purchase and I’ve been VERY happy with their produce overall.
3. Chocolate: Out-of-this-world delicious!! Their European chocolates are for the most part high quality, and (with the exception of the white chocolate) melt very well for dipping desserts. Check out my previous post on ALDI chocolates; here’s a link.
4. Chocolate chips – Inexpensive, and when I taste tested side by side, to me they tasted better than Hershey’s or Nestle’s.
5. Cookies The cookies are in general very tasty. The kid in me especially loves the animal crackers! Yum!
6. Peanut butter: Although we don’t buy the Jif style peanut butter very often, when we do, ALDI brand tastes great and is very cheap.
7. “Nutella” type spread: To us, this is more like the brand we were used to from Norway (called Nugati), which is by far the best, we think. So we very much prefer ALDI’s “Nutella” over the “real” Nutella. My kids and I actually did a side-by-side comparison, testing Aldi’s, Nutella, and a third brand, and we all concluded that the ALDI brand was the best. The flavor was a little bit nuttier, for one thing.
8. Milk -We have been very happy with their milk. Good price, although on occasion I can get it cheaper on sale elsewhere.
9. Eggs -Eggs are great as well. Gotta love their prices!
10. Butter -Great quality, unbelievable price around Christmas time or other holidays! The quality is great and during winter months it’s sometimes priced so low that I stock up and freeze. The prices are lower during big holidays as the demand is higher, or so I was told.
11. Canned tuna -Inexpensive and good. Seems like there is a bit less tuna per can, but it is still a good price.
12. Canned beans: -Wow! Dirt cheap! Even the organic cans are cheaper at ALDI’s than the non-organic beans at our “regular” supermarket! Great Northern and Pinto is what I’ve tried so far, as well as refried beans. The dry, bagged beans look fine as well, and have a low price, but I haven’t tried those yet.
13. Canned corn -Canned vegetables are very inexpensive. The corn is yummy, and no sugar added (compared to a different brand that I saw elsewhere, which contained sugar!! What in the world???) ALDI’s corn is a clean product. I did not care for the canned green beans though. They were much too thick around and very seedy. I haven’t tried the other canned veggies, we use mostly frozen. I just saw recently that they have cheap frozen veggies, so I’ll have to buy some and see how they are.
14. Macaroni and Cheese: Dirt cheap! There are two brands, and several different styles. My son, who is the Mac ‘n Cheese King of our neighborhood, tried the one without synthetic colors, and was so surprised when it turned out that this brand was not only “just as good” as Kraft, but actually much better! I tasted it too, and was impressed! The noodles were the normal, big macaroni size, and the cheese tasted more “real.” We also tried the other brand, which was more like Kraft and only so-so. My son, the king, wants the first brand he tasted from now on, no more Kraft. Picture below:
15. Breads: There is especially one loaf that we really enjoy; 100% whole wheat, pictured below. It’s like the “fancy,” more expensive breads in the supermarket bread isles, that have more substance and are usually of better quality than your ordinary whole wheat bread. Only this ALDI bread is very inexpensive and of great quality ingredient-wise as far as I can tell. No corn syrup. Here’s the picture:
16. Pasta: All of the pasta’s I’ve tried so far have been wonderful!! I don’t see the need to pay extra for spaghetti.
17. Marinara sauce, organic or regular: Great price, we love it! And for this price we can definitely afford to buy organic.
18. Muesli cereal: Organic, great price, very tasty and good quality product! I sprinkle a bit into my yogurt for a snack, or I’ll add a bunch of soaked chia seeds in addition to lots of muesli and have it for lunch. Contains several different grains and dried fruits. ETA: Unfortunately I have not seen this product for a long time now, and I miss it.
19. Tortilla chips / Corn chips: I love their corn chips, and they’re so cheap!
20. Organic salsa: Love it!!! Delicious, great quality, and such low price! It tastes so much better than Pace and the like, there’s really no comparison!
Here are some of the organic foods that I have found:
Salsa, corn chips, sweet potato chips, vegetable chips, energy bars, granola bars, cereal, quinoa, honey, agave nectar, coconut oil, coffee, juice, milk, soy milk, apple sauce, preserves, canned beans, canned tomatoes, soup, chicken broth, marinara sauce, pasta, mayonnaise, and refrigerated packaged lettuces. And, at times, grass-fed ground beef!
Most of ALDI’s organics can be found under the following two labels; a yellow USDA and a green label with a brown leaf; see the next two pictures. Just be aware that not all of the foods under green labels are organics; some say simply “All Natural” on them but are not actually organic.
Gluten Free Foods
Of gluten free alternatives (not counting foods that are naturally gluten free), here are some of the foods I have seen:
Granola bars, granola cereal, cookies, crackers, baking mixes, bread, pasta, macaroni and cheese, and refrigerated pancakes; and from the frozen section I found pizza, lasagna, chicken nuggets, ravioli, and filled sandwiches / pouches.
This is what the gluten-free labels look like; it’s a bit hard to see in this picture, but there’s the picture of the head of a wheat stalk in it:
Some Products I Stay Away From
-but not necessarily always…
Sundae Ice cream -There are two main brands; one is comparable to other ice cream brands, while the other one (Sundae Shoppe) contains pretty junky ingredients. So we buy that brand only on occasion. The ice cream cones and bars are OK, and the ice cream sandwiches are good too, now. The sandwiches used to be smaller and skinnier than other brands and also looked very cheap. However, I purchased a box recently to check if that was still the case, and was surprised to see that they have improved by leaps and bounds! They look nice and still taste good too.
Breaded Fish -Unless something has changed in the last couple of years, don’t buy this product. We found it to be mostly bread and very little fish. Just a skinny, mushy little sliver inside the breading. But that’s a few years back, so hopefully it improved.
Liquid dish soap -I tried it many years ago and it seemed watered down, so I haven’t purchased any of their soaps since. It is possible that it has improved since then as well, though. If you have tried it and like it, please comment and let me know!
“Ritz” type crackers -We weren’t too happy with these; they were just OK, kinda lame, not quite the same as the brand name.
Brand name soft drinks: They actually carry 2-liter Coca Cola brand and other name brand drinks, but these are expensive and can usually be found at better prices elsewhere.
Cat food: When I checked the ingredients lists, I found it to be of very low quality with the first (three, I think?) ingredients being by-products and several after that being fillers. Since cats need meat, there isn’t really anything in it that they can live on. Survive for a while, sure, but they won’t stay healthy for long, so it’s a no for me. I don’t know much about what dogs need, but I’m thinking it’s about the same there, too. Hopefully they have made some changes for the better since last time I checked. There have been so many improvements otherwise, so I wouldn’t be surprised. I encourage you to go check for yourself!
Other Favorites, by Other People
Here’s a list of items that were suggested to me by others who shop at ALDI’s, along with their comments; just keep in mind that these are not my comments and the products were not necessarily tested by me personally:
Snacky type things
Chips of all kinds (Terese’s comment: I think they lack flavor.)
Home style chocolate chip cookies are good – pretty basic ingredients
2. PRODUCE; fresh, dried, or canned
Watermelon or berries in season
Their “fancy green beans” are the haricot verts from Trader Joe’s, but cheaper
Black and green olives
Pickled jalapeno slices
Potatoes -good and dirt cheap
Baking chips, both peanut butter and chocolate chips
Pam-like cooking spray
Canola or veggie oil
Wine is cheap enough that you don’t feel bad cooking with it ($3/bottle)
Frozen pizza pockets
Frozen fish is a good buy
Cheese and butter -high quality and cheap
Prepared frozen strudel is yummy
I hope this post helped you get a better idea of products you might like from ALDI, and that you’ll be able to stretch your grocery budget and save yourself some cash. A discount grocery store that offers natural and organic products, gluten free, and even Fair Trade, is a store to check out! Great food for less money, how awesome! Soon you might have your own ALDI favorites, and I hope you’ll comment below to let me know what that might be and deals you have found!