A family's journey of learning how to make a home, save money and be healthy… while having fun doing it!


4 Comments

Why we shop at Aldi/What to buy at Aldi

I had one of my proudest moments as a big sister the other day when my little sister called me from away at college to tell me how excited she was after her first trip to Aldi.

Growing up, I didn’t shop at Aldi, but I do all the time now for my family.

We frequent other grocery stores too, including Pick ‘N Save, Piggly Wiggly, Woodman’s, and Trader Joe’s (Did you know they’re owned by one of the brothers that started Aldi???) but Aldi has a special place in my heart, enough to spend the time writing a post about it. As bloggers, and a family working on keeping our home healthy, we’re all about sharing any great tips we know to make healthy cooking (and shopping!) more fun and affordable.

I couponed for awhile to save money when I quit my full-time job to go back to college, but it was kind of disappointing. It never seemed like I could find enough things that were actually healthy, and it was way too time consuming.

After a friend mentioned that they bought their almond and soy milk at Aldi, I had to check it out.

Image

I couldn’t believe it when I went to check out. I was terrified the first time, with my giant cart full, and then amazed when they told us our total. We were hooked. We were spending way too much money on groceries!

Aldi also has a really good return policy that we were never aware of until we shopped there. If you don’t like something, they will either replace it or refund your money, no questions asked. This made us a lot more willing to try new things!

We’ve compiled a short list of what we’ve loved, and what we probably wouldn’t get again. This list only includes items we’ve had, so if you’ve tried anything else, please add it to the comments!

aldi 1 snack

What To Buy:

  • Pizzelle cookies
  • “Fit Fresh” 100 calorie cookie packs
  • Apple chips (seasonal)
  • Dry-roasted almonds and walnuts for baking/healthy snacking
  • Honey-wheat pretzel sticks
  • waffle bowls
  • tortilla chips (I love that they always have El Milagro by us)
  • Potato chips for parties
  • Moser roth chili chocolate bars
  • chocolate-covered coffee beans

What Not to buy:

We haven’t tried anything in this category that we haven’t loved so far!

aldi 1 fridge

  • Butter (it’s so cheap and perfect for holiday baking!)
  • fresh mozzarella balls
  • hummus (cayenne is my favorite)
  • fresh salsas (I love the Wholly Guacamole brand(medium)- not sure if they have it all the time, but I’ve picked it up the last few times!)
  • soft cheeses (Harvarti Dill is our favorite!)
  • cream cheese (regular and reduced-fat)
  • string cheese
  • eggs
  • greek yogurt (black cherry is both of our favorite)
  • organic soy milk and almond milk
  • skim milk, 2% milk, whole milk, half and half, heavy cream (none are organic, and we usually buy our milk organic, but if that doesn’t matter to you, we’ve tried their milk and it tastes like milk!)

What Not to buy: their normal yogurt was way too high in sugar for us, but tasted okay, just very sweet!

dry goods

Dry goods/Pantry Items:

  • baking essentials (flour, sugar, powdered sugar,  baking powder, spices, condensed milk, brown sugar, baking soda,etc.)
  • vanilla extract
  • chocolate chips
  • nuts for baking (walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.)
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • natural peanut butter
  • whole wheat bread
  • soft corn tortillas
  • honey
  • breadcrumbs
  • whole wheat pasta
  • dried beans
  • granola
  • oatmeal
  • muesli- they have pumpkin muesli right now!

What Not To Buy:

We we’re fans of the cereal bars/cereal based on sugar again. We also haven’t purchased any rice from Aldi yet because we usually buy a wild rice/brown rice mix that is a staple in our somewhat gluten-free house.

I also probably won’t buy their chili powder again (I should have known for $1!) because I made vegan chili the other day and it wasn’t as spicy as I’m used to, and I put a ton in. But if you like mild chili, I think it would have worked just fine.

meat

We aren’t the best source for answers to this one, since we don’t buy a large assortment of meat. But here’s what we’ve tried and liked:

What To Buy:

  • Anti-biotic free chicken breasts
  • ground turkey

What Not To Buy: We didn’t love the deli meat. It was kind of slimy and processed tasting. When we eat sandwich meat, we like the real stuff.

 

drinks

  • Kefir cultured probiotic milk smoothies (blueberry and strawberry)
  • 100% orange juice
  • Bolthouse Farms coffee and smoothies (when they have them)
  • Naked juice

What Not To Buy:

Well, we don’t drink soda very often, and never buy it, so we’re not much help here. Has anyone tried it? We also tend to just drink water instead of spending the money on flavored water or juice. Has anyone had any of any of these from Aldi?

produce

What To Buy:

  • Avocados
  • pineapple
  • lemons/limes
  • carrots
  • celery
  • green onions
  • green peppers
  • mini peppers
  • Sweet corn
  • specialty lettuce (they always have a nice assorted pack, at least at the store by us)
  • berries (strawberries, blueberries- whatever is in season)
  • zucchini and spaghetti squash
  • kiwi and mangoes
  • Apples
  • Affy Tapples (seasonal)

What Not To Buy: Most of their produce is not organic, so if you’re concerned about that, I’d skip the produce. We buy their apples for us (the adults) AND we buy organic apples for our apple fiend, who eats a few a day, sometimes right out of the fridge.

 

canned

We don’t buy too many canned goods- we prefer frozen, but there are two things we do buy canned occasionally:

  • canned kidney beans
  • canned tomatoes

And we’ve been happy with both! Have you had any hits or misses with Aldi’s canned goods?

frozen

What To Buy: This is another category that we don’t have a ton of experience in- we don’t buy a lot of frozen food. But here’s what we’ve had:

  • moose tracks rocky road ice cream
  • frozen berries and fruit (strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple)
  • edamame

What Not To Buy:

We didn’t love their frozen salmon. But this was at a time when we thought frozen salmon anywhere would taste like the fresh stuff. We very quickly learned it does not, no matter where you buy it. We also did not care for just about any of the frozen dinners we’ve tried in the past, but luckily, they refunded our money, no questions asked.

So that’s about it, and now it’s your turn. What do you love at Aldi? Anything you’ve tried that you haven’t loved? Any Aldi shopping tips? Let us know!

This post is not endorsed, paid for, or associated with Aldi. All products views in this review are the opinion of the author(s). The Family Class does not accept payment in exchange for a review.

Advertisements