When trying to cut down on your weekly grocery budget, many savvy shoppers turn to their nearest Aldi Supermarket. But what are the best Aldi products to maximize your grocery savings?
What to Buy at Aldi
Each week the Aldi weekly ad is full of meat, produce, Aldi brand products, Aldi Special Buys and more. Those advertised Aldi prices are what entice shoppers to visit their nearest Aldi. But are they all the best bang for your grocery budget buck? Here are some of my thoughts on what to buy at Aldi?
(Newbie Aldi shopper?, read Tips for Shopping at Aldi Grocery too!)
How These Aldi Products Made My List
For the most part, the aisles of this grocery store are filled with Aldi branded products. In other words, generic versions of nationally known brands. So to make my list of must buy items at Aldi, 2 factors had to be met. First is value. Most people shop Aldi grocery store because of the low prices. And quite frankly, because they don’t want to worry about clipping coupons to get the lowest price. And for generally low prices- Aldi’s value can’t be beaten. However, the second condition is whether or not I KNOW I can get a better price with my coupon + sale at another store. (Read my post on brand name vs. generic for more of my thoughts on this). So under those conditions, the following are my top 10 items to buy at Aldi.
My Top 10 Items to Buy at Aldi
1. Aldi Produce
This by far is the number one draw of Aldi in my opinion. Getting low priced, great quality fruits and vegetables is a major concern for many shoppers. Aldi is always on point for produce. Bananas are always the lowest price at Aldi. Other seasonal produce, like avocados or berries, are often much lower than other grocery stores. I also have heard their fresh salsa & guacamole are amazing (yeah, we can call those produce).
2. Aldi Baking Supplies
The baking supplies category is definitely a “MUST BUY” in my opinion. Flour, sugar, chocolate chips, oil, spices… the staples in your pantry- these are all lower priced at Aldi than the store brands at other stores. This is one aisle I never miss when I shop Aldi. I mean you always have to have chocolate chips on hand right?
3. Aldi Canned Goods
The principal of stockpiling comes in to play when I hit the Aldi canned food section. At usually $0.49 ea for canned vegetables, I always stock up! Canned tomatoes are also good buys. One canned food item at Aldi I skip are the beans, instead, I pick up their low priced dried beans and make my own.
4. Aldi Crackers and Snacks
The Aldi brands of crackers, chips, and pretzels are all must buys. In fact, my family (and many others I have talked to) prefer the Aldi brand WheatThins and Triscuits over the national brand. And they are at a fraction of the cost, even with using coupons at another grocery! Check this one out, I recently bought peanut butter filled pretzels “on sale” at Fresh Thyme for $5.99 for a 24 oz bag. At Aldi, you can get the same 24 oz for only $3.99! And I promise they taste the same! We also love their honey wheat pretzels, tortilla chips and vegetable chips (my fave! Like Terra Chips only sooo much less $). What we haven’t liked is their version of Doritos (haven’t found a substitute anywhere for that one).
5. Aldi Dairy
The biggest money saver at Aldi is the milk! Often times we (here in Columbus) will see it for $0.99 a gallon! That is enormous savings during the course of the year over $2-3 at Kroger, especially when you are buying multiple gallons a week (for those growing kiddos). I have even been known to freeze milk from Aldi when it’s $0.99. Other Aldi products like eggs (all.the.time), greek yogurt and butter are also great buys. But watch out on the cheese, their shredded cheese is usually $1.99 for 12 oz. I find that Kroger brand, or name brand on a mega sale, often beats this (32 oz esp. per oz). I heard a great tip once. When shopping in Aldi, check the Kroger (or your store) app to see the current price on a given item. That way you know if you should buy at Aldi since you are there, or add that particular item to the other store list for the week.
6. Aldi Take n Bake Pizza
If my family get’s Pizza from take out, we usually spend between $15-$30 (depending on the location) for an extra large size and breadsticks. With the Aldi Take n Bake pizza (large 16in size) and cheesy breadsticks, we easily cut that in half (or more). The pizzas are usually $5.49 (watch sometimes they go on even bigger sale for $4.50) and breadsticks $3.79- this gives us an easy, thrifty meal for under $10!
7. Aldi Paper Products & Toilet Paper
No one likes to spend money on TP, you’re just flushing it right?! (sorry I had to). But according to my toilet paper stock up standard – the Aldi toilet paper is a good buy! Not to mention, we thought the “Thick & Soft” version was just as good as name brand (not too soft, or too thin). We also buy napkins from Aldi, another great value.
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8. Aldi Gyro Kits
This one is a YMMV (your mileage may vary, as we say in the coupon world). From time to time Aldi stocks a frozen gyro kit that usually is around the $7 price range. We LOVE these! I always get a couple boxes when I see them in the store because that’s another thing that sometimes happens at Aldi- not all items are stocked at all times. So, you never know when they will be gone again. Trust me, they are delish! (And so much cheaper than restaurant gyros).
After produce and milk, the reason I head to the Aldi near me is for their meat sales. Chicken breast for under $2 a lb, ground beef at rock bottom prices and always watch for the hams and turkeys to get marked down after the holiday. I have never had a problem with any of the butcher meat I have bought at Aldi and my wallet agrees. However, deli meat is another thing. I do not recommend the Aldi lunch meat. I can always find a better price and selection at Kroger.
10. Aldi Special Buys
I mention this category- but with caution. These home, clothing, toys, pet care, and special food items are changed weekly (with new items swapping in on Wed or Sat). Sometimes the Aldi special buys aisles can be a place to blow the budget with an impulse buy. I mean who really needs a head massager?! BUT sometimes, these seasonal items can be just right. Take for instance the advent calendars at Christmas, how fun and affordable are those (and of course those highly sought after Aldi cheese advent and wine advent calendars).
There are so many other items to consider, but I wanted to narrow the list down for those who may be shopping Aldi for the first time. In fact, I asked about your favorite items on the Mission to Save Facebook page. Wow, what a discussion that was! I love all the responses I got. So here are some other specific items the Mission to Save community said to check out: dark chocolate sea salt caramels (yum!), carnitas, diapers and wipes, chocolate almond milk, fig newtons, naan, natural peanut butter and jellies, wine, breakfast bowls, gluten-free and organic products. Right about now you are either hungry or wondering why you don’t shop Aldi more!
What Items NOT to Buy at Aldi
On the other hand, just like don’t buy the foil at Dollar Tree, there are definitely items to steer clear of at Aldi. So here are some of the items at Aldi I do not recommend. Name brand items are (for the most part) a no-no at Aldi. This falls into the category of, you will certainly get a better price at the regular grocery, and even better if you pair them with a coupon. For instance, Chex mix almost always has a coupon available and finds it’s way on to a mega sale promotion. You can get the same bag for $2 less than Aldi. This also goes for cereal. You know my family loves us some cereal! And with coupons and sales at Kroger or Giant Eagle, I never pay more than $1.25 per cereal box (and often much lower). So not only are those Honey Nut Cheerios less somewhere else, the Aldi generic alternatives just don’t measure up. I have never heard someone say they love Aldi cereal. 😉 The same goes for their granola bars (not fans). Even though the FB friends said wine; I would just say as a word of caution… stay away from Winking Owl. Hubs, the wine connoisseur in our house, says it’s not much better than rubbing alcohol. LOL! So look for the rating system on the wines (and not just the price). Again, watch out for “special buys” that might blow the budget too. And steer clear of the deli meat.
Whew! Are you ready to go Aldi shopping now?
If you are a Newbie Aldi shopper; be sure to read my Tips for Shopping at Aldi Grocery post as well (things like bring your own bags and don’t forget the quarter for the cart).
So what would you add to the Must Buy Aldi products list?