Just about every time I mention Aldi to someone, they either like it or have never been. Rarely have I met someone who doesn’t care for it. I am sure they are out there, but they don’t exist in my house. There are things I wish Aldi sold, but for the most part, I can honestly say it is my favorite!
There are so many reasons Aldi is my favorite store. From saving at Aldi to my favorite things to buy and even the great meal plans, I can come up with. As a self-proclaimed expert on this grocery store, I would like to share with you all the reasons I love shopping there!!
All About Aldi
What is Aldi?
The Aldi grocery store that we know in the United Staes is a combination of two grocery stores started by a family in Germany. There is Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud.
The story is, the family-owned store was split because the two brothers disagreed on the sale of cigarettes. The Aldi that we have in the US is operated under Aldi Sud, and Trader Joe’s under Aldi Nord.
Nord and Sud are two different companies and have been since 1966. So when someone says Aldi and TJ’s are owned by the same company, that is not entirely true.
How To Find An Aldi Near You
This little store seems to be popping up everywhere.
Although they are much smaller than traditional grocery stores and there are things that I can not find there, the no-frills layout and the idea that you need to bring your bags, pack your groceries, and remember a quarter deposit to rent a cart makes it all worth it!!
In my state, there are 150 stores. Here’s how to start saving ant Aldi and how to find an Aldi near you!
My local Aldi store is open every day from 9 am to 8 pm. Many holidays are closed.
This is from the Aldi site:
“All ALDI stores are closed on New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. All ALDI stores will be open limited hours on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve.”
This was not always the case. They have expanded their hours at many stores over the years. Make sure you check your store for more specifics on hours and closings.
Aldi Coupon Policy
The majority of Aldi items are their brands which is one of the reasons why prices can stay low. When they do have name brands, they tend to keep those prices low as well.
Although I do find when they have name brand products, they aren’t much different than regular prices from anyplace else.
Because of this, they do not accept coupons. If you see one of those coupons floating around social media for $10 off, I can almost guarantee it is fake. Your best bet is to bring it with you and ask.
Tips For Shopping At Aldi
- Get to know the store. Most of the stores are small. There are just a handful of people working there, and you are doing the majority of the work yourself.
- Before you leave the car, make sure you have your bags and a quarter.
- The quarter is to rent the cart. You get it back at the end of your experience after you return the cart to the corral. It’s not a massive deal unless you forget that quarter.
- The bags are for your groceries. They don’t give bags away like Walmart. They’ll sell them to you but it’s best to just bring your own. You could use the empty boxes found throughout the store for free.
- The store is set up unlike a typical grocery store. The front of the boxes that the goods are shipped in is cut off to expose the products. They are not lined up and stacked looking pretty. They’re still in their boxes.
- Most stores are much smaller than the average grocery store. This means that when it’s a busy time of day, it will get real crowded, real fast. Shop wisely.
- There are very few name brand items. Most are their brand which will give you the saving at Aldi that you are there for in the first place. I suggest buying and experimenting with some of the brands and choices. Some may be very different (better even) than what your taste buds are used to.
- You’ll bag your own groceries. Cashing out is a little assembly line like. All groceries are taken out of your cart and put on the belt by you. They are scanned and placed into an empty cart by the cashier. Then you pay and take your groceries to the counter to bag yourself. It moves fast. I always have a personal goal to be faster than the person scanning my items!
- Bagging all that stuff isn’t my favorite part, but I do it, so it keeps my bill lower. The bagging part is just ok. At least my bananas aren’t placed on top of my bread!
I have to share the very best tip I have for keeping track of your grocery budget while working your way through Aldi.
Its a CLICKER!!! It’s this little thing that fits in your hand and each click represents a dollar amount. Technically its called a Hand Tally Counter but it is super fun to use while grocery shopping!
The Best Foods To Buy At Aldi
No other store can beat the organic prices and no other way to experience saving at Aldi! I have shopped every store and my area, and these are the best!
Organic Pantry Best Buys
Organic oatmeal. The flavored instant organic oatmeal is a great alternative when you need a quick breakfast. Apple Cinnamon is my oldest’s favorite.
Organic oil. Organic oil is not cheap! Addi carries olive, avocado, and coconut oil at great prices!
Salad dressings. I LOVE the Chipolte Ranch Organic dressing. Their regular ranch and Caesar are also super yummy. I do wish they would add Thousand Island to the choices.
Spices. The spices offered are limited. I know they have cinnamon, Italian, and garlic powder. Others vary by store.
Sugars. Both the brown sugar and cane sugar prices are great. The only time I found cane sugar cheaper is at Bj’s Warehouse, and that’s for a LARGE bag.
Ketchup. The taste of Aldi Organic Ketchup is better than the big brands. We are fans!
Boxed Macaroni and Cheese. Quick side dish or lunch for the boys. Tastes great and less than Annie’s! I also use this for my “Hamburger Helper” knock-off meal!
Pasta Sauce. Adli’s Pasta sauce is by far the best tasting pasta sauce that I have had. Works great in a pinch and the price is spot on.
Pizza Sauce. Sometimes Aldi has Special Buys” that they bring out to test. A few months ago, I bought a bunch of organic pizza sauces. I haven’t seen them since, and I have two left. If you find them in your store, grab a few!
Organic Rice. We are a big fan of rice around here. The rice is excellent but a while back, I found precooked frozen rice at a special buy. I hope they have more of that because it was awesome!
Applesauce. The all natural applesauce is good in a pinch, but a few times, I have seen the organic applesauce as a special buy and have bought CASES. As we go through a lot of it in our house, it’s crucial to get the best price, and organic is best.
Canned Soup. Their selection of organic canned soup is limited, but the tomato is my favorite. The chicken noodle and lentil need a little salt, but they work in a pinch.
Canned Tomatoes and Beans. Again, these things are limited, and the savings are significant. I do wish they would add an organic white bean to their permanent stock.
Apple Juice. Best price around for organic apple juice. You can’t beat it.
Coffee. Their organic bagged coffee prices are fantastic. And the Fairtrade aspect makes it PERFECT!
Salsa And Chips. These go together because we eat them together. Ali’s mild organic salsa pairs perfect with their organic tortilla chips.
Pasta. The choices are limited but the ones they have, we love. I wish they would bring in some organic elbows.
Organic Refrigerated Deals
Salad Greens. A close runner up as far as prices to Bj’s Warehouse but I am happy with them when I need to grab them there.
Milk. I have searched everywhere for the best prices on organic dairy, and Aldi wins! Voted #1 in our family for taste.
I cannot find it cheaper, ANYWHERE!!!
Eggs. Now, I preface this with the fact that we usually buy our eggs from a local farm. But, because Aldi and the farm are in different directions, if I need both eggs and groceries with limited time, I will grab the organic cage-free eggs from Aldi. We are happy with them.
Yogurt. The best tasting vanilla yogurt I have ever had. So thick and creamy. There is no comparison.
Frozen Organic Fruit. In the offseason, it is cheaper to buy frozen strawberries for yogurt that it is to buy fresh organic. Also, the blueberries for muffins are fantastic!
Organic and Grass-Fed Meats
Organic Chicken. They have three different kinds of Aldi chicken. There is the regular, the “Never Any” or the Organic. I can’t express to you how great the prices are on the Organic. Have you ever priced organic chicken? Check out, Aldi!
Grass Fed Organic Beef. The only organic beef Aldi has is ground beef. It’s still the best price. I wish they would offer more.
Nitrate Free And Sustainable Favorites From Aldi
Tuna. Skipjack tuna is pole caught ad sustainable, and it tastes great. The price is so much better than the Wild Planet I used to buy.
Aldi Bacon. Nitrate free and DELICIOUS! I hate buying any other!
Sandwich Meat. Never Any brand sandwich meat is delicious. And the prices make it even better.
Real Vanilla. No imitation here. And pretty yummy!
More Aldi Best Buys
Chips. My youngest’s favorite snack. I buy two bags for each pay period. The price works.
Nuts. Great prices. Better than any other.
Chocolate chips. I don’t buy these much unless they put them on sale. But they are less expensive than regular grocery stores.
Cookies And Crackers. If you would rather buy cookies, you can’t beat the prices on Aldi cookies. The crackers like graham crackers and saltines are the lowest I have seen.
Cheeses. So many cheeses. From sliced, goat, cottage, shredded, sticks, cream cheese, and ricotta – All the cheeses are at a lower cost than I have seen any place else. And they taste fantastic! Oh, and the authentic grated parmesan is so delish!
Butter. Best prices. Hands down.
Sour cream. Tastes great and super cheap.
Paper Products. You know how you go to a grocery store, and you need toilet paper, so you decide to buy it? And then realize you spent more than you would have at Walmart? That won’t happen at Aldi. The paper towels, tissues, paper plates, and napkins are great. Great prices – fantastic quality!
Garbage Bags. Best price over every other store. Spending a lot of money on garbage bags is terrible. Spending lots of money for garbage bags that don’t hold up is even worse!!
Aldi Meal Plan
My meal plan is a crucial component of saving at Aldi. I plan a 14-day meal plan which includes two leftover nights and one date night. Usually, I also include one take out night, but because ware trying to finish up our renovation, I am trying to save money where I can. For my grocery budget this week, I spent $127.75 which was under average budget but more than I wanted to spend. But we needed stuff, so…
Breakfast Meal Plan
Our breakfasts are pretty basic and repetitive throughout the week. Eggs, breakfast wraps, and cereal are the main parts along with fruit and yogurt. Maybe I will make some muffins as I did buy some blueberries. And coffee is a HUGE part of breakfast.
Lunch Meal Plan
Leftovers, peanut butter sandwiches, and wraps are why we can keep saving with Adli. I don’t usually buy sandwich meat. We will use the leftover meat for wraps and salad toppings. This makes lunch pretty easy.
Dinner Meal Plan
This is where the majority of our planning and shopping comes into play. I plan a side dish, main dish, and vegetable for each night. I have some great and easy recipes that coincide with the store making the savings at Aldi work best.
For example, we will have a roasted chicken twice this week and will use the rest of the meat for a soup, a casserole, sandwiches, salads, and toppings for a pizza.
We will have ground beef for burgers, hot meatball sandwiches, and meatloaf.
Desserts and Snacks
My boys love ice cream, and we have a local convenience store called Stewarts that makes their ice cream. My husband and youngest LOVE their ice cream(I am not a fan of ice cream; they think I am nuts!).
The problem is…it’s $5 a half gallon. That’s not cheap. They can go through that in two days!
So, I have found if I buy ice cream sandwiches and fudge bars, they last longer and are cheaper. Twelve ice cream sandwiches are $1.89. That will last them six days, and the portion control is better for them, too!!!
I also grab cookies, crackers, and chips. One of each for snacks. When they are gone, they are gone.