Here's what you should buy at Aldi and what you should avoid, according to people who've shopped there
- Aldi, which claims to be the first discount grocery store in the world, promises "great quality" at "everyday low prices."
- With thousands of stores around the world, the company has developed a cult following thanks to its low prices.
- One important way the chain is able to keep its prices down for customers is offering a variety of private-label goods.
- We turned to loyal shoppers and online forums to determine some of the best and worst things to buy at Aldi.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
One blogger wrote that they get their basic spices for around $1 when shopping at Aldi. While you may not find every spice or herb imaginable, the Thrifty Frugal Mom wrote that they're able to find the "common" spices at Aldi. Shoppers can also choose to purchase organic options for a few cents more.
They also highlighted Burman's Mayonnaise as one of the best things to buy at Aldi. The Thrifty Frugal Mom said their go-to mayo had always been Kraft, but they made the switch after trying Burman's.
Simply Nature organic ketchup is another product that made Thrifty Frugal Mom's list. This costs $1.69 at Aldi. Organic ketchup costs $3.19 at Target.
Thrifty Frugal Mom wrote that Aldi brand corn, tortilla, and kettle-cooked chips "taste just as good as any name brand." They're on the blog's list of best things to buy, and other bloggers agree.
But the author of another blog, Living Well Spending Less, wrote that the chips at Aldi "aren't as tasty as brand name chips."
However, the Simply Nature Kids Cheddar Puffs and Simply Nature Veggie Chips are reportedly a great buy and deliver on taste, according to Thrillist.
Aldi's wine selection has made several different must-buy lists. Some of the wines in the store's lineup have won awards and have been recognized by experts, according to Refinery29.
The store also reportedly has a great cheese selection that shouldn't be missed, which is great news for anyone looking to bring wine and cheese to a gathering.
If shoppers aren't into cheese, chocolate also goes great with wine. Another seemingly unanimous crowd-pleaser is Aldi's selection of specialty chocolates.
Various sites have noted Aldi's wide variety when it comes to bread. The Kitchn wrote that their favorites include L'oven Fresh White Bread at $0.89, Specially Selected French Baguette at $1.69, and Fit & Active 45 Calorie Multigrain Wheat Bread at $1.79.
Aldi has plenty of things to go with its bread selection, too. The butter is reportedly a great deal.
But when it comes to butter, some people say they would rather pay more for higher quality. Mashed reports that Aldi's lower-priced option isn't great for cooking and baking.
Aldi's peanut butter is reportedly a great deal as well. One blogger wrote that the natural option is their favorite.
Thrillist highlighted the store's Simply Nature brand almond and cashew butters, along with the Specially Selected brand jams. A Yelp reviewer said the almond butter was selling for $5.99 at the time of their visit.
Reader's Digest reported that Aldi has a well-priced, wide selection of yogurt on offer. A blogger wrote that the store has everything from a 32 oz. container to kid-friendly, squeezable options.
As for other dairy foods, there are shoppers who recommend taking advantage of the deals on milk, where a gallon may cost between $0.99 and $2.
Dairy milk alternatives like almond milk and soy milk are also reportedly a great deal.
While some shoppers are making the push to avoid single-use items, Reader's Digest reported that the price of paper plates at Aldi is hard to beat. They wrote that if shoppers are in the market for throw-away plates, Aldi is the place to shop. Living Well Spending Less wrote that the prices are great across all paper goods items.
However, Living Well Spending Less points out that shoppers may be able to get a better deal on brand-name paper goods elsewhere if they're clipping coupons.
CheatSheet also recommends skipping Aldi's zipper-top bags, as Redditors seem to have noticed a drop in quality.
Some blogs, along with CNBC, have written that Aldi has great deals on its meat.
However, CheatSheet reported that a better deal can often be found at other grocery stores. The site cautions shoppers against blindly following Aldi's promise for low prices and advises them to do their homework first.
Blogger Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less wrote that the frozen jumbo shrimp are always a great deal. "Don’t bother with the other sizes of shrimp though," they wrote. "They aren’t worth the price compared to their weight."
They also wrote that the salmon and tilapia are usually a good price as well.
According to the Money Saving Mom blog, Aldi's brand of chocolate chips is a great buy and delivers great taste, too. But Soukup wrote that their taste is just "so so."
Money Saving Mom listed coconut oil ...
... olive oil ...
... canned tomatoes ...
... and flour tortillas as some of their favorite Aldi buys.
They also said they love to buy the cereal at Aldi, except for "knock-off Cheerios" because they don't taste like the name-brand product.
While Money Saving Mom lists bananas among their favorite things to buy because they're "regularly priced at $0.44 per pound" ...
... they do say to proceed with caution as the bananas are not always ripe.
Some shoppers love the price of Aldi's produce, including the store's tropical fruit options ...
... but, on Reddit and in a Consumer Reports survey, others have reported inconsistency with quality. Mashed also called out the store for unnecessarily wrapping produce in plastic.
The site also warns against buying the pre-ripened avocados because of the inconsistency in quality.
Soukup wrote that shoppers should look out for Red Hot Deals — themed deals for the week — as well. For example, "If the theme is picnicking, you might find grilling utensils, paper plates and coolers paired with chips, buns, and condiments."
More of Soukup's recommended buys include Simply Nature Organics ...
... products from the LiveGFree gluten-free line ...
... salad dressing ...
... canned goods and other pantry staples ...
... and frozen vegetables.
Soukup recommends skipping the coffee, though. "If you’re even a little bit of a coffee snob, you’ll want to leave it on the shelf," they wrote.
When it comes to baking needs, bloggers recommend Aldi shoppers stock up on essentials like baking powder and corn starch.
However, they recommend buying bigger items like flour and sugar from a bulk-buy discount store.
Also a no-go in the baking department is pre-made dough and ready-to-bake cookies. Soukup wrote that shoppers will likely end up paying more for a product like Aldi brand crescent rolls than for name brands like Pillsbury if they have a coupon.
Thrillist reported that the Mama Cozzi's brand pizzas "hit all the right marks."
A Yelp reviewer called it "Great quality and value!" coming in at less than $3, in comparison with the California Pizza Kitchen brand that cost around $6, the reviewer wrote.
Thrillist also reported that Benton's brand pantry cookies have options that rival name-brand Girl Scout cookies.
Also on the site's list of great buys are salt and pepper cashews.
While the food jury is still out on certain Aldi items ...
... the store still has a lot of loyal shoppers dedicated to both its prices and its products.
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