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A favorite grocery shopping destination for families on a budget is Aldi. If you’ve never been an Aldi shopper, you may soon have a chance because the discount supermarket chain continues to open new stores daily.
The money you can save by shopping at Aldi instead of at a more traditional grocery store can be quite significant. But you may not want to buy everything you see, as I explain later..
I once had a skewed perception of this store, so I never shopped there. But that changed back in the summer of 2011, when I hosted an ice cream party and bought everything on my shopping list at Aldi. I was pleasantly surprised by what they had to offer. The prices – oh boy – the prices! They beat just about everyone around on nearly everything.
Shopping at my local Aldi is now one of my favorite ways to save money. It’s part of my regular shopping routine.
Since I’ve switched to Aldi, we’ve tried many items and have found out which are the best bargains (and which we can take a pass on). It amazes me how far $50 goes at Aldi, versus the little I can get for the same amount at another grocery store.
- The Must-Know Tips for Shopping at Aldi
- How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half
- The Money-Saving Secrets Stores Don’t Tell You
My family and I now have our “Aldi staples,” which are the items we get only there and nowhere else. I stock up when I hit the store because I know my money will go further and my family will actually eat the food we buy!
If you haven’t shopped at Aldi before, it’s important to know that you won’t find many name brands. Nearly everything in the store is an Aldi brand. However, in most cases, you’ll never be able to taste the difference.
THE ULTIMATE ALDI SHOPPING LIST
You can find some great deals on produce, but you need to look at it carefully. There are times when it’s a bit less than fresh, so you’ll want to take a pass. Thankfully, most items are ripe and ready to take home. Here are the items that are always on my Aldi grocery shopping list:
- Organic bananas (look at ripeness and eat accordingly)
- Baby carrots
- Baby lettuce (in a clamshell container)
We find that many of our household pantry items are the best bargain at Aldi. We usually stock up on pantry staple items when we make our trip. Aldi finds include:
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruit
- Baking items: flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices, chocolate chips
- Bread crumbs
- Natural peanut butter
- Vanilla extract (real – not imitation)
- Chicken broth
- Ketchup (as good as – if not better than – Heinz!)
We find most of the refrigerated items at Aldi are very good quality. Milk and eggs in particular are typically lower-priced than at another grocery store. Aldi also offers a selection of vegan brands. But you may want to try one or two of each of the following items before you jump in and replace your regular brands, to be sure you like the flavor. These are the items we always purchase:
- Cheese sticks
- Shredded cheese (mozzarella and cheddar)
- Cream cheese
- Almond milk
- Greek yogurt
- Fresh mozzarella
- Pizzas (in the dairy section, not the freezer)
Aldi has a great selection of frozen foods. Some of the items we normally buy are:
- Ice cream
- French fries/Tater Tots
- Seafood (various – in season)
We don’t buy many snacks or sweets at Aldi, but there are a few items we toss into the cart each time we go:
- Tortilla chips
- Moser Roth chocolate bars
- Mini crackers with cheese
- Fit & Active fruit snacks
- Fit & Active chocolate cookies
- Fit & Active S’mores drizzled mini crisps
- Penguin crackers
- Granola bars
We don’t buy much meat at Aldi because we get fresh meat from a butcher and put it in our freezer. However, we do find a few items at Aldi. Here are the meats we usually buy:
- Premium bacon (don’t buy the lower-priced packages because they aren’t as good)
- Jumbo hot dogs
- Ground turkey
- Frozen chicken nuggets
We also buy some beverages at Aldi. With three kids, we drink a fair amount of juice, but mostly we drink water and milk. We do splurge and buy a few things there once in a while (including alcoholic beverages):
- Organic bottled juice
- Bottled water
- Domestic and imported beers (my hubby likes some of these)
We are pretty brand-loyal when it comes to many of our household items, but there are some things we find at our Aldi store and grab when we need them:
- Paper plates
- Plastic silverware
- Aluminum foil (it’s thinner than name brands, but it works for keeping food warm in my kids’ lunches)
- Storage bags
- Paper towels
- Thick toilet paper (don’t get thin – it’s horrible)
So there you have it – my quick shopping list of must-buy Aldi items! Shopping for these items at Aldi has really made a difference in our grocery budget because our money goes much further! We still shop at other stores, but Aldi can usually fill the pantry and shelves with the basics – at a fraction of the cost!