My 10 Favorite Things to Buy at Aldi

Jonathan Weiss /

When I was a struggling college student, Aldi was a no-frills necessity – a grocery store I used only for my meager budget. Stores were tenuous and dated, selection was limited, and transactions were strictly cash.

What a difference a few decades can make.

Today’s Aldi stores are bright and modern, and the inventory has evolved from basic to slightly chic. However, low prices continue to outpace even Walmart’s prices, an analysis found. The company says it operates about 2,000 stores in 36 states and that more than 90% of its products are private label.

After years of shopping elsewhere, I rediscovered this delicious discount several years ago and never looked back. The following are my favorite things to buy at Aldi. The prices listed are from my local store in Des Moines, Iowa.

1. Fresh produce

Aldi Products Department
Ilze_Lucero /

Although Aldi’s product section isn’t as extensive as most other grocery stores, it covers the basics well and its prices can’t be “beetroot”.

A 10-pound bag of Wisconsin-grown red potatoes costs $ 4.69, a few cents cheaper than the price of my local Walmart.

At Aldi, Chiquita organic bananas are sold at the same price as non-organic bananas in other stores. I picked up a lot for $ 0.60 a pound.

2. Organic food

Organic, GMO-free granola bars, Simply Nature by Aldi
Deutschlandreform /

In response to consumer demand, most grocery stores now offer green options. Aldi remains competitive in offering a wide selection of organically grown products and organic and / or GMO-free packaged products.

Two of my favorites are from Simply Nature. A 14-ounce bag of GMO-free organic cashews costs $ 9.79, and a 12-ounce bag of GMO-free organic granola cereal costs $ 3.55.

3. Wine

Woman drinking wine and reading a book
Dragana Gordic /

Given the last few years, who isn’t looking for ways to save on wine?

Although laws in some states restrict or prohibit the sale of alcohol in grocery stores, my local Aldi has a respectable selection. I counted almost 40 brands of red, rosé, white, and sparkling wine, most cost between $ 4.49 and $ 9.99 a bottle.

If there is a dinner party in the future, buy a bottle of Evanta Malbec 2020 for $ 4.49 or William Wright Chardonnay 2020 for $ 6.99.

Want to go cheaper? Try Aldi Winking Owl’s private label. A bottle of Winking Owl Moscato will cost you only $ 2.95.

4. Cheese

Aldi meat and cheese aisle
Daria Nipot /

It may look like some cookies, but Aldi is the place for cheese.

My local store offers Gouda, Camembert, Brie, Asiago and several varieties of goat cheese. Cheese selection alone is a testament to Aldi’s international reach and makes it the perfect place to make a stop on a Friday afternoon for the “essential” weekend.

Check out Emporium Selection, another private label from Aldi. I grabbed an 8 ounce pack of mozzarella for $ 3.19 and a 6 ounce wedge of Gouda for $ 3.59. Both were fresh and wonderful.

5. Coffee

Aldi Simply Nature Organic Coffee
damann /

I’m not a coffee snob, but I love it, or more precisely, demand – a few cups of strong drink in the morning. Fortunately, Aldi understands me.

Aldi’s Barrisimo brand coffee can compete with the best beans in existence. A 12-ounce bag of fair trade dark ground coffee costs $ 4.49. That’s a good deal considering a 12-ounce bag of Lavazza coffee currently sells for almost double that amount on Amazon.

Is it organic? Simply Nature (another brand owned by Aldi) offers a 12-ounce bag of organic, fair trade, GMO-free whole grain coffee for $ 6.19. Seriously, if caffeine doesn’t make you feel hot and blurry inside, the savings will be.

6. Olive oil

Salad with olive oil
Marian Weyo /

For a below average cook, go through an amazing amount of olive oil. Luckily, Aldi turned his back on me. A 16.9-ounce bottle of Carlini brand olive oil (pure or extra virgin) sells for just $ 2.75.

7. Chocolate

Knoppers in Aldi
Deutschlandreform /

Confession: I have a thing for chocolate. Over the years, I’ve developed a fairly refined palate that can quickly discern the “good stuff” from the “not-so-good stuff” (after all, there really isn’t one. wrong chocolate, is there?).

I am pleased to report that, for its price, Aldi has one of the best chocolates, mostly produced in Germany, Belgium and Austria.

Choceur is one of my favorite private label brands Aldi. From truffles to classic milk chocolate bars, Choceur has all the characteristics of a master chocolate maker.

Get a 200-gram (approximately 7-ounce) dark chocolate and hazelnut Choceur hazelnuts for $ 2.49 or an 11-ounce box of milk chocolate-covered almonds for $ 3.99.

8. Canned soup

SpeedKingz /

On a scale of 1 to 10, my culinary skills are a solid 4. No wonder then that canned soup is a staple in my kitchen. I use it as a base, adding lots of steamed vegetables and rice to make stews healthier and more substantial.

Aldi’s Deutsche Küche soup is the best friend of this lousy cook. Varieties include German beans, harvest potatoes, harvest vegetables, and abundant peas. Each 28-ounce can sells for $ 2.79, a price that lives up to a much smaller (18.5-ounce) can of Progresso soup.

9. Jasmine rice

Woman cooking rice
SunCity /

I use jasmine rice as a base for sautéing, but it’s also great as a garnish (just steaming and mixing a little cilantro and lime juice).

Sold under the Aldi’s Specially Selected brand, a 5-pound bag of imported jasmine rice costs $ 5.45. That’s far less than comparable products on Amazon.

10. Ice cream

Aldi freezer section
defotoberg /

We finished things off with dessert. A 48-ounce box of Aldi’s Sundae Shoppe strawberry ice cream sells for $ 1.79. That’s the lowest price I’ve seen for any brand in any store. How sweet it is!

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our stories.

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