If you are wondering what to buy at Aldi and what not to buy at Aldi, means you have some familiarity with the store. Aldi is a discount supermarket whose entire goal is to keep costs low in order to pass the savings on to their shoppers. If you are accidentally buying an item that has been noted as not being the best, then you are losing part of your savings. Knowing what to buy at Aldi will also make your shopping experience so much more enjoyable and fun.
Here is some background on Aldi. Aldi is a family-owned discount supermarket chain operating over 10,000 stores in 20 countries. The chain was founded by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht. In 1961, the Albrecht Family founded the world’s first discount grocery store in Germany. 16 years later in 1976, they opened their first ALDI store in Iowa. Aldi operates nearly 1,500 locations in 32 states. They are concentrated in the eastern half of the United States but they are starting to expand as well.
What Makes Aldi Special
Over the years Aldi has gained a great reputation based on its extremely low pricing. They are able to keep their pricing low by having no bags (it is a BYOB, bring your own bag store), they have a large variety of their own branded items which are quite the competition for their similar name branded items which of course their pricing is much lower. They would be what you call a no-frills store, they have a quarter cart rental system which enables them to not have to hire help to clean up carts in their lot. Their focus is high on efficiency to lower labor costs in every aspect of their operations.
Aldi only carries about 1,300 of the fastest moving grocery items, while most stores sell about 30,000 items. Although it is a rarity to feel like you are missing out on anything. They pack a nice variety of goods within that 1,300 figure.
My very first Aldi haul included less than 20 items and resulted in nearly a $50 savings over my traditional local supermarket. For any family that is a huge saving that can be put to much better uses.
Is Aldi Cheaper Than Walmart
It is hard to get an exact comparison since many of the brands at Aldi are Aldi brands. I was able to compare a few things such as salad bowls which were .48 cents cheaper at my local Aldi vs my local Walmart. Dawn dish detergent was priced the same. Milk is .77 cents cheaper at my Aldi vs Walmart. Sugar was .28 cents cheaper at Walmart. So it may be a draw between the two. I would suggest comparing your local Aldi to your local Walmart to see how the pricing compares in your area.
Does Aldi Accept EBT
Yes, Aldi accepts SNAP EBT payments for in-store purchases, grocery pickup, and delivery orders.
Does Aldi Take Credit Cards
Yes, Aldi accepts most debit cards, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Check with your local store just to confirm your preferred type of payment but it seems mostly all are accepted.
Why is Aldi So Cheap
There are a variety of reasons that contribute to Aldi’s low prices. As stated above, they are a no-frills store, they carry a wide range of their own store brand products, it is BYOB (bring your own bag), you must pay to rent your cart (.25 cents) which is returned to you when you return your cart, their focus is on high efficiency allowing them to hire fewer employees. They use energy-efficient lighting, They have minimal decorations within the store, they do not spend a ton of money on commercials, and they have shorter hours. Since they only carry about 1,300 items their stores are smaller buildings, keeping all costs smaller.
What TO BUY at Aldi and what NOT TO BUY at Aldi
Aldi is a unique experience compared to a traditional supermarket. It is definitely a wise idea to get a bit familiar with the store and the products they sell before visiting your first time. Aldi is well known for some of its products. If you happen to join an Aldi group you will find out quickly that there is some great love for some of the tastiest and cutest items Aldi sells. Since I spend a lot of time in their store, let me tell you what products you absolutely must try and save you a few dollars by sharing the few items that you should not buy at Aldi. Even Aldi is not perfect and has a few items that could use a bit of improvement. There are just a few so it won’t be hard to remember. My list of items you should buy is much longer and filled with
What TO BUY At Aldi
Greek Yogurt – Aldi’s greek yogurt is one of the most raved about items. Any flavor of the Specially Selected (Aldi brand) flavors are all loved
Yogurt Tubes– Absolutely delicious and your kids will love them. Compared to their name brand counterpart priced at $4.19 at my local traditional supermarket vs Aldi’s price of $1.55, you can not go wrong
Baked Goods – They are delicious and the variety changes weekly and with the seasons
Bread – A wide variety of very reasonably priced breads, including Gluten Free, Naan, Artisan Flatbreads, and a delicious copycat of Daves Organic Bread.
Iced Coffee – the Barissimo Iced Latte’s, which come in French Vanilla, Mocha & Coffee are absolutely delicious and at $1.99 per bottle, they are no brainer vs their competitor Starbucks at $4.39 per bottle.
Prosciutto – Absolutely delicious!
Liverwurst – I know an odd one for some but theirs is absolutely delicious
Salad Bowls – These are literally the same exact ones in your traditional supermarket priced as much as $5.19 each while Aldi’s is priced at $2.99. Another no brainer
Brownie Mix – People are obsessed with Aldi’s boxed chewy fudge brownies mix.
Gyro Kit – People are obsessed with Aldi’s gyro kit you can find in the freezer section
Seasonal Items – Some seasonal items are so hot, that you want to grab them the second they hit the shelves like the Eat up Witches serving tray featured this fall. Other items such as outdoor furniture, gardening supplies like raised planter beds, plant stands, etc, you can wait and grab at some really great clearance prices.
Dish Detergent – Aldi’s brand Radiance is an exact match to Dawn dish detergent. Aldi’s brand sells for $1.69 and sells Dawn right next to it for $4.24 for those Dawn die-hards. My local supermarket sells Dawn for $6.69.
H20 Face Cream – this is a raved about face cream and at only $3.99 you can not beat it.
Candles – Tons of amazing scents including seasonal scents and designs. For a fraction of the cost of any other candle brands.
Chicken Salad – My own personal addiction is the Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad, it is insanely delicious.
Cereal – Aldi’s Millville brand Honey Nut Crisp Oats is a close comparison to Honey Nut Cheerios. Many people say they love Aldi’s brand better due to the slight variation in taste. The Millville Honey Nut crispy Oats sell for $1.99 and Aldi also sells the Cheerios for $4.33. And my traditional supermarket sells Cheerios for $6.89 on sale!
What NOT to buy at Aldi
Hey, we are not all perfect and neither is Aldi. Knowing what to avoid will save you a tiny bit of possible frustration and keep your Aldi experience perfect. There are also exceptions to every one of these what not to buy items. I recommend joining an Aldi group or an Aldi Reddit for great recommendations on specific items that are raved about by shoppers.
Milk – I personally can not recommend the milk, while the pricing is incredible, I have heard lots of cases where the milk spoils before the expiration date, negating any possible savings.
Potato Chips or Popcorn – There are a few exceptions like the specialty popcorn featured this fall, Specially Selected Pumpkin Cheesecake Drizzle Caramel Corn, buy every bag you can find!!!! But overall potato chips are a do not buy item. They are very inconsistent in taste and quality. The popcorn also can get disappointing in the taste department.
Produce – this one is a bit controversial because many swear by Aldi’s produce. I am not one of them, I find their produce to be very inconsistent and can spoil quickly. I recommend really inspecting the produce well before purchasing. (this does not include their salad bags, those are a good buy)
Kitty Litter – while it is a great price, the quality is lacking and if you have more than one kitty that lacking in quality can become a big issue.