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What to Buy (and what not to buy) at Aldi – Free Checklist

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Do you have an Aldi nearby you? It can be an amazing place to get some great deals on a regular basis. But, the thing is not everything at ALDI is going to be the best prices that you can find. For someone who feed her family of 10 on just $350 a month, I need to make every penny count. That means always getting the best prices I can for the foods that I buy.

I am amazed more and more at the selection and quality offered at ALDI, and it takes a bit of work to figure it all out. But, the good news is, I’ve made it easy for you!


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Here is the list of what to buy and what not to buy at ALDI if you want to get the most bang for your buck like I do!

smart things to buy at aldi

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At times milk, eggs, or other various items may be on sale for a better price elsewhere, but I would say that only happens about four times a year at best.

At times Aldi gets specialty items in, too, but this is a list of things I know I can always get for a good price from Aldi. Because those specialty items vary, I am taking on the things they regularly carry.

Here is my list of what to buy, and what not to buy, at Aldi:

Things I almost always buy at Aldi

  • milk
  • eggs
  • snack chips
  • saltine crackers
  • salad dressing
  • spices
  • salt and pepper
  • vanilla
  • gravy packets
  • cooking spray
  • cocoa powder
  • buttermilk (if I buy it as opposed to making it as I mentioned in baking substitutions)
  • yogurt in the big tub
  • various fruits as they are on special
  • bananas
  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • celery
  • iceberg lettuce
  • bag of onions
  • cream cheese
  • soup, especially cream soups
  • tortillas
  • pancake syrup
  • butter
  • some bread items

Things that I feel are rarely cheaper to buy at Aldi, if ever (some may surprise you)

  • cereal (I can get name brand with a sale and a coupon at stores like Meijer in most cases)
  • breakfast/granola bars (I make my own)
  • toiletries
  • lunch meat
  • meat in general (sales at bigger stores are almost always better)
  • cheese
  • canned fruits and veggies (sales at bigger stores are almost always better)
  • pretty much all frozen foods
  • boxed mixes for just about everything whether baked goods or potatoes
  • things like foil, saran wrap etc.
  • some bread items
  • I have heard that they have awesome prices on really nice wine as well as specialty chocolate, (can anyone vouch for this?)

Aldi really can help cut down on your grocery budget, you just have to know what to buy and what not to buy.

save money aldi

As I mentioned in my grocery tips, you can’t assume that everything there is going to be cheaper all the time. When making my grocery list I always do my match ups with the bigger stores first, and I then fill in with Aldi on what I still need.

To really start slashing your grocery budget, check out this list next time you’ve got grocery shopping to do!

What is your experience with Aldi?

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43 Comments

  1. ALDI has a fantastic selection of chocolate, because the company purchased a German chocolate factory when they thought prices were ridiculous for subpar product.

    It’s a fascinating company, for sure.

    1. I have heard that about wine, too! Aldi really is a great place. I am always amazed at what they have there!

  2. Wine…..Its just a few dollars cheaper. However I haven’t bought any since we get a good deal on a case at Trader Joe’s. I can’t vouch on the taste.

    1. I have heard that about the wine I thought! Thanks for sharing that. I have also heard that Trader Joe’s is a great place for wine, too. I have friends who go to both Aldi and Trader Joe’s because they prefer their wine even though they could afford something much “fancier.” It must be good. Actually, I have also heard that Aldi has good chocolate…I might have to try that out, too 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    2. Trader Joe’s & Aldi are Sister stores or owned by the same corporation so don’t be afraid to try the Aldi wines!

      1. Well this isn’t true. Aldi is owned by own brother and Trader Joe’s is owned by another brother. The 2 companies are not business affiliated in anyway. But Aldi does have SEVERAL award winning wines

  3. I drive an hour to buy Christmas chocolate and Lebkuchen at the closest Aldi. Aldi is a German company, and who does chocolate better than Germany??!?

      1. You can pick up a bottle of “Winking Owl” wine for $2.96 a bottle in missouri from an Aldis. They are surprisingly very good.

        1. I need to try their wine. I have heard this before so it must be good! Going shopping there today…

  4. Trader Joe’s and Aldi are owned by the same company, so the deals one finds on wine are probably similar. I’ve purchased a couple of bottles of their wine and it’s a fine table wine (but not a fine wine). Their beer is a decent price and similar quality to name brands we’re used to and I find the overall quality of their products equal to, if not better than, the name brands we have in our mainstream grocery stores (that took me awhile to come to grips with!). I’m a little surprised at your findings for deli meat and cheese, however, unless it’s regional pricing. Our Aldi sells a “sub sandwich” package which is slices of turkey and ham and makes, gosh, a LOT and sells for around $5. I pounce on their sales for hamburger, too, though I tend to agree with you on other sale prices on meat. Their cereal prices are among the best I’ve found, too, so I’ll be revisiting my price lists. Great information. Thank you!

    1. I do think that Aldi is regional to a great extent. Actually all groceries are. It is amazing at what people can pay elsewhere. I think their quality is great, too, which I do think is kind of a mental thing like you said. That deli meat and cheese is sold as a package? If so, I will have to look for that. I don’t think I’ve seen that!

  5. I love the Dark mint chocolate from Aldi, yum! I will be honest that I don’t coupon, but I have saved a lot buying blocks of cheese at Aldi. They are over a dollar cheaper than other stores. I also buy frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, saving at least $2 every time compared to other stores. I do agree that most of the frozen fruits and veggies are the same price as other stores. I also agree with your buy list at Aldi, I get most all of those things!

  6. I always buy the blocks of cheese at Aldi’s. They are cheaper than Walmart or Publix for the exact same thing and the quality is the same. I don’t care for Aldi’s potato chips either, I usually get Lays at Walmart or when they are on BOGO at Publix. I live in the south though, and we don’t have a Meijer’s here.

  7. Great list! I agree with most, except the cheese. Here, cheese is cheaper at Aldi than anywhere else.

    1. Isn’t that so amazing how things are regional? I would love to sit down with a panel of people to price compare on grocery items in different areas of the country. I bet the results would be pretty diverse!

  8. Aldi has really embrased being a place to go for gluten free. Their boxes are color coded accordingly making them easier to find on the shelves. When we realized our youngest son needed gluten free I was in a wirl wind trying to figure it all out. One of the Aldi clerks explained their lay out. While I dont buy alot it’s nice to have the option. Thier gf pizza crust is very good.

    1. I have heard that! I have found that they have really expanded their product line in the past couple of years. They don’t always carry everything all the time, but they really seem to be trying new things.

  9. Chocolate is very good and cheap. Especially good deal at xmas and easter with the little foil wrapped chocolates. Excellent German milk chocolate for the same price as waxy, nasty drug store chocolates.
    Coffee pods boxes always under $5 and VERY good.
    Blocks of cheese cheap and excellent quality.
    Hummus exactly like Trader joes but cheaper.
    Frozen shrimp cheaper than other store sale prices.
    Cake mixes are very good.

    The best thing about Aldi for me is that you don’t have to BOGO or coupon to get great prices. I live alone and do not need two packages of just about anything at one time. Hate BOGOs from other stores. Just give me a good price on one.

    1. We just now have gotten a Trader Joes here. I haven’t even been there yet, but I so need to check it out to compare. I have heard that Aldi has excellent chocolate…even from a German friend of mine who knows her chocolate!

      1. Jennifer, Their chocolate is excellent! I always buy the pretty little imported candies at Easter and Christmas for our young adult daughter and young relatives. The chocolate is comparable with the import stores and Whole Foods but at a fraction of the price. This Easter they had little German chocolate hollow eggs with tiny little M&M style chocolates inside that the kids LOVED! They are always beautifully wrapped and a little different so they are special items for the holidays. I shop mostly at Publix and Kroger but buy a lot of produce, tortilla chips and hummus at ALDI. Our local store here in Georgia also has great buys on plants in the spring months.

        1. We do get plant deals, too. That is a great tip! I need to add chocolate into the post…so many people rave about it!

    2. Hey Nancy! I don’t know if all stores are required to do this now but at Publix you can just buy one item on their BOGO list and they will sell it to you for half price. You don’t have to buy TWO. ( I found this out by accident when talking with the cashier one day – they don’t advertise this.) I was excited about this since we are now empty-nesters!

  10. Just starting shopping at Aldi’s and I tried their raviolis. They’re not frozen. I cooked them up and they were delicious and expanded 4X’s in size. Also made in Italy. Thought I would pass this on.

  11. I would recommend their chocolate as well Can’t go wrong with German chocolate

  12. Aldi is always my first choice. Less expensive on meat, canned veggies and fruit, as well as the things you mentioned. Wine is worth trying. I spend 25-50% less than I do larger stores and around 15-20% less than at Wal-Mart. I really don’t have time for clipping/organizing coupons or scrolling through lists on coupon apps. I don’t have the patience to schedule my grocery trips around double and triple coupon events at larger chains so Aldi it is!

  13. I think Aldi is great but can you but can they offer goods for organic use. Clean living is something that I have experienced in the passed seven months and like that feeling.

  14. Aldi also has great seafood buys. Ahi tuna steaks 12oz for $5.95, wild caught pink salmon fillets 16oz for $4.95, collosal shrimp I believe 16oz for $11.95, scallops 16oz for $9.95, and garlic & tomato sauce mussels 16oz for $2.95 (the same dish is a $10 appetizer at Bonefish Grill). All are quick frozen and vacuumed packed. All the seafood at Publix indicates it’s previously frozen.

    Aldi also has great prices on lettuce or bagged salads. Bagged salads go for $1.99 to $2.49. Publix charges $3.99 or more. A head of iceberg lettuce is $1.59 at Aldi, $3.59 at Publix. Aldi also had artisan lettuces in plastic clam-shells for around $2.49.

    Also have to weigh in on the cheese debate. Eight oz. cheeses at Aldi are a $1.79. At Publix, they’re $3.98. My wife will not purchase grated cheeses, stating they’re chemically treated to keep the cheese from sticking together. But I see those too are priced at Aldi well below other grocers.

    1. Great tips! Thanks for sharing! I so wish we had Publix here. They seem to have so many amazing prices!

  15. I live in Chicago and Aldi beats my local Jewel & Marianno’s! The cheese is cheaper at Aldi for me. And the cereal I am happy to buy at Aldi because it doesn’t have all the extra food coloring & my boys love it. As for the chocolate, my kindergartner always make sure to walk out with some, lol!

    1. I get those for super cheap at drugstores. They are amazing places to get all kinds of cheap and free stuff when you know how to play what I call the “drugstore game.”

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