Aldi may feel like your town’s best-kept secret – but don’t underestimate their plans for total supermarket domination. This discount grocer has plans to take on retail behemoth Walmart by offering more items under their in-house brand (keeping prices down), redesigning their existing stores, and expanding to the tune of 400 new stores by the end of 2018.
The German-based grocery store may not offer bulk discounts like Costco, but what they lack in volume they make up for in rock-bottom prices and high quality offerings. One way they keep prices so low is offering tons of private label merchandise for less.
The no-frills policies help with the bottom line, too – you have to rent your shopping cart for a quarter (which you get back when you return it), but since they don’t need to employ people to round up carts, it’s saving you money in the end. There aren’t any baggers (or bags), so you need to remember to bring your own. They also don’t accept coupons. The whole no-frills atmosphere probably feels different from those other grocers — but it will save you some money.
There are so many gems at Aldi, and we’ve rounded up the best of them. Just don’t forget your quarter; with steals like this you’re going to need a cart!
1. Organic food
What Aldi lacks in variety they definitely make up for in pricing. So you might not get to select from 50 different organic ketchup brands, but the one you do buy will be way, way cheaper than what you’d find at Whole Foods.
So if you don’t care about the brand, Aldi is the way to go when you want to eat clean and save some green.
2. Kitchen staples
Eggs, bread, milk, peanut butter — these are all great deals at Aldi and good reasons to make the store your regular weekly grocery destination.
A Kiplinger study found that staples were significantly less costly at Aldi and reported the following pricing on an average day:
- Eggs: Aldi, 39 cents; Harris Teeter, $1.39; Target, $1.49; Giant, $1.99
- Bread: Aldi, 85 cents; Harris Teeter, 97 cents; Giant, 99 cents; Target, $1.64
- Peanut butter: Aldi, $1.49; Target, $1.79; Giant, $2.19; Harris Teeter, $2.29
- Milk: Aldi, $1.49; Target, $2.98; Giant, $3.49; Harris Teeter, $3.59
3. Store brand products
It’s easy to find knockoff snack items at Aldi. In fact, 90% of the items they stock are private label, so if someone in your family only eats Lay’s brand potato chips, you may want to head somewhere else. But if you’re just as happy enjoying Millville chips and toaster tarts, Aldi offers basically the same merchandise for a much cheaper price, thanks to not having national ad campaigns like the big players.
Customers report consistently high satisfaction rates on all private label food buys from Aldi.
4. Gluten free items
A typical supermarket stocks 14,000 items, while your local Aldi carries about 1,400. But even though they have a smaller stock, a surprising amount of that selection is gluten-free.
The Aldi liveGFree brand has everything from snacks like cookies to pancake mix and more.
5. Organic meat
Organic meat isn’t cheap, but at Aldi it’s usually cheaper than you’ll find at other grocery retailers. One study found that Aldi’s SimplyNature brand organic grass-fed ground beef was just $5.89 per pound, while a similar item at Whole Foods cost a whopping $7.49 per pound.
One tip: Don’t go in with a specific cut that you’re looking for, and instead be open to trying whatever is cheapest or discounted for a quick sale.
6. Foreign novelties
The German-based company has some interesting chocolates and cheeses that you’re not likely to find at other grocery retailers – and everything comes with an impressive price tag, of course.
European chocolates, bread, and other specialty items from Aldi will impress dinner guests, and you don’t even have to tell them they were super cheap.
7. Fruits and vegetables
Aldi sells their produce in bulk pre-packaged bags for a discount, but some shoppers are less than enthused with the quality. However, part of their expansion plan includes upgrades like refrigerated coolers and a more attractive produce display that’s meant to mimic the 365 by Whole Foods format.
8. Dairy items
When Aldi goes toe to toe with Whole Foods dairy, they win on price. Aldi’s Friendly Farms organic fat-free milk costs $2.95 for a 64-ounce carton while Whole Food’s organic low-fat 1% milk costs $3.99.
Aldi’s soy milk, almond milk, yogurt, and cheese is similarly inexpensive.
9. Organic coffee
Looking for a great way to start your day? Try Barissimo fair-trade organic whole bean coffee from Aldi, which will set you back a measly $4.79 — 2.5 times less than you’d pay for a similar bag of beans at Whole Foods.
10. Organic cooking oil
Whether you favor coconut oil or olive oil, Aldi has you covered. They’re also cheaper than competitor Whole Foods by $1 or more — even for organic.
11. Frozen fruit
If you’re a smoothie addict, you probably already know that frozen fruit isn’t cheap. But if you’re shopping at Aldi, it can be — and it’s organic! Check out their selection of Simply Nature frozen berries, peaches, and more, which have the bonus of lasting longer than fresh produce, too.
12. Almond butter
With the explosion of peanut allergies, almond butter has become the substitute du jour, but it comes at a steep price. Head to Aldi for a cheap, delicious jar of this yummy peanut butter alternative and eat it with a side of organic apples from the produce section.
Spice up your life with Aldi brand spices, which are often under $1 and work just as well to season your food.
14. Some name brand items
If you insist on purchasing brand name items, generally Aldi is not your best option. For one thing, they don’t accept coupons like bigger supermarkets. However, sometimes you can score big on closeouts or special buys of name brand products and can save money, too. Just keep an eye out for signage and have a general sense of what things should cost before taking the plunge.
15. Frozen pizza
Frequent Aldi shoppers swear by their store brand frozen pizza, Mama Cozzi. At just under $3 each, these must-buys are surprisingly tasty and are way, way cheaper than delivery.
16. Deli meat
You’ve heard the horror stories about nitrites in lunch meat and preservatives in hot dogs, which is why many health-savvy shoppers seek out uncured and preservative-free versions. At Aldi, you’ll find them in abundance — and for way less money.