Up until recently, the only reason I went into Aldi was for their sales on produce. I never shopped anything else because, I, like a lot of people, have always been a little leery of off brands when it comes to food. It wasn't until I started couponing that I started opening up to the idea of using off brands and now that we are living on one income and trying to stick to a budget, I have become even more open to using off brands.
One day I decided to peruse through the aisles to check out their other products and since that day I've been doing the bulk of my shopping at Aldi.
Here are three reasons why I think you should shop at Aldi:
1. Their products are the same if not better than the brand names.
I've been shopping at Aldi for about 2 months now and have developed a love of some of the "off brand" items. Not only do they taste the same or very similar but they are just a fraction of the cost of the brand name!
One thing I have noticed about their products is that they seem to have far less ingredients (i.e. preservatives) than the brand name products. For example, the Clancy's brand chips. We are a chips and dip eating family, specifically cheese queso. Now, I have always been a Tostitos snob. Nothing ever really compares to my beloved Tostitos but when I started buying Aldi's Clancy's tortilla rounds, I was very impressed with the quality! I then decided to try their versions of Cheetos, Cool Ranch and Cheese Doritos and was just as impressed. Did you know that MSG is listed as one of the ingredients in Doritios and Cheetos?!
Aldi also carries a lot of organic and gluten free products. I haven't tried any of the gluten free products but I hear they are pretty good.
2. Their prices can't be beat
Back to the chips. I can buy a bag of the "Doritos" for about 40% less than the brand name Doritos. Forty percent?! That's a lot of savings for something that tastes just as good!
Now let me throw in a little disclaimer here, a lot of what I buy at Aldi are things that I typically can't get coupons for or are usually cheaper than the brand names after coupons (which is a lot). Also, there are some items that are very close in price to the brand names so it's a good idea to be aware of what you pay for items at other grocery stores.
Here's another little price comparison for you… Right before I started shopping at Aldi, the girls were begging me for Graham crackers during a trip to Target. I gave in and grabbed a box of the Honey Maid Graham crackers that were "on sale" for $2.99. Later when I started shopping at Aldi I discovered they had graham crackers for $1.39!!!! If I gave you a blind taste test between the two brands you would. not. be able to tell a difference. Not. at. all.
3. They have a limited selection.
Ok, this sounds more like a negative but hear me out. If you, like me are on a budget and have a hard time staying in budget because….SQUIRREL! Then this is the place for you. The fact that they have a limited selection means that you won't end up with a bunch of the junk food needless items that often end up in your basket at bigger grocery stores and therefore are more likely to stay in budget.
Here are some of the Aldi brand products that I purchase on a regular basis:
- Heavy Cream
- Sour Cream
- Cottage Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Shredded Cheese – doesn't seem like it's cheaper but they carry larger bags so if you break it down per ounce, it is indeed cheaper
- Orange Juice - Tastes just like Simply Orange
- Little Salad Bar Guacamole – tastes just like Wholly Guacamole
- Tomato Sauce & Tomato Paste
- Graham Crackers
- Canned Beans
- Canned Veggies
- Lemonade Mix
- Macaroni & Cheese – My girls can't tell the difference. Beware of the single servings though, they're not any cheaper than big box stores.
- Chicken, beef & vegetable broth/stock
- Salad Dressings – I've only tried an couple and they are good.
- Frozen Vegetables
- Vanilla Wafers – same story as the graham crackers
- Instant Oatmeal – however I often also make my own.
- Baking Goods (sugar, flour, baking soda, etc.)
- Muffin mixes
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Biscuits and Crescent Rolls
- Sandwich bread, hamburger & hot dog buns
If you haven't taken the plunge and shopped at Aldi yet, and have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or email me.