ALDI Grocery: 10 Things About It That Will Surprise You

aldi-produce

aldi-produceDisclosure: I was compensated for my time to write this post and educate you, my friend, on behalf of ALDI. Written 100% by me.

I recently returned from an action-packed trip to Batavia (about 45 minutes outside of Chicago) to visit the ALDI Test Kitchen, a fun place full of delicious surprises. As many of you know, I recently relocated my family to Carmel, Indiana, where ALDI just put in a new store 7 minutes from my house! Here were my big takeaways from the event and recent shopping trip that may very well amaze you.

1. ALDI grocery prices are crazy bananas economical.

We’re talking up to 50% lower than other grocery stores[i]. Their Director of Marketing Liz Ruggles explained how she completes her “weekly shop” for a family of three for just $65 per week, including paper products, cutting her grocery bill in half compared to typical stores. ALDI is kind of obsessed with value. Here are some examples of my favorites that blew my mind[i]:

  • 100% whole-wheat bread: $1.79
  • Almond butter: $5.99
  • Light chunk tuna in water: $.65
  • 100% whole-wheat tortillas: $1.39
  • Frosted shredded wheat cereal: $1.99
  • Baby arugula: $2.49
  • Gallon of lowfat milk: $1.84

In order to do this…

2. ALDI thinks outside of the box on ways to save you money.

ALDI reduces operational costs on things that I’m cool with, like:

  • Displaying ALDI foods in their shipping boxes, which are made in pretty colors.
  • Putting multiple, gigantic UPC codes on each package so the checkout people can zip you through like ninjas.
  • Keeping shopping carts on lockdown, requiring a quarter to release one. (You get your quarter back after you’re finished using the cart.)
  • Carrying 1-3 types of a specific item (like one kind of cocktail sauce) to keep their store space smaller. Easy in, easy out.

Also…

3. 90% of their products are private label.

ALDI works with food manufacturers to make foods that their customers want, so they rely much less on the more expensive, heavily marketed brand names. I sampled a lot of their private label items at the event and these were my favorites, tasting just as good as the national brands, or better:

Aldi chocolate

ALDI dark chocolate vs. national brand

aldi-guac

ALDI guacamole vs. national brand

Aldi veggie chips

National brand vs. ALDI vegetable chips

Rest assured, ALDI still stocks your family’s beloved Goldfish® and Diet Coke®. They listen to their customers and stock some national brand favorites.

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4. ALDI private label products contain no added MSG, certified synthetic colors or trans fats.

They made this change in 2015 during the same time they removed added trans fats. Can I get an amen? While I’m not fanatical about avoiding those ingredients when I’m out and about at restaurants and get-togethers, personally I just don’t want to see those ingredients in the food that I buy and feed my family.

5. ALDI diaper prices are better.

As a mom of a toddler in diapers, I’m always keeping an eye out for the best prices. After all, they wear a diaper for two hours and then you throw it away. I was amazed at how the ALDI private label diaper is still cheaper than the national brand of cheap diapers that I, ahem, used to use. And they still bear the monkey stamp. Hurray.

aldi-gf-pasta6. ALDI has a private label line of gluten-free foods.

For those of you looking for gluten-free goods, ALDI has you covered with their liveGfree line. There’s something for everyone, like crunchy brown rice crackers, pasta, pretzels, soups, frozen pizza, bread, mac and cheese and pancake mix.

Aldi tortillas7. ALDI stocks cool regional items.

In the Illinois store that I toured, they stocked tortillas from a local tortilla factory. Plus, they carried Michigan corn and apples.

aldi-coffee-kcups8. ALDI has great coffee, wine and chocolate.

Yes, even the cups for your Keurig. I bought the Dark Roast private label at $3.99 for a box of 12 cups. Ditto for their 70% dark chocolate bar—so creamy and deep. The ALDI private label Pinot Noir is definitely worth imbibing on a weeknight when you don’t want to spend more than $10 a bottle. One of their Pinot Noirs recently earned a Wine Enthusiast score of 91 and a spot on their Best Buy Wines for 2016 list.

9. ALDI carries fun, quirky and international items.

While ALDI originally hails from Germany, ALDI stores in the U.S. are 100% U.S. owned and operated. But they retain their cool European flair. During the event, I noticed a festive Black Forest Cake mix and pumpkin spice syrup. During my last trip to ALDI, I bought a Tuscan nutty snack mix.

aldi-boots10. ALDI stocks random household items that you may need.

In my last trip to ALDI, I bought a kitchen floor mat, a humidifier and a woven basket bin for the mudroom–things I’ve been needing, but always forget to purchase at the department store. If you are in need of a pair of sparkly witch’s boots, ALDI has your back.

Excited? Keep that love going and get yourself to the ALDI nearest you. For even more love, ALDI gave me a $100 ALDI gift card to give to one lucky randomly selected reader of this blog post! To enter, simply answer below:

If you’re already an ALDI shopper, what do you stock up on?
If you’ve never been to ALDI, what would you stock up on first?

I want to know! Good luck.

I will randomly select a winner on November 30, 2016 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. One entry per person. No cash value.

[i] Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.
[ii] Based on pricing at ALDI’s Carmel, Indiana store.

You might also enjoy:
Oven-Fried Chicken Nuggets with Maple-Dijon Dip
Turkey & Vegetable Confetti Pizza with Almond-Flaxseed Crust

More ALDI posts from my RD friends:

My Top 6 Reasons for Shopping at ALDI, by Meal Makeover Moms

Why It’s Easier to Entertain On a Budget When you Shop at ALDI, by Healthy Aperture

My Trip to the ALDI Headquarters + Giveaway, by The Nutritionist Reviews

HEALTHY GROCERY SHOPPING ON A BUDGET– ALDI: A HIDDEN GEM TAKING THE WEST BY STORM!, by Shaw’s Simple Swaps

8 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT SHOPPING AT ALDI + $100 ALDI GIVEAWAY, by Robin’s Bite

10 Reasons Why This Dietitian and Mom Wants You to Visit ALDI, by Teaspoon of Spice

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Try ALDI, by The Foodie Dietitian

30 Healthy Holiday Foods to Buy at ALDI, by Holley Grainger

MY ALDI EXPERIENCE (IN VIDEO) + $100 ALDI GIVEAWAY, by Love & Zest

How mom and registered dietitian Michelle Dudash stocks her shelves and saves money by shopping at Aldi grocery stores

20 Comments

  1. Julie S says:

    I love Aldi! I go there to get most things and then fill in the rest at a bigger grocery store. My staples are chocolate chips, almond milk, flat wraps, cereal, chicken tenderloins, most fruits and vegetables, and more.

    1. Awesome, Julie! Sounds like you and have a similar grocery list!
      –Michelle

  2. Megan R says:

    Love Aldis!!! I always stock up on the freeze dried strawberries, organic avocados, organic oatmeal pancake mix, and organic mac n cheese!! Plus, the shopping carts are perfect for my 1 and 2 year olds. Not to mention the short amount of time it takes to get through the store with both of them!!!

    1. Ooh I need to check out their mac…Scarlet loves that.

  3. Shanna says:

    Love their prices on fruits and vegetables! Always stock up on bananas each week.

    1. Great getting deals on produce. Love their bag of small pears. Perfect size for Stella.

  4. Sara Heimler says:

    I’ve never been to Aldi, looks like I need to go check it out. I think I would buy milk, cereal, produce and paper goods! Very informative post. Thanks

    1. Yes Sara, you definitely do!:)

  5. Kristina says:

    I have shopped at Aldi for years. It’s like an “undiscovered gem” in the vast sea of grocery stores. 😉 Aldi’s Kids Organic White Cheddar Puffs are a huge hit at our house, and I am hooked on the pretzel slims. Also love the produce prices. I don’t buy everything at Aldi, but I do have quite a few favorites!

    1. Hi Kristina,
      Thanks for sharing! Ooh, we sampled those puffs, too. They were delish. Thank you for reminding me, I need to get those today during my shop for my kids. Have a great weekend.
      Michelle

    2. Congrats, Kristina! You won the gift card! I’ll be in touch with you shortly. Enjoy it!
      –Michelle

  6. greentopiaries says:

    I’m already a HUGE Aldi fan! My Aldi staples are the Fit & Active 45 calorie bread and the Fit & Active string cheese – they have helped me tremendously during my weightloss journey and they are super affordable! Half the price compared to other brands. You also really can’t beat the prices of their produce, especially zucchini for zoodles! Always fun to shop around the holidays – so many unique goodies! Love Aldi so much – thank you for the chance! 🙂

    1. Thank you for sharing your love for ALDI! I just picked up an Advent calendar at ALDI. My girls were so excited!
      –Michelle

    2. Thank you for sharing your love for ALDI! I just picked up an Advent calendar at ALDI. My girls were so excited!
      –Michelle

  7. Denise L says:

    I love Aldi. My favorite section is the dairy department. I love that their dairy products are free from human growth hormones. Their Specialty Selection aged white sharp cheddar cheese is so delicious and a great bargain. Also, they usually have a selection of imported cheeses at great prices. Love the rest of the store too!

    1. Sounds yummy. Thank you, Denise!

  8. Denny D. says:

    Your promo is driving me back for a closer look. The first time I was following my wife and daydreaming. Thanks Michelle
    PGA Denny

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