Frugal Friday- Aldi

frugalfriday  I have heard about shopping at Aldi for years but resisted. I went to an Aldi a few times when we lived in Chicago and can I just be blunt? It was SKETCHO. The store was dirty, the products quite nasty and the clientele made me wish I was packing heat. So that ended my Aldi shopping. But when I moved here, people kept talking about shopping at Aldi. Normal people. People like me.

So one day I voyaged over to the Aldi that is right around the corner from me. And I fell in love. First of all the store was so clean, the aisles wide and the other customers not at all scary. And I loved the products I found. First of all the people who branded the Fit and Healthy line of products- brilliant. I am a sucker for anything with this label. Rice cakes, yogurt covered raisins, cereal, turkey bacon, frozen meals. The list goes on. Then we found these knock off Fiber One bars that taste even better than the real thing. Throw in milk that is nearly $1 cheaper than Meijer and I am hooked. I can easily fill up my cart and escape for under $20. CRAZY!!

I haven’t ventured out into meat and produce, so if you are an Aldi expert you will have to tell me about that. But if you are hesitant about shopping there, I think you should give it a try. I am kind of a grocery store snob and I have been converted. Do you Aldi and what do you get there?

For more frugal tips, head over to Life As Mom.


  1. I love Aldi! I actually discovered it when we lived in Germany. It is completely different, too. The meat is good. Produce…mmm, depends. I found that they put the freshest on the bottom, so it pays to dig. ;)

  2. abba12 says:

    Hubby was, like you, a grocery snob. So skeptical. I’m glad I got him to see things my way. I find Aldi to be an awesome shop. It’s true you can price match most of the items at the other stores, but only with the lowest of the low home brand, whereas the same price gives a pretty decent product at aldi! There are some things that aren’t as nice, I don’t like their custard powder and hubby doesn’t like their feta cheese, and there are some items you inevitably have to pick up at other stores as they just don’t stock it, but for what you can get it’s a great saving for good food. Now to get his mum to see that…

    As for fruit, veggies, and meat, I live in Australia so I can only give what experience I’ve had with it. Here it’s quite proudly locally sourced, with upwards of 95% coming from local farmers. The meat range takes some meal planning, they don’t seem to have everything all the time, the staples like mince and bacon are always around but other cuts seem to come and go. The quality is good, there’s nothing to be afraid of from it, it’s on par with most supermarket meat, however, a butcher will always win out on that one.

    Fruit and veg appears to be seasonal. They tend to end up with what was left after the big chains took what they wanted. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes not so good. The range is limited. When you can get nice stuff there the prices are a huge difference to the big chains, and it’s good quality stuff, just be aware of what the stock is like before purchase. Having said that, some of what they get, at least here, seems to come from a different supplier to the main chains, and those items are good. I love their capsicums.

    And of course, the other great thing about Aldi is, the weekly specials and the non-food items they get in, with different things each week. They’ve had bake ware, camping equipment, even ski clothes (in Queensland, Australia… not such a well thought out promo that one) At the moment they’ve got womens cami tops, sets of two, for a bit cheaper than I could pick them up at an op shop.

    Can you tell I’m a fan? Hope the info helps!
    .-= abba12´s last blog ..We’ve been so blessed =-.

  3. My particular Aldi has the FRESHEST produce I have found at any of our grocery stores–and it’s much cheaper. I love it. I also love that they don’t accept credit cards. Just gives you another little push to spend wisely.
    .-= Frugal Femina´s last blog ..Guest Post: Frugality is a Marathon, Not a Sprint =-.

  4. Andrea C. says:

    I just started shopping at Aldi last year, and I am definitely a fan! Mostly I buy produce, milk, flour, and bread. I’ve been tempted to try their meat, but I just haven’t brought myself to do it yet. Not sure why, but I would love to hear from people who have tried their meats, and their thoughts.

  5. We also shop at Aldi. We don’t have one close by so we only go every other month or so. Each time we go I try and buy something to test out. Everything there is pretty cheap so it’s not like we’d lose a lot if we try something and it’s not up to snuff. We buy wine, milk, cheese, ground turkey and water there regularly. We have tried a few frozen meals that were acceptable also. I wish there was one closer to us….maybe one day!
    .-= Kati´s last blog ..Happy Birthday Big Monkey! =-.

  6. I fell in LOVE with Aldi when I lived in Germany (that’s where it started). Now I find that it’s good for stocking up on the basics, but it’s hard for me to get EVERYTHING I need there, so I still have to stop my wal-mart or another grocery store to complete my weekly shopping. But, it’s usually worth the time for the money I save. Glad you tried it!
    .-= Erin G´s last blog ..Baby Shower for Mommy and Beanie =-.

  7. Does your charge you to take a cart? lol My grandma loves this store. There are none around me here, but I remember my grandma’s being a bit sketchy. But as you said it might be worth it for the $$$ you save!
    .-= Jen-After the Alter´s last blog ..Fall TV Schedule =-.

  8. Watch out for the “fiber now” bars. While delicious, not as “gentle.”
    The produce is amazing! They have great meats for crockpot night. The pork chops are a little thin, but are great for cuban sandwiches or pan frying.
    Have you tried the whipped yogurt? I stop by there just to buy that. Its so good.
    The kids cereals are all made with whole grains and most, maybe all don’t have HFCS!
    .-= Olivia´s last blog ..Fill In the Blanks =-.

  9. Mmm, I love the strawberry yogurt raisins the best! I buy the produce and meat and it’s just fine. You just need to pay close attention on the produce, like turn a bag of potatoes around several times and check, but mostly it’s all great. I do 90% of my shopping there. In fact, my meal plans are based on Aldi’s food.
    They almost know me by name :)
    .-= Liz@HoosierHomemade´s last blog ..Frightful Fridays ~ Decorating =-.

  10. I am not sure we could afford to eat balanced meals without Aldi.

    I shopped there with mom when I was little, then we moved an hour away from the nearest ALDI and still made trips several times a year.
    Now that I’m married we go there for about everything.

    We nearly live on the frozen ground turkey, the produce is usually a great price BUT it tends to go bad more quickly than stuff from walmart. Potatoes and onions esp, in my experience, tend to rot or mold faster than those from WM, but it isn’t ALWAYS the case.
    Don’t ‘stock up’ on aldi produce is my advice.

    A note on the canned goods – the veggies are great, and wonderfully priced, but you always get less per can.

    I really love their fruitsnacks – the all-strawberry ones :D

    They now have WHOLE WHEAT NOODLES!! Yes!
    So that means now, I buy almost EVERYTHING at Aldi except things like ahem, ‘ladythings’ (I am very picky), suave bodywash (we have our fave scents and it’s worth it to me…), hubby REFUSES to try their deodorant (LOL!), and you can’t get many dried beans there, and they don’t carry brown rice :( Just a few things here and there.

    Their cheese is a good deal at ALDI, but if we want Cheddar or Mozzerella, we buy it at Sams in bulk :D

    And oh yeah, I prefer the WM brand Bleach to the Aldi brand bleach, in my experience that’s not great – just doesn’t accomplish much.
    But their liquid DW soap is awesome.

    I Heart ALDI!!

  11. I love Aldi. I was sad when we had to move last year cause one wouldn’t be right up the street for me to go to. We had come to like their brands better than the name brands for some things. Taco Seasoning, frozen pizzas (til they changed the supplier), and many others. I used their ground beef for many meals. It was 93/7 and cheaper than WM. We would try things there and if we like them better than the store brand, then that’s where we bought it. Where we moved to does have Aldi, but it is outside of my normal driving area, so I don’t tend to go out of my way now to go there. I do miss it though.

  12. I grew up in a family that shopped at Aldi every single month. However, I don’t shop there myself. NOT because it’s not great – it is! And it’s actually WAY nicer with a TON more options than when I was a kid. But I buy all my groceries at Super Walmart – and it’s just so nice to be able to get everything at one store.

    Every month, though, I say, “We should try to go to Aldi.” Maybe this month…
    .-= Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect´s last blog ..What’s the point? =-.

  13. I have been an Aldi chicken myself. Still haven’t gone. But I’ve read that both their ground turkey and their store-brand chocolate chips are the best!

  14. Courtney W says:

    I went there once. I just can’t bring myself to go back. But,I am sure I am in the minority — a lot of people LOVE it.

  15. I shop Aldi and love it! I actuall usually do better getting meat on sale from other grocery stores…but I do LOVE their ground turkey. It comes frozen in 1# packages for $1.19!! It’s great in chili, tacos, etc….it’s frugal AND healthy!! Don’t be afraid of their produce…it’s actually good (except the bananas..they have no shelf life). Again, sometimes I do better getting the fruit that’s on sale at other stores, but the prices still great at Aldi. Happy shopping! :)
    .-= Becky´s last blog ..God’s BIG story!! =-.

  16. We buy milk, eggs, chips, cheese, crescent rolls, produce, usually very good, and sometimes some of the frozen goods, ice cream etc… We like it, our store is clean and well taken care of, they are bringing in more and more branded items. We don’t shop there exclusively, but it is great for teen night at our house, snacks, frozen treats etc…. the kids don’t care.

  17. We LOVE Aldi. Thats the only way I can keep myself in budget while still getting the wants. (I am pregnant and we have a toddler, so it happens all the time.)

    In general, the produce lasts me days longer than produce from any other store. Usually if you look at the produce first (like you do at any other store) you can see if it looks like its going bad.

    We also like their sandwich meat. Where else can you get a 16oz package of sliced ham or turkey for less than $3? Trust me, its rare to find that at other stores. My husband swears by their hotdogs as well as frozen pizza, but to me the hot dogs are hot dogs and nothing special. We don’t buy the fresh meat because a local grocery store has great prices in their ‘mile long meat counter.’
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..News from the homefront =-.

  18. I have reservations about Aldi, too–mostly because of things that tend to be a real inconvenience when shopping with children. But as far as the food is concerned, I have liked mostly everything I have bought. I find the produce to be wonderful, and have not had any problems with it rotten quickly. I have bought bananas, pears, apples, grapes, lettuce, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions….the list goes on…and have been very happy with it.

    Still a fraidy cat when it comes to buying the meat, though. I did do the frozen chicken breast in a 3 lb. bag once, and was very unhappy–haven’t ventured out to the meat since. Glad you’ve discovered something that can save you some grocery money!
    .-= Devin´s last blog ..Confusion =-.

  19. I too, am from Australia. The main things we get there are diapers, wipes, fabric softener, juice, yogurt, dish soap, and the special buys that abba12 mentioned – I picked up some pink boxing pads for $20 a couple of weeks ago, and in the sports shop they cost $50! But the diapers are the big savings, I won’t lie. And the quality of them is good – even overnight.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..I Is Doing Stuff… =-.

  20. I shop at Aldi for everything. I actually LOVE their meat and veggies! My husband was a grocery snob and I started subtly replacing the brands we were using with Aldi brand. I eventually told him and now he is in LOVE! Happy Aldi adventures!
    .-= Jodi´s last blog ..A Ohio Controversy… =-.

  21. Ummm….Chocolate…. Is there a different reason to go there?
    They have the most amazing dark chocolate ever invented. Well for cheap folks like us anyways.
    .-= Staci @teaching money to kids´s last blog ..Feeling Rich #3 Coming From Generous Families =-.

  22. I LOVE Aldi’s too, but I also remembered going as a kid thinking ugh, um I’m never choosing to shop here! :) But my friend told me about it about 5 years ago, so I gave it another try and had to agree – clean, bright, well laid out. I love the Fit & Healthy brand too but probably don’t buy as much as you do! They have unsalted peanuts which are hard to find elsewhere, though the Planters brand is a little crispier (and makes that great popping sound when you open them). But I do give in to the knock-off nacho cheese Doritos sometimes. :) My kids love the cereal bars. Their milk is the cheapest, but I would usually buy 1% and they don’t have that so I get 2%. I usually buy their canned pumpkin and canned cranberry sauce (used in a sausage and pineapple recipe I make year round). LOVE their chocolate ice cream drumsticks!!!! Much cheaper than name brand. My kids like their corn dogs but prefer Tyson chicken nuggets and Great Value (Wal-Mart) fish sticks. They have the BEST price on spiral sliced honey ham for Thanksgiving/Christmas and Easter! It is really really good. I wasn’t impressed with the ground turkey and can usually get meat cheaper elsewhere. The produce seems to depend on the day, I’ll usually look it over and decide if I want to get it there or elsewhere. My kids love the baby carrots and they stay fresh longer than the date. I like the paper (table) napkins too though I’ve been buying Target’s lately. We just moved so I’m not very close to Aldi’s and am quite sad about it. :(
    .-= Need A Nap2´s last blog ..Missy Moment =-.

  23. Elizabeth Bailey says:

    I am HOOKED on Aldi!!! Started shopping there five weeks ago and haven’t gone back to my true blue “snobby” grocery store I’d been shopping for 20 years…I’ve reduced my weekly grocery bill from approx 55-60 bucks a weeks down to 25-31 bucks a week!! Quite a savings..I only wish i’d switched sooner..my local Aldi is spotless and has a terrific selection of fresh produce and dairy. I especially love the Fit and Active line and also the Grandessa line – I’ve only found one item that was so-so – but for the price I paid I’m still buying it in place of the same item I was paying double for at my old fave grocery store..As for the meat, I am slowly adding more meats to my basket – so far so good – I can tell you that the frozen fish (Tilapia and Salmon) have been pretty good, and at half the price even more delicious!!! I am finding that I’m eating a more healthful variety of foods and at half the price – how can anybody argue with that…all you Aldi skeptics just need to give it a chance…go in with a quarter for the cart (you’ll get it back when you return the cart) and bring some bags to pack all your treasures it…walk slowly through the isles and DON’T BE AFRAID TO BUY SOMETHING BECAUSE IT’s SO CHEAP – The food REALLY is good…seriously..and you’ll be happy with all the extra $$ you have left in your wallet when you leave :)
    **be sure to try the “Clancy’s” brand of snacks (tortilla chips, potato chips, etc) They’re really yummy and cheap ( 99 cents for a bag of white tortilla chips).

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