What I Buy at Aldi

Aldi baking paper

Last year after hearing so much about Aldi from The Frugal Girl, I decided to make a trip out to my closest store and check it out. The store is smaller than my normal supermarket, so doesn’t have everything I buy, but there were good deals on quite a few things that I buy. I decided to make the trek out there about once a month to stock up.

So to help out any local readers who are not sure what is available in Aldi, here is what I buy on those trips:

Aldi olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil ($16.99 for 3L) – I decant this into a 1L bottle to make it easier to use, and then open the tin with a can opener to get the last bit out.

Aldi organic butter

Organic butter ($2.89 for 250g) – This is less than half the cost of organic butter at the supermarket. I buy a few sticks and freeze them until I need them.

Real maple syrup ($6.99 for 250ml) – This is expensive but is still $1 cheaper than the supermarket. I’m still looking for a bulk source.

Aldi sardines

Tinned Sardines in Spring Water (59c for 125g) – These are also less than half the cost of the ones in the supermarket. I buy the ones in spring water because I prefer them, but they also come in tomato sauce.

Aldi coconut cream

Tinned coconut cream (79c for 400ml) – This is the cheapest price I have found for coconut cream. I prefer to buy coconut cream because it can also be watered down to make coconut milk, making it even more budget-friendly.

Rice cakes – unfortunately my local store was out of these when I went recently but I usually buy a bag or two to eat with almond butter. They’re around $1 a bag.

Aldi tinned tomatoes

Tinned diced tomatoes (59c for 400mL) – I only discovered these on my last visit but I hope they are a regular product. They’re 10c cheaper than the ones in the supermarket, which isn’t a lot but every bit helps!

Toothbrushes – I can’t remember how much I paid last time I bought one, but it was significantly cheaper than the supermarket.

And finally…

Baking paper (90m for $12.95) – I found this enormous pack of baking paper this week, which was great because I’d just run out. I expect 90m (295 feet) to last me 2-3 years!

Do you shop at Aldi? What do you buy there?

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Comments

  1. My parents live super close to an Aldi and I used to shop there when it was my cooking week. It just annoys me to have to go to another store :s

    My friend bought me maple syrup at costco, but I’m not sure on the price. I’d never thought of watering down my coconut cream – nice tip! I use so little oil I realise seeing that huge tin!

    • It annoys me to go to another store as well – but luckily there is a cheap butcher and a cheap fruit and veg shop in the same centre as Aldi, so I can combine them and only have to park the car once!

      I wish we had a Costco here – my friends in Canberra buy their maple syrup there, and I have another friend in Melbourne who buys everything there! I should get her to take me on one of my visits.

      And just to make it clear, that tin of oil lasts me for quite a few months, I don’t buy one every month!

  2. I am now a regular Aldi’s shopper after being skeptical about the products. The prices are hard to beat unless the regular supermarket is having a very good sale. We regularly buy milk, eggs, cereal, yogurt, cheese, and fresh fruits and veggies. I am happy with most of their products. However, there are a few I don’t like-dish detergent (takes more than other brands), orange juice (has bitter taste), microwave popcorn (burns and bag tears). Other than that, I have been happy with everything.

    I’ve never seen the products you showed that you buy at Aldi’s except the butter. Ours has olive oil, but not in such a large container. I guess they stock regionally.

    • That’s good to know about the dishwashing liquid – I was looking at it this week, but didn’t buy any because it wasn’t any cheaper than my normal one. I do look at the fruit and veg, but in my store the section is quite small, and the prices are often cheaper at the nearby fruit and veg shop. I did get some pink lady apples there on this trip though for $1.50 a kilo ($3 a pound).

      I’m sure Aldi has regional differences because I never recognise any of the things the Frugal Girl posts about. I got excited when she posted about organic cheese, but have not seen it here (a shame since it costs around $25 a kilo normally!). I do like Aldi’s cheese in general though.

      You should do a post about what you buy at Aldi – it would be fun to compare :)

  3. Aldis must just be about everywhere, except here!

    We don’t have an Aldis where I live. As far as I know they haven’t reached the west coast of the US. But I do think its helpful to the budget, to shop around and find the places near you that have the best price on the quality that you enjoy, on individual items.

    Lately, I’ve been more and more impressed by the dollar store in our area. Their food department has really grown. I needed waxed paper in March for a birthday cake, and to be able to stop in the dollar store and find the brand I normally buy for just $1 is amazing. I’m also buying my soy milk (common brand) there these days. Some of the brands are those that I’ve never heard of before, but others are familiar to me.

    If I see something new and I’m not sure if we’ll like it, I just buy one of the item. We try it and if it “passes” in our family I stop in again to buy more. This would apply to any store, even Aldi. If you see something new and you’re not sure about the quality, buy just one and give it a try. You’re not stuck with a huge supply this way, if it turns out you don’t like it. And if you like it, you can always go back for more.

    • I keep hearing about good food at dollar stores. None of the ones around here have much more than bags of candy. I’m going to have to look into them again to see if things have changed since I have visited.

    • That’s too bad about no Aldi, but it sounds like you have quite a few other stores. I’ve read about food being sold at the dollar store on other blogs as well – we have nothing like that here. We do have $2 shops, but the only food they sell is chocolate and lollies – nothing fresh.

      I usually do the same thing – just try one of something to see if I like it. The one exception I made was the Aldi sardines – they were so cheap that I decided to stock up and risk it. Luckily I liked them (unlike the smoked oysters!).

  4. Aldi in Michigan has different items than yours does! :) I get most of our canned items/boxed items from Aldi. I also buy our bread and eggs from there. I recently gave up on their milk after a couple of experiences where it went sour before the expiration date. Produce in our Aldi can also be iffy. I love the smaller size of the store and how quickly they get you through the check-out line. It’s hard to calculate the savings, but I know I save hundreds yearly, and I don’t have to deal with coupons–bonus!

    • What does you store have that’s good? That’s interesting that you said it’s quick to get through the checkout because mine is actually quite slow because lots of people shop there and there’s only 2-3 checkouts.

      I agree about the produce – sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not. I also don’t like that they pre-package a lot of it, especially as I’m only buying for one person.

      • Our Aldi has great chocolate. I also like their cheese/yogurt/sour cream. I am picky about flour so I don’t buy that there, but all other baking supplies are purchased there. My in-laws live in Illinois and their produce is wonderful, but ours isn’t–I guess that’s just a regional difference? Different distributors? We also have a Save-A-Lot but Aldi is a cleaner, nicer store in our area so I never go there.

        I wonder if the American stores push efficiency more than in other countries. Frugal Girl has posted on techniques the store uses to get customers through the line quickly. I have this nerdy love for efficiency so I found it very interesting.

        I had a couple of bad experiences buying meat at Aldi so I don’t usually purchase my meat there.

        • I’m quite partial to the chocolate as well :) And I like their blue cheese. That’s interesting about baking supplies – I looked for cocoa last time I was there and they didn’t have it – they don’t really have a baking section here at all.

  5. johan de klein says:

    Aldi is a great store with deals. I grew up in the Netherlands were we went to Aldi`s every week. I immigrated to the US, and now have to drive an hour to find an Aldi here in Missouri. So we only shop there when we already go that way, other wise with the gas on top it`s cheaper to go to our local store. When we go to Aldi`s we stock up on cans and non perishable items. I`m not impressed with their produce or meat collection.

    • Hi Johan, thanks for stopping by :) I also like to stock up once every month to six weeks, because my Aldi is about 30km from my house. It’s great that they have such good deals on non-perishable (or freezable) items, which makes stocking up worthwhile.

      In terms of their meat, I haven’t tried it yet, but they are one of the only places to buy grass-fed beef here. I prefer kangaroo meat, but I should give it a go.

  6. We don’t have Aldi here in Denver either. But I can console myself by the fact that I do have a Save-A-Lot and a Lowe’s/Avanza market, both within easy walking/biking distance. From what I gather, these stores don’t have much reach, but they sure do have good prices!

    • That must be great to have two cheap stores so close to home :) We really only have two supermarket chains here in Australia, which led to a duopoly and quite high prices. Aldi is starting to change this, and hopefully will open the doors for more discount supermarkets.

  7. No Aldis in Canada. Do you have No Frills? They are all no-name stuff!

  8. Interesting piece on Australia’s “Today Tonight” about saving by shopping at budget supermarkets like Aldi, Costco, and NQR: http://youtu.be/FLW8Nr6r35M
    There are no Costcos or NQRs in my area, however.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We finally got our local Aldi store last year and I was so excited cos it is literally down the road from us, no lights, less than 1 klm away. I’ve been a fan of their products for quite a while. I do admit that the stores are quite drab and often depressing but the checkout prices always lift my spirits back up.

    I was a cautious shopper at first. I tried the cleaning products due to the cheap prices and non have disappointed. Love the Mold Away for cleaning my shower.

    My theory is that with limited shelf space they can only afford to stock products with regular turnovers. So these must undergo stringent testing prior to being stocked. And, since non have disappointed me to date, I think my point might just be correct. :)

    We don’t buy a lot of meat due to a local source BUT the burgers are very tasty and moist after cooking.

    Recently my husband met a man who makes their jam. He was told that Aldi have a strict policy to use local products where ever possible. They make regular inspections for quality control. So that was comforting to know our Aussie farmers are getting looked after.

    In Germany Aldi have competitors with similar marketing techniques The prices over there are mind blowingly cheap ! So Aldi have learn how to operate a slick supermarket long before coming to Australia.

    • Thanks for stopping by Anonymous :) That’s interesting about the policy to use local products – I wasn’t aware of that and it makes me very happy.

      You’re lucky to have an Aldi so close – mine is quite a way away but it is worth the drive.

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