When people that I know are struggling with their grocery budget, one of the first things I tell them is to try shopping at Aldi. It took me a long time to come around to the Aldi craze, but I am consistently amazed at the cost savings at Aldi over my other local grocery store. I save 30-40% every single week just by changing my grocery store.
Aldi certainly has its own culture: renting your cart with a quarter, limited choices, small inventory, small stores, no name brands, bringing or buying bags, and bagging your own groceries. Once you get past the initial stage of learning the ropes of the store, Aldi becomes like a beloved friend that week after week delivers on quality food at low prices. Personally I like the simple, no-frills feel of the store. I’m in and out in no time, that is unless I get sucked in by a great buy in the Aldi finds or special buys sections. That doesn’t happen often though, because one key to me keeping my grocery budget in check is to make a list and stick to it.
Just like every store though, there is a fair amount of food offered that I do not buy. Either I could make it for less at home or the ingredients just aren’t that great and it’s highly processed. I thought it might be helpful to make a list of all of the items that I do purchase on a regular basis. Now, some items I could still make cheaper at home, for example, yogurt, broth, and bread, but I still included them in this list because they meet my standards for healthy options when you are short on time.
List of Healthy Food at Aldi
noodles (The gluten free, rice, and organic are all options that I buy)
canned tuna and salmon (wild caught preferred)
canned tomato products
flax seed meal
vanilla (look for pure vanilla with just alcohol and vanilla beans)
peanut butter and nut butters (look for one with no added sugar)
popcorn (not microwave)
apple cider vinegar
jam (look for the specialty jam with just fruit, sugar, and pectin)
organic free range broth (Homemade is better and cheaper, but this is a good option in a pinch.)
all produce (Fruit and avocados are especially great prices at Aldi. There is even a growing organic section.)
frozen seafood (wild caught salmon, flounder, shrimp, scallops)
eggs (conventional or organic)
bacon (“never any” brand has clean ingredients)
lunch meat (“never any” brand is decent)
beef, chicken, pork (There are often organic or grass-fed varieties. I still prefer to buy my meat in bulk from local farms, but if you don’t have access to these options or are on a tight budget, the meat here is an option.)
milk (I personally do not buy milk here. I purchase organic raw milk from a local farm, but I still included it here. They have both organic and conventional milk not grown with artificial growth hormones.)
butter (I typically buy Kerrygold from another store, but the butter here is perfectly fine if you are on a budget.)
cheese (There are lots of options here. Just make sure you turn the package over and look at the ingredient list. Stay clear of funky ingredients. The cheese blocks, mozzarella balls, etc are typically good buys.)
dark chocolate (Look for the 70-80% dark.)
What about you? Are you an Aldi fan? What are your favorite Aldi buys?