Let me tell you a little story. It’s all about how I moved to northern VA from Italy and almost had a HEART ATTACK the first time I went to the store and saw a total of $500.
I basically hyperventilated and then wondered how in the WORLD I was going to afford living here with five children.
And then I discovered Aldi.
Aldi is owned by the same umbrella corporation as Trader Joe’s (possibly my favorite store on earth) and is almost all generic brands. However, now and then you will see a few regular brand items. You just have to look. These stores have very low overhead. They aren’t big, they don’t have a meat counter or a deli counter or anything like that. There are usually only a couple of checkers working and you bag your own groceries.
Now I drive 20 minutes there and 20 back to get these deals. Is it as convenient? No. Do I still have to supplement gourmet items and produce/meat from other stores at times? Yes.
I read recently that eventually Aldi will be all organic and ban all pesticides, which is exciting!
I’d never been to an Aldi before. Now I know many of you HAVE and that you are undoubtedly more of a pro than I am. But I thought I’d do a post telling you a few of my faves and a few tips.
First, here’s a photo of a receipt to prove I’m not lying or exaggerating, ha!
Now here are a few things you need to know.
- Take a quarter if you want to use a shopping cart. Just like in Europe, you have to slide a quarter into a slot on the cart in order to use it. When you return the cart, you get a quarter back. I keep a stash of coins in my car just for this.
- Take bags for your groceries. You will have to sort, bag, and carry your own purchases. I use several Large Utility Totes, Fresh Market Thermals, and Tote-ally Thermals from my Thirty-One shop. Life changing. TRUST me on this.
- Shop when you have TIME. I’m not saying you can’t swing by just to grab milk. That is obviously okay, too. BUT i find the best deals and surprises when I can look at each and every aisle.
- Plan on having to supplement with meat and produce from other stores and budget for that. I buy some of the produce and a few meat items there, but not many. I prefer Trader Joe’s for that kind of stuff.
- Don’t expect to find everything on your list every time. Aldi has different inventory every single time I go. Sometimes they have really random stuff that I love, but yet they don’t have corn or beans.
- If you see something you like, buy multiples. You may never see it again.
- Don’t be afraid to unbox items before you bag them. Many times I will stand at the counter, empty the boxes, bag the items, and then flatten the boxes and take them to recycling. Much more space efficient.
- Try to go on your own, if possible. Now listen. This is just my opinion. Y’all KNOW I’m rarely alone. But I try to go to Aldi when Jimmy is around because the stores are not big. It’s easier without a gaggle of maniacs. That said, of course I’ve been with all five. It was not fun.
- Be patient. The reason that you can expect these prices at Aldi is because, as I explained above, they don’t have many employees or overhead. Expect to have to wait. Make friends in line, that’s what I do.
- Prepare to jump up and down and clap when you see the total. I’ve been known to do so on the reg.
Here’s what it looks like when I’m done bagging my groceries:
Now I want to share some photos of things I routinely buy at Aldi. I think you can see the price in most of photos. AMAZING, huh?? There are lots of things I don’t have photos of, too. Like I said, the inventory is different every single time I go!
Look at that price for organic milk!
I buy all of our school snacks at Aldi and I buy them in bulk:
This prosecco is from the region in Italy that is my fave. We lived right by it and routinely purchased the prosecco from that region. This bottle is only EIGHT FREAKING NINETY NINE and is delish.
Baby food packets, I also really like their wipes:
Don’t remember the price on these crackers, but probably under $2
Trust me. These pizzas are DELICOUS. And so much more affordable than delivery. We buy them for Friday night pizza and movie night.
A nice sweet treat. They remind me of the cinnamon twisties at Taco Bell. Don’t even ACT like you don’t know what I’m talking about.
These are so good with the hummus:]
Have you ever noticed how expensive nuts are? These big bags are less than $5 and are so good:
If you are craving Girl Scout cookies, grab these next two items. I won’t even admit how many of these we go through. I’m ashamed, ha! Their generic oreos are also excellent.
These taste exactly like Kind Bars.
SO MUCH CHEAPER than Polly-O
These juices are perfect for adding a splash of sweetness to water.
Our favorite chips. Especially with the Aldi salsa, which is also delish:
I have to ration these b/c the girls will inhale them if I don’t keep tabs on them. The yogurt sleeves are great, too.
Whew! Of course I have many other faves. The ravioli are so darn good as are the waffles. The natural lunch meat is great and we also routinely by the general BelVita breakfast cookies. I mean, I don’t think I’ve had anything bad from here. Although, as I said previously, I don’t really buy chicken or seafood there. I have to buy a few produce items separately every week too.
So that’s it for today! Hopefully this was helpful in some way.
Have a beautiful day.