The Best Things to Buy at Aldi: Off-Brand Essentials

Aldi offers a no-frills shopping experience and affordable products.
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Written by Tiffany Curtis
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Edited by Courtney Neidel
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Aldi stores are simple by design — there are no add-ons like pharmacies or check cashing, and the layout is small, to help expedite grocery shopping.

But a no-frills shopping experience doesn’t mean skimping on premium offerings — the food products in Aldi's exclusive brand are free of certified synthetic colors and added trans fats. And Aldi’s weekly finds section features deals on premium items like seasonal apparel, outdoor furniture and home goods.

The affordable prices at Aldi make it so that you can stock up a lot of groceries, without sticker shock. “It’s a store that takes away guilt,” says Jenny Martin, the writer behind the coupon website “People know that if they shop there, they don't feel like they've splurged.”

Before you go to Aldi, make sure you have a quarter handy; you'll need it to unlock a shopping cart, which has a coin slot and key. Don't forget your reusable bags, and this list of the best Aldi finds to use as a guide.

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Charcuterie board ingredients

Aldi is a great place to source affordable ingredients if you're putting together a charcuterie board, according to Ashley Williams, founder of the site Oh Hey Finds, where she shares her favorite finds from Aldi, Walmart and Sam’s Club.

“Their range of cheeses, crackers, meats, jams and nuts are fantastic,” she said in an email.

For example, at the time of this writing, we found the charcuterie staple Brie cheese (8 ounces) online at Aldi for $4.19. Cheese of the same type and size was $4.87 at Walmart and $8.99 at Safeway.

Basic food staples

If you aren’t tied to a particular brand for your food staples, then Martin recommends getting them at Aldi.

“It is a great place to go for the basics, like milk, eggs and dairy products,” she says. “They know that milk and egg prices can make people loyal.”

Frozen foods

Martin recommends stocking up on some of Aldi’s frozen items like vegetables, breaded chicken and quick-cook meats. For example, at the time of this writing, we spotted frozen chicken wings (64 ounces) online at Aldi for $13.19 compared to a smaller pack (40 ounces) from a different brand online at Safeway for $13.99.

You can also find a variety of frozen seafood and several meatless options if your diet is plant-based or you're planning the menu for Meatless Monday.


Online reviews of the quality of Aldi's produce are mixed. If you’re going to buy fruits and vegetables from Aldi, it's probably best if you plan to eat them quickly or preserve them. Martin notes that the produce is a good price, but doesn't stay fresh as long as when she buys produce from other grocery stores.

Some produce items, such as onions, lemons and peppers, which may be sold individually at other grocery stores, come packaged in larger quantities at Aldi. Stocking up on your produce essentials could save you money in the long run, and freezing your fruits and vegetables can help extend their life and cut down on waste.

International foods

Williams appreciates Aldi’s food and snack items that are inspired by different cultures. “Aldi does a great job of releasing culturally diverse finds throughout the year — for example, German week and Asian week boast a wide selection of foreign tasting finds,” she said. Williams particularly likes the Deutsche Kuche Bavarian soft pretzel sticks from the freezer section.

How to maximize the benefits of shopping at Aldi

Reasonable prices and fun finds can make it easy to get carried away at Aldi.

To get the most value, Martin suggests shopping at Aldi for the basics and shopping elsewhere for more nuanced needs. Aldi doesn’t carry as many name brands as other grocery stores, so you have to be OK with opting for Aldi-brand products.

And if you want to be sure to score Aldi's best finds, do your weekly shopping on the day Aldi releases its new products. “The best day of the week to shop is typically Wednesdays, because that is when they release all of their new products,” Martin says. And on Sundays, Aldi offers deals on some of their most popular products.

While shopping at Aldi may take some getting used to if you’ve never been before, once you start, you’re bound to find some unique and affordable favorites.

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