What I buy at Aldi

by Kristen on February 24, 2009 · 48 comments

in Grocery Savings

aldiOne of my readers(Hi, Gail!) was asking what good buys I’ve found at Aldi’s, and I thought maybe I should just list it all in a post. I’m sure this list will expand with time(I keep finding more good deals there!), but I’ll list what I’ve gotten hooked on so far.

Honestly, almost everything at Aldi is priced really well…their everyday prices match nearly every good sale price I can find, and also matches or beats most warehouse prices as well.

Aldi sells some pre-packaged items like frozen meals, and macaroni and cheese type things, but I don’t usually buy those kinds of items and so I’m not equipped to report on their quality or pricing. I generally prefer to buy ingredients instead of prepared items, and what makes me so happy about shopping at Aldi is that I can find good deals on more unprocessed foods like oatmeal, milk, cheese, spinach, eggs, fruit and the like.

Pantry Items

Oatmeal- a large canister of this is only $1.79! A small one costs that much normally.

Crackers-most of them have been really good, and they’re very inexpensive. The animal crackers are especially tasty.

Cereal-I buy the shredded wheat almost every week(it’s Joshua’s favorite cereal). It’s $1.79 a box, which is cheaper than a sale price.

Dairy

Milk-the price varies depending on the fat content, but even whole milk is less than $3

Butter-this is $1.99 a pound, which is the sale price I used to look for, and is also the same price that Costco sells it for. I’m thrilled to have this available at Aldi, though…now I don’t have to look for sales, and I don’t have to buy 4 pounds at a time like I did at Costco.

Cream Cheese-$.99/8 ounces. Again, this is the sale price I used to look for, and now I don’t have to!

Block Cheese-this is usually $1.99 or less for 8 ounces. It’s rare to find cheese that cheaply on sale anywhere else.

Sour Cream-$.99/16 ounces

Large Eggs-$1.45/dozen

Produce

Fresh Express Spinach-$1.39/bag. This is WAY cheaper than I’ve seen it anywhere else, even on sale.

Romaine Hearts-$1.25-$2.50/three hearts

Grapefruit-these vary between $.19 and $.49 apiece. The cheapest I’ve seen them anywhere else has been $.99 each.

Grape Tomatoes-$.89-$1.50/pint. These go for $3 and up elsewhere.

Really, almost all of their produce is worth buying..cucumbers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pineapples, strawberries and a lot more are sold at prices that are right around the loss-leader prices I can find at other stores.

Meat

I haven’t bought a lot in the way of meat at Aldi so far, but most of their meat prices are as good as or nearly as good as the loss-leader sale prices I usually look for.

Their frozen seafood is priced well…for instance, wild-caught salmon is only about $3.50-$4 a pound. I’d have to pay twice that for farmed salmon at a regular store.

Frozen Foods

Frozen fruit(good for yogurt smoothies)-these vary, depending on the type of fruit you buy, but they’re a good deal.

Frozen OJ concentrate-$1.25/12 oz. I love how cheap this is. It costs $2.25 and up at Weis.

I will occasionally buy a box of ice cream novelties. Everything we’ve had so far has been good, and they’re SO much cheaper than anywhere else.

Non-Food Items

I haven’t ventured into the non-food aisles all that much yet. I have bought the ibuprofen(only $.99 a bottle!), and the large pack of toilet paper, but that’s about it.

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This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything I buy at Aldi, but hopefully it’s enough to give you an idea of the sort of deals that can be had there.

If you have some favorite grocery items at Aldi, feel free to share by leaving a comment.

Oh, and has anyone tried their laundry detergent? I’m curious to know if it works well.

Leave a Comment

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Randi February 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I think your cream cheese is only 8oz so its really 1.98lb.

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2 Kristen February 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Ooh, you’re right. I’ll go fix that. Thanks!

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3 Carole Blake February 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Are the eggs at $1.45 free range eggs?

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4 Kristen February 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Nope, they’re conventionally produced.

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5 Kimi February 24, 2009 at 8:21 pm

In addition to your list I’d like to add their flour tortillas (10 count) for $.99, ice cream sandwiches (12 pack) for $1.99, and a 3-pack of kiwi for $.99. Love your blog, keep writing and I’ll keep reading!

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6 Kiki February 24, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Have you ever shopped at a Walmart Supercenter for groceries or their grocery store the Neighborhood Walmart? That’s where I go for everything. Walmart always will match any store’s price on anything. I bring in my Aldi flyer, my Target flyer and Harp’s or Price Cutter flyers, show them to the cashier when I ring up and get a pretty good deal with one stop shopping.I probably drive the people behind me nuts when I whip out my stash of circulars then start in on the coupons, but heck, I’ve been saving every week this month. I can’t stand shopping from store to store to get a good deal. Do any of the other stores accept deals from competitors too?

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7 Kayla December 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Hello, I am a major shopper of Aldi’s and I have been doing so since my first year in college. Today I had to go out and get a few things and I spent $21. 47 at Aldi’s and I bought 2 loafs of white bread, 1 loaf of wheat, butter, a pack of fresh corn, 2 bags of pretzels, 1 bag of veggie chips, a bag of oranges, large box of elbow macaroni, and bananas. I was looking for a can opener and I could not find one so I had to drive to my most dreaded place of all times Wal-Mart! I go into Walmart just to get a can opener and then remembered a few other things I had forgotten. So I pick up a can opener, equal sweetener, wheat pancake mix, and orange juice and my total from Wal-Mart was $22.97 the can opener was only $4.99. Plus the lady checking me out was spacing out and in her owned world did not even greet me or look at me. In my opinion Aldi is the better way to go.

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8 Battra92 February 25, 2009 at 7:59 am

My folks shop at Aldi and personally I can’t stomach their saltines. It’s enough to make this man go to the kitchen and make hard tack. They also have pretty awful bread but then, given the time I’d always make my own.

Their pretzels are excellent, though. :)

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9 Kristen February 25, 2009 at 8:03 am

Carole, nope, they’re just regular eggs. I would be over the moon to find free range eggs for that price!

Kimi-yes, I forgot about the tortillas! I did mention the ice cream novelties…we haven’t bought the ice cream sandwiches yet, but we’ve tried several other things which were all good.

Kiki-I really dislike shopping at Walmart, because it’s always so busy and the cashiers are not all that kind about doign price adjustments(at least at mine). I feel like the difficulty of bringing in fliers and asking for price adjustments is not worth it to me. Plus, Aldi and Weis are closer for me, and Goodwill is right next door. All three of those stores are far less crowded than Walmart too.

If shopping that way works well for you, though, that’s great! I don’t think my way is the only way to do things. :)

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10 Kristen February 25, 2009 at 8:05 am

Battra, we keep commenting at the same time. lol I’m not a huge saltine fan to begin with, but my kids don’t seem to mind Aldi’s version.

I’ve never tried their bread before, since I usually just make my own. Is it a lot worse than bread from other stores? Or just not as good as homemade?

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11 J December 29, 2010 at 9:11 am

I really like the saltines as they are always crispy and have no transfats.
Bread is OK, but nothing compares to fresh homemade.

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12 Daniela February 25, 2009 at 9:01 am

Their chocolate is really great and like the weekly sales they have. I am german so it is almost like coming home when I go to Aldi. Their shampoo and creams are really great too.

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13 Becky February 25, 2009 at 9:56 am

I 2nd the animal crackers. I also purchase several of the other things you have listed. The only thing that I get that you didn’t list is their mustard, which is good as are their stawberry preserves. I also use their paper towels. I don’t like to use a lot of paper towels but I like to have them on hand. I try and make one roll last at least a week if not more. I bought their foil yesterday so I will have to let you know about that one.

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14 Becky February 25, 2009 at 9:59 am

Ooh, I forgot about the pretzels . They are a hit here also. I shop at Super Wal-Mart but didn’t know they will price match. I am not sure if mine does. I will have to see.

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15 Gail February 25, 2009 at 10:35 am

Thanks Kristen for the post! I don’t like shopping at Walmart for food.
I don’t buy their meat and most times the produce looks old and yucky.
The Aldi prices for the produce items are much cheaper than even Walmart’s prices. I’ve had Aldi’s grahm crackers and they were O.K but
I’ll have to try the animal crackers (love animal crackers) and the pretzels (hubby is crazy about pretzels). Unfortunately, I live too far from an Aldi to frequent it too often which is a bummer since you can’t buy produce in bulk and store it for future use. So, the plan is when I am in the area I can shop there and try some of the items others have found good, and eventually build up a list of items we like (and will use!) from Aldi, and buy some things in bulk to hold us over until the
next trip over that way. I also bought a box of their version of “Honey Bunches of Oats” cereal and it was excellent!

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16 Battra92 February 25, 2009 at 10:55 am

To quote my dad it’s edible if you’re going to take it home and eat it right then and there. It goes stale relatively quickly and just is rather blah.

I’m in the NE so we tend to buy either Price Chopper or Stop & Shop bread if buying bread. I try to make bread for my family about once a month or so. It all depends on when I have time and when my mother (I live at home while saving for a house) isn’t around to tell me what to do. ;)

Oh and by the way about the dinner roll recipe you posted, they were delicious. :D

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17 Jennie February 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Great post Kristen! I buy the Aldi flour tortillas (.99) when I don’t have time or feel inclined to make my own.
I have been buying the Aldi laundry detergent for a while now. After I did some research, I found that it would work well for my cloth diapers. We have had no problems at all with it and it is a great deal!

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18 Mary May 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Hey Jennie, Which detergent are you speaking of? I went to Aldi today I say a bottle that loked likt Tide detergent. The price was great not sure of the quality and I have sensitive ski, thanks in advannce.

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19 Bruce March 22, 2009 at 7:16 pm

In addition what I like about Aldi is they pay their employees well and provide good benefits (in contrast to Walmart) Both Aldi and Costco should be commended and patronized not only for their good prices also for their good employee policies something that many of their competitors cant match. Vote for change with your $$$$.

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20 J December 29, 2010 at 9:16 am

And I absolutely LOVE that Aldi grocery carts are NOT rolling around parking areas because customers are too lazy to return them to the proper spot.
I find that for 25 cents, most people will return the Aldi carts to proper cart place! YA!!!!!!

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21 Linda March 29, 2009 at 9:06 am

I live in Massachusetts and we do not have an Aldi near us. I think the closest one is in RI about an hour away. We do have a Pricerite near us. From the prices you described, they are just about the same.

I have friends who refuse to step into a Pricerite because they feel it is for the “low class”. I tell them, they are wasting their money by shopping at the higher end stores. My food bill is only about $40-$60 per week for 4 of us. I have 2 teenage girls. My friends food bill are about $200 per week and they can’t understand why my food bill is so low and we eat really well. I think a big part is where I shop but also what I serve my family.

I cook most of our meals from scratch. I don’t buy alot of chips and snack items. I buy one bag of chips per week for my kids and husbands lunch and when it is gone, it is gone and they don’t have anymore chips for the week. I don’t buy cookies, I bake them or some sort of cake/snack. I can put extra’s in them like flaxseed meal, whole wheat, etc. As I write this, I have a banana bread and coffee cake in the oven for this weeks snacks and lunches. Both have flaxseed meal in them.

I don’t make pounds of meat each night for dinner. If I am making chicken pieces, I make 4 (5 if they are really small). I round out the meal with potatoes, rice, or pasta and a vegetable/salad. If my family is still hungry, they have more veggies.

I sell Pampered Chef products and I think cooking, baking and shopping this way has always helped my business. I pass on this knowledge to my customers. In this economy, I have been busier than ever because people are craving this knowledge to save money. I will pass your website onto my customers! Thanks so much.

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22 Mary May 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Hi Linda, Your dinner ideas sound great to me. I am not a meat lover a small piece of meat is enough for me. I would love for you to share some of your pampered chef recipes with us : ~ D. Thanks

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23 Ron June 23, 2009 at 7:39 am

Aldis produce is very bad. I go in there when they are having a sale on certain things in produce such as the moldy corn on the cob for 10 cents, the strawberries that were dripping out of the container and had more fur than my grandmas coat for 49 cents. rotten apples not even on sale, potatoes anymore are always rotten and moldy onions. disgusting. I have shopped at aldi before but I just cant get the pictures out of my head. I would hate to see what the food in the containers looks like before they fill it. Walmart is crappy too when it comes to their produce, but at least they have bigger apples, and oranges.

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24 Tammy Myers May 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm

At our Aldi’s in Missouri the produce is wonderful! It is always fresh and tastes wonderful. I buy all different kinds from potatoes and onions to mushrooms, tomatoes and any and all fruits. Never ever had anything bad or even look bad. Different locations I guess.

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25 Kristen June 23, 2009 at 9:34 am

Ron, I think that must vary from Aldi to Aldi. The produce at my Aldi has always been just as good or better than the produce from the regular grocery stores around here. Their grapefruit, in fact, was WAY better than the sort sold for 5 times as much at other stores.

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26 Julia August 5, 2009 at 5:06 pm

@Kiki
It’s great that Wal-Mart is willing to match flyer prices, but have you ever been a cashier before? Especially at a place that matches flyer prices? It’s DREADFUL! I mean no offense by this, of course. It’s just an observation. When I was in high school, I worked as a cashier and the looks on the faces of the people in line behind a price-matching customer matched they feeling I battled on the inside EVERY time. It might be worth the few extra miles just in the time saved to NOT have to go through flyers. Just a thought…..

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27 Tammy Myers May 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm

The price matching policy is one of the big reasons I quit shopping at Walmart! I HATED being in line behind a customer who was demanding a price match but didnt have the ads with her! And everytime, the cashier would search or put out a call for another employee to bring her the other sale ads so she could look at them. New policy for Walmart?? If you want the price matching deal you MUST bring the ads from the other stores with you or no deal.

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28 Carol October 19, 2009 at 6:17 am
29 Maria January 6, 2010 at 9:47 am

I used to think I was too good to shop at Aldi, until I started shopping there after my husband and I got married. Then I discovered that many of their products are as good (and sometimes better) than products available at other stores.

We really like their egg noodles (for dishes like stroganoff), though my mother-in-law says that the regular pasta is not as good. We haven’t tried the regular pasta since I’m really picky about it. I have found that their baking supplies are also very good–inexpensive chocolate chips, brown sugar, flour, basic spices, real vanilla extract, etc.

I have also had generally good experiences with the produce. For example, I find that the russet potatoes last much longer than those I have purchased elsewhere. I have noticed that on certain days the produce is less than desirable (full of fruit flies or rotting). I haven’t tracked it, but I suspect it is right before they receive a produce shipment.

We like the fruit snacks and chips, though we aren’t particularly picky. I absolutely love the Haribo candies that they sell at our Aldi for $0.99 a bag. They cost at LEAST $2.00 elsewhere. The chocolate is also delicious.

Aldi has definitely changed my life for the better. I dread moving somewhere without one!

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30 Jason March 30, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I didn’t even know what Aldi was until some friends from Germany brought some tasty holiday cookies over. When I asked where she got them, she said “the Aldi down the street from you!”. I didn’t even know it was a grocery store, though had seen it multiple times.

I am a serious cook; but I also have a family and have to watch our spending. Aldi is certainly not a glamorous choice for shopping, but they certainly have the best prices going on many items. What do we get there?

Crackers, pickles, butter, carrots, ziploc and trash bags, cheese (I’ve seen decent quality marscarpone, gorgonzola and brie), bacon, honey, chocolate (good quality!), cereal, tortillas, canned diced tomatoes, all my condiments… you get the idea.

Am I looking for artisan items there? No. I split my shopping up between Aldi, the vendors at our farmers’ market, Wegman’s and Trader Joe’s. Aldi and the Farmers’ Market are now my budget cornerstone, and I supplement from there.

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31 J December 29, 2010 at 9:24 am

Not glamorous for shopping? When I want glamour I will head for a cosmetics counter or beauty shop!
Americans would be far healthier(+ save mucho dollars) without all the in store bakeries, empty calories/junk food sold in them….just back to basics as grocerie stores used to be. This alone would help many medical issues folks have.

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32 Linda October 15, 2010 at 11:31 am

Try their dish washer detergent ~ it’s great and cheap too ~~~

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33 Tammy Myers May 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I have never tried it and was thinking of getting some..thanks!

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34 Brittany June 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Thanks SO much for this post! Very helpful

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35 Caitlin July 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

Our favorite things from Aldi include : Mama Cozi frozen pizzas, the frozen chicken wings, the Louisina hot sauce– dont forget the butter, you can make some mean chicken wings! Baking soda, cream of mushroom soup, romaine hearts, peperoni, canned asparagas, and all of the canned beans.

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36 lunaKM October 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I go to Aldi’s for my staple items; flour, sugar, oil, some spices, canned tomato products and veggies. The nuts and dried fruit prices are awesome. I can’t do my entire shopping trip there, but it knocks out about 80% every week.

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37 shellely October 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I like Aldi’s for certain items but no one mentioned the canned goods which are not of course name brands but are just as good if not better than the name brands in your high end supermarkets (except for the peas). The problem I have with Aldi’s is you find smething you like and purchase it a couple of times and than they stop selling it. The one thing I really really like is the Clancy’s tortilla strips used for soup or salad or whatever. Where did you go please bring them back.

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38 Erin October 29, 2011 at 11:35 am

I’m a fan of Aldi, too! Of course there are things they don’t carry, so I still need to get them at Wal-Mart or Target. BUT, in general I’ll try what they have and only switch back to another brand if I find it noteably sub-par… which, to be honest, does sometimes happen. About the laundry detergent: We use it and have had no problems, although I do keep another brand around for the harder stained stuff. And it’s WAY cheaper than everything else. I find that besides the staples you mentioned (eggs, oats, butter, cream cheese, etc.) the way I save the most money there is the canned goods and baking supplies. Canned veggies and beans are a LOT cheaper at Aldi as well as oil, flour, cocoa, etc.

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39 Courtney April 22, 2012 at 10:18 am

I love aldi. Started going there last year when my husbands inocme severly decreased at his tip based job ( he deals texas hold em). We have been trying to eat healthy for the last 2 years and we lost about 100 pounds between the two of us, but it was getting really hard to keep up with the price of produce. His grandparents shop at aldis and told us about the produce prices and I could not believe it. Roma tomatoes 2.5 lbs for $1, pineapples were on sale for 99 cents, pears were also 99 cents for a few pounds. I now buy all of our produce and staples at aldis and supplement with Sams club and Kroger. Saving a ton of money and I find that the produce at aldis lasts much longer than what we used to buy at Kroger. Now we can afford to eat healthy. I usually dont spend more than $40 at aldis in a week, maybe another $50 at sams or kroger. We were spending over $150 a week, so the savings is incredible. We were finally able to afford to finish remodeling our house this year, I think because of the money we saved at aldis.

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40 Marie April 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I just got home from ALDI. I shop there anywhere from once a month to every week, depending on my schedule. Today I spent 113.00 there because I had not been there in awhile. I stocked up on baking supplies, snacks, frozen fruit, nuts, cereal, and canned goods. They had canned pumpkin at .99 a can, so I bought 5 because we love pumpkin pie and bread or muffins. I also got some paper goods like tissues, foil, plastic wrap, etc. Also frozen fish and a bunch of dairy. All in all, 66 items for 113.00. Can’t do that at the regular grocery store, that’s for sure! My particular ALDI is hit or miss with produce. I sometimes buy it, but I try to get organic or local most of the time, so usually I don’t get it there. We belong to a CSA in the summer, which will start in a few weeks, so that will take care of most of my produce needs. I also do not tend to buy meat there as I look for organic whenever possible or at least local…that cryovaced meat scares me!

I can’t get everything at ALDI, but I do save quite a bit on what I can get there. I wish they had more organic and healthier items…they use a lot of cottonseed oil in the chips, I notice, and HFCS and hydrogenated oils in packaged foods. Nevertheless, I can find some healthy options by reading labels.

Great blog and I enjoyed all the other comments!

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41 Nicole November 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm

All of the things you mentioned about what you don’t buy there are exactly why I DO NOT shop at Aldi’s. I am in one of those hit or miss areas I guess. The produce is fine if you’re gonna eat it the day you buy it. Other wise, I am struggling to find enough there to warrant a visit.

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42 Angelmari October 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I love aldi! We have six in our family and I would not survive without it! I check out the online ad once a week and check for specials too. I think their bread is great, and cheaper and better than great value at Walmart. I hate Walmart! It takes hours to get out out of there and I spend twice as much. I get almost everything at aldi’s except lunch meat, and ground beef, and sometimes I will go to a regular grocery store and get Hoffman hotdogs in the summer, but that’s about it. I wish they did have better baby items though and shampoo and deodorant. That would be the only thing I think would make it better.

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43 Kate November 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm

My Aldi’s sells large packs of Hoffman hots. Seasonal I think. Purchased them all summer. Their fire roasted tomatoes are wonderful as are their cut tomatoes(canned).
Husband loves the cinnamon raisin bagels. Also, we like fat free coffee creamer but it has become so expensive. I
was happy when I found it in Aldi’s cooler.

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44 rufus December 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Try there raisin bread it’s great.

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45 Deborah January 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

The laundry detergent is great, I use the HE one, orange bottle and silver cap. I swear it’s Tide. Cleans and performs as well as well known brands.

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46 Carrol Schaper June 18, 2013 at 9:28 am

I like Aldi’s but just have to watch where their products come from. A lot of products come from China. This is true in all stores. All the fish in my Aldis come from China. I won’t buy any food products from China. I try not to buy anything that isn’t from USA.

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47 Rebecca August 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Hello. I am from Illinois and I shop at Aldi a lot and I love their produce when it’s fresh and the Fat Free Milk is amazing all at such affordable prices. I am particularly fond of the Replenish Source Skincare Deodorant Soap, which they discontinued and replaced with a moisturizing bar that I can’t use. If anyone has the Replenish deodorant bar soap and wants to sell it, let me know! Thanks!

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48 Tracy March 10, 2014 at 10:26 am

I buy the Aldi HE laundry detergent and also the fabric softener. I think it works fine. My children are older and we don’t generally have extremely dirty clothes, but everything seems to come clean. The fabric softener works great also. I love Aldi!

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