Anybody shop at Aldi?

base_two

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,203
Best items to get at Aldi:

Coconut Oil
Eggs
Milk
Oatmeal (Steel Cut or Quick)
Frozen Berries
Flour
Honey
Paper Towels/Toilet Paper (the premium kind, not the cheap stuff)
Spinach

Most of their produce is crap, but there is some nice find every now and then. It's most cost effective to go to Costco for most of this stuff, but if you don't have a membership, Aldi and Lidl are the next best thing. Lidl has a better produce than Aldi, it's not fully stocked like a regular grocery store, but at least you aren't getting literal crap like you do with Aidl. So definitely skip Aldi and just go to Lidl if it's in your area. Near the same prices.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,899
Upstate NY
I'm basically an ALDIct. They opened one 10 minutes from my house and I go their at least once a week.

One key thing, always keep tabs on their specials on their website, Aldi.us. You can get stuff for SUPER cheap, and their meat specials are amazing but go FAST. Get there early on Wednesday if you want them.
 

PrimeBeef

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,753
Went there once. Didn't have much of the stuff we buy, not name brands, but the items specifically. Also, many of the prepackaged refrigerated items only had a day or two before expiring. Haven't gone back, but really it's because of the lack of items we buy.
 

Belvedere

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,083
I love Aldi.

Their chicken breasts are as good as the $10/lb chicken breasts at Whole Foods and light years above anything on offer at our local chain of grocery stores.
Their organic ketchup is better than Heinz.
Every Aldi employee I've ever encountered is super efficient and helpful. Basically the QT or Chick-fil-a of grocery stores.
Many of their house brands are spin-offs of major name brands and made in the same location.
I don't know if it's because of their European roots but most of Aldi's snack type foods have less artificial ingredients than comparable name brand stuff at other stores.
German snacks.
SURPRISE ISLE.

I don't go to Aldi for quality beef or obscure ingredients/spices.
 
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maxxpower

maxxpower

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,482
California
Sounds like Aldi produce goes bad just as quickly as Trader Joes (makes sense). My wife is starting a daycare so she wants to buy some cheap boxed and canned stuff.
 

Dan Thunder

Member
Nov 2, 2017
3,125
UK here and I do the vast majority of my shopping at Aldi. The fresh produce can often be a little on the short-lived side but everything else is really good quality. The wine and spirits especially are fantastic value and often wins any awards they're entered into.
 

ned_ballad

Member
Oct 25, 2017
22,357
Rochester, New York
Occasionally

They have some really great exclusives, but some of their core stuff is a little low quality. Every few weeks I make a trip to one to stock up on spinach wraps, kale burgers and almond milk. Cheapest almond milk I can find, by a lot.

Fantastic selection of vegetarian food. Their veggie meatballs are amazing.
 
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HanSoloCup

Member
Oct 27, 2017
847
Richmond, VA
Sounds like Aldi produce goes bad just as quickly as Trader Joes (makes sense). My wife is starting a daycare so she wants to buy some cheap boxed and canned stuff.
My wife and I do the majority our shopping at either Aldi or Lidl. You save a crap ton of money.

As far as boxed stuff for kids, they have great fruit snacks, granola bars, juice pouches, cereals. They don't use artificial colors in the majority of their products either. As others have mentioned, the produce can be lacking at times, but they have great dairy products (tons of cheeses and yogurts).
 

ned_ballad

Member
Oct 25, 2017
22,357
Rochester, New York
Sounds like Aldi produce goes bad just as quickly as Trader Joes (makes sense). My wife is starting a daycare so she wants to buy some cheap boxed and canned stuff.
I actually find TJ's produce goes bad faster than Aldi. I've had tomatoes that were rotten within days from TJ's, but Aldi's can usually last about a week. Aldi's bagged spinach seems like it's basically immortal, I've eaten it a week or more after buying it and it was fine, but I've had TJ's spinach that was inedible before the end of the week.

TJ's bread also barely lasts a couple of days. I don't even bother buying it from there anymore, too many times it's gone bad in a matter of days, sometimes a single day. Aldi bread lasts a lot longer, even their less preservative heavy stuff.

I primarily shop at TJ's, so this is a little annoying. But I don't really eat much bread.
 

Evilisk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,198
Yep. I live like two blocks from an Aldi store. It's way too convenient and cheap not to go.

Though I also unironically like some of their products.. mostly because that's all we had when I was I was growing up. Their Canned Chili + Onion Tuna is nice on toasted bread (with Colway Creamy Mayo) or in an omelette. The Belmont Cookies are nice and chunky. I also can't get enough of them Choco Pillows (though that stuff costs way too much IMO).
 

Bigkrev

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,317
I used to go more often, but I find that a lot of their stuff just tastes worse or goes bad quicker than something from a "normal" market

That said, they sell a 4 pack of their Red Bull clone for $3 that I think tastes better than real Red Bull, so I go once a month to stock up on a bunch of it.
There baking stuff (flour/sugar/salt/etc) is also cheaper than other places, so it's a good place to get them

That said, I go to Trader Joe's a LOT. get all my fruit/yogurt/cereal/frozen stuff from them
 

Elandyll

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,890
Wife and I used to have huge hang up on the discount groceries stores, until we decided to give it a try a few months back.

We liked Aldi alright, but we just love Lidl now. Food is just as good if not better than our regular store (lots of organic stuff) and much cheaper.
Can also find European hard to find products, and their bakery is ace (for a big store).
All in all, beside a few items we can't find there, we end up paying around 60 to 50% of our weekly grocery bill when compared to where we used to go (Shoprite).
 
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LuigiMario

Member
Oct 28, 2017
431
All the time. It’s seriously like 20% cheaper than the closest price competitor in my area (Meijer) and has good to great quality stuff. Their produce can be a little sketchy sometimes (you just gotta look at it) but I never buy any prepackaged lunch stuff anywhere else any more. Also I find checkout is exponentially faster than anywhere else and there stores are easy to navigate. Also interesting to hear about their tools, I bought a few crofton kitchen things there that were all junk so I haven’t messed with their other stuff, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the shopforce stuff.
 

Funky Papa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,655
LIDL gets my personal approval because of those weird thematic weeks in which they carry food and ingredients from somewhere else, although I'm not sure if that's also a thing in the States. IE: during Italian week they sell a bunch of special sauces, pizzas, pastas, ice cream flavours and cheeses that are not normally available, and while a few of them are less than fantastic, they are generally quite enjoyable and there are a good number of excellent products.

French week means tons of cheese and wines. UK week is kind of underwhelming and usually grouped with some other country, but it has good cheese at fair prices and tons of teas. Asian week is offensive in its horrendous selection and most of everything tastes off. North African/Arabic week is kind of lame, but it has GIANT ASS DURUM BREAD and harissa, which is good. American week is lol.

 

linkboy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,467
I went a few times when I was in Minneapolis, but it wasn't something I did on the regular.
 

Gaardus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
838
Aldi has been my parents' primary grocery store my entire life, and I only stopped shopping there regularly because a Ruler Foods (the Kroger-owned equivalent) opened within biking distance.

I'm always surprised when people complain about the produce at Aldi; the only difference I've ever noticed is that the bell peppers are smaller. Longevity has never been an issue. Maybe it varies by region. (Speaking of produce: the jalapeno peppers are stupid cheap at Aldi. You can get a tray of seven or eight peppers for ~60 cents.)

Canned + dry goods are just as good as anywhere else, and cheaper. Same story with frozen veggies.

Fresh meats, on the other hand, aren't quite as good as what I can get locally, and the prices aren't always better. To be fair, though, said local store is within walking distance; I'd be willing to buy Aldi's meats if making a separate trip weren't so easy.
 
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TheDoctor

Member
Oct 27, 2017
383
LIDL used to be real trash back in the day. My maternal grandmother, bless her heart, had a very modest pension and used to buy there when I was a kid. I vividly remember weird looking German yogurt that tasted like anything but yogurt and boxed juice seemingly made with the lowest graded fruit one could use for human consumption.

The shops didn't even have shelves. It was all dirty and poorly lit corridors filled with open pallets and crates with low grade merchandise spilling all over the place. Seriously grim stuff.
There's a Russian discounter still operating with that same business model across Eastern Europe. They opened up their first store earlier this year in Germany:



The ALDI/LIDL of today doesn't resemble anything like this anymore. But with the 'modern' look and introduction of name brands, prices have gone it.
 

mhayes86

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,100
Virginia
I shop at Aldi every week. It took some time to figure out what I should and should not buy there. I'll usually buy produce and meat, some spices and various other things, but their pizza, juice, and quick meals tend to be trash from my experience. Definitely check expiration dates since their milk goes pretty fast. I've heard their beer is garbage, and my wife likes their Winking Owl wine. The only candy I've had from there was some hazelnut thing that is delicious. As for desserts, their ice cream is fine, and they have some branded items as well.
 

Funky Papa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,655
There's a Russian discounter still operating with that same business model across Eastern Europe. They opened up their first store earlier this year in Germany:



The ALDI/LIDL of today doesn't resemble anything like this anymore. But with the 'modern' look and introduction of name brands, prices have gone it.
That is as depressing as I remember it. I wonder about the quality.
 

Faddy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,396
(UK) Almost exclusively. Aldi and Lidl used to have the "cootie" reputation, like the food was gross and if you shopped there you were poor. Funny how far down capitalist bullshit is ingrained huh?

It's really good quality these days. The only thing that's still a little spotty is the fresh fruit/vegetables. It's also still so much cheaper than going somewhere like Tesco/Asda.
There definitely used to be a social stigma to Aldi and Lidl that has lifted in the last few years. Iceland is now the "scummy" supermarket as more people have to try and save money on their shopping.

I think the fruit and veg in Aldi is decent, better than Lidl. But Lidl has a better bakery section.

I go to Aldi for most of my shopping because I hate the size of the big supermarkets. You need to set aside an hour to just get round a large Tesco or Asda. The smaller selection in Aldi makes it easy to find what I'm looking for.
 

Faddy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,396
LIDL used to be real trash back in the day. My maternal grandmother, bless her heart, had a very modest pension and used to buy there when I was a kid. I vividly remember weird looking German yogurt that tasted like anything but yogurt and boxed juice seemingly made with the lowest graded fruit one could use for human consumption.

The shops didn't even have shelves. It was all dirty and poorly lit corridors filled with open pallets and crates with low grade merchandise spilling all over the place. Seriously grim stuff.
I think food standards across the EU have increased to the extent you don't need to worry about bad food in major supermarkets. Or at least like the horse meat scandal, every supermarket will be hit no matter how upmarket they seem.

I think the suppliers have made it easier to get goods from packaging materials ready to be on the shop shelves. In Aldi most things seem to be in boxes that have tear away fronts and stack on each other in a neat way.
 

Yerffej

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,835
Ours has a decent little organic produce section and is rumored to expand on it greatly.
 

thePopaShots

Member
Nov 27, 2017
431
Aldi is definitely the best place to go around us for reasonably priced produce outside of the farmers market, but it can be frustrating when they don't have half of the other items on your grocery list. These days we spend the extra cash to be able to get everything in the same store. For anything special we will either do the farmers market or local butcher.
 

Shang

Member
Oct 27, 2017
548
LIDL gets my personal approval because of those weird thematic weeks in which they carry food and ingredients from somewhere else, although I'm not sure if that's also a thing in the States. IE: during Italian week they sell a bunch of special sauces, pizzas, pastas, ice cream flavours and cheeses that are not normally available, and while a few of them are less than fantastic, they are generally quite enjoyable and there are a good number of excellent products.
Yup, Lidl does the themed weeks in the US, too. Italian, Greek, and Mediterranean are the most common. I really hope they do that USA week here just for the meta nature of it.

By far my favorite part about shopping at Lidl is seeing the super generic names and packaging designed to mimic the brand names. Usually the name of the Lidl brand is a simple description of the item. For instance, Nutella becomes "Hazelnut Spread" and Hershey's Chocolate Syrup is just "Authentic Chocolate Syrup." But then there are times when you get stuff like this:

Hungry? Grab a Mini Bar with Roasted Peanuts, Caramel and Nougat with Milk Chocolate and Vegetable Fat Coating.
 

Tebunker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,759
Used to be into it but I tend to choose health over value nowadays
Wtf is this noise?

I literally buy piles of organics and natural foods at Aldi.

On top of that their produce is great, BUT and yes there is a But, it can be hit or miss because of how they source you need to sometimes eat your produce faster than you would when paying a lot more.

I mean people can keep on overpaying for fresh produce as much as they like but I love buying fresh berries for more than 60% less than other stores.

Also tons of staples are just better priced. Aldi, just like its cousin Trader Joe's, does really well in getting good oems to make their store brands. You can totally eat well and healthy while shopping at Aldi.

Like I said it isnt perfect, and you can't always get everything you need there, but Aldi has helped reshape our food budget and allowed us to buy and try more varied foods ln the same budget while still getting a lot of the base/core foods my family needs

Also needs to be mentioned in every Aldi thread they share the same conglomerate parent as Trader Joe's and have quickly become a major player in the US market. They have definitely changed grocery shopping in both town I lived inoutside of Cleveland and my home town of Richmond Va, which has a long history as a grocery marketing hot bed town, we have almost too many grocery stores here now