Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shopping "Clean" (& Cheap) at ALDI

*updated January 2016

You likely know you can shop cheap, but did you know you can shop pretty "clean" at ALDI too?
For example: Grass-fed beef ($6.99/lb), uncured, nitrate-free bacon, hormone-free chicken ($2.99/lb), hormone-free milk & eggs.

Let me back up:
For the couple years that I lived in Virginia, I was nearly only shopping at Trader Joes and I got hooked on the limited, wholesome selection and the small store appeal. As a teenager, my mom brought me to ALDI and I turned my nose up at the lowliness of it all-I mean, I was far to fancy to bag my own groceries! (I still don't love doing that, but my kids do!)
Mom recently informed me that ALDI and Trader Joes were connected-basically brothers formed each, then ALDI acquired TJs (read the back story here) So when a new ALDI popped up across from the beloved, local-favorite, Wegmans, I figured I'd give it a try.

About the same time our family began following a Real Food Diet, meaning reducing the processing & additives in the ingredients of the foods we eat. This can be a very pricey way to eat and we are on a budget. Now, I regularly go to ALDI for 2 main brands: Simply Nature (made without adding over 125 artificial ingredients) & Never Any! (no hormones, no antibiotics, no animal byproducts, no nitrates & minimally processed)
These are the staples I buy regularly:

  • Milk (hormone-free)
  • Eggs (hormone-free)
  • Organic Soymilk, non GMO, unsweetened, vanilla
  • Organic Diced tomatoes ($1.49)
  • Grass-fed beef *NEW* (6.99/lb)
  • Organic, free-range, low sodium Chicken broth, (32oz box $1.79)
  • Organic, uncured, nitrate-free bacon ($5.49)
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Organic Spring Mix & Spinach (5oz box $2.49)
  • Simply Nature, Organic Quinoa
  • Hormone-free chicken
  • Turkey sausage (Giannelli, local source)
  • Simply Nature lunch meat (turkey & ham) 
  • Simply Nature frozen berries
  • Pure Maple Syrup, Grade A ($3.99)
  • Steel Cut Oats, Regular & Quick Cook (100% Whole Grain Oats)
  • Nuts! Lowest prices, all varieties 
  • La Croix, carbonated water (*seasonal & quick-to-go) 
  • Bolthouse Fruit & Vegetable smoothies
  • Simply Nature, unsweetened applesauce & applesauce pouches 
  • Fair Trade Coffee K Cups (12 ct $4.99)

  • Produce varies from week to week and store to store.
    We most often buy avocados, Organic bananas & baby carrots and multi-colored bell peppers.
    ALDI has a great selection of tasty goods at a great price. Some of our favorites are:

  • Dried spices
  • Goat cheese
  • Brie cheese
  • Parmesean cheese on the rind
  • Clancy's Pita Chips
  • Little Salad bar hummus (a few additives, but very tasty)
  • Clancy's tortilla chips
  • SavorRitz buttery round crackers (ritz equivalent, not "clean", just yum!)
  • Greek yogurt
  • half & half 
  • whole wheat pasta
  • dark chocolate bars
  • They have an aisle with non-Grocery/seasonal items that's fun to browse for good finds too.

    If you're a first-timer, you need to come prepared in 2 ways that you don't at other grocers.
    1. BYOQuarter if you want to use a cart. You'll get it back at the end, when you return the cart.
    2. BYOBags. & you'll be bagging yourself. Or use one of the boxes you may find around the store, free to use. Bags can be bought there, if you forget. I'm glad I gave it a try. I love that I can get in & out quickly. I appreciate that I can maintain a healthy lifestyle on a budget shopping at ALDI. Give it a try! Are you already a fan? Did I miss a favorite of yours?? Pin It


    1. Love this! Helpful. I've been meaning to add Aldi back into the rotation. Good to have a list!

    2. Just visited again to make my list. Love that you have your TJ's bag in your Aldi basket. :)

    3. Love it when I can convert someone to shop at Aldi's, took you quite a few years but I'm glad you see the potential. I've always loved their dark chocolate and the unsalted whole almonds are the best I've had. Will be checking out your suggestions.

    4. I love ALDI. Never been to Wegman's - can you fll me in on that one? Aldi started out the same way in Germany: as a low-budget, almost "dodgy" looking store where posh people wouldn't ever set a foot in. Then, they won a lot of 1st prizes in consumer tests, so finally people got curious. The next step was to introduce fruit and vegetables. After that, organic food. Nowadays everyone shops there and they're practically a guarantee for good quality. Thumbs up and I hope they will have even more all-natural and organic stuff when we move back to the U.S. next year!


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