Aldi opened in the United States in the mid-1970s and it caught really fast the attention of shoppers who loved great deals and wanted to save money. Aldi’s mission was to provide the lowest prices possible without compromising on the quality of the products. And they have succeeded. There are more than 1,600 stores across 35 states and still expanding
Shopping at Aldi is most of the time gentle on your wallet, but not every item on the shelves is worth buying. You will definitely find great deals, however, there are some items you can buy at a smaller price from other stores.
Every store can’t be everything to every customer. Find the one you like and stick with it, there are many stores out there that have great deals.
One of Aldi’s golden rules? If they can’t make an item better than the name brand, they will stock the name brand, says savings expert Lauren Greutman.
Unfortunately, Aldi has limited brands when it comes to cereal, so you’ll end up paying more for corn flakes and marshmallow delight.
“Cereal can be more than $3 per box extra,” Greutman says. “This is much more expensive than a traditional grocery store, even when the item is on sale.”
If you ever bought blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries from Aldi, you may know that they bruise and go bad after a few days. If you want to avoid this from happening, buy your fruits and vegetables from a local farmer’s market, where you know for sure that the products are fresh.
“Although you may pay less for berries at Aldi, their quality isn’t as great in my experience, meaning you are wasting your money,” Greutman says.
“Skip the fresh berries and shop at a larger grocery store that can rotate produce at a much faster pace or go to your local farmer’s market.” More frequent deliveries mean fresher produce.
The toiletries you can find at Aldi (hair-care and dental products, deodorant) are established brand names and rarely have a discount. So, the same thing applies for toiletries as for the cereal
I’ve previously talked about. You’ll end up spending more money here on name-brand shampoos, toothpaste, conditioner, and other products.
“These items frequently go on sale at larger grocery stores,” says Greutman, “so skip them at Aldi and shop them on sale at other retailers.”
We always want what’s best for our babies, and if it’s possible to pay less, it’s even better. Aldi offers great deals and very low prices when it comes to diapers and formula, and they have special offers you can’t say no to. You can also buy baby snacks from Aldi, which are even cheaper than the ones found on Walmart.
However, Aldi’s baby food selection is not a bargain. Many brand-name baby food companies offer coupons that can be used at different grocery stores.
Aldi owns its own brand of snacks, called Simply Nature, offering organic yellow corn tortilla chips and exotic vegetable chips. Although the prices are right and the chips are good, if the bag is only half full, the product ceases to be a bargain.
“I frequently find their chips only filled halfway in the bag once I open it, making them more expensive per ounce,” Greutman says.
“They also aren’t as good as traditional name brands that are often on sale for comparable prices at other stores.”
If you’re craving something sweet, go straight to Aldi’s chocolate selection, because they have incredible imported German options for you.
The good news about wines found at Aldi’s is definitely a low price. It s nearly impossible to find a bottle of wine that costs more than 10$, even though when it comes to purchasing wines from Aldi’s, the opinions are split.
The wine selection found in the U.K. and Europe is larger than the selection of affordable wines found here, in the States. Additionally, if you’re a wine lover and really know how to appreciate a good wine, better go straight to Trader Joe’s selection, including its infamous “Two Buck Chuck.”
Paper products, like toilet paper, tissues or paper towels are not so qualitative at Aldi, according to Kiplinger. Another downside of buying at Aldi is the fact that they do not accept manufacturer coupons, as other grocery stores do.
Also, if you have a big family, it makes more sense to buy your paper products from Costco. This way, you’ll save some money while getting a better product.
Aldi offers discounted chicken and beef from time to time, so make sure you know when that happens and run to the store, you’ll save a lot of money. Apart from that, their meat prices are not as low as other groceries, so it’s more likely to find better offers at your local grocery store.
The exception would be organic ground beef, which is very high quality at Aldi, and at a lower price, explains Greutman.
Aldi offers its own line of sodas, which is definitely cheaper than any name brands, but not as tasty as Coke or Pepsi, according to Kiplinger.
He also suggests choosing the brand that you know you’ll like because if you add a few bottles to your cart, you’ll end up paying more than you would in other stores. Also, keep in mind that sodas are heavily discounted in the summer at many grocery stores.
Wanna buy turkey and ham for sandwiched? Switching from a name brand like Boar’s Head to a cheaper version like Aldi’s cold cuts may not save you as much money as you would think, plus, you’ll give away the quality.
“Their tubs of lunch meat are similar in price to name brands, but don’t taste as [good],” Greutman says.