Grocery Tours: Aldi

How often do you explore your local grocery stores? In an effort to stretch my comfort zone, I’m exploring all our local grocery options to compare. I hope you’ll enjoy this Grocery Tours series – today, let’s explore Aldi!

Aldi

Aldi is a discount grocery chain. It’s smaller than most grocery stores, and pretty no frills – but in exchange you’ll find some awesome deals. Ready to explore? Let’s go shopping!

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First up, you’ll want to come prepared. If you want a cart, you’ll need to bring a quarter to free it from cart jail. You’ll also want to come prepared with your own bags. There are no complimentary shopping bags, but you can purchase them for 8-10 cents per bag if needed. Cashiers at Aldi don’t bag your groceries – they’ll just place them back into your cart and there is an area to bag yourself after you’ve checked out.

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As the store itself is smaller, the produce section at our Aldi is pretty small. The basics are usually there, but you’re not going to find the variety you would at other stores (like Whole Food’s dragon fruit) and it’s not uncommon for them to just not have something, even if it’s something “common”.

But, in the produce section (and throughout the store), you’ll find plenty of organic options for a great price. I’m always pleasantly surprised by the organic selection!

A lot of the produce is also sold in bulk bags – like apples, potatoes, and onions. This definitely helps keep the overall price down, but can drive up an individual grocery bill if you have to buy a whole bag of onions when you only need one.

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On the shelves, you’ll find a mix of store-brand and brand name items. The biggest savings come from the off-brand items, of course, but you’ll be able to grab some family favorites for less too.

They do have a specific section in my local store for packaged gluten-free items – bread, crackers, and baking mixes – for really competitive prices.

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There’s also a pretty large refrigerated and freezer section. They stock a lot of basics frozen – plain chicken, ground beef, fish filets, veggies – for a great price. We also love to grab things like their corn dog nuggets (a favorite of my kiddos!) and the Chinese food options.

Especially in the frozen section, Aldi offers a lot of vegan options, and they’re all clearly labeled.

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They do stock meat, but they don’t have an onsight butcher. You can get packaged deli meat and cheese, but there’s not a deli to fresh-slice anything. There’s no department that prepares food in store, but they do have a selection of take and bake pizzas, and prepackaged salads and sandwiches.

Aldi also has an aisle of rotating specials – and you never know what you’re going to find there! This trip, it was the coveted Frozen 2 cereal! The price wasn’t any better than our regular grocery store – but as this item is hard to find, I was okay with it.

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How Does the Cost Stack Up?

I checked the prices on our 12 most frequently purchased grocery items – and there’s no denying that Aldi is very budget-friendly. Our basics clocked in at just over $25, which is almost half the price of the same haul at Whole Foods.

Item Cost
Milk – ½ Gallon Organic $2.89
Dozen Eggs $1.34
Yogurt Tubes $2.24
Wheat Bread $1.29
Sliced Deli Ham $5.89/lb.
Sliced American Cheese 3.58/lb.
Chicken Breast $1.49/lb.
Bagged Salad Kit $1.99
Bananas $0.44/lb.
Peanut Butter $1.15
Apples $1.79/lb.
Pretzels $1.29
Total: $25.38

Of course, with prices being so low, I do always end up with more impulse purchases – Because when it’s that cheap, I can’t resist adding it to the cart! – and that can drive up the overall total, but it’s still less expensive for us than a lot of other stores.

Does Aldi offer grocery delivery?

They do! You can get groceries from Aldi delivered via Instacart. The Instacart prices were slightly higher than the store prices, but overall they were still less expensive than other stores.

Overall Thoughts

Aldi is a fantastic option if you’re looking to save money and are willing to put in a little effort. Bring your quarter, your bags, and be ready to bag everything yourself and I think you’ll be pleased with what you find.

As the stock rotates regularly, you may not always find everything on your list – but in my opinion the savings make up for having to stop at a second store.

Also, if you prefer organic, vegan, or gluten-free options, don’t assume Aldi won’t have options because it’s a discount chain! They offer a plethora of well-labeled options for all three.

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