Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Less Money: Our Aldi Favorites

This post is for my mom and my friends Rachel and Renae.  All three of them now shop at Aldi.  I convinced my mom to try it and she likes it.  My friend Rachel knew that I went there and she has looked back at my blog posts to see what I've bought.  And Renae and I share our awesome Aldi scores with each other on almost a daily basis. 

I love that the new Aldi I go to is on Bunny Trail road. It just tickles me. I discovered it around Easter, and I thought it was maybe an Easter-related joke on the receipt.  I sing "Here Comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail" every time I go to the store.

I just started buying some housewares at Aldi.  We have a coffee maker at home but husband Jeff drinks regular while Sonny D and I drink decaf so we were always ending up only able to make one type of coffee in the morning. So I bought an insulated carafe so we could make one type of coffee and put it in the carafe and then make another pot of the other type. The packaging shows the Aldi store brand "Crofton", but it's marked Emsa brand on bottom. Emsa is a good brand, their similar carafes are around $20 but the Aldi one I bough was only $10. Nice!  I also picked up a cute $4 rag rug for the spot between our garage door and the basement because Husband Jeff makes frequent trips between the garage and the basement when he's doing woodworking projects.

I also love how Aldi is a small store, they don't always have everything I want but I can be in and out really quickly.

On to our favorite things...

These are not really in any order.  I took pictures as I walked around the store, so that's the only order to any of this.

In addition to all of these items, I also love that I can get organic items at Aldi.  I recently bought organic steel-cut oats and there are quite a few other items you can occasionally find. 

The SimplyNature hot salsa is really good, but the medium one is sweet and not spicy at all.  Get the hot stuff!
Hot organic salsa

The Southern Grove retreat trail mix is really good, not too sweet and a little salty.  Only almonds, chocolate chunks and cashews. 
trail mix, for all the non-hiking I do. 

We go through a lot of peanut butter, we buy the creamy stuff in the biggest size they've got, and we usually need a new one every other month. 
Creamy peanut butter all the way!

I like this SimplyNature almond butter.  I don't think it's the best price around since I bought a larger jar of organic almond butter at a different store for not too much more, but it's yummy.  And not thin and runny.  I like that they have more unusual/non-standard things like this at Aldi so I don't have to go elsewhere for them. 
Pre-Zumba workout food, almond butter on toast.

I love Millville multigrain crispy oats!   It's less sweet than multigrain Cheerios and they seem a little crunchier. 
Just add milk!

They have really good nuts in their baking section -- walnuts, almonds, and pecans in various forms.  No salt or anything on them.  I put them in my oatmeal and throw handfuls into my pesto. 
I'm nuts for their nuts!

I picked up this tomatoes, okra, and corn blend on a whim and was pleasantly surprised.  I don't remember if Sonny D and Husband Jeff ate it, but I recently picked up another can because I liked it. 
Tomatoes, okra, and corn.  I assume this is a Southern thing?

I love all the fresh produce at Aldi!  The selection is limited, but the prices are sometimes totally amazing!  Avocados for $.49, pints of blackberries or raspberries for $1.50, etc.  Plus they have some organic items, love that! 
Fresh fruits and veggies.

This guacamole is so good!  We've had both the spicy and the regular and love both.  And the spicy version is definitely spicy!  You get two pouches in the box. 
Get chips and a box of this guac and you've got the start to a good meal!

Real Parmigiano-Reggiano only comes from Italy, the rest is just called parmesan.  This stuff is authentic! 
Parmiginano Reggiano straight from the old country.

The regular fresh salsa is really tasty, haven't tried any of the other flavors though.
Fresh salsa

Vanilla Greek yogurt is the way to go.  Husband Jeff says the yogurt from Trader Joe's is too runny and prefers this.  Sonny D calls it "malinda yogurt" (is 'vanilla' hard to say?)
Thick Greek yogurt.

Zipper dog chillin' after waiting for me to finish grocery shopping.

Here's a photo of everything I bought at Aldi one day.  Starting on the left and going clockwise:
My haul from a recent trip to Aldi.
  • Heads of romaine lettuce - I used to buy the bags of salad greens, but we go through them so quickly.  They usually only feed Husband Jeff and I for two dinners.  So I switched to the heads of romaine lettuce and I chop it up, spin and wash in the salad spinner, and store it in the fridge in the salad spinner.  Lasts us forever!
  • The orange box is protein bars for snacks for Sonny D (and us!).  These are chocolate-peanut-almond or something like that.  
  • Their croutons are the crunchiest we've ever had!  I buy whatever random flavor appeals to me at the moment.  
  • Husband Jeff says their chianti and red zinfandel are decent.  
  • I'm forever buying French vanilla coffee creamer, we drink it in our coffee and pour it on our oatmeal.
  • We love their unsweetened original almond milk, same ingredients as the Trader Joe's version.  And no carrageenan. 
  • The El Milagro tortilla chips are great, less salt than most brands, extra crunchy, and made from non-GMO corn.  
  • We also buy a lot of fresh produce there, grapes, organic grape tomatoes, avocados, conventional and organic apples, bananas, Cuties clementines, carrots. 
  • Sonny D loves canned mandarin oranges, he calls them "juice oranges" because they come in liquid.  

We tried the Priano roasted garlic and onion spaghetti sauce and Husband Jeff found it bitter, so we tried the pomodoro version.  Much better!  It's your basic red sauce.
Priano pomodoro sauce.

If you like sweet wine, this Moscato is pretty nice.  I wish it were a sparkling moscato though, makes it a bit more refreshing rather than cloyingly sweet.
Pink Moscato wine.

I loved these spicy fried pickles!  I baked them on a rack in the oven and they crisped up pretty good.  We skipped the dill cream sauce and ate them with ranch dressing.  Quite spicy. 
I can't turn down fried pickles. 

We like this Millville Honey Crunch 'n Oats cereal. 
More tasty cereal.

We're not gluten-free, but I recently bought some of the Live GFree pasta and pretzels and were impressed by both of them.  The pasta didn't get mushy and the pretzels are a much cheaper alternative to our absolute favorite pretzels from Glutino.

I don't have photos of it, but we also love the organic grass-fed ground beef, it's much cheaper than the similar product from the local grocery store.

I also completely love the mixed flower bouquet, I've had them last for two weeks with essentially no maintenance (I rarely remember to change the water).

Oh, and I totally love the country-style chicken breakfast sausage.  It's so good and there's only like 5 ingredients (chicken, a couple different spices, salt, sugar.)

Your Favorites

I've started a new habit of asking the checker about their favorite Aldi item.  The first gal I asked said the take-and-bake pizza, which I have read recommendations of online. She also mentioned the frozen ravioli. Husband Jeff likes frozen ravioli so I might have to pick some up.

I would love to hear what you like from Aldi.  Send me an email to share your favorite buys!

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!