Aldi is a discount grocery store that offers great prices on real, whole foods! Here are my top 5 whole foods to buy from Aldi.
This post is not sponsored by Aldi. Elsie and Erin both just genuinely love saving money on whole foods at Aldi–and want to share the love.
By Elsie, Contributing Writer
When I made the switch to eating a whole foods diet three years ago, I thought I would have to completely change where I shopped.
In college, I stocked my kitchen with products from Aldi and Wal-Mart. I’d gotten into a good groove–I bought the same things every time, and I knew where to find each item.
Did switching to real food mean I would have to be at the farmer’s market at 7:00 am every week?
Turns out, no.
Although I enjoy–and benefit–from alternatives to the grocery store, it’s also good to know that I can buy real, whole food from my friendly neighborhood grocer.
I’m a big fan of keeping things simple. And right now, I’m in a season of life where I need the simplicity of just going to the regular grocery store. I’m blessed to have an Aldi store near me. Aldi has amazing prices (and many now carry an organic line!)
Whether you have an Aldi near you or not, you can find plenty of wholesome, unprocessed foods at the regular grocery store! That may mean skipping certain aisles, but you’ll find your groove eventually.
Here are my top 5 whole food items that I purchase at Aldi:
1. Fresh produce
Aldi doesn’t have an especially large selection of produce, but we can find all the staples we need. We purchase carrots, bananas, citrus, garlic, and potatoes every time. Often, we take advantage of the “produce pick of the week” for discounted pears, avocados, melons, pomegranates, etc. Usually, the produce pick is something currently in season.
I would do this at any grocery store, but I’ve found that I have to take a closer look at the produce at Aldi, just to be sure there’s no moldy potatoes hiding in the bag. It’s usually not a problem, but if I ever accidentally purchase off produce, Aldi will always give me a refund when I explain it on my next visit.
2. Dry goods
Most of our dry goods come from Aldi. We’ve found that Aldi has the best prices on things like extra virgin olive oil, rolled oats, salsa, cocoa powder and other baking goods, natural peanut butter, and pasta. For slightly more “specialty” items like canned coconut milk or dried chickpeas, we make a quick Wal-Mart trip.
3. Frozen seafood
Did you know that Aldi carries frozen wild-caught Alaska salmon? I like to keep our freezer stocked with it to make biscuits with salmon gravy, a favorite hearty meal. I also purchase frozen tilapia and shrimp, and Aldi sometimes carries other frozen fish varieties as well.
Frozen seafood has become my go-to convenience food, because it’s so quick to thaw and cook. Even if I haven’t planned a menu for supper, I can pull frozen seafood out of the freezer at 5:00 and have a good meal on the table in no time. Convenience food doesn’t have to be unhealthy!
We love getting our raw milk from a local dairy farmer, but we do buy other dairy at Aldi such as sour cream, butter, fresh mozzarella, and cream cheese. I also like to buy cheese in blocks and grate it fresh for recipes. It seems to be more frugal that way, and it certainly packs more punch flavor-wise. As well as blocks of cheese, Aldi carries specialty imported cheeses at excellent prices. We love their Brie cheese!
One caveat: you do need to be careful with the specialty cheeses because it can be tempting to try them all…and blow your grocery budget!
Aldi sells large spice and herb bottles in staples like cinnamon, garlic powder, paprika, and oregano. Many of these basic spices can be combined to create your own unique spice blends! During the holidays, Aldi will often carry less common spices, like pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice.
I’ve learned that if you just stick with basic whole ingredients and foods, you can eat very healthfully–even if you don’t shop at a health food store. Avoid the boxed, pre-made foods and frozen meals, the sugary drinks, the candy, the juice–turn a blind eye to these things and focus on pantry staples that you can use to create your own simple, wholesome meals. We like Aldi for its fabulous prices and the simple layout of the store, but you’ll find that any grocery store carries the basics!
What should you make with your Aldi ingredients?
For lots of easy, frugal dishes made with Aldi ingredients, check out Lauren Greutman’s meal plans! Each cookbook teaches you how to create 20 delicious slow cooker freezer meals!