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5 Things You Should NOT Buy at ALDI

Because so many of you loved my list of 25 best things to buy at ALDI, I decided it was time for me to put together a list of what NOT to buy at ALDI!

{Psst! Wondering why I love ALDI so much? Read this post on why I think everyone should shop at ALDI to save money!}

What NOT to buy at ALDI

5 Things You Should Never Buy at Aldi

As you well know, I think you can save a lot of money by shopping at Aldi. However, that doesn’t mean that everything at Aldi is a good deal.

One of the most popular posts on my site is my post on 25 of the best things to buy at Aldi. Today, I thought it would be fun to tell you what I think you shouldn’t buy at Aldi.

Cheerios at Aldi

a photo of Dawn at Aldi

Here’s my list of what I think you should avoid buying…

1. Name Brand Items

Don’t buy brand name items! Why? Because not only are these usually over-priced, you can’t use coupons on them to save more money.

What to buy instead: The Aldi brand/off brand counterparts for these name brand items. In most cases, you’ll save 40-60% off of what the name brand item is priced! And we’ve found that it usually works or tastes just as good! (See above photos for side by side comparisons.)

name brand items at Aldi

2. Aldi Finds

When you walk in the store and near the end of the store as you’re going to checkout, Aldi typically has what they call Aldi Finds. These are often name brand items and are typically unique or weird flavor combinations.

I don’t know exactly where they get these from, but my theory is that they were some kind of overstock or trial run at mainstream grocery stores that didn’t do well. (Anyone know?)

Not only are they usually not a great deal, but they are also probably a sort of risky purchase since they are likely a flavor or item you haven’t tried before.

What to buy instead: Stick to the Aldi brand regular deals and pass up the Aldi Finds.

Aldi special buys

3. Seasonal Items

Aldi has a big section of the store (well, big percentage-wise when you compare it to the size of the store!) devoted to Seasonal type deals. Right now, there will be a lot of summer toys and other things that would be geared toward the summer months.

While they often do have some good prices, unless you were looking for that specific item and/or saving up for it and you know this price is less than what you’d pay elsewhere, skip this section of the store.

Why? Because you’ll just end up spending money on “good deals” that you don’t need and weren’t planning to purchase in the first place. This, in turn, will negate all of the savings you are getting on groceries!

What to buy instead: Focus on purchasing the items that are already on your grocery list instead of impulse buying.

pre-packaged food at Aldi

4. Pre-Packaged Food

If you normally buy pre-packaged snacks and frozen foods, then you will save some money by buying them at Aldi. However, please don’t start buying pre-packaged foods just because you think they are “so inexpensive” at Aldi.

What to buy instead: Ingredients to make your own homemade snacks and items!

lemon juice at Aldi

5. Things You Can Get Cheaper at Dollar Tree

If you have a Dollar Tree in your area, be sure to peruse the food and household product aisles to price-check the Dollar Tree prices and sizes against the Aldi prices and sizes.

While some Aldi prices are the same or less, some items are significantly cheaper at Dollar Tree. For instance, see the lemon juice shown above? It’s regularly $2.49 at Kroger, $2.39 at Aldi, and just one dollar at Dollar Tree!

What to buy instead: Nothing! If you can get it cheaper at Dollar Tree, don’t buy it at Aldi! 🙂

Aldi Fliers

Do you agree with my list? What do you think you shouldn’t purchase at Aldi? I’d love to hear!

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134 Comments

  • Ali says:

    I love ALDI! The best thing about Aldi is that their brand is so good! I love the off-brand Raisin Bran Crunch 10x more than the name brand one. We have skipped the produce at some of their locations though. Make sure to double check on freshness before you buy.

    • Thanks so much for that tip about Raisin Bran Crunch!

      • Tracy says:

        Years ago, I bought Aldi’s dried beef (chipped beef-brand name product is Buddig at Kroger, Walmart…), and it was full of bone chips. I haven’t bought it since. I kind of shy away from Aldi’s processed meats after that, but their chicken patties are good. And relating back to your list of things to buy at Aldi’s, which now also relates to your list of things not to buy, I’m not sure what Aldi’s current milk prices are, but in my area, it’s not unusual to find a gallon of milk on sale at Walmart for .99. It seems that, in my area at least, Kroger and Walmart has a price war going on for a gallon of milk, and usually you can get it at one of those two places for 1.79 or less.

      • Marc says:

        Aldi is a European company so a lot of their”weird” stuff is items that are excess foods that they have imported.

        • Anne says:

          That’s what I was going to say. Aldi is the corner store of Germany. Those things are regularly stocked in German stores I shop at aldi BECAUSE I can often get German products, though there is a rotating selection.

    • Carin says:

      I love that cereal too!

    • Valerie Alburger says:

      One thing in Aldi find section to check out are their cards! They are only $1 and super nice! At a regular store they would be the $5+ cards. Awesome graduation cards out right now!

      • Guest says:

        I was going to comment this as well! I popped in last night for some specific items and noticed they had graduation cards for .99 and I had a to-do to go buy one for a friend’s child anyway so yay – saved probably $4 or more!!

        • Sarah says:

          I have done well buying their seasonal items. The blowup lawn decorations for Halloween and Christmas can’t be beat. Had them for about 3 years now and no problems. They also have a great price for chocolate gelt. Very hard to get where I am…white and milk. But…like with everything, you need to know the prices to get a good deal.

          • Christie says:

            I love Aldi’s, some things are hit and miss though especially the produce the bananas at our Aldi’s are often frozen then sold. The cereal I think is much better the name brand ones and I found some great workout items really cheap there as well.

    • Danni H. says:

      I strongly disagree on the Aldi Finds being a not buy. They are fantastic most of the time. They are NOT overstock or test runs from other grocery stores. They are specially created for Aldi. As far as Dollar Tree vs Aldi, just because you can get it at Dollar Tree doesn’t mean you should. The quality control is not the same. Why risk that with something as important as food? The seasonal items are generally manufactured by big brands just relabeled as Aldi house brands. Most are a good buy if you need the item.

      • Riss says:

        I thought the same thing regarding Dollar Tree items versus Aldi. Dollar tree has a lot of questionable products.

      • Jana P. says:

        Yes, I agree! I will never buy any food at Dollar Tree. Or personal care items for that matter. Ick!

        We have found a few “Aldi Finds” products that are family favorites now…ironically, the Peanut Puffs in the posted picture of “What Not to Buy” are my son’s favorite. They only sell them a couple of times a year, so I stock up. LOL

    • Fred says:

      Aldi makes a great cranberry, almond chicken salad, also have great chocolate bars with almond in milk and dark chocolate all made in Europe. All sausage and hotdogs made by Klements sausage co. Milwaukee a good German sausage maker. Aldi is full of great products at reasonable prices.

  • Meredith says:

    I love Aldi too! I did get some Aldi Finds that were a good deal for me-we were looking for specific toys for potty training rewards and they had them for 50% less than Wal Mart or Amazon. I completely agree with the produce freshness though. You have to check really carefully as I have experienced mold/rotting fruit and veggies more than once.

  • Carin says:

    Not all Aldi brand products are just as good as the name brand. Perfect example (which you show) is their dish detergent. I have to use twice as much of their brand to clean what a bottle of Dawn will clean. So not really savings there. But I don’t buy Dawn either – I buy the Walmart or Target versions at their stores when I’m there. They’re just as good as name brand.

    And Aldi finds have always been a hit for us for the most part and I don’t know what your Aldi finds are, but they don’t look like they were sold at other grocers first. I have seen some name brand stuff, but we have Aldi labels on a lot of them. Our Aldi finds are in different locations depending on the store.

    And the seasonal items – I generally am not a big “special aisle” Aldi shopper, but sometimes I find things that are wants that I’d never buy because I can’t justify the cost elsewhere, but totally worth it at Aldi. I’m not an impulse shopper though.

    • Marcia Solomon says:

      I love their special finds at Aldi’s. I find that their brand of laundry detergent and dishwasher pods are of superior quality half the price.

      • Anne says:

        That’s what I was going to say. Aldi is the corner store of Germany. Those things are regularly stocked in German stores I shop at aldi BECAUSE I can often get German products, though there is a rotating selection.

    • That is good to know about the Aldi dish soap. It’s been a long time since I’ve purchased it. I typically get name brand when it’s on a great sale at Kroger and usually get it for $0.99 or less. Have you tried the Dollar Tree dish soap before?

      • Beulah says:

        The dollar store brand dish soap takes a LOT more soap to do the job. They carry name brands as well, but those are often small bottles that are more expensive per ounce.

        The Aldi brand dish soap is not a Dawn equivalent. It’s more of an equivalent to the Gain or Ajax dish soap.

    • Karen says:

      In general I control my impulse spending by saying “If you can’t eat it you don’t need it,”
      But sometimes there’s that THING I’ve been wanting for a while like a hand vac or silicone baking mats and I’ll get myself a present.

  • Jennifer says:

    I mostly agree but I’ve found the seasonal items can be such a good deal, you should be planning for them (I completely agree not to impulse buy). In particular, we’ve found the gardening items are a much better price for the quality (IF we’ve seen the item cheaper, it was cheaper in every sense). We live in a major suburban area in the south so maybe this doesn’t hold true across the country but we’ve gotten great deals throughout the year on items we were considering buying already (but we had to know when to check Aldi because we only make it there randomly). The preview ad makes a huge difference, check it online and you’ll soon learn when to buy seasonal and when to save for a later season.

    • Marilou says:

      I too am hook on aldi. Especially for off brand toddlers pull ups ( $5 less than walmart). But the size I need is only available every other weekend. I get cases of almond milk there on the regular.

    • Bo says:

      I agree! Totally buy the seasonal items. I have found great quality and great price with these items and it saves me so much money when compared to getting those items at a Home Improvement store, Amazon, etc. Don’t just buy the items if you don’t actually need the item but I have more often regretted passing up an item than purchasing them. If I am on the fence about an item, I just wait a week or two and if it’s still available I will purchase it at the reduced price. I also agree about keeping an eye on the preview-do a quick price check if you aren’t sure. I have purchased a ton of lawn and garden items, a power washer, kids swings, etc all with great success.

    • Guest says:

      Completely agree! If it’s an impulse thing, don’t buy it. But if you were planning to buy something anyway, they have GREAT deals! I wanted a lounger for our back patio area and the cheapest I had found was $70 but Aldi had a seasonal deal and I picked one up for $29 and I LOVE it!!!

    • Thanks so much for these great tips! I appreciate it!

  • ginny Coakley says:

    I have a question, Is there any time when the Check out is reasonable. maybe standing for about 20 minutes.

    I can not shop a@ Alda because when
    I stand in one place. I. E check
    Out counter I get pain. any suggestions would be great

    Thank You for your time.

    • JStom says:

      Google Aldi.
      Select the store you prefer from the results.
      Scroll down below store hours, q&a and pictures to Popular Times -just before the reviews.
      Here you can select the day of the week to see what times are least busy.
      Wishing you no pain!

    • Marilou says:

      I believe on the evening are best because there are not alot of people in line. Certain stores has the scooter carts you can probably use. Hope this helps.

    • Deb Zettervall says:

      I have never ever waited 20 in line at any Aldi’s. Their lines may look long but they can practically have you checked out faster than you can get your groceries out of the cart! The Aldi’s brand items all come with bar codes on just about ever side of every item. That’s why they can check ppl out so quickly. They don’t have to go searching for bar codes. I love Aldi’s!!

    • Risha says:

      I think this totally depends on the specific store. Both of the stores I regularly shop at will open another lane if there is a long line. I would suggest giving your feedback to the specific store and see if it prompts a change.

    • Victoria says:

      I have started buying online and having my groceries delivered. Saves time, energy and pain.

    • Lynn says:

      Ginny,
      Maybe a thought, they do sell a cane which makes into a seat for you to rest on while waiting. Similarly they sell a walker which has a seat built into it. One of these might be a good idea for you or perhaps as someone else suggested you can use the scooter carts if your store has them. Good luck!

      • Lynn says:

        ** I am not suggesting that “Aldi’s” sells these aid assist items. I meant they are for sale in the general market – check around to buy either of these items.

    • Have you tried going early in the morning on a weekday or close to closing time? Those are two times when I’ve found that it’s usually not crowded at our Aldi.

    • Karen says:

      Use the electric cart when you can get it. Then you can sit in line.

    • Miriam says:

      Check to see if your Aldi offers InstaCart! They began that this year in some cities. 🙂

    • Sarah Peet says:

      Do online ordering and they will have it ready for you

  • Janet says:

    Have your stores increased prices? I don’t get good deals anymore except occasionally on produce.

    • Yes, I think that the stores have increased their prices some. I still find good deals, but I can often beat their regular prices at with Kroger sales and markdowns.

    • Keli says:

      This! My stores have increased prices on many things. I can often find many things cheaper at Wal-Mart now. So I have been pricing everything and some things I now get at Wal-Mart. I still love Aldi. I especially love their Aldi Finds when it is German week and they have lots of imported German goodies.

  • Rene says:

    I may have to disagree just a bit on the Seasonal Items part of your post. I do a lot of gardening, have multiple bird feeders and birdbaths and am always on the lookout for new products. Aldi’s prices on items like these are great! 2 summers ago I bought a new birdbath, 2 months later Aldi had the exact same model for 1/2 price! I agree we shouldn’t be buying more stuff just because it’s a great price, but if you need these types of things, you can’t beat their prices.

    • Nancy says:

      Regarding Dollar Tree food. It very often comes from foreign countries. I especially am suspicious of anything from China. Plus the size package is smaller than Aldi or other stores so you really aren’t saving money at $1 per package. Just my opinion. I love Dollar Tree, just not for food.

      • Yes! You definitely need to check on the price per ounce. With things like the lemon juice, it’s the same size. With other things, some times it’s smaller. I’m thinking of doing a post comparing Dollar Tree and Aldi prices.

    • Robin Brannan says:

      I have been shopping at Aldi for more than 30 years. Before they had one in my area, I drove almost 45 miles on e a month so I could shop at Aldi and stock up. I have had friends and family ask me over the years how I could afford to cook the meals that I do and I always tell them I shop at Aldi and only buy things when they are on sale. I don’t know what I would do without an Aldi. They have saved my family so much money and I have raised 3 kids and taken in several of their friends at times and fed and supported them as well when tjey were in a hard situation. If it weren’t for Aldi, I could not have fed or helped those kids. As far as quality goes, i believe the quality of food anderchandise I find at Aldi is usually better than name brands. My husband and I live on a monthly budget of around $800. If it weren’t for Aldi I don’t think we would be able to afford quality groceries.

    • Trish says:

      I always check the limited time offerings because they often have foods I remember from when I lived in Germany. It’s hard to find them without going to an import shop and then they are crazy expensive. Aldis has them fairly inexpensive and they are local. The nearest grocery import store is a good 20 miles away.

      I’m there to buy my produce and I can pick up an inexpensive splurge.

    • That’s a great tip on the gardening items!

    • Heather Wood says:

      Same! Half my house is furnished with Aldi seasonal items… Many from the markdowns at the end of that season. I mean everything from a garden bench to air mattress!

  • Bobbie says:

    Milk is not any cheaper at my aldi….actually I can usually only find a few things there that are cheaper and worth the time of a drive and second shopping trip- most items at my Kroger are very competitive. Sometimes Aldi in my area has seasonal produce pretty cheap, but not always….I rarely shop there anymore.

  • Anna Rose says:

    I only buy Honey Nut Cheerios and Dawn detergent at Aldi. I pay for the convenience of not stepping foot in a regular grocery store to get them! LOL I figure with what I save at Aldi from my other purchases, I can get those 2 things full price.

    I also would not recommend frozen Chinese food like Orange chicken or their chicken nuggets. If you have Lidl around, they taste way better and are often on sale. Aldi’s version is just awful.

  • Tabitha T says:

    I have two to add. Aldi bananas never ripen for me. They just shrivel up and stay green. They never get sweet even after a week or two. The weird part is the plantains are fine and will ripen.

    Also the gluten free nuggets are a horrible fail. (The nuggets were so bad I let my kids throw them away and we are hardcore about not wasting food.). Other than that our location has been pretty great.

  • Leona says:

    I don’t have any luck with their bananas or salad greens. The can green beans are not edible. But the granola bars, gluten free stuff, and chips are great!

  • Robin Brannan says:

    I have been shopping at Aldi for more than 30 years. Before they had one in my area, I drove almost 45 miles on e a month so I could shop at Aldi and stock up. I have had friends and family ask me over the years how I could afford to cook the meals that I do and I always tell them I shop at Aldi and only buy things when they are on sale. I don’t know what I would do without an Aldi. They have saved my family so much money and I have raised 3 kids and taken in several of their friends at times and fed and supported them as well when tjey were in a hard situation. If it weren’t for Aldi, I could not have fed or helped those kids. As far as quality goes, i believe the quality of food anderchandise I find at Aldi is usually better than name brands. My husband and I live on a monthly budget of around $800. If it weren’t for Aldi I don’t think we would be able to afford quality groceries.

  • Lori says:

    Lately in my area Aldi has had the best price on Gatorade- which my teenager who is in spring football workouts at the high school is drinking a lot of!! I think you just have to make sure you compare the prices! Unfortunately I don’t have a Kroger in my area. 🙁

    • Jo says:

      I would say in regards to the Aldi Finds and seasonal items , I have found some auwesome deals! For instance, I bought baby gates there a few months ago for a fraction of the price they are on amazon or at Walmart (also – they are in my ad this week again for $20!)I’ve bought silicone pans and small gifts for my kids that were great prices. I find it fun to browse those aisles every week to see what good deals I can find.

    • Thanks so much for that tip! They also usually have great deals on water bottles!

  • Debi Z says:

    Bananas and potatoes. The bananas never ripen and the potatoes go bad in a couple of days. We love the other produce though! We don’t have Kroger by us, so Aldi produce is always cheaper than anywhere else! We get milk and bananas at Kwik Star, the Iowa version of the Kwik Trip midwest gas station chain. Bread is usually cheap there too. I love finding weird places to buy groceries 😁

    • Interesting! We’ve never had those problems with bananas and potatoes, but it looks like you’re not the only one. I have found that you have to take the bananas out of the bag, wash them off, and let them sit out for a few days.

  • Misty says:

    I agree with your list. However I did find awesome cheap Christmas light. I compared prices first and went back 2 times to buy more. We love Aldi brand and would devastated if we didnt have one. My kids love the ranch. We buy produce weekly and just like any store you have to check it pretty good. If you go on a busy day you can get better produce because they are moving it out faster. We have trouble with bagged carrots there.

  • Karen says:

    Aldi light corn syrup is much thinner than Karo. It pours more quickly – maybe there’s more water in it? The difference was noticeable in the recipes I used it in and I will never buy it again. At least it’s a product I don’t use often enough for the price difference to matter much!

  • Valerie Alburger says:

    One thing in Aldi find section to check out are their cards! They are only $1 and super nice! At a regular store they would be the $5+ cards. Awesome graduation cards out right now!

    • Have you looked at Dollar Tree? They have a lot of cards for just $0.50!

    • Elizabeth Kegans says:

      I shop in two different Aldis, but I have never seen any greeting cards. I have found nice cards at Dollar General for $1. I have also bought the $.50 ones from Dollar Tree, but Dollar General is closer, and seems to be less generic.

  • Mona says:

    I agree with the others – Aldi bananas never ripen & frequently ended up in garbage. I quit buying them. In the Aldi finds, I found a marinade that is normally only found in NEPA….for some reason they have it here in SWFL. I was thrilled to find it & happily paid the price which is comparable to the regular grocery store price.

    • Marc Caplan says:

      Yes, I completely agree about the bananas. Their bananas never ripen properly. Their strawberries are hit or miss too. The blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are usually good as are the greens such as lettuce and spinach. Not crazy about the meat either. The quality and prices don’t match up to stuff I can buy at Stop & Shop (one of the big chains in the Northeast for those of you living elsewhere.)

      The prices are mostly amazing. If I shop at Stop & Shop my weekly food bill for a family of 4 is around $140. At Aldi, I spend about $70. Then I spend about another $30 at Stop & Shop for the items that Aldi doesn’t have or are of poor quality. So $70+30, I’m still saving $40 a week x 52 … it adds up!

      As you can tell, I’m a bit Aldi obsessed. I’ve even been to Aldi’s in France and England and bought their Aldi bags as souvenirs. Soon I’ll need a 12 step program to get unhooked from my Aldi obsession!

  • Steve McHugh says:

    I never buy coffee at Aldi. When I purchased it, I couldn’t believe how bad it tasted. It has a strange aftertaste.

    • Lana says:

      The organic beans from Peru are excellent. We are coffee snobs and prefer that coffee over most others. You can return anything you did not like and try something else.

      • Sabrina says:

        Yes they are good. People say Aldi and Trader Joe’s are owned by related people/companies so maybe they are source coffee from similar places.

        • Emily says:

          Their German free trade coffee is excellent! I knew a German lady who swore by it since it tasted like home.

    • Multiple people have mentioned this. I haven’t tried the coffee there before, so this is good to know!

  • Karen says:

    Hi, buying some things at a much better price at Dollar tree like the lemon juice but I refuse to buy any food items made from foreign countries that have bad reputations like China!
    and some of the seasonal stuff is very poorly made and breaks easily some of it toys and yard games kind of crappy, I’ve had to return because I knew they certainly wouldn’t even last a season and not worth the price they were charging.

    • Unfortunately, a lot of produce and other items sold at stores actually comes from China. I’ve been surprised as I’ve learned more and more just how much is!

      • L Brown says:

        I really liked a lotion from Dollar Tree and mentioned it to my dermatologist. She recommended not using it due to weak health regulations in China. Also, check any other health products, as well as foods. Not worth the savings if it’s a health risk.

  • Jen says:

    I have to disagree on the seasonal items and Aldi finds. I’ve found some things that are of great quality and less than you would pay elsewhere. Some things that come to mind are a bike trainer, mummy sleeping bag, sunglasses, and my son’s favorite cozy robe. Aldi is also a fantastic place to find gifts, and they have the best cards.

  • Dove says:

    I love Aldi as well! The ONE product I will never buy again is their baked beans. They are nothing but mush and have a nasty taste. Ours went in the trash. Love everything else though that I’ve tried. The prices are terrific! And I love the fact that store is not enormous. Sometimes bigger is not better!

  • Rosemarie DGinto says:

    Let corporate Aldi know of problems with their regular items like potatoes always going bad. They will find another buyer to get them from! Do not tell the local store …. and bananas, I switched to the organic and wrap a piece of plastic wrap around the ends (where they attach together). Hang them. That allows full circulation and slow ripening!

  • Cherry says:

    Thanks for the tip about the Lemon Juice. Would you please tell us which other items are cheaper at Dollar Tree? you have me curious!

  • Steven Brown says:

    There is a couple good aldi brand foods out their that is just as good or better but I’ve also found some that arent so good. For example the bread sticks with the cheese is gross and the knock off gardettos snacks just to name a few but for the most part i agree.

  • Jen says:

    I usually love Aldi brand items, however my kids can’t stand the Aldi brand Mac & cheese. They say it tastes like dirt. Lol

  • S. Lucca says:

    Everything I have ever purchased at Aldi’s is great with the exception of their produce. It rots within days of purchase. As to the Aldi finds both my sister and I have purchased queen size mattresses ib a box for under $150.00. Best mattress I have ever owned.

  • sarah says:

    i love looking at the aldi finds and seasonal items sections! it is always sad when you enjoy aldi finds and then never see them again (there is a nut butter with seeds that i miss!). that being said, you can’t impulse buy or you won’t save money. but this spring i needed new rainboots and happened to find some for $15 at aldi! the pair i’d been looking at online was much more. my aldi also puts the seasonal items on clearance so i’ve gotten great deals there. also, i could argue that name brand items or things you can get at dollar tree can be worth it depending on your situation. i’m a working mom and almost exclusively shop at aldi. it’s worth it to me to pay a little extra for the name brand mayo at aldi instead of making an extra trip to kroger. there are some things i still buy at other stores but i try to plan ahead and only go once a month. i don’t want to miss more time with my family or spend my free time stopping in my kroger hoping for some sales. but that’s just me!

    p.s. try the organic bananas at aldi. they’re much better than the regular ones!

  • Halle Reed says:

    I love ALDI. We buy most of our regular staples there. Over the past few years we have found some ALDI brand products we don’t want to live without: Chocolate-Peanut butter cookies, hummus, cottage cheese, wheat crackers and cheese doodle type snacks. All of these have become our favorites. They are delicious and economical.
    Thanks for the list

  • Sue says:

    Some of the best items you can buy are Aldi finds and some.seasonal items….not overpriced….to each their own as far as taste buds are concerned…but the aldi finds aisle can be the best to take the ho hum out of your shopping

  • Caroline says:

    I sort of disagree 🙁
    For example, the cereal is usually $3.77 for the 12 oz. box at Publix when I don’t have any coupons available and no BOGO. So, paying $3.77 for the larger box at Aldi works better for me. The same goes for the goldfish. I paid $1.78 at Aldi and at Publix it would cost me $2.50.
    The produce, I thought, would make the “do not buy” list because it’s always rotten the next day at my house.
    The snack cakes are good at Aldi if you are planning on buying them anyways at Publix. I don’t have time to buy single ingredients and make my own snack cakes. :-/
    Seasonal items at Aldi are great if they were on your “I need this when I can find a good deal ”
    For example, I found a pack of hangers and over the door hooks that I would have paid a little more at Marshalls.
    Good post overall 🙂

    • TeeJayWROBERTS says:

      Although I am a loyal patron of both ALDI’s and Dollar Tree, I partially agree with your comment regarding “quality control” at Dollar Tree. Several years ago when I asked a Dollar Tree store owner a question. I asked whether the food prices were low because the items might be “overstock merchandise” from various stores? The owner replied, “no.”
      Major brand manufacturers use Dollar Tree stores to introduce “new” products to the general public prior to distributing these items to grocery store chains in order to test the customer demand based on how well the sales trials go with the Dollar Tree customers. Specifically, my question to the store owner was about an “Ovaltine” hot chocolate product which contained, several single servings per box, and required no milk to be added (“just add water”). That was not typical of the “Ovaltine” drink that I grew up consuming, because the package instructions required that milk be added. I had never seen this type of, easy-preparation, option in an “Ovaltine” drink product, because it was a NEW product (being tested in Dollar Tree stores) which was not available in any other stores yet. This explains, from my observation, the reason why I have discovered numerous items in Dollar Tree stores (over tge years) which I have never seen available elsewhere, until after their product trial ends in Dollar Tree stores, and they are released to stores everywhere (an no longer available in Dollar Tree anymore).

  • Abby says:

    As someone that works at aldi I do agree with some of this but the one about aldi finds I do not. I get excited every Wednesday when we put the new products out and see the price of them. Almost everytime they are cheaper than getting them elsewhere! I dont get a employee discount either so I buy at the same price as everyone else amd still think im getting a great deal, also our aldi finds come straight from the factories of those companys, their not regects from other stores. If that was the case there wouldnt be enough product for every store to have enough for their sale. Other than that I can agree with your deductions on our products🙂

  • Patti says:

    Totally disagree on the Aldi finds, as well as the seasonal items. With so many good buys at the store, I chose to not renew my Sam’s membership this year. We don’t buy the baked goods unless it’s a party, so we save on those impulse buys, but we bought many Christmas gifts there at a large savings.

  • jennifer says:

    I also disagree with the Aldi finds. I have bought some great and useful items there because it was convenient and inexpensive to do so. Part of what I disagree with you on is your blog lists many impulse items daily. You hope we click and buy these things so you can get a kick back but we’re not supposed to buy unexpected items at Aldi? The same rule goes for any place (Aldi, your blog, Amazon, etc.)–don’t buy if you can’t afford it!

    • Jonna says:

      *I believe that those items listed above as what not to purchase just depends on where you are in the current season of your life. Aldi helped my mother, my brother, & myself tremendously when money was very tight. Now the only time I go there is for Aldi’s brand refried beans, which are the best I’ve eaten.

      *I agree with you Jennifer on the impulse items. It’s why I’m unable to look at the website on my kindle; it slows it down & freezes it.

  • Karen says:

    When I saw the $1 lemon juice at Dollar Tree I bought five bottles! HOWEVER I think it is watered down so I would stick with ALDI. Thank you for your tips and I will re-read your article and the replies.
    Oh! As a single person I have started freezing the first quarter of a milk gallon clean frosting containers … remember to leave 10% airspace for expansion… And I have no problem using all the gallon before it spoils.

    • Hmm, it was a little bit of a different consistency, but it worked just as well for me in my daily lemon water as normal lemon juice. That’s interesting that you found it to be more watery. What were you using it for?

    • val says:

      totally agree with you, Karen. Dollar Tree lemon juice, tried it once, tasted really awful, and was watery. I make my lemonade and I went right back to buying it at Aldi. I don’t know what the difference can be; you’d think “lemon juice is lemon juice” but I REALLY hated the taste of the DT lemon juice. Never again!

  • Sara Briggs says:

    So true on the name brand products. I had my 5 year old helping me shop and told her to get honey nut cheerios. I was so busy making sure I got my list I didn’t realize she had gotten name brand instead of aldi. We paid 3 times as much. She had put them on the counter and bagged them too, that’s why I didn’t notice until we got hone.

  • Chelsea says:

    Strong disagree, the seasonal products are one of the BEST things to buy at Aldi! I can often find nice gifts to tuck away for future birthdays or holidays which helps stretch our budget overall. I have also gotten many nice items- like a blender compared to a Vitamix that only cost around $30. I wasn’t planning to buy it and it wasn’t on my list- but I have used it multiple times a week since! It has more than paid itself off and I didn’t spend $300 on a blender. Sometimes I buy $5 in seasonal items and sometimes I buy $50, but it’s always at least worth checking out. I would not put it on this list of items not to buy. The items are good quality at a great price, and actually a really great option for those of us on a budget.

  • Jaimi says:

    We don’t have Aldi in Colorado…but I shopped there occasionally when I lived in Missouri. I admit, I just couldn’t get on the Aldi train. My family never liked the taste of their brands and the produce was often sub-par. I even tried multiple locations to see if the produce issue was just certain stores…and I was often disappointed. But I’m glad so many people enjoy shopping there! 🙂

  • Sheila says:

    I totally agree! Where I live in Michigan, Dollar tree is in the same strip mall. I bought a seasonal gas fire pit because it was in our budget and I comparison shopped first. I love Aldi! Thanks for the advice Crystal 😃

  • Leanna W says:

    I wish the Aldi brand Honey Nut Cheerios were gluten free. My daughter loves Honey Nut Cheerios so I coupon for them at Kroger’s when I can. I have also found potatoes are better if I watch sales at Krogers…they last longer since we don’t use them often. I did snag a pineapple corer today for my mom. I got one last year when they were in the store. My mom mentioned she thought about buying one from pampered chef. I told her about mine from Aldi and then saw they were there again on a Aldi’s Find. Way cheaper than PC.

  • Marc says:

    Lidl like Aldi is a German based supermarket chain. I heard that Lidl has started opening stores in the USA. None near me so I haven’t been able to check out Lidl yet. Have any of the readers of this webpage had the opportunity to go to a Lidl? If so, how do the prices, products and quality compare with Aldi? Thanks.

    • Sarah says:

      Prices are similar to Aldi and I find most products to be MUCH better quality, especially the produce. They also have a larger selection (some things Aldi might only have once in a while, Lidl has all the time).

  • Ruben says:

    I love aldi brand dried prunes, other places such as Walmart have packaging stating pit free but on the label it also states may contain pits, trust me they have pits sometimes and it almost broke my teeth a few times, the aldi brand dried prunes are different you can see how they used a machine to completely remove the pits and my teeth thank them for that.
    P.S. I love Aldi!

  • Sharon Burke says:

    I love the Aldi’s limited, I got under the counter lights for my kitchen cabinets with a remote and they are wonderful for only 16.99 and a very nice hamper for only 6.99

  • Sabrina says:

    1. Yeah Probably.
    2. Nope!!!*
    3. No Way! Big yes.*
    4. Yeah ok! Unless it’s occasional granola bars.
    5. No thanks. Nada.*

    1. The kids insisted on Goldfish after I got them Aldi Cheese Penguins. But they will do the Aldi Cheerios.
    2. This is one of the funnest things! It’s like Trader Joe’s but Aldi frugal foodie-ness. Some recent wins for me here include: Salmon Poke bowls, pickled herring, and German Spatzle noodles —(in your pic)

    And…German Rye Bread! I stock up on this big time.

    I think some of these are in part due to Aldi and Trader Joe’s connection.

    3. These can be a big win, if it’s an item you do need. Ie gifts, work books, certain clothing, plants, etc. But skip impulse buys.

    4. Yes because these are usually junk food. Granola/protein/energy bars have their place, though.

    5. I wasn’t impressed with Dollar Tree food but the non-consumables are worth considering.

  • Emily says:

    I was raised by a German mother, so their German items are just wonderful and sometimes they are unique. I recently found some German ham that I hadn’t had since I was a child. They mislabeled it a bit but that’s okay. And you can get all the traditional German holiday items in December. Their bratwurst imported from Germany is the REAL thing (as opposed to what is called bratwurst in the supermarkets these days.)

  • Kristen says:

    I’d add toilet paper to the list of things not to buy. I bought the Aldi brand and it was a decent quality, but it smelled like chlorine/bleach! So much so that I thought my husband used bleach to clean our toilet, but then figured out it was the toilet paper giving off that strong of a smell!
    I do love Aldi’s organic grass-fed ground beef, and just bought new organic butter there too. Their prices on organic options are similar to the conventional items in other grocery stores. I love that they seem to always be expanding their organic options, as more and more I am prioritizing organic foods for my family.

  • Abigail says:

    I just have to add that you can also score great clearance deals at Aldi if you hit it just right. I once stocked up on half-price candy just after Halloween and got enough to last for months as prizes for good behavior in junior church! Also, they seem to like to keep their stock moving, as they are always bringing in new “finds,” so often they will mark down things that have sat on the shelf for an extra week or two. I got a wireless phone charger this way for just $14.99, and it’s working great several months later.

  • van woodard says:

    Thanks for the posts, I have made just about the same list. the only two stores I shop are the dollar store and aldi’s .. thanks.

  • Ally says:

    Maybe it is just me, or where I live, but I have never had a problem with the produce at Aldi. The two Aldi’s that I shop at are very busy almost all the time, so maybe it doesn’t stay there long enough to get old and gets restocked before it does. I love Aldi and have never gotten anything bad there. As for the price of milk, I was at Walmart yesterday and milk was 3.59 a gallon. I went to Aldi today and it was 1.44 a gallon. I bought 3 gallons for not much more than I would have paid for one at Walmart. It’s just a matter of knowing prices and watching what you buy. I have noticed that if there is a Aldi near a Walmart, then that Walmart’s prices will be cheaper. There is a Walmart in a nearby town(low income) neighborhood and no Aldi near there and their prices are higher than the Walmart in the town where Aldi is near. Gotta keep those prices competitive. Love Aldi and they have saved my budget more times than I can count on a tight week!

  • Carol Witzig says:

    Personally I do not shop at Aldi or Walmart, I am too worried about where my food is made to purchase from Aldi. As far as Walmart goes, it just rubs me the wrong way to make those people richer. I go to the grocery store between adli & Walmart and do my shopping there. I would rather pay a little more and support he locals than to make the chain store owners richer. I would never consider meat from either aldi or Walmart for fear is where it comes from. I don’t have lots of money, and currently have my pregnant granddaughter & her boyfriend living with us. I will go to Walmart once in awhile & same with aldi, but not very often

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