Grocery Shopping at Aldi: The Ultimate Guide to Shopping at Aldi

Whether you’ve never thought about shopping at Aldi or you’re a regular, this Ultimate Aldi Shopping Guide is for you. I’m sharing my favorite finds and the best healthy products Aldi has to offer.

But first, I want to share with you a little story about how I actually hated my first grocery shopping experience at Aldi.

We were living in Nashville, TN at the time and my friend was always shopping at Aldi. She raved about how much money she’d save. I was a little skeptical, because I was a “coupon queen” and was already saving tons on our groceries. But, I went anyway.

I dragged Noah to the grocery store with me and, to my horror, I had to pay a quarter to use their grocery shopping carts. A whole quarter! Now mind you, the quarter is returned to you. But it was just the idea of it.

I was already turning up my nose before stepping into the store. To make matters worse, neither of us could find a we quarter, so we ended up just browsing.

I was not impressed. It was very minimalist, very small, and seemed a little dingy. I quickly decided I would never shop at a place that made you pay a quarter for a cart, made you bring your own bags, AND bag your own groceries.

So we left without buying anything. And it wasn’t until two years later I decided to try shopping at Aldi again. But the second time around is when I turned into an Aldi snob.

The Ultimate Guide to Grocery Shopping at Aldi

Giving Aldi Another Chance

Two years later we moved back to Iowa and you’d think moving to a smaller town would lower our grocery bill but it skyrocketed! So I swallowed my pride. Prepared with a quarter and reusable bags, I gave Aldi a fair shot.

Grocery shopping at Aldi has been a game changer for our family! It has saved us so.much.money. I cringe every time I have to grab something from another grocery store that I could’ve bought from Aldi for half the price. It was then, after my first real shopping experience at Aldi that I became an Aldi lover.

Now, I will preface this, Aldi doesn’t carry everything I need when I go grocery shopping. It carries the basics but this keeps prices low because it means smaller stores, less staff, and lower rent. And I’m okay going to different stores because I really do save so much at Aldi that it makes it worth it. And lucky for me, there is a store coming soon to my town which will make shopping at Aldi so convenient.

Aldi shopping carts

Things to know when shopping at Aldi

If you're brand new to the store here’s what you need to know when grocery shopping at Aldi:

01. Bring your own quarter. You will need it for the shopping cart. The quarter unlocks a cart for you. And when you return it you get the quarter back.

Pro Tip: Always keep a quarter in the same spot in your car and just use the same one each week. It keeps you from having to search through your purse or worse, you get there and don’t have one!

02. Bring your own reusable bags. We have an abundance of these so this one is easy. I always keep them in the trunk for easy access. If you happen to forget your reusable bags, don’t sweat it. They do have plastic bags for sale for 10 cents or paper for 7 cents. 

Pro Tip: After unloading put the bags right back in your trunk so you don’t accidentally forget them. If I don’t make it back out to the garage, I’ll hang the bags on the door knob  so the next time I run out to the car I can put them back.

03. You bag your own groceries. I promise, it’s really not all that bad. It takes less than 5 minutes and this helps keep the prices so low.

04. Limited staff. Again, Aldi employs different tactics to keep prices so low. The Aldi staff are some of the friendliest grocery store employees you’ll ever meet! They’re super friendly and helpful, but there just aren’t a lot of them.

05. Small store. Think 4-6 aisles. I’ve grown to love this because it literally takes me 15-20 minutes to grocery shop. By now I know where everything is so I can run in and out and I love that about grocery shopping at Aldi.

organic products found at aldi

Double Buy Back Guarantee

You must be in the know on the Double Buy Back Guarantee. It’s pretty genius actually because they’ve removed any concern about grocery shopping at Aldi. They are so confident that you will love their products that they don’t just guarantee it, they double guarantee it! Here’s what it says on the Aldi website:

“If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with any product, we will gladly replace the product AND refund your money. To receive the Double Guarantee, the product packaging and any unused product must be returned to your local ALDI Store Manager.”

I’ve used this multiple times and it’s never been an issue. Lettuce went bad before the expiration date and they didn’t make a big fuss about it. Just simply replaced the product and refunded me my money.

So if you’re at all concerned with the quality of Aldi and shopping at Aldi – fear no more. You can get your money back if you aren’t satisfied 100%! It may be a bummer that something went bad too quickly or you didn’t love a product, (especially if you need the ingredient for a recipe) but I’m telling you...you’ll save so much money.

More Organic Options

One thing I was really surprised about when grocery shopping at Aldi was the number of organic items they have. Now if you want everything you eat to be organic, it’s probably not worth it for you. I am picky about certain food items and follow the Dirty Dozen when shopping for organic but there are some items I’m not as concerned about. One of my favorite organic items when shopping at Aldi is their grass-fed organic beef. It’s one of the best prices I have found!

groceries from aldi

Aldi Finds

Okay, this may be one of my favorite things about buying my groceries at Aldi. Each week they have “Aldi Finds” which means they are premium food and household items that are only in the store for a limited time. I love seeing what big brands they carry, but at a fraction of the price too! Be sure to grab it though, because they don’t last long.

Dedicated to Health

I was so impressed when in 2015 Aldi removed certified synthetic colors, added MSG, and partially hydrogenated oils from all of their exclusive brand food products. It’s a great start in the right direction towards improving our health.

They listened to their customers’ requests to remove these unhealthy ingredients from their store brand foods. It feels good to know we have a voice and they are making changes to improve the quality of their food.

What do I Buy When I Shop at Aldi?

Okay, you probably scrolled down to this section, which is totally fine. But be sure to scroll up to Things to Know When Shopping at Aldi, especially if you’re a newbie! I’ve gotten this question many times and most are shocked that I do a lot of my grocery shopping at Aldi. But again, I’m saving hundreds each month and to me, that’s 100% worth it. Below are my go-to items:

favorite products to buy at aldi

Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips: My husband can be a bit of a chip snob and he says these are his favorite chips. He’s actually disappointed when I pick tortilla chips at any other store.

Oven Roasted Almonds: Just make sure you read the labels...some of them have added oils and other unneeded ingredients! Get a bag that’s just almonds and salt.

Cashews

Organic Chia Seeds

Organic Flax Seeds

Organic Popcorn

Organic Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese {shredded}

Slivered Almonds

Chopped Walnuts

Mustard

Organic Ketchup

Organic Eggs

Mixed Nuts

Organic Salsa

Organic Honey

Pure Maple Syrup

Gluten-Free Pretzels

Organic Puffs

Organic Eggs

Organic Chopped Kale

Organic Mixed Greens

Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

Organic Olive Oil: The price for this is soooo good and HALF the price if you’re shopping at other stores!

Wild Caught Salmon

Organic Frozen Blueberries/Strawberries

Organic Grass Fed Beef Patties

Organic Grass Fed Ground Beef

Organic Top Sirloin Steak

Organic Baby Pouches

Organic Spices

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Organic Colby Jack and White Cheddar Cheese {sliced}

Freeze Dried Fruit

Organic Oranges

Organic Onions

Organic Grapes

Organic Bananas

Organic Pears

Organic Potatoes

Organic Cucumbers

Organic Bell Peppers

Organic Grape Tomatoes

Organic Apples

Organic Baby Carrots

Organic Berries {when in season}

Lifeway Kefir

Organic Brown Rice

Organic Quinoa

Brown Rice Pasta

Sparkling Water

Organic Beans {canned}

Organic Mini Cucumbers

Unsweetened Coconut Flakes {seasonal}

Organic Pumpkin {seasonal}

Never Any Nitrate-Free Bacon

Feta Cheese: My cheese of choice. I love sprinkling it on eggs or my slice of homemade pizza.

Frozen Green Beans: I always love keeping a bag of frozen veggies on hand for those “just in case” times when I haven’t made it to the grocery store for a while.

Gluten Free Raisin Bread: The girls really love this with their eggs in the morning. Not super awesome ingredients, but we focus on 80/20.

Frozen Cauliflower Rice: I was so excited when Aldi started carrying this in their store!!!

Toilet Paper

Napkins

Paper Towels

grocery shopping at aldi

I know I'm only scratching the surface and probably left out many things so be sure to comment with what you love buying Aldi so I can update this list. Note that some stores do carry different items!

Aldi has many other gluten-free and even organic products, but we don’t necessarily buy them all. Remember, just because something is gluten-free and/or organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy or good for you. 

We try our best to focus on ingredients and always read labels. We aren’t perfect, which is why you see gluten-free pretzels and gluten-free raisin bread in the mix. I believe in balance and want to create a healthy balance for my family.

I hope this helps shed light on shopping at Aldi, and, at the very least, intrigues you to try it out. If it’s your first time shopping at Aldi, go with an open mind. Once you see how much you can save, you won’t want to shop anywhere else for your staples!

I’d love to know how many Aldi lovers {or, to be fair: snobs} there are reading this! What’s your favorite item to shop for at Aldi? And if you aren’t a fan, did this help change your mind at all?