What Samantha is Loving: Aldi Grocery Store
It’s not uncommon for me to ask someone if they’ve ever shopped at an Aldi grocery store and their reply sounds something like, “no, but there’s one not too far from my house.” If you haven’t shopped inside or online at Aldi, my hope is that this What I’m Loving post will encourage you to try it. I'll also share some of my family's favorite Aldi items.
According to its website, www.aldi.com, Aldi is a German-owned discounted grocery store chain with locations in nearly 20 different countries. (You can find the Aldi store closest to you by visiting here.) Aldi lives out its mission to provide “a faster, easier, and smarter way to save money on high-quality groceries and more.” Aldi offers food options for everyone, even those who have dietary restrictions and preferences. What I love about Aldi is that it is committed to products without synthetic colors, MSG or added trans fats. These high quality products are affordable and that’s what makes an Aldi experience impressive. Their prices are drastically cheaper than any other store in town.
You can shop at Aldi by visiting a brick and mortar store or online via Instacart. Prior to COVID-19, we’d visit a location regularly. If you decide to visit a physical location there are a couple things to keep in mind: 1) Bring a quarter for access to a shopping cart. You’ll get the coin back after returning the cart to the parking station. 2) Bring your own shopping bags. 3) Be prepared to see unfamiliar brands and a basic grocery store layout.
The first two items are self-explanatory. I want to spend a moment on the third. You won't see many well-known brands such as Keebler or Nabisco on their shelves. Aldi carries many of their own private brands like Simply Nature, Clancy's and Millville. Moreover, these brands generally contain healthier ingredients, and taste just as good and sometimes better, than the national brands found at most American grocery stores. In full disclosure, my fondness for Aldi wasn't immediate because, at first, I wasn't familiar with the store layout, products and brands. But, I only needed a couple months of regular shopping visits before I was hooked!
Since the pandemic, we've used Aldi’s online Instacart option more regularly. It’s convenient for several reasons, the most obvious being that you don't have to do the shopping, but you can communicate with the shopper via text. This is helpful when an item you requested is out of stock and you’re considering a substitution. In addition, when the groceries are delivered, you can choose to have them left on your doorstep, which has been very helpful as I’ve been working from home and may be on the phone or in a virtual meeting when the delivery arrives.
I also love Aldi because it carries exciting non-grocery items. For a bargain price, we bought a beautiful tufted queen headboard for my daughter last year. You’ll also spot darling door mats, mugs, hats and other fun items in the aisles. This always adds some excitement to a shopping trip!
So, if you decide to shop at Aldi (which I hope you do), it’s also helpful to know what to look for in the aisles. I have several Aldi items I want to share with you, but I thought in this first post I’d include a few, and then follow-up with additional family favorites. I’ll also include Aldi’s seasonal and "while supplies last" items called “Aldi Finds.” These are usually sought after products that come and go quickly. Below is a list of a few of our favorites:
Southern Grove Relax Trail Mix -- The perfect balance of sweet and savory with cashews, almonds, macadamias and dried, soft cranberries and pineapple.
Friendly Farms Italian Sweet Cream Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer -- I usually drink my coffee black, but every once in a while I enjoy adding cream and this is my go-to. Plus, it's dairy-free. It's the most delicious when frothed!
Park Street Deli Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad -- This is the perfect lunch portion of an all white meat chicken salad. It's really good with the next product - sea salt pita chips.
Specially Selected Sea Salt Pita Chips -- I have no words, because these are near perfection! I will snack on them plain or with hummus. They are also great with the cranberry and almond chicken salad listed above.
Tuscan Garden’s Poppyseed Dressing -- This is one of our more recent favorites. My husband discovered this dressing in the spring. It's an "Aldi Find" so it's not always in the store as it's considered a seasonal product. Delicious!
If you already love Aldi or tried it out for the first time, let us know what you think! We want to share the Aldi Love!