Top 10 Essentials to Buy at Aldi

by Kelli on October 20, 2014


For a long time one of my biggest frustration with living in New York City was the cost of living. In particular, groceries. Somewhere along the way I found a happy medium between feeling constantly annoyed by overpriced grocery stores/lack of inexpensive options and accepting it.

Mostly because I didn’t have a choice. It’s a trade off for living in one of my favorite places.

When recently learned that Aldi opened in New York, somewhat close to where I live, I was all over it! If you’re looking for a way to save on groceries, consider a trip to Aldi. I think you’ll be surprised.

Top 10 Essentials to Buy at Aldi |

My first experience with Aldi was in my early 20′s. There was one near where I went to college, and after driving past it a hundred times, my roommate at the time and I decided to check it out. We knew Aldi was a grocery store, but beyond that we knew nothing about it. To say we were confused and perplexed is probably an understatement. We walked around the store totally bewildered not sure what to make of what we were seeing, or maybe more accurately, what we weren’t seeing.

Top 10 Essentials to Buy at Aldi |

Looking back, knowing what I know now – what Aldi stands for, what it has to offer and how to take advantage of it to truly save money on groceries – that story makes me laugh. I also think that someone who steps into an Aldi for this first time, not knowing anything about it, probably has a similar experience.

My experience with Aldi today is so much different!

Top 10 Essentials to Buy at Aldi |

While Aldi carries just about everything, it’s not quite one stop shopping for me. For one, it’s not in my immediate neighborhood. Although it’s easy to get to and close enough to go when I want to stock up. Also, there are certain products I will simply always enjoying buying from Whole Foods, Fairway and Trader Joe’s. For me, Aldi is perfect for stocking my pantry and for basic fridge and freezer essentials.

These are my top 10 essentials to buy at Aldi:

1. Nuts. Raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, I’ve been stocking up on the full gamut both for snacking and (holiday) baking.

2. Dried fruit. I’m hooked on the dried cherries and dried cranberries. And, the dried blueberries are pretty amazing, too.

3. Baking supplies. This is kind of a broad category, and definitely one of my favorites. I’m talking about everything from flour to sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and of course, chocolate chips.

4. Oatmeal. This is one of my favorite breakfasts, and during the fall and winter months I could eat it almost everyday. I love stocking up on the whole oats and steel cut oats.

5. Pure maple syrup. Between pancakes, oatmeal, baking and even some savory recipes that need a touch of sweetener, I go through maple syrup like crazy. This is also an item I’m pretty particular about, and unfortunately it doesn’t usually come cheap. So, I was thrilled when to really like the maple syrup from Aldi!

6. Whole wheat pasta. This is always in my pantry. Pasta is one of my go-to’s on nights when I need a quick dinner or just don’t have the energy to cook.

7. Canned tomatoes.  Canned tomatoes (especially diced tomatoes) are always in my pantry.

8. Fruit & vegetables. The produce section just might be my favorite area of Aldi! It’s not huge in size or selection, but the quality is consistently great, as are the prices. Last week I scored pomegranates for $0.89 a piece and a bunch of plum tomatoes for under a dollar.

9. Frozen berries. These berries are an essential part of my morning smoothies!

10. Almond milk. I’ve been buying regular almond milk for my smoothies and oatmeal. I recently noticed chocolate almond milk and I’m pretty tempted to try it.

Top 10 Essentials to Buy at Aldi |

If you haven’t yet shopped at Aldi, you should know that it differs in quite a few ways from the grocery shopping experience you’re probably used to. Also, know that it’s these differences that will help to seriously cut your grocery bill. For example, rather than name brand products, you’ll find Aldi’s private label items which are comparable quality, at a fraction of the price. And, if Aldi isn’t able to produce something under their label, you’re likely to see a name brand you recognize (like, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce!).

Top 10 Essentials to Buy at Aldi |

See that up there? It’s the produce section. It might not be huge, but it’s so awesome, and I always want to take everything home. Last time I loaded up on pomegranates which were only $0.89!

Top 10 Essentials to Buy at Aldi |

I’m constantly wowed by how helpful Aldi employees are, the wide aisles (if you live in a city, you can totally appreciate this!), that it’s not super crowded right after work, and mostly how much money I save. I also love they Aldi encourages people to bring their own bags, and charge a few cents for their paper or plastic shopping bags. A lot of stores in San Francisco and Seattle (and likely, elsewhere) do this, and I really wish more stores would adopt this policy.

Have you ever shopped at Aldi? What are some of your favorite products?


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* Disclosure: I was compensated for this post from Aldi as part of their brand ambassador program. I’m committed to working with brands I use and love, and as always, all opinions are 100% my own.


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