5 Items You Should Never Buy at ALDI

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ALDI is by far my favorite grocery store in the entire world. I shop there two or three times a week, and I get almost all of my groceries there. However, even as a certifiable ALDI nerd, there are some things I stopped buying there a long time ago. These are the groceries I avoid at ALDI.

1. Name-brand anything

The name brand groceries at ALDI may be cheaper than what you'll find at other grocery stores, but I rarely buy them at ALDI.

This is mainly because ALDI's store brand products are usually much cheaper than the name brand versions. Because they are usually stocked side by side you can see how expensive the name brand versions are. For example, LaCroix seltzer is usually two to three dollars more expensive than ALDI brand Belle Vie and doesn't taste that different.

Another reason to avoid big brands at ALDI is that the store doesn't accept manufacturers' coupons, which means they can cost less than at a regular grocery store with coupons.

2. Shredded and cubed cheese

I'm a huge fan of almost all the cheeses in ALDI's deli section, but there are three types I avoid: anything pre-shredded, cubed, or “cracker cut.”

As the proud owner of a cheese grater, I don't need to buy pre-shredded stuff, and “thick-cut shredded cheese” costs six cents more per ounce than regular Happy Farms cheese. Cubed Colby Jack costs 13 cents more per ounce, and every penny counts these days.

While I see value in deli-slice varieties, since it's difficult to thin the cheese unless you have special equipment, I see no value in buying small, chunky slices to layer on top of your crackers. .

Just recipes / Irwin Lynn


3. Coffee

I am, admittedly, a coffee snob. I had a cappuccino maker before I had a television. While I know some people love ALDI's selection of coffees, I don't care.

Most of the coffees on ALDI's shelves are pre-ground, not whole-bean, or they're Keurig-style cups. If I want to make a cup of coffee, I'll use my pour over carafe with home ground coffee beans.

I also prefer fresh coffee that's recently roasted—the kind of strong aroma you can smell from an unopened bag. ALDI's coffee, by comparison, is just meh.

4. Yogurt

I love some yogurts from ALDI. My teenage son enjoys their regular, fruit-bottom cups, and when he was younger, he loved the squeezable yogurts.

However, compared to Trader Joe's and other grocery stores, ALDI's selection is limited. You won't find whipped yogurt or Icelandic Skier or the fancy variety in glass cups. If you don't eat dairy, you won't find plant-based yogurts either.

ALDI sells some Greek yogurt, but I haven't fallen in love with them — I prefer the ones I find at Trader Joe's.

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5. Cereals

ALDI's cereal can be hit or miss. My son loves the store's version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but not their version of Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios.

If you read the label — which I do — you'll also note that ALDI's Cheerios dupes contain wheat. If you're gluten intolerant and bought them thinking they were the same as the brand name version, you'll be sorry.

The same is the case with ALDI varieties of oatmeal. Unlike Trader Joe's, which has certified gluten-free oats, ALDI's oats are not certified gluten-free, which is an important distinction for many shoppers.

I don't even care for ALDI's granolas. They're not as interesting as the ones I've found at Trader Joe's, and they're not as good as the ones I can get at my local food co-op.

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