21 Best and Worst Things to Buy at Aldi

If you haven’t made the acquaintance of this German supermarket chain, you’re missing out on some serious savings. But not every item is a hit. See our list of the best and worst buys at Aldi.

Shoppers browse items on display for sale at an Aldi Stores Ltd. food market in Chicago, Illinois
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A first-time experience at an American Aldi store can be a bit of a culture shock. You have to pay a quarter to rent a shopping cart (or buggy, as some call it). National brand-name products are rare.

The cashier scans your selected products, places them back in the cart and points you to a bagging area (that’s your job; hope you brought bags).The final shock comes with what you pay for those groceries. In these times of soaring grocery prices — up 14.9% in May alone compared to a year ago, according to data site Numerator — you’re more than likely paying far less at Aldi. That's one reason to check it out right now.

The no-frills German supermarket chain has more than 2,000 stores in 36 states offering super-low prices on brand-name knockoffs, European foods and one-off deals. Indeed, 90% of Aldi's products are exclusive store brands, and many mimic the packaging and product of national brands. We found several great items at Aldi that deserve a spot on your grocery list based on quality or value — or both. That’s good news as all of us are looking to cut corners on rampaging grocery bills.

Even so, after checking in with shopping experts, as well as doing comparison-shopping (and taste-testing) on our own at stores in Virginia, we found that some deals at Aldi aren't worth it. First of all, brand-name knock offs don't always taste as good as the real deal (though we’ll make an exception with Kirkland Signature products from Costco). Second, Aldi doesn't accept manufacturers' coupons or offer a loyalty program. That means you can find certain brand-name products at other retailers at prices comparable to Aldi's knockoffs once you factor in sales, coupons and loyalty perks. Take a look at what to buyand what to avoid — at Aldi.

Bob Niedt

Bob was Senior Editor at Kiplinger.com for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.