Do you shop at Aldi? I love the place.
For the uninitiated, Aldi, the world’s largest grocery store chain, is what is termed a “limited selection” store — they carry only the most popular items, perhaps a tenth of the selection you would find in your big grocery store. Further, the vast majority of it is their own house brands. Combine this with very simple stocking and display, making customers bag their own groceries and insert a quarter to access a shopping cart (you get it back when you return it) to eliminate the cost of having an employee round up carts, and you get low prices.
This does not mean low quality, however. I find Aldi house brands to be uniformly good. I suspect that many, if not most, of them are made by the same big names as manufacture the stuff you see advertised on television, minus the advertising budget. Aldi’s house brands have eliminated transfats and MSG. More and more, they have “health food” items — wild-caught salmon fillets, grass fed meat, cage-free eggs, meats raised with no hormones or antibiotics. One glorious day I got Kerrygold butter for $2.49 a pound. They also have low fat and gluten-free lines, but, being carby, those don’t interest me. “Read the labels” remains my best advice.
Since cost is a big concern for many new low carbers, I wanted to make a video touring my local Aldi, showing you all the low carb stuff that’s available. I asked the manager; she referred me to Aldi’s American headquarters. Sadly, they put the kibosh on the notion; they have a strict rule against video recording in their stores.
But there’s nothing to stop me from showing you stuff I purchased there, and letting you know the prices. So that’s what I thought I’d do.
I’d been to Aldi over the weekend, hoping to buy pork rinds. Sadly, they were out. So when I found myself on that side of town yesterday, I ran in and grabbed a few things. Here’s my haul, and the prices:
3 pound sacks of “party wings” — just cut-up wings — $4.99 each (this was a sale item)
8 ounce blocks of Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack, $1.69 each
1 pound packages of bacon, $2.79 each
Avocados, 50c each (!)
Crystal Creek Cabernet $9.99 each
85% dark chocolate, $1.99 each
Pork rinds, 99c each (I actually bought a dozen, but thought they’d clutter up the photo)
As you can see, these are prices worth driving across town for.
My one caveat regarding Aldi is that I usually can get meat cheaper during loss-leader sales at my big grocery stores. But when Aldi has a sale on meat, it is often very good. Back in the fall, I stocked my freezer with chicken thighs at 49c/pound. I scrutinize the circular in my newspaper every Wednesday, and, since the weekly specials are in limited supply, if there’s a great price, I get in the car and go.
This is not a representative sample of everything I buy at Aldi, just what I needed yesterday. I’ll post more stuff, and the prices, when I buy it.
Food is not the whole game at Aldi. Aldi’s house brand of laundry detergent, Tandil, is the best budget laundry detergent I have ever used. I suspect it’s really Tide, but can’t back that up. I buy their disinfecting wipes, dishwashing detergent, and other household supplies. I can think of more interesting things to spend my money on, like rib eye steaks.
Just so you know: I have no financial interest in Aldi. They have not paid me. I don’t own stock (though I’d happily buy some, given the opportunity). I just think they’re a great resource for people trying to eat well on a tight budget. If you’re low carb, LCHF, keto, even paleo, there’s likely to be a deal for you.