Aldi, the no-frills German grocery chain, is known for its low, low prices. Think $0.89 for a loaf of white bread, or a dozen eggs for less than $1. The famous deals attract bargain shoppers who are willing to put up with some of the store’s quirks. They don’t mind the $0.25 deposit to get a cart, limited selection, having to bring their own bags, and shorter opening hours if it means saving money. By not staying open all day, not stocking every product under the sun, and even forcing customers to put carts back where they found them Aldi keeps operating costs low and passes the savings on to shoppers.
As a result, Aldi is one of the cheapest grocery stores in the U.S. The store claims you can save as much as 50% over national brands when you choose its store-brand products. But do those claims hold water? Head-to-head comparisons between Aldi and other major chains suggest they do. When savings expert Mike Timmermann compared a basket of common items at Aldi, Wal-Mart, and Kroger in 2016, he found Aldi beat Kroger by 18% and Wal-Mart by 25% — not quite 50%, but still significant. Another analysis found Aldi’s prices were 22% cheaper than Wal-Mart’s.
Aldi skeptics still might not be convinced. Sure, the products on Aldi’s shelves are cheaper than those at your local grocery store, but does the quality measure up? Loyal shoppers say it generally does. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to make Aldi your one-stop shop. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the best — and worst — things to buy at Aldi, so you can plan your next shopping trip accordingly.
First up, six of the worst things you can buy at Aldi.
Produce can be hit or miss at Aldi, people on Reddit’s Frugal forum say. The deals might be great, but sometimes items go bad quickly, users reported. In a 2015 Consumer Reports survey, Aldi earned high marks overall but relatively low scores for perishable items, such as fruits and vegetables. Although bargain prices mean you shouldn’t turn up your nose at all of Aldi’s produce, it’s smart to check your potatoes and berries for signs of spoilage before you throw them in your cart and to not buy more than you can use in a few days.