Last night, while I was watching The Bachelor and shaking my head at Matty’s lame, producer-fed antics, I needed a distraction. I asked my Facebook friends what their favourite Aldi products were. 500 impassioned comments later, I know exactly what I’ve been missing out on and am waiting to clock off so I can go to Aldi and get all the gosh-darned things.
Don’t get me wrong, I shop at Aldi quite regularly. I’m no novice. What I am is hesitant… and conservative. And a little bit of a tight-a*s, let’s be frank. I don’t like waste or buying dud things, so I find myself scanning the mysterious Aldi shelves, wondering which things are good, but not wanting to waste my hard-earned pennies on any fails.
That’s where friends come in. Not only are they much more committed to hunting and gathering the best that Aldi has to offer, they’re testing Aldi products every day. On themselves. And their children. They’re doing it for us, guys!
“The best thing about Aldi, besides good and cheap groceries, is every week it’s a different shop! One week it’s Bunnings, next week it’s Adairs, next week it’s a deli…” one buddy said and it’s so very true!
A few people also pointed out that Aldi’s doing excellent things when it comes to discouraging plastic bags and supporting local suppliers and farmers – and shopping there – as well as supporting independent foodie retailers – is a smart, budget-savvy and sustainable thing to do.
“The majority of ALDI’s exclusive brands are sourced from Australian suppliers, and we only source products from overseas when we can’t find the product, quality, efficiency or innovation we seek, here in Australia,” the Aldi folk say.
What to buy at Aldi?
So, without further ado, here’s the result of that random, The Bachelor frustration-fuelled question. Not only will you find it helpful, I’m betting that if you shop at Aldi you’ll have your own tips to add!
(Thanks so much to everyone who shared their tips with me/us, too! It’s so appreciated!)
“Hey, if you shop at Aldi sometimes, what are your fave things to buy there? Especially snack-wise. But really, everything-wise?”
Everybody loves Aldi chocolate! It was the most-mentioned category – possibly equal first with cheese.
- The dark Choceur hazelnut chocolate is amazing.
- Moser Roth dark chocolate n orange, choceur dark choc with almonds or hazelnuts.
- The chocolate is nice! And that’s coming from someone who has a $30 a week Haighs habit!
- I like to buy the organic fair trade dark chocolate with sea salt. It’s delish!
- I love these dark choc caramel things at the counter for under a dollar … (Riesen!)
- The small blocks of white chocolate with rice bubble thingys in them, in packs of 5.
- People also repeatedly mentioned the coconut and white chocolate bars too.
Look. People love cheese and they especially loved the Aldi cheese with the organic brie, blue cheese and Grana Padano ranking swimmingly. People also thought the Persian feta and American-style cheese was great.
- The $5.00 blue cheese!! It’s the best!
- The haloumi is sooo good!
- That washed rind cheese is actually heavenly. So gooey.
- Their cheeses are good too – there’s some kind of wasabi one?
- Emporium range Persian feta … al la Yarra Valley Dairy Persian Feta.
- The organic brie is divine!
- Their American style cheese is great too, and affordable.
- There is a weird shaped Brie cheese in a square and it’s delish.
- The square Brie is the bomb and made in France.
- The aged cheddar! We have it as a staple and people always ask where that nice cheese is from.
- The Grana Padano cheese wedges got mentioned too.
Treats and snacks
It would seem that if you love snacks, Aldi is your homeboy. Here’s what people loved the most:
- Trail Mix with the cranberries and white chocolate buds. ERMAHGOD YUM.
- I love the bags of peanut/cashew bites and “naked” ginger.
- At one point I loved these boiled lollies they had that were rhubarb and custard flavoured.
- Their liquorice. Tastes surprisingly good even if you’re keeping it in the glovebox of your car so you don’t scoff it all in one sitting.
- Their pistachios are the bomb…
- I forgot to mention their chocolate coated marzipan!
- I luuuurve those little nut snacks that are the cubes, I think they are munch snacks. Anyway, cheap and a great desk snack mmm.
- Choc-coated liquorice.
- The oat bars with dark choc and apricot.
- Chocolate covered marzipan, salt and pepper cashews!
- Love their cashew nuts also.
- TOFFFEE! How has no one mentioned these tiny cups of wonder?!
- American chocolates like Milk Duds.
Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and veg had mixed reviews, depending on where people lived. Personally I love the cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, salad mix bags, mushrooms, avocados and broccoli, but you do you. Others mentioned:
- Their Medjool dates are delish, and bags of mini avocados. I cut mine in half, add some balsamic and squash them still in the skin. A good little snack with a couple of crackers.
- Ready to go thin cut veg stir fry mix.
Another snacky and treat-themed section. I really like the semi-dried tomatoes, in case you need to know that. Others mentioned:
- I get my salami and kransky’s there too.. and yoghurts.. Sicilian olives.. everything really!
- Great chunky dips with nuts.
- Sicilian olives and eggplant dip.
- European style pickled cucumbers.
- Snack wise, dips are great – hommus is delicious and super affordable.
- Mussels in olive oil.
Aldi booze came up trumps. I admit that I regularly buy the $5 Pinot Grigio and the $5 Sauvignon Blanc and they are great. My friends recommended lots of things – and the Prosecco and French champagne came up again and again. Aldi also recently came up trumps for their rose.
- So I just discovered their Sangria- $7 a bottle!
- Wine! And beer! The Cote de Rhone red for about $8 is delicious and has a lovely label, and the St Etienne tastes like a Stella and costs $8 for a 6 pack. So good!
- NZ Kaiora Bay Pinot Noir for $15 – excellent value.
- There’s a $4.99 Pinot Noir that tastes a million bucks!
- $10 yummy Tempranillo
- The chardonnay!
- Their $10 Prosecco is very nice especially at that price.
- French champagne.
- Winking owl wine!
Chips and crisps
People are loving Aldi’s Blackstone chips – and also some people said the corn chips are good (with Aldi hommus!)
- Blackstone chilli chips, better than Kettle ones (spicier!)
- For trashy snacks you can’t beat their ‘Burger Hoops’ which are WAY tastier than actual Burger Rings. They do Cheezels and Cheese and Bacon Balls as well, also really good.
- The veggie chips are ace. They have these delicious little dehydrated mushrooms in the bag that I’ve never found in any other brand of vege chips. I’m not normally a mushroom fan, but these are yum.
- Corn chips and cheese and onion chips are great too.
- They have these veggie straws that are so moreish!
Lots of people had biscuit recommendations, because who doesn’t like something to dunk in their cup of tea?! It’s good to know that some of these copycat bickies are as good as the real thing – or even better. Also Jaffa Cakes and Knoppers seem to be super beloved.
- These little rectangle biscuits with chocolate on them and pictures of European landmarks. Those ones are great.
- Their Jaffa Cakes… OMG. Crack!
- Dutch palmiers! So good!
- Aldi equivalent of Tim Tams are better than the original we thinks.
- The fake wagon wheels! I buy a pack at the start of my shop, and consume two on my way around.
- The Damora Rosemary Wheaten Crackers are delish.
- Spiced almond biscuits!
- They have these yummy rice crackers covered in dark chocolate that a amazingly delicious!
- Their version of a mint slice is better than the original.
- The shortbread biscuits are delicious.
- Knoppers! (I didn’t know what these were, but apparently they are the best!)
Dairy cabinet and fridge
Which fridge-y things are good to buy? Here is the “where-to-begin” list. You are welcome:
- They do a large pack of Lurpak that is amaze and you can’t get in Coles or WW.
- No added sugar fruit yogurt 8-packs!
- The fresh fruit juice!
- The Butterfully or whatever it’s called. As cheap as margarine and as nice as butter but spreads easily. It’s a staple at our house.
- In fridge section near yoghurts there are little glass jars of desserts which are lovely and you get little glass jars as well.
- The kids love the stampede custard I love it too tastes like old school yogo.
- A fab Italian tiramisu which is very dangerous to have in the fridge!!!
- People also mentioned the Greek yogurt over and over – in an approving way. Also the organic natural yogurt ranked highly.
Pastries and frozen things
The Aldi freezer is chilling with these new favourite things of yours. Or they might be old faves, if you are Aldi-smart:
- The frozen gozleme is yum. Not as good as Preston Market fresh but still a good one.
- Potato topped individual pies from the freezer – Yum!
- The key lime pie and giant pretzels from the freezer section are surprisingly good!
- Sweet quark cheese strudel in the freezer section. Seriously good!
- The family chicken and veggie pie.
- Frozen spinach strudel and spinach spanakopita.
- I also quite like the frozen potato things (Maitre D brand, they’re like a scalloped potato stack). An excellent, quick side dish for dinner.
- Frozen potato gratins- box of 4 individual size potato cheesey timbales – really good.
- Their ice cream! It is excellent! I love the the little multi pack of minis. Yum. Best treat!
- I love the ice cream sandwiches.
- Their mini ice cream cones are a favourite with my 4yo – a good little kid size.
- 1kg of frozen mango cubes for $10.
Healthy and vegetarian things
Everybody loved all of Aldi’s organic products, as well as things like nuts, coconut water and coconut oil.
- Their organic tofu is so good.
- Nuts, gluten free bread for toast, coconut oil.
- The organic coconut oil. So much cheaper. The cooking spray too.
- Vego snags and burgers, but my fave is a disgusting packet of microwave egg fried rice! (Okay maybe that last bit is not healthy, but it is vegetarian!)
Staples people loved included these – and I so agree re the tuna in oil!
- Their 4 litre containers of Australian olive oil are great value.
- They sell fair trade coffee which is yum.
- The giant jars of jalapeños.
- Picky Mr 16 loves the tuna snacks which come with biscuits. At least that’s something I can send to school with him.
- They make great organic black tea in their organic range.
- Tuna in oil as good as sirena. Gf products are great eg: cornflakes, gf flour.
- They have these anchovies in chili oil, the filets are quite thick.
- The peaches in a jar with cinnamon sticks … the truffle pecorino mushroom ravioli.
- Other things that got a mention here included the Aldi version of Milo, corn relish, taco kits, souvlaki kits, giant jars of European pickles, coffee machine pods, their version of WeetBix, sauerkraut, organic oatmeal packs.
Pasta, tinned tomatoes and pasta sauce
The tinned and bottled tomato products were super dooper popular – even with the experts.
- The organic pasta sauce and the $2 pasta sauce jars are “great and last forever”.
- “Diced tomatoes tins are a great pantry staple at 65c and the organic tomato paste 99c” LOTS of people love the organic tomato paste, so definitely get that!
- I once was in a queue and the Italian ladies in front of me were buying the tinned diced tomatoes and the passata. They told me it was just as good as they made.”
- People also loved the gluten-free pasta, although it’s apparently being discontinued (possibly only in some states, but good to know/follow up!)
There are lots of pizza options at Aldi, and people recommended the simple or premium choices – and suggested avoiding the $3 topped pizzas.
- The gourmet goats cheese and beetroot pizza is SO GOOD. like, yummier than most fresh pizzas i make or buy. I love it (w added cheese of course).
- They sell a 3 pack of cheese pizzas that my kids like to add extra topping to.
- The herb and garlic pizza bases.
Meaty and fishy things
Lots of votes for meaty things. Here’s some places to start.
- Lamb shanks in red wine were mentioned several times.
- Chicken sausages and also the lamb and rosemary sausages also ranked.
- A bag of pre-cooked and diced chicken for wraps, toasties, salads. so tasty and easy for quick dinner, snacks.
- My Nanna swears by the lamb shanked in red wine and they were great the other night…
- I have been loving the rosemary and thyme chickens with seasoning…so yummy as a baked dinner or with salad.
- Recently discovered these great pork cutlets marinated in pepper and mustard seeds…yum!
- They do a yummy pork roast with lemon and herb.
- Australian salmon portions also ranked, as did the frozen tuna portions.
- Smoked salmon is “Very good and great value!”
- Bag of frozen tuna steaks (be careful not to over cook)
There were heaps of bread recommendations and people loved the fact that you could buy quality speciality bread at ace prices.
- Brioche Buns. I have teenagers, and the Brioche Buns are cheaper than anywhere else. With these, you can do your own gourmet burgers.
- Their sourdough and pane di casa is great also, and not at Schwobs prices!
- Personally, I find the Pane Di Casa ($2.39/loaf) is THE best for making toasties.
- Raisin bread and bagels. The multigrain sourdough.
- Chocolate brioche bread – I bought it once to take to a work morning tea and it was an absolute hit!
Tidying up? My buddies said Aldi was very helpful in this regard.
- Washing detergent and dishwasher tablets! They’re so good, better than the expensive ones.
- The washing powders are great. Highly rated by Choice Magazine.
- Their Vanilla Fridge spray is the best for cleaning granite.
- The extra long toilet rolls!
- Their toothpaste.
- Their rubber gloves are the best!!! Last for ages and are nice and thick.
- The cleaning stuff is awesome. I shopped the Eco- cleaning sale 8 weeks ago and only just finished the big tub of laundry liquid, would buy again – and also got wool wash, lavender oil and tea tree.
Beauty and bathroom
And in the bathroom, there were some surprising, but sparing tips:
- Best Aldi purchase is Lacura face cream. Best night moisturiser ever and a bargain at under $10!
- The Lacura face creams have been rated as excellent by plastic surgeons and are <$10:)
- Nappies and wipes are as good as the major brands but way cheaper.
- Coconut sunscreen!
Phew! Thanks pals! This is the beginning of lots of fresh Aldi adventures for me – and for everyone who read the tip list.
How about you? What are your must-buys or cheeky indulgences at Aldi? Which products have surprised you with their deliciousness?