People consistently tell me that cost is one of the biggest factors keeping them from eating healthy real foods. I’m always looking for the best deal so we can stretch our food budget as much as possible. Probably 2 years ago or so an Aldi opened up in our neighborhood. When it first came I expected it to be a slummy store full of processed foods like a similar discount grocery chain near me. I was completely surprised to find organic options, a full gluten-free line, and tons of quality fresh produce! In the last 6 months Aldi really stepped up their game, now stocking a wide selection of organic and paleo friendly options.
Aldi is a sister company of Trader Joe’s and it shows. It is clean and organized with a friendly and
diverse staff. They pay much higher and offer benefits not available to the typical grocery store worker, which makes for a much more pleasant shopping experience. Aldi is able to offer such low prices by running an efficient and low overhead store. I personally prefer the setup as it makes shopping quick, efficient, environmentally friendly, and to the point.
At the end of this post you will find three different Aldi shopping lists so you can save some money, shop easier, and eat well! Start with the Aldi paleo shopping list and build on it with the other two.
The store is laid out similar to Trader Joe’s with a natural progression through the aisles to the exit. To skip the overhead of stocking traditional shelves Aldi creates displays by stocking product filled boxed on pallets. The boxes and layout help the store to be surprisingly organized. The food quality is equivalent to name brands, if not better. Aldi only carries 1 or 2 private label brands per item. This helps to reduce costs as Aldi is able to partner directly with food manufacturers of major food brands to bring the same quality products with a different face. Many of the Aldi liveGfree items are uncannily similar to popular Enjoy Life and Glutino treats. In addition to the private label brands Aldi carries Special Buys which are name brand items at a steep discount for limited time. With so few choices you are able to get in and out quite quickly.
Other Things to Know
Bring a quarter for a shopping cart. Aldi uses a deposit system to avoid labor and damage costs associated with a traditional cart system. You put the quarter in the little slot on the cart, unhook it, and hook it back up when you are done to get your deposit back. Keep an Aldi quarter in the car so you are always ready to go.
Cash, EBT, and most debit cards are accepted. Credit cards are expensive, so they don’t take them. They do not take coupons, but it’s so cheap you don’t need them anyway!
Bring your own bags. You can also buy reusable bags (paper, cloth, freezer) for a small fee at the register. You will also pack your own groceries. At check out your cashier will slide your groceries into a new cart. You will leave your original cart and take the cart with your groceries to the ledge along the front wall to pack your bags. If you prefer boxes you can pick them up as you shop or sometimes they will have a stash in a bin by the register.
It is important to read labels at Aldi. There are tons of paleo options, but there are also some items that look good at first glance but have some hidden ingredients. Many things are on that paleo 80/20 gray line, so if you aren’t a paleo perfectionist you are going to be extra happy. The vegetable and sweet potato chips are clean aside from the crappy cooking oil and are something I have no problem enjoying when I want something special. I just try not to make them a habit because they are that good. They taste and look like the Terra brand ones.
A lot of Aldi boxed gluten-free options aren’t strict paleo, but they are relatively clean. If you are looking for a treat or are just trying to eat a little healthier than a normal standard american diet they are delicious and cheap options! The brownies are one of our favorites and at $2.79 they can’t be beat. They seriously are the best boxed gluten free brownie on the market. They do not have many ingredients (sugar, cocoa powder, tapioca starch, rice flour, baking powder, natural vanilla flavor, & salt)!
The SimplyNature line is created without 125 common artificial ingredients and preservatives. You can find a list of these ingredients on the website here. Many of these products are certified organic or non-gmo verified.
Some of the items have some added sugar, but if I included them on the shopping lists the amounts were relatively low per serving. Again be sure to read the labels to fit your needs.
Aldi continually tests out new products, so if you find something new and like it I suggest you go back and stock up. This encourages them to keep it in rotation and expand the line. Aldi has been growing their organic, natural, and gluten-free lines in this manner over the past year.
FREE ALDI PDF DOWNLOAD SHOPPING LISTS
I will continue to update the lists will more specific information and new products. These lists build on each other. Start with the Aldi Paleo Shopping List and then build on it with options from the other two lists. All paleo items are also real food and gluten-free, but they are not listed again to avoid duplication. All items on the real food shopping list are also gluten-free, but they are not again listed on the gluten-free list. You can download these to your mobile device or print them off to bring shopping with you.
ALDI PALEO SHOPPING LIST
The items on the list are paleo. Some may have very small amounts of sugar, but not enough to really make a difference. Double check the ingredients as things can change in manufacturing.
ALDI REAL FOOD SHOPPING LIST
These items aren’t ‘paleo’, but are relatively clean and made from whole food ingredients. They might include non-ideal seed oils, grains, soy, or xanthan gum.
ALDI GLUTEN-FREE SHOPPING LIST
These items not necessarily clean or healthy just because they are gluten-free, but I thought it was important to share the information for those in the process of transitioning to a gluten-free diet or just looking for a treat. Some of these I would never recommend, but others are an acceptable treat. Read the ingredients and go with what works for your food template.
I have starred items that I eat as a treat or have tasted and can at least vouch for flavor. The only thing I’ve tried from the liveGfree line and didn’t like was the granola. It was by far one of the sweetest and most awfully fake tasting things I have ever tasted. Again, they aren’t healthy just because they are gluten-free.
BOOKMARK THIS PAGE
Be sure to check back here (bookmark the page) as I will periodically update this list to include more specific item information and new product rollouts. If you see any items I missed please let me know in the comments below!
Locate your nearest Aldi!
Thanks so much for the wonderful response to this post! If you like what you see please head to the top of this page and sign up for the email list. I promise to never spend you spam, but I will send you updates to let you know when a new version of the shopping lists have been updated!
Thanks to Casey on Facebook who let me know that I forgot wild caught salmon on the paleo list. One of the most popular paleo staples and I completely left it off. I actually HATE salmon, so I’m pretty sure my subconscious self had something to do with leaving that one off. I’m sure you’ll love it though! All of the Aldi wild caught seafood has catch location and method on the bag – too cool! I’ll make sure it gets on the next version of the lists.
Organic produce. From feedback I’ve received it seems that the selection varies wildly by location and season. Aldi will start stocking more of it if there is a demand, so tell all your friends and they will likely increase the selection. You can also use the clean 15 – produce that doesn’t have to be organic as the pesticide counts are very low. Aldi stocks the majority of the clean 15 everywhere. You also may want to check the conventional section for organic produce – sometimes it’s mixed in and won’t have a specific organic sign above it.