13 Things You Should Never Buy at Aldi

NEWS & TRENDING - SHOPPING & DEALS NEWS
Skip these items on Aldi’s shelves if you want to save extra cash on your weekly grocery trip.
Updated April 22, 2024
Fact checked
frontage and brand logo aldi

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Aldi is a great option if you’re trying to save on everyday essentials and keep more cash in your wallet.

But some options are better than others and Aldi should not be at the top of your list when it comes to certain things you need to fill your fridge or pack your pantry.

Before you head out on your next shopping trip, check this list to see if there are items on your shopping list you might be better off buying elsewhere.

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Produce

exclusive-design/Adobe colorful shot of vegetables and fruits

You’ll want to double-check those apples and bananas before you put them in your Aldi cart.

The retailer has some great items, but fresh produce can be dicey. Check items carefully before adding them to your cart so you don’t waste money on fruits and veggies that won't last.

Chicken

New Africa/Adobe raw chicken meat

It’s good to have chicken stored in your freezer to add to recipes or make on its own. But Aldi may not have the best selection of chicken, and what they do have usually needs some extra cleaning before it’s ready to cook. 

You might be better off buying it somewhere else that won’t require you to trim a ton of fat and extra veins before you can make it.

Condiments

anaumenko/Adobe A variety of sauces

You can save money by picking up the store brand or cheap brands on the shelves at Aldi, but you could end up with condiments that don’t taste as good as the name brand.

Savvy shoppers know that store brands are usually just as good as the name brands; however, that may not be the case when it comes to bottles of ketchup and mustard at Aldi.

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Lunch meat

Olga Nayashkova/Adobe thin sliced meat

Aldi saves money by cutting back on things like a meat counter where shoppers can get lunch meat sliced to order.

Aldi’s packaged lunch meat may not be ideal if you prefer a certain slice thickness or need to purchase a specific amount like you would at a deli counter.

Toilet paper and paper towels

Olga Miltsova/Adobe toilet paper

You may be surprised at how often you can find deals on toilet paper at your local grocery stores or other retailers.

While Aldi offers deals on household paper products, supermarkets and big box stores offer pretty much the same deals, plus the ability to use coupons to save even more. 

When it’s time to restock the toilet paper, consider shopping elsewhere and clipping a few coupons before you head out.

Fish sticks

whitestorm/Adobe fried fish sticks

Frozen fish sticks are a staple for many households with young kids, but you may want to buy these finger food favorites at a different store.

Many Aldi shoppers think they have too much breading and not enough fish, so even if the price is right, you might not get what you paid for.

Soda

Joshua Resnick/Adobe two cups of cola soft drink

One of the great things about soda at your local grocery store is that if you time it right, you can stock up on your favorite sodas during a sale or score a great deal with coupons.

If you can tell a Coke from a Pepsi in a blind taste test, you might want to skip the Aldi store brands. They can cost just as much as the name brands on sale at your grocery store, but they won't taste like your favorite fizzy name-brand drink.

Yogurt

juliasudnitskaya/Adobe greek yogurt in blue bowl

You might want to skip Aldi’s yogurt and purchase your yogurt from a supermarket with name brands. 

Shoppers admit that Aldi store-brand yogurt has a watery, runny texture that isn’t the most appetizing. Some shoppers also say the taste of Aldi’s store-brand yogurt is a little off.

Cheese crackers

Brent Hofacker/Adobe cheddar cheese crackers

If Cheez-Its are your go-to snack, you should probably stick with the real thing instead of experimenting with Aldi’s store brand.

Other store-brand crackers, like Aldi’s Penguin Baked Cheddar Snack Crackers (their version of Goldfish), are a close match in taste, or spend a little extra and snag the real-deal Cheez-its from your other favorite supermarket.

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Wine

Africa Studio/Adobe red wine pouring

Aldi’s store brand wine, Winking Owl Wine, offers Moscato, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon at incredibly low prices.

But compared to other discount wines like Trader Joe’s renowned Three Buck Chuck, Winking Owl falls flat. If you’re picky about your wine, spending a little more for a more satisfying and flavorful taste may be a good idea.

Dish detergent

klepach/Adobe cleaning supplies for dishwashing

There are some products you just don’t want to skimp on when it comes to your weekly shopping budget, and the products you depend on to clean your dishes are probably one.

Aldi’s automatic dishwasher liquid is known far and wide for doing a subpar job and just not getting dishes as clean as the name brands. However, Shoppers agree that Aldi dishwasher pods are a good alternative to high-priced name-brand pods.

Bread

Pineapple studio/Adobe assortment of baked bread

Aldi products may have a shorter shelf life than versions you can buy at a typical grocery store, including items that can go bad quickly, like bread.

Instead, opt for picking up a loaf or two at your local grocery store so you don’t have to throw it out soon after bringing it home.

Coffee

Melica/Adobe cup of hot coffee

Coffee can be hit or miss depending on how refined your coffee palate is, but reviews of Aldi’s coffee tend to be more on the miss side.

You should avoid Aldi if you prefer having whole-bean coffee that you grind at home, as the retailer usually doesn’t carry whole beans. You also may have a smaller selection if you don’t have a Keurig-type machine that uses individual cups.

Bottom line

Jackie Davies/Adobe commercial sign of aldi

Aldi can be a great option for those who want to save money on groceries, but some items are better than others if they want to get the same value as name brands.

Aldi doesn’t have a loyalty or rewards program or accept manufacturer coupons, so factor in the extra savings you get from other stores’ loyalty programs and coupon programs when comparing prices.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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