I recently wrote about some of my favorite things I buy at Aldi, and here I wanted to share a few items I do not purchase at Aldi. While my husband and I are regular Aldi shoppers — we believe the store is a good mix of value and quality — we are not blindly devoted. If I buy products elsewhere, it’s often because I like the way the name brand version tastes or performs, or it’s because the name brand is healthier.
So here are ten Aldi products we avoid:
- Macaroni and cheese. My family members are a bunch of mac and cheese snobs and we prefer Kraft’s Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese. Aldi’s macaroni and cheese is too bland for us. To be fair, it’s hard to find off-brand mac and cheese that tastes as good as Kraft.
- Canned ravioli/Spaghettio’s-type products. Again, name brand just tastes better.
- Honey. I prefer to buy our honey from local producers, so I only buy it at Aldi if I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to buy local honey from another store or from our local farmers market.
- Jelly and jam. I don’t like all the added sugar in traditional jams and jellies. They should be naturally sweet and not need lots of extra sugar, right? I usually buy low-sugar jam or all-fruit spread at a regular grocery store, or I make my own freezer jam.
- Off-brand Totino’s pizza. Aldi sells a Mama Cozzi’s Party Classics Pizza that looks a lot like name brand Totino’s. Sadly, that’s where the similarities end. It’s not a bad pizza, but it does not compare to Totino’s. Just go ahead and get the name brand.
- Baked beans. We prefer name brand Bush’s Baked Beans. I’ve never found any off-brands that taste as good as Bush’s.
- English Muffins. Aldi only sells plain white flour muffins. I sometimes buy Aldi’s English muffins if I’m in a hurry, but if I have time to stop at a regular grocery store, I prefer to pick up the slightly healthier multi-grain or whole wheat varieties.
- Salsa. Aldi salsas, both Regular Buy and Special Buy, have been hit or miss with us. We occasionally buy some Aldi salsas — some of the Special Buy Little Salad Bar salsas are good — but when it comes to canned salsa we prefer the On the Border salsa from the traditional grocer. (Or we just make our own.)
- Cat litter. I tried Aldi’s cat litter and found it to be inferior to name brand Tidy Cats. It was dusty and didn’t do as good of a job at odor control.
- Men’s personal hygiene products. Aldi does get props for carrying quality items like Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Secret women’s deodorant, and Always feminine hygiene products. And I do pick up some of those products. But their selection for men is much smaller: the only men’s deodorant we’ve seen is Old Spice, which people either love or hate, and we haven’t seen any men’s soap, body wash, or shampoo.
What items do you not purchase at Aldi? Let us know in the comments.