The 5 Items You Should Never Buy at ALDI

Not everything at the discount store is a great deal.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images </p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

ALDI is by far my favorite grocery store in the whole wide world. I shop there two or three times a week, and I get almost all of my groceries there. However, even as a certifiable ALDI nerd, there are some things I stopped buying there a long time ago. Here are the groceries I avoid at ALDI.

1. Name-Brand Anything

The name-brand groceries at ALDI might be cheaper than the prices you’ll find at other grocery stores, but I rarely buy them at ALDI.

The main reason is that ALDI’s store-brand products are usually a heck of a lot cheaper than the name-brand versions. Because they’re usually stocked side by side you can see how much more expensive the name-brand versions are. For example, LaCroix seltzer is usually two to three dollars more expensive than the ALDI brand, Belle Vie, and they don’t taste any different.

The other reason to avoid the big brands at ALDI is that the store does not accept manufacturers’ coupons, which means they might cost less at a regular grocery store with the coupon.

2. Shredded and Cubed Cheeses

I am a huge fan of just about all the cheese in the deli section at ALDI, but there are three varieties I avoid: anything pre-shredded, cubed, or "cracker cut."

As the proud owner of a cheese grater, I don’t need to buy the pre-shredded stuff, and the “Thick-Cut Shredded Cheese” costs six cents per ounce more than the regular Happy Farms cheeses. The cubed Colby Jack costs 13 cents more per ounce, and these days every penny counts.

While I do see value in the deli-sliced varieties, as it’s hard to slice cheese that thin unless you have specialized equipment, I don’t see the value in buying the smaller, chunkier slices just to lay on top of your crackers.

<p>Simply Recipes / Irvin Lin</p>

Simply Recipes / Irvin Lin

3. Coffee

I, admittedly, am a coffee snob. I had a cappuccino maker before I had a television. While I know some people love ALDI’s selection of coffees, I do not care for them.

Most of the coffees on ALDI’s shelves are pre-ground, not whole-bean, or they’re Keurig-style cups. If I want to make a single cup of coffee, I’ll use my pour-over carafe with coffee beans I grind at home.

I also prefer fresh coffee that’s been recently roasted—the kind with strong aromas that you can smell even from an unopened bag. ALDI’s coffee, in comparison, is just meh.

4. Yogurt

I like some of ALDI’s yogurts. My teenage son enjoys their regular, fruit-on-the-bottom cups, and when he was little, he loved the squeezable yogurts.

However, compared to Trader Joe’s and other grocery stores, ALDI’s selection is limited. You’re not going to find whipped yogurt or Icelandic skyr or the fancy kind in glass cups. If you don't eat dairy, you’re also not going to find many, if any, plant-based yogurts.

ALDI does sell some Greek yogurt, but I haven’t loved them—I prefer the ones I get at Trader Joe’s.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images </p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

5. Cereal

ALDI's cereals can be hit or miss. My son likes the store's version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but not their version of Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios.

If you read the labels—which I do—you’d also note that ALDI’s Cheerios dupes contain wheat. If you’re gluten-intolerant and you bought them thinking they were like the brand name version, you would be sorry.

This is also the case for the ALDI varieties of oatmeal. Unlike Trader Joe’s, which has certified gluten-free oats, ALDI’s oats are not certified gluten-free, an important distinction for many shoppers.

I also don’t care for ALDI’s granolas. They’re not as interesting as the ones I’ve found at Trader Joe’s, and they’re nowhere near as good as the ones I can get at my local food co-op.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.