My mom is the best. She’s in her eighties and all my friends comment on how fabulous she looks. She’s a cheerful, upbeat person who’s always on the go. And she loves shopping at ALDI.
Mom goes to ALDI every week to stock up on her staples. It’s often the only grocery store she goes to because it’s easy to get in and out of (no nightmare parking lot) and it offers most everything she needs at the lowest price around, plus with quality that’s as good as or better than brand-name products.
Shopping with mom is fun, so I asked her to go to ALDI with me and show me all of her favorite things. She’s always been thrifty too, so our tour was a good window into her approach to groceries.
“These are pretty good!” she said. “It’s not the best baguette in the world, but it’s the best baguette in town. Your dad loves them, too.” We both still live in the small town I grew up in, and our options for crusty bread are bleak. She’s right—the ADLI baguette might not be a masterpiece, but it’s better than no baguette at all.
2. Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
I remember when mom made her own yogurt waaay back when. This ALDI yogurt easily tops her sad 1980s yogurt, as she will readily admit. “So often plain yogurt has all this stuff added to it. I like the ALDI yogurt because it’s got a nice, creamy texture and no stabilizers.”
3. Moser Roth Chocolate Bars
Mom always has an assortment of these faux-luxury little chocolate bars on hand, in part because she knows I like to have one after dinner—the dark chocolate orange and almond variety in particular.
4. Italian Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
These are the ALDI version of the Good Seasons Italian dressing mix. “You really can’t tell the difference,” mom says. She switched to the ALDI version once she quit shopping at conventional grocery stores.
These packets are the base of the default salad dressing she’s been making for decades, which is the best. I’m not sure what kind of magic she works when she mixes up the packet, but I do know she tweaks the suggested amount of oil, vinegar, and water.
Heat and eat fondue? Yes, it’s a thing, and mom loves the one that shows up in ALDI’s refrigerated specialty foods section around the winter holidays. “Your father and I will make a meal or two out of it,” she says. “It’s just as good as what I made in the ’70s and I don’t have to drag out the fondue set.” Good thing, too, because she actually gave that set to me years ago.
My parent’s house is never without chips and salsa. ALDI carries lots of salsas, but the Specially Selected Premium Salsa is her go-to. “These salsas top anything else I can find,” she says. The black bean and corn one is what she likes best.
There’s usually a tub of this guacamole in the fridge when I go over to my parents’. Since it doesn’t hold up well once you open it, I like to help her out by blasting through the tub with the ALDI tortilla chips (Clancy’s restaurant style) in the pantry.
8. Apple Butter
Mom likes to have her yogurt with a big spoonful of apple butter mixed in. “ALDI only has apple butter in the fall and winter, so I stock up on it.” She means it—there are currently four jars in her basement pantry/apocalypse food hoarding supply.
9. Smoked Knackwurst
Mom and dad are big sausage lovers, so their stamp of approval means a lot. This is a summer-only product, perfect for a quick stint on the grill for a lazy weeknight cookout. These hearty German-inspired sausages are thicker than hot dogs and have a little more character and texture.
10. Weekly ALDI Finds
Mom is ace at scores in the always-changing offerings of home goods (known as ALDI Finds in the company’s parlance). When we were there, she spotted stylish cushions for her patio. I bought them for her for Mother’s Day. More recently, she was happy to pick up a kids’ sleeping bag for my daughter to take to summer camp, relieving me of the chore of finding one. See why my mom is the best?