What to buy and what not to buy from Aldi…a food-swap challenge
Who shops at Aldi and what are the best things to buy and not buy from the supermarket?
We normally buy our big weekly shop online from Sainsbury’s, with top-up trips to the store, and regular indulgent forays into M&S. One place I’ve never really considered shopping is Aldi. However, my parents live near one and when we’ve been down in Bournemouth they’ve surprised us with nicer things they’ve bought from there – like chocolate chip brioche and surprisingly good salmon, among other things.
So when I was approached by Aldi’s team to see if I wanted to take part in a like-for-like shopping swap challenge, I was pretty curious to see what the results would be and if we could save money on our regular weekly shop.
We sent our usual shopping list over to the PR team, and a few days later lots of food turned up. We’ve spent the past couple of weeks eating / using it all – such a hard life – and taking notes.
Here’s what we thought:
What we’d recommend buying from Aldi, and would definitely buy again
- Beans – these were really good. Much better than Heinz and probably our favourite out of everything we tried (who’d have expected that from such a store cupboard staple?)
- Chocolate wafer biscuits (loved these) and cheese twists
- Really great pasta sauce
- Sausages and salami
- Squash. I am a squash fiend and we go though lots, but this was really good
- Also, the general everyday groceries (eggs, milk, cheddar cheese, butter, kitchen roll, fruit and veg, cleaning products) were all exactly the same standard as we’d normally buy, and lots cheaper
What we wouldn’t recommend buying from Aldi
- Pate – it was this was how I’d imagine the 70’s meat paste in jars tastes
- The fresh stuffed pasta was all pasta, the pasta was very rubbery, and the filling wasn’t great
- The loo roll; it was on the wrong side of scratchy
- And the fish fingers and fish cakes weren’t of the greatest quality
and also…Aldi Mamia baby products
- We were sent the Aldi Mamia own-brand disposable nappies and wipes. While we always buy the more expensive organic / natural hair, bath and body products for Eliza, we do use supermarket own-brand nappies. So I was expecting to like the Aldi version; for a start, they don’t smell like chemicals, the pattern is not nauseatingly Disney, and they are so very cheap (£4.49 for 44)
- However, the nappies weren’t very absorbent and the outer layer isn’t great at keeping moisture in. We had one incident early on involving major soakage and several other times where the outer layer of the nappy felt very…clammy. We wouldn’t buy them again
- The wipes are 79p a pack which makes them very cheap. Again though, I wasn’t a fan. We don’t use scented baby wipes anyway but even for a scented wipe these smell unpleasantly strong and synthetic. And they seem to dry out really quickly, which makes me question just how much alcohol there is in them (not great for delicate baby skin)
So…what’s the verdict?
Cost-wise, the shop came to a bargainous £80.48. Even though we weren’t sent an exact match for everything we normally buy, it was still a lot cheaper than our usual spend of £100 each week (especially considering the £80 total included about £20 worth of nappies and wipes).
Going on the quality of the two products we were sent from Aldi’s Mamia baby product line, I wouldn’t be tempted to try anything else from the range. In this instance it’s definitely worth spending extra money on your baby.
We were, I have to say though, pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the products. As there’s no online shopping and delivery, it would be tricky for us to do our main shop there without a car. However I’d be really interested to try more; I’ve read lots about the gin and skin care ranges, for example. So next time we’re down at my parent’s house we’ll pop in to have a rummage around. If you want to save money on food shopping – and who doesn’t when there’s clothes to buy? – it is really worth checking it out.
We were sent a weeks’ worth of shopping from Aldi for the purposes of this review. Thanks, Aldi!