You know that thrill-of-the-hunt feeling you get at a garage sale or TJ Maxx, knowing you scored the one and only of something? I get a similar feeling while scoring deals throughout the aisles of my dear Aldi.
The opening of the latest Cedar Rapids store has reeled in new customers, many of whom may not be familiar with the Aldi way of shopping or what deals to find. We have you covered! We’re giving you everything you need to know how to shop at Aldi. Plus, our contributors have compiled some of our favorite finds to feed our families. To all you seasoned Aldi shoppers – yup, I’m about to reveal our secrets.
How to Shop at Aldi
1. Where to Shop
Northeast Cedar Rapids Aldi
180 Collins Rd NE, Suite D
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
North Cedar Rapids Aldi
5425 Blairs Forest Blvd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Southwest Cedar Rapids Aldi
1860 Edgewood Rd SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
1001 50th St
Marion, IA 52302
2. What to Bring
- A quarter
- Reusable shopping bags or totes
- An open-mind. Be willing to try a new brand, product, and shopping experience. You may just get hooked!
3. How to Get a Shopping Cart
You will need to put a quarter into one of the locked-up carts in order to gain access. First look around to see if someone in the parking lot is taking one back, saving you both the hassle. Hand them your quarter (if they will accept). You do get your quarter back once you have unloaded your groceries and are ready to return it. Moms should know that their new carts are two-seaters! This makes room for two kids who are able to get along, or one kiddo and your purse.
The actual checkout process can go pretty quick, so be ready. The cashier will already have a cart to start putting your items into. Note: They will not bag your items. Your items will quickly, but carefully, be set into the cart in assembly-like fashion. Once you pay, push the cart you were shopping with next to the cashier for the next customer. From here, you can move to the counter along the wall in order to bag your items (remember those ones you brought?). If you forget, they do have empty boxes from merchandise that you can take. Warning: without boxes or bags, that trip from car to kitchen can be a long, messy one.
Our Favorite Aldi Finds
Cheeses and Dairy
The mozzarella ball is a price you can’t beat. I stock the snack door in the fridge with Fit and Active cheese sticks for my kids. Also, look for specialty cheese varieties, especially the sliced cheeses. My new favorite is the Happy Farms Deli Sliced Chipotle Cheese, made in Wisconsin. The mild kick is perfection on a sandwich. We also love their 4% cottage cheese, heavy whipping cream, and lactose-free milk!
The Naan bread makes for easy individual pizzas. A pack comes with four. I add pizza sauce and cheese for my kids. Mama prefers slicing that mozzarella ball with tomato, basil, and a balsamic glaze. Fancy, I know. The ciabatta bread makes for perfect panini sandwiches. The baguette and croissants are two more favorites.
I sometimes go on a scavenger hunt through our local grocery stores in order to pick the best quality produce. Some of the ones I count on from Aldi include spinach, zucchini, grape tomatoes, mini cucumbers, lemons, and bagged salads. Fresh berries can be a real hit as well.
There are many varieties of hummus to pick from, but the jalapeño lime was an instant sensation. I like to pair them with veggies, the flat pretzels, or pita chips. The freeze-dried fruits are delicious and kid-friendly. We also love the snack mixes, Clancy’s sweet potato chips, veggie straws, salsa, blue corn chips, animal crackers, applesauce pouches, and sea salt caramel chocolates.
Several CRMB contributors stock up on the turkey burgers and coconut shrimp. The kale or broccoli bites disguise healthy veggies in these cute shapes. We like to snack on the edamame as an appetizer. We’re also fans of the Mama Cozzi rising crust pizza, stir fry mix, chicken cordon bleu, deep-dish pie crusts, cheesecake, and gelato!
Aldi offers many hidden treasures that you won’t be putting in your pantry. I like to pick up a fresh bouquet of flowers. I can brighten up my kitchen for only $3.99! Plants, rugs, activity books, and storage containers are just a few of many other options. Many of our team members are also fans of their Little Journey baby wipes and diapers!
What are some of your favorite Aldi finds? What kinds of meals do you make with your Aldi groceries?
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