If you are vegan, Aldi should be a must shop at store! See our opinion on how the store brand stacks up to name brands. Includes video taste test.
If you have never been into an Aldi, vegan or not, then you are totally missing out. However, if you have no idea about vegan at Aldi products then you are really missing out.
Let’s back up a second. We have been long time fans of Aldi. In fact, we’ve been shopping there, almost exclusively for groceries, for over a decade now.
While it’s gaining in popular, many people are still in the dark about what a hidden gem that Aldi store is and how it can help in reducing your monthly grocery budget, especially as a vegan.
Never miss another post! Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get them all delivered easily! Plus, 15 easy recipes delivered immediately!
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!
WHAT IS ALDI?
Now, we realize that not everyone knows what the heck an Aldi even is.
So very briefly, it’s a chain grocery store that started in Germany over 40 years ago.
They are also known as the sister company of Trader Joe’s.
They’re motto is that you should be able to get great quality food with everyday low prices. There are now more than 2,000 stores in the US alone and they are in 36 states.
We know many people still don’t have any in their area, but they are always opening new stores, so if they aren’t local to you, then hopefully they will be soon.
The way that they are able to get costs down is by offering no frills shopping experience.
What does no frills shopping experience mean at Aldi?
Let’s talk about a few things here.
Aldi pays their employees higher than most grocery stores. In fact, the average of their cashiers make a starting salary of $13 that increases with time. However, there also aren’t a lot of employees. In fact most stores only have 8-10 employees. So how does that tie into a no frills shopping experience?
Since they employee so little people, they do things differently than other stores.
- You need a quarter to get a cart.
- Why? You insert a quarter to get a cart and then you return it and get your quarter back. This is so that Aldi doesn’t have to employee a person just to round up carts. Their employees don’t have to worry about the carts since they are returned in order to get your money back.
- Grocery items are put onto the shelves still in boxes rather than individually.
- Why? By placing the boxes on the shelves and opening the front, rather than putting on the shelf individually, their employees can move much faster. It may look odd if you aren’t used to it, but it will become normal to look at the longer you shop there.
- Aldi is primarily name brand-less.
- If you walk in you won’t notice most of the names. This is because Aldi doesn’t carry many name brands. This is another way they keep prices low. That doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the products or they taste much different. It just means that you benefit.
- There isn’t a lot of variety and again that’s so they can keep their stores smaller and drive the costs down for you. It also helps that you don’t stare in the middle of the aisle wondering which of 35 peanut butters to pick, you have just 2 or 3.
By doing things like this and more, Aldi is able to get their prices low which is beneficial to you, especially as a vegan.
Can I get these Aldi items on delivery or pick up service?
Yes! Aldi offers delivery via Instacart. Learn more about the process.
How did you know which items were vegan at Aldi?
Our primary source was the boxes and packages themselves.
There’s also many items, specifically with their store brand Earth Grown and Simply Nature packages that say vegan on the package.
We also looked at the ingredient list and allergen labels for the remaining products.
Why should I be careful about the Earth Grown line?
If you see green packaging like you do in the photo above with the “Earth Grown” logo in the top left corner with the word vegan under it then this is known as their vegan line.
However there are a few products in similar packaging that do not have a “vegan” word under the logo. These products are just vegetarian and usually contain eggs – specifically their meatless sausages and frozen sausage patties.
Just make sure that the word vegan is on it.
Watch our Aldi taste test video:
What should I buy at Aldi as a vegan?
There’s so many things at Aldi that are great for vegans and they are only growing in size. First, if you didn’t watch our video above, we highly encourage you to do so to see our top buys and other finds.
For starters, they have a huge produce section, including a growing section of organic produce at some of the best prices that you will find around.
Everything from bananas and apples to lettuce and broccoli, you will find there. They do have limited herb selection and it’s very much the basics and nothing exotic.
Here’s a list of some of our must buys:
- Bread (they have a few breads that are vegan friendly but cheaper than anywhere else)
- Chips (always double check the ingredients but there’s many that are vegan safe)
- Packaged Cookies (many including their brand of Oreos)
- We really like their Pita Chips and their tortilla chips
- Crackers (specifically the Brown Rice Red Pepper crackers)
- Fresh salsas, hummus (including dessert hummus)
- Quick and Old Fashioned Oats
- Maple Syrup
- Cereals (double check but many don’t contain vitamin d3 and all Aldi cereals are made without food dyes)
- Salad dressings (many are vegan friendly)
- Nuts and dried fruits (there is one container of mixed peanuts that do contain gelatin similar to the planters brand so double check labels, but most are safe)
- Baking goods
- spices, extracts, cocoa powder, etc
- sugar (specifically Aldi carries the Zulka bone-char free brand)
- Canned Goods
- beans, tomatoes, etc all have great prices at Aldi
- Vegetable Broth
- Aldi has organic vegetable broth for under $2 a quart which is a great price
- Aldi has both traditional and organic pastas, including gluten free ones and ones made from black beans and other ingredients that are great and a great price point as well
- Mini Pizza shells
- near our pasta there are these mini pizza shells with sauce that are vegan friendly and a great easy meal idea
- Nut Based / Oat Milk
- Aldi has a variety of almond milks and this year they added oat milk all at much better prices than you can find elsewhere
- Just drawing more attention, but they have the best chocolate almond milk around (in our opinion of course)
- Frozen Items – some great choices below
- Frozen Vegetables
- Frozen Fruit
- Frozen Fries
- Earth Grown Vegan Line (see below)
What are the best items from the Earth Grown line to buy?
There are so many items on their Earth Grown line and it’s constantly growing. It really depends on your taste buds on what you may or may not like.
I will say that this is what we buy:
- Vegan Hot Dogs
- These are not Andrew and Larisha’s favorite, however, the kids love them. They are similar in texture to Lightlife ones if you’ve had those. At under $4 for a package of 5 they are a great buy
- Vegan Meatballs (comes in classic and zesty)
- We stick with the classic ones. They are delicious when paired with the right sauce and seasoned a bit
- Vegan Chickenless Patties and Chicken Tenders
- We like the price and texture on both of these.
- It’s important to note that this year they came out with vegan chick nuggets and we assumed it would have a similar texture but it does not and we did not like those (including the kids)
- Vegan Frozen burgers
- We love most the Quinoa Crunch burgers
What are Aldi special finds or special buys?
Aldi has an aisle (sometimes two split aisles) and a section of their frozen area that are dedicated to special finds or special buys. These are items that are not always there and are usually brought in for a week and once sold, it’s gone. They very rarely come back.
From our understanding it is for testing purposes.
The main part here is that if you see something vegan in one of sections and go home and try it and like it, then you should go back and get it immediately and stock up because it won’t be coming back.