While many families have luck shopping at Aldi for all their groceries (and even raise Aldi-obsessed kids), it just doesn’t work for my family. At the end of the day, that free Kroger delivery in the big blue trucks is just too good not to use. That doesn’t mean we aren’t still Aldi shoppers, though. There will always be an “Aldi quarter” locked and loaded in my center console because there are just some things Aldi does better.

The best part about Aldi — besides saving money on groceries — is that it offers a little bit of everything without giving you sensory overwhelm like some grocery superstores give you. I can grab a wine, some gluten-free snacks, and a squatty potty all in one trip without getting sucked into a playground of $1 items or finding myself staring at a sad CD section, wondering if it’s finally time to go digital.

While weekly delivery from the bigger grocery store in my town works best for my time and budget, there are just some Aldi finds you can’t find easily anywhere else. Once a month, quarter in hand, I head into my favorite grocery store, toddler in tow. And these are the staples that stay on my list.

1. Mama Cozzi’s Pizza Kitchen Take & Bake Extra Large Pizza


Listen, even a trip to Aldi isn’t without stress, especially if I’m shopping with a kid in tow. Mama Cozzi’s extra large pizzas make that trip something to look forward to. It’s the first thing I grab when I walk into Aldi. We’re big pizza fans in this house, and while we specifically crave certain brands at certain times, Mama Cozzi’s is a winner any time.

2. Earth Grown Non-Dairy Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bars


We have a family full of undiagnosed tummy troubles, so we are often on gluten-free or dairy-free kicks. However, even when we’re going hard on lactose without a care in the world, Earth Grown’s PB ice cream bars are a must. We’ve tried a ton of dairy-free ice creams — they’re not all good or even OK. These puppies are the perfect balance of peanut butter and chocolate with a center texture and creaminess you’d expect from a full-dairy ice cream.

3. L’oven Fresh Hawaiian Sweet Rolls


Aldi’s bread section is unmatched, and the L’oven Fresh Hawaiian rolls are a must. They’re good on their own but also great as buns for burgers or sammies. We’ve even tried to “will it waffle” these sweet, fluffy, but sturdy buns, and, yes, they will waffle.

4. Season’s Choice Hash Brown Patties


Sure, they sell versions of these in every grocery store. However, Season’s Choice hash brown patties seem to toast up better than the other brands and for a much better price. In the last few months, I’ve served these with scrambled eggs and bacon and also topped them with taco meat and toppings. I’ve even mashed them up to make “regular hash browns” in a pinch.

5. LiveGFree Gluten-Free Brownie Mix


If you have gluten allergies or sensitivities in your family and you’re not shopping at Aldi, you’re missing out. Their line of products from LiveGFree runs the gamut. Their brown mix is especially fudgy and rich and still holds up well to the millions of brownie “hacks” out there.

6. Park Street Deli Mexicali Dip Street Corn


Next time you’re going to a party, stop at Aldi and grab some street corn dip and a bag of tortilla chips. Then, sit back and watch how quickly your contribution disappears. Park Street Deli makes some mean products, but in my estimation, the Mexicali Street Corn dip is their hero product. Kinda sweet, kinda kickin’, it’s always in our fridge “in case we have guests.”

7. Kirkwood Chicken Fries


It’s too expensive to go to Burger King every day, so we buy these instead. Chicken fries are life.

8. Friendly Farms Moo Tubes


This is purely a budget thing. While literally any grocery store will carry a version of these yogurt-in-a-tube things, Friendly Farms’ Moo Tubes taste just as good but are way cheaper in my neck of the woods. That’s important… because we go through a lot of ‘em.

9. Kevin’s Natural Foods Cilantro Lime Chicken


Lots of people make or sell pre-cooked chicken, but a lot of that chicken is rubbery and bland. Kevin’s cilantro lime chicken is tender and has a bright, bold flavor. As a bonus, the fact that it’s already cooked means that it’s the perfect thing to keep on hand for soccer nights.

10. Benton’s Snickerdoodle Almond Flour Cookies


Benton’s snickerdoodles are next-level. They have just the right mix of cinnamon and sugar. Plus, they don’t feel gritty on your tongue and teeth like many almond flour cookies can. My family loves the Made Good Snickerdoodles, too, but they’re not in any stores near us. Benton’s is a bit cheaper and easier to find.

11. Benton’s Key Lime Cookie Thins


I don’t know who Benton is or who he’s trying to impress, but he’s already earned my undying love. I call these “cracker cookies” because they’re thin and crunchy like crackers or chips, but they’re not so tough you feel like you’ll break a tooth. They come in several flavors, and they’re all delicious. We’re Florida people, so we get Key Lime.

12. LiveGFree Gluten-Free Deluxe Shells & Cheese


There’s really nothing more comforting and nostalgic than shells and cheese. Confession time: I even eat it cold, straight from the fridge. When our tummy troubles ramp up or when our celiac cousin is in town, the LiveGFree version is a solid replacement. You’d never know the difference—and anyone who has had to make the gluten-free switch will tell you that’s a pretty impressive feat.

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