How to Healthy Hack Aldi
Although it's known for budget shopping, Aldi may be your one-stop shop for health food products too. Whether you're interested in organic, gluten-free, or sustainable products, Aldi has what you need.
It's easy to get sucked into the prospect that healthy food should cost a lot of money. While it's great to invest (time and money) into your health, it doesn't always have to cost a pretty penny to leave with a cart full of healthy products and produce. If you're looking to eat wholesome foods on a budget, then Aldi, an often overlooked budget store that's a sister brand of Trader Joe's, might be your perfect solution.
Here's some reasons why Aldi should be your next choice when health food shopping:
Organic items are spread throughout each Aldi store. You can find that everything from grass-fed beef to light agave to ketchup is available organic. Their produce section also carries a good amount of certified fruits and veggies, with roughly 1/4 of each produce center focusing on organic food. Most stores regularly carry organic products like fresh greens, dairy products, meats, frozen fruits and veggies, cereals, pastas, soups, and more. Some seasonally rotated specialty products like snacks, drinks, or nut butters are also organic.
Aldi makes it easy to shop for healthy food too, with their private label of Simply Nature. The line of products is totally organic or GMO-free, and has no high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, hydrogenated oils, and is free of a plethora of other un-wholesome ingredients.
Although they might not have as vast of a selection as some health food stores, Aldi caters to many specialty diets. For vegetarians and vegans, there's plenty of products regularly stocked for their diets. Black Bean Chipotle Burgers, vanilla and unsweetened organic soymilks, and vegan dark chocolates are just a few of the basic necessities you can find there.
Gluten free customers will be pleased to learn that there's an entire private label dedicated to their dietary needs, liveGfree. The entirely gluten free line of products includes products like baking mixes, granola, pasta, bread, snacks, and desserts.
Fair Trade and Sustainable
If you're concerned about both what's in your food and how it's made, Aldi has you covered. With many foods touting the sustainable and fair trade labels, there's plenty of Aldi's private brand products that you can feel good about purchasing. Their canned Portview Tuna is a sustainable choice that's approved by the environmental non-profit Green Peace. Aldi is also working with non-profit organizations like Fair Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance to convert the majority of their cocoa products to sustainable sources by 2020. For now, you will find that a good amount of their current cocoa-based and coffee products hold the "Fair Trade" seal.
With almost 90 percent of the store being from Aldi's private label, it's tough to actually find name brand products. Meaning you'll be saving money without even thinking. While you can joke about Whole Foods being a store that takes your "whole pay check" Aldi can have you leaving their establishment with a cart full of healthy foods in half the price. You can still be a foodie, and enjoy the occasional food splurge, with Aldi. According to Kiplinger, their specialty cheeses are priced at around 40 percent less than the average grocery store, their coffee costs 55 cents less per ounce than Starbucks, and several of their organic products were cheaper than their major food competitors.
If you're a big Trader Joe's fan, then you'll be pleased to know that Aldi has some very similar products. Owned by the same company, one can easily assume that many of the foods in Aldi are simply repackaged versions of what can be bought in Trader Joe's. When comparing their wine, beer, snack, dessert, and refrigerated sections, you can see a distinct similarity between the two supermarkets.
The company focuses on cutting costs when it comes to running stores, not when it comes to producing food. They do so by requiring a temporary 25 cent (quarter) deposit when getting a cart so employees don't spend time wrangling them in the parking lot. Minimalist shelves are stocked with boxes of products, with no extra advertising or bells and whistles. And lastly you bring your own bags (or purchase reusable ones there) to cut down on plastic consumption and costs.