We visited a local Aldi in late winter for a general "what to buy" survey. Now, we've made a return trip, really focusing on the unexpected. For those unfamiliar with Aldi, the European discount grocery chain making great strides in America is about much more than milk, bread, meat, fruit, and vegetables. Our Aug. 10 return to a suburban town north of New York City yielded some great finds — and not only filled our cart but had us planning return visits. (Prices and availability of these in-store products subject to change.)
Need a few pliers? You're in luck since Aldi stocks a four-piece Plier Set from Workzone for $12.99.
Aldi, as frequent shoppers know, can yield quite a few brand-name products including premium sparkling water. We spotted an eight-pack of assorted 12-ounce cans of Dasani Sparkling Water, flavors including berry, lime, and raspberry lemonade, for $2.89. Nature's Nectar Sparkling Coconut Water can be found for $1.69 per can.
Take a trip around the world with Aldi. Start the excursion with the Journey to India Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce, a medium-spiced, tomato-based sauce blended with ginger and coriander. It's $1.99 for 16-ounces, a thrifty start to a family meal once you add protein.
Forget the nameless bag of greasy potato chips. Here, SimplyNature's Ancient Grain Tortilla Dippers, $1.89 for an 8-ounce bag, are made with quinoa, black sesame and amaranth.
Not a morning person? Then stock up on Breakfast Best Croissant Sandwiches. The sausage, egg and cheese option costs $3.69. Bonus: No long line at the local drive-thru necessary.
CookHouse Moonshine Grilling Sauce, $2.29 for a 16-ounce jar, comes in flavors ranging from Black Pepper to Pineapple, ideal for turning a ho-hum burger or steak into a taste sensation.
Become the bake-sale star with Ghirardelli Premium Brownie Mix in Chocolate Salted Caramel, $1.99 for a 16-ounce box.
Again, an option more often found in a health-food store is Earth Grown Meatless Veggie Burgers. Please the vegetarians — and even vegans — with a four-pack selling for $2.99.
Not frozen and hard as a rock, Aldi offers giant (16-inch) Take & Bake Pizzas in its refrigerated cases, with options such as Five-Cheese or topping-heavy Supreme, all for $5.49. Turn that oven on.