Aldi: Buy Generic Brands and Save
Aldi are the masters of generic. Most other major supermarkets also have their own generic grocery brands but Aldi is almost entirely generic. These can range from woeful to fantastic and are often a matter of taste. But what you may not realise is that many generic brands are made by a major supplier, just without their brand name attached. You are essentially getting the same product for less, from the same supplier.
Generic brands almost always save you money. Aldi is way cheaper than shopping elsewhere. It’s only a small amount each product, but that adds up over a year! We typically spend about $650/month on food and household items for our family of 6. I don’t think we could manage that without buying generic brands at Aldi in particular. Here are a few items that it makes sense to buy generic brands and save.
Aldi Generic Products Offering The Same Essential Quality
- Milk – there are some ethical questions with this. But milk is milk!
- Butter – I looked at the back of one generic brand the other day and noticed it was word for word with another branded version on the shelves. Go generic.
- Basic cereals- corn flakes, rice bubbles, wheat biscuits, etc. Yes there is some variation and differences in added vitamins, etc.
- Freezer bags
- Sandwich bags
- Kitchen Cooking Staples – flour, sugar, etc
- Cling wrap, Alfoil, Baking Paper, etc
- Honey. Bees make 1 product!
Buying these products at Aldi or another retailers generic brand is a no brainer. You’re basically wasting your cash if you don’t.
Aldi Generic Products With Quality Difference But I Don’t Care
- Washing powder from Aldi. We get our dishwashing powder from here too.
- Cheese for general purposes. Sometimes we splurge on some nicer cheese. But for the kids lunches, cooking, etc generic is fine
- Tuna for cooking
- Tomato sauce
- Kid’s Lunchbox fillers, Biscuits, Tiny Teddy’s, Dippits, Muesli bars and the like. Aldi fills our kids lunchboxes.
- Icecream for the masses (our normal family fair!)
- Canned Vegetables – Bean mixes, tomatoes, etc
- Nappies – Yes there’s a difference, but the cost differentiation is huge.
I’m sure you can add to this list. But our rule of thumb is that if generic is ok we will go with it. This is by and large the majority of our shopping. With lots of hungry stomachs to fill, quality isn’t as important as quantity. We eat a lot! So cheaper is better at the volumes we consume! Maybe at a different stage of life we can be a bit more choosy. But for now we will shop at Aldi: buy generic brands and save.
That said, there are a few items where going with a brand is a non-negotiable.
Where Branded is Better
- Processed Meats, homebrand is pretty bad!
- Cereal mixes
- Nice Icecream- for a treat (don’t let the kids see this!)
- Pasta sauces and Food bases (better though to just make your own)
- Treats – The copies are never as good.
- Bread – cheap bread is often stale, old and filled with too many preservatives. We tried to use the cheap stuff but just couldn’t stomach it.
Where do you buy generic and what is just a bridge too far? If you want to save big on groceries, Aldi and generic is the way to go. Another way is to never buy these items at full price or buy these 10 items at the end of the day. Be wise.