10 Little Luxuries (for $5 or Less!) to Pick Up at Aldi This Holiday Season

published Dec 9, 2023
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Wilmington, DE/USA - April 6, 2019: Aldi grocery store.
Credit: Abigail McCann/Shutterstock

The holiday season is in full swing at Aldi, complete with seasonal sweets and festive decor. I rely on this quirky market for more than just my holiday menu. Over the years, I’ve learned that Aldi’s shelves are filled with little luxuries — those small, “nice to have” items that never quite make it into my cart during my weekly grocery visits. Little luxuries are special because they can make life a little easier (and more delicious) without costing much money at all. 

On a recent visit to Aldi, I spotted 10 items (for $5 or less!) that will make this holiday season more sparkly. Let’s take a look. 

Credit: Patty Catalano

1. Emporium Selection Not Your Average Cheddar: Cheddar + Gruyère, $3.89 for 7 ounces

My cheese consumption skyrockets in December, and the cheese selection (and prices) at Aldi is unparalleled. Where else can you get all of the classics and interesting new cheeses to try when assembling charcuterie boards, without spending a fortune? A newfound favorite is Emporium Selection’s line of Not Your Average Cheddars. A nod to the popularity of Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar, Aldi counters with three cheddar varieties, each one adding a little something extra: Cheddar & Parmesan, Double Smoked Cheddar, and Cheddar & Gruyère cheese. 

Always a stan for the classic cheesy flavor of cheddar and the nutty notes of Gruyère cheese, this is the block that I’m reaching for this season. It’s a step up from the standard cheddar that you’d usually buy for cheese boards, homemade macaroni and cheese, ham and cheese breakfast casserole, or even French onion meatballs.

Credit: Patty Catalano

2. Belmont Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake, $1.79 for 6 ounces

Making the perfect homemade cheesecake is a major baking project that I don’t always have time for (especially this time of year). Luckily, I can keep two slices of Aldi’s Belmont Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake in my freezer and have creamy, delicious cheesecake any night of the week. The slices are perfectly sized for such a rich dessert, and because they come two to a pack I can share them with my partner after the kids have gone to bed. The cheesecake is creamy and slightly tart with a sweet and fruity strawberry swirl that adds color and interest to the store-bought slice. Strawberry not your style? Aldi also sells classic New York-style and turtle cheesecake slices.

Credit: Patty Catalano

3. Vitalife Keep Calm and Berry On Elderberry Shot, $1.69 for 2 ounces

The hustle and bustle of the season can come to a complete stop if you catch a cold. Keep your immune system ready with Vitalife shots from Aldi’s refrigerated section. Available in elderberry, ginger, turmeric, and vitamin C, these tiny cold-pressed juices are made from organic ingredients and are packed with flavor. Best of all, at just $1.69 each, they cost much less than their name-brand counterparts.

Credit: Patty Catalano

4. Specially Selected Indulgent Salted Caramel Greek Yogurt, $3.75 for 32 ounces

Last spring, I impulsively purchased Specially Selected Indulgent Honey Vanilla Greek yogurt and have not looked back. This season, I’m swapping the honey vanilla flavor for salted caramel. This Fan-Favorite line of yogurts is thick, rich, and creamy (plus it has live and active cultures). Serve the salted caramel with bananas for cozy winter breakfasts or crumble cookies over the top as an after-dinner sweet.

Credit: Patty Catalano

5. Southern Grove Pecan Halves, $3.49 for 10 ounces

Nuts may be just another utilitarian ingredient during the other 11 months of the year, but right now they are the star of every holiday event. These pecan halves are nutty and buttery right out of the bag; bake with butter, sugar, and spices and they transform into the easiest (and most delicious) gift of the season. Plus, it wouldn’t be the holidays without sweet potato soufflé on the table or a slice of gooey pecan pie for dessert.

Credit: Patty Catalano

6. Baker’s Corner 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar, $1.69 for 4 ounces

Aldi’s chocolate selection is not to be missed, so why single out a bar of unsweetened chocolate? This unsuspecting bar of 100% cacao is the foundation of some of the very best chocolate desserts. Don’t believe me? Check out the ingredient lists of the deepest, darkest chocolate cake, vintage pinwheel cookies, super-chewy brownies, and their not-to-be-missed kin, chocolate brownie cookies.

Credit: Patty Catalano

7. Stonemill Lemon Extract, $2.99 for 2 ounces

My baking shelf is stocked with Aldi staples, and one deal that you won’t want to miss is extracts. Aldi has all of your holiday baking covered with extracts for less than $3 per two-ounce bottle. Lemon, almond, and peppermint extracts are available, but if I had to choose just one, it has to be lemon extract. Just a drop or two adds an extra boost of tart, citrusy flavor to homemade whipped cream (or can dress up store-bought whipped topping, too!), iced lemon loaves, and bakery-style lemon poppyseed muffins.

Credit: Patty Catalano

8. Specially Selected Glaze with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, $3.65 for 8.5 fl. ounces

It’s easy to add a finishing flourish to simple meals and store-bought appetizers this time of year when you have a bottle of balsamic glaze on hand. This savory-sweet condiment is perfect for drizzling over oven-roasted vegetables, pan-seared steaks, and tender baked salmon. Garnish logs of creamy goat cheese or finish a winter salad with a bit of this thick, vinegary glaze. Aldi also sells a version of the glaze made with strawberry and balsamic, so pick that up if you prefer a fruitier flavor profile.

Credit: Patty Catalano

9. Specially Selected Wild Garlic Cheese-Stuffed Peppers, $3.49 for 9.9 ounces

Pick up a jar of Specially Selected Cheese-Stuffed Peppers for a fast and fancy appetizer that requires minimal prep. Spear them with toothpicks and serve them on their own or as part of a larger meat-and-cheese spread. In the unlikely event of leftovers after your holiday event, coarsely chop and add to salads or as a one-ingredient upgrade to roasted chicken. Aldi also sells an herb cheese variety, so pick up both jars to find your favorite.

Credit: Patty Catalano

10. Specially Selected Cranberry & Sea Salt Artisan Crisp, $3.59 for 5.3 ounces

This type of crunchy crisp used to only come from expensive specialty stores. Now that Aldi carries these seedy, fruity crackers, there’s no reason not to have a box (or two!) ready for the holidays. The cranberry and sea salt variety is my favorite and gets along with the widest variety of cheeses (IMO); Aldi also sells a fig and black sesame flavor and one with raisins, rosemary, and pumpkin seeds. At just $3.59 per box, pick up all three to find your favorite. 

What little luxuries are you picking up at Aldi this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below.