8 Little Luxuries to Pick up at Aldi for Valentine’s Day (They’re All $5 or Less)
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and this year it’s on a Tuesday, which some might say is arguably the most romantic day of the year. (I don’t know who they are, but they must be out there.) Tuesdays, particularly in February, are also a fabulous day to spend at home with friends, family, loved ones, or no one at all.
With this mindset, I set out to a local Aldi to find the best little luxuries on store shelves. Unsurprisingly, Aldi over-delivered in nearly every area of the store. The bakery! The snacks! The freezer cases! Even home decor! After much internal debating, I narrowed the list down to my top eight. Let’s take a look.
1. Pembrook Valentine’s Day Cards, $1.49 per card
In their later years, my parents have become strictly cat people (no more dogs, Mara!), which is why this card is purrfect for them. But if your Valentine is, say, allergic to felines, I spotted several other floral- and heart-adorned options with heartfelt, pun-filled messages inside. There are even blank cards, for those who want maximal space to share their thoughts.
2. Specially Selected Chocolate Chip Brioche, $3.99 for 14.11 ounces
We’re big fans of Aldi’s brioche at Kitchn. This chocolate chip version felt like the obvious choice. It makes a quick-yet-satisfying way to kick off the day’s events when warmed slightly in the microwave or toaster and slathered with your preferred spread — butter, jam, Nutella, even ice cream. If you have a leisurely morning on your hands, I highly recommend using this brioche to make some truly decadent French toast.
3. Specially Selected Dried Mission Figs, $2.69 for 7 ounces
There’s just something about figs. The honeyed flavor and soft, jammy texture lends itself to a host of preparations: in salads, on flatbreads, paired with cheese (more on that below), dipped in chocolate and, my personal favorite, wrapped in puff pastry with salami or prosciutto for a twist on the traditional pig in a blanket. Go ham with these fruity gems!
4. Emporium Selection Camembert, $3.69 for 7 ounces
I gasped when I saw the sub-$4 import in the Aldi cheese section. Similar to Brie, this soft-ripened cheese is buttery and creamy. But it has a deeper, more intense flavor. On Valentine’s Day, who doesn’t want more intensity in their life and on their cheese board?
5. Priano Stuffed Shells, $3.99 for 20 ounces
When I was growing up, stuffed shells always felt like a fanciful take on my holy trinity: pasta, cheese, and sauce. Admittedly, they are simple to make, but they’re even easier to reheat. Ready in as little as eight minutes when microwaved (25 to 45 minutes in the oven), the only thing they don’t have is the sauce, so make sure you grab a jar, if you don’t already have one in your pantry.
6. BBQ Flavored Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast, $2.39 per pound
Boneless pork shoulder will typically range in weight from four to six pounds, but these babies (pun intended) were roughly half the size. The one I picked up was 2.0005 pounds (or $4.79). It’s an ideal size for four people (or two who are passionate about leftovers). And with the marinade taken care of, you can focus on the cooking method. Braising, stewing, or slow cooking — there is no bad option.
7. Belmont Turtle Cheesecake, $1.99 for 2 slices
Back to the freezer cases for — what else? — dessert! Perfect for two people who love cheesecake almost as much as they love each other, this sliced duo is a rich, creamy, chocolatey, and caramel-y stand in for the traditional nightcap. Bite for bite, it does not disappoint. Just remember to take them out before dinner, so they’re ready to go whenever you are.
8. Huntington Home Designer Jar Candle, $4.49 per candle
Judging by the price tag, there’s a good chance these candles are a holdover from the December holiday season. While they might not be in every store, they were too good a deal not to share. The spa-like scents — Canadian Fir, Paradise Cliff, and Soft Snowfall (my pick!) — come in hefty and dazzling jars, and pair well with comfy loungewear and a mug of champurrado or mulled wine.
What little luxuries have you picked up at Aldi recently? Share your finds in the comments below.