summer

The Best Groceries to Buy at Aldi Right Now for a Backyard Picnic

updated Jun 5, 2020
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Credit: Aldi

When my family sets out for a picnic we usually make a quick stop at the store for essentials before heading out to the explore the wide open space of our choice … but this year is different. Instead, we’re sticking closer to home, making do with what we already have from typical grocery runs, and spreading a big blanket in our own backyard. (For anyone who hasn’t planned a backyard picnic yet this year, I highly recommend it.)

That’s why, during my last grocery shopping trip to Aldi, I made sure to keep my eyes peeled for groceries that are particularly suited for the art of picnicking outside. Here are the 10 best groceries I found for when the occasion strikes.

Note: Out of respect for and the safety of Aldi employees and patrons, I wore a face mask and only handled items I planned to purchase.

Credit: Patty Catalano

1. Specially Selected Panino Tray, $11.99 for 18 ounces

This tray of ready-rolled meats and cheeses is no full-fledged fancy charcuterie spread, but it’s a start. And it’s the perfect al fresco finger food for snacking on between frisbee tosses.

Credit: Patty Catalano

2. Clancy’s Kettle Chips, $1.29 for 8 ounces

Pour a bag of kettle-cooked crisps into a colorful melamine bowl and — ta-da! — you’re suddenly the most popular person in your family.

Credit: Patty Catalano

3. Bratwurst, $2.99 for 19 ounces

A bonus of backyard picnics is that you’ll never be too far away from your grill. Tuck these tasty brats in Aldi’s Specially Selected Brioche Hot Dog Buns with thick-cut grilled peppers and onions for the main event.

Credit: Patty Catalano

4. Burman’s Deli Mustards, $0.89 for 12 ounces

When your picnic pasta salad falls flat or the potato salad is dressed with mayo alone, it’s probably missing this secret ingredient: mustard. For the mellow flavor of white wine, choose Dijon mustard, or for an extra kick go for the spicy brown variety — they both add a hint of spice and acid to all of your favorite picnic foods.

Credit: Patty Catalano

5. Boulder Aluminum Foil, $2.19 for 50 to 75 sq. ft.

Whether your picnic blanket is set up right next to the grill or across the backyard, you’ll want to keep hot food steaming hot (and contained). Cover just-cooked platters of food with foil or, better yet, cook individual servings inside foil packets.

Credit: Patty Catalano

6. Specially Selected Italian Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls, $2.69 for 18 ounces

Sandwiches are prime picnic fare. Toast these par-baked ciabatta rolls in the oven, spread with a creamy sauce, and pile high with veggies, sliced eggs, or chicken salad. Then wrap them in a sheet of foil (see #5) until ready to eat!

Credit: Patty Catalano

7. Great Gherkins Hamburger Dill Pickle Chips, $1.79 for 32 ounces

Picnic season is the time to restock your fridge pickle stash. Top burgers and sandwiches all season long with a fresh jar of dill chips. If you’re looking for a sweet-hot snack, turn these crispy cukes into a Texas-style surprise.

Credit: Patty Catalano

8. Specially Selected Gourmet Vinaigrette Dressings, $2.19 for 12 ounces

Vinaigrettes are a powerhouse of flavor, and these Specially Selected dressings are a fan favorite for a reason — they taste just like homemade! Shortcut your pasta salad prep and toss the Garlic or Three Cheese variety over chopped veggies and al dente pasta.

Credit: Patty Catalano

9. Large Seedless Watermelon, $2.99 each

Nothing says summer picnic like a wedge (or cubes) of juicy watermelon. While obviously not exclusive to Aldi, these watermelon are perfectly sized — and priced — for every picnic.

Credit: Patty Catalano

10. Baker’s Corner Marshmallows, $0.69 for 10 ounces

Looking for the perfect sweet treat to finish off a summer picnic? Use the grill to toast marshmallows for s’mores (using Aldi’s famous chocolate bars, of course). You can also buy mini-mallows and make a batch of these gooey bars ahead.

What are your favorite picnic finds from Aldi? Tell us in the comments.