Not surprisingly, Aldi (with its coin-deposit shopping carts, bring-your-own bag policy, and the unspoken understanding that the cashier isn't going to load your cart for you) is a magical place to buy a decidedly un-magical type of food: canned goods. The discount chain is my go-to for canned goods and pantry staples. Here are some of the best values in a store that's flat-out filled with values.
Aldi's Fit & Active chunky chicken noodle soup is $1.35 per can, which is less than half the cost of a can of Campbell's Well Yes! chicken noodle soup. The Fit & Active variety has 100 calories per serving and, crucially, only has 390 milligrams of sodium, which is 16 percent of the recommended daily value. Campbell's Well Yes! — a comparable can of non-condensed chicken noods — has 640 milligrams of sodium per serving, which adds up if you eat the whole can for lunch. Also, one can of Fit & Active chicken broth is $0.49, and cans of other condensed soups are also under two quarters.
2. Taco Night Essentials
I pretty much emptied the taco-themed end-cap into my cart the other day, just before I grabbed a package of ground beef, some tortillas, and queso. DINNER IS DONE, DUDE. What'd I get? Casa Mamita refried beans ($0.69), diced tomatoes with green chiles ($0.39), and a can of Pueblo Lindo chipotle peppers ($0.99).
3. Happy Harvest Beans
Another one of Aldi's private-label brands, Happy Harvest's beans are just as good as that more popular kind, the one with a green guy on the label. Happy Harvest's Three Bean Salad is $0.99 per can, compared to around $1.65 for a can from the Green Dude. I'm also a big fan of the cut green beans ($0.38) and the French green beans ($0.44).
4. Other Happy Harvest Items
A couple of years ago, the Washington Post wrote about store brands — including Happy Harvest — and determined that there was "little difference in quality and flavor among the store-brand, 28-ounce canned crushed tomatoes," regardless of which grocery store they were from. The biggest difference, though, was the price — so yeah, I'm gonna buy the ones that are $0.65 per can. Some of my other Happy Harvest faves are the basil, garlic, and oregano diced tomatoes ($0.45); fire-roasted diced tomatoes ($0.89); and that pantry staple, tomato paste ($0.29).
5. Pumpkin Pie Mix
It's SO CLOSE to being pumpkin pie season and, as much as I'd love to make one from scratch, I can't. Or, more accurately, I don't. A 30-ounce can of Libby's Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix costs about $3.70 at Food Lion, but Baker's Corner Pumpkin Pie Mix is $1.89. I'm no math genius, but I think that means twice as many pies.
What canned goods do you always get at Aldi?