The 9 Best Things We Bought at Aldi in 2022 (They’re All $5 or Less)

published Dec 17, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

This year, like every other year, Aldi played a major role in keeping our pantries stocked, our stomachs full, and our budgets in check. Each month, we waited (im)patiently for the latest batch of Aldi Finds and then headed to our local store to load up on dinner shortcuts, lunch-box staples, and even inexpensive wine. We also found a few new favorites, including a box of the most chocolatey brownie mix.

As we wait to see what’s in store for 2023, let’s take a look back at our favorite cans, cartons, cones, and rolls.

Credit: Jeanette Hurt

1. PurAqua Belle Vie Bold Sparkling Water, $3.49 for 8 (12-ounce) cans

We could all stand to add a little sparkle to our lives — why not start with water? With fruity flavors like blackberry cucumber, pineapple strawberry, and cherry lime, one sip from these PurAqua Belle Vie cans makes us feel like we’ve bellied up to a poolside bar for some sophisticated refreshment — even when we’re sitting in the pickup line, waiting for our kiddos to finish up gymnastics practice. Great on their own, these bubbling beauties also mix well when stirred into spritzers.

Credit: Patty Catalano

2. Friendly Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk, $1.89 for 64 ounces

Aldi has really stepped up its alternative milk game lately. You’ll find soy, almond, oat, and coconut on the shelves, each with a few flavor options like plain, vanilla, or chocolate. Of course, almond milk is available at nearly all grocery stores across the country at this point, but we simply can’t beat this price. We go for the unsweetened vanilla (it’s great in coffee), and even without the added sugar it carries a hint of almond flavor.

Credit: Jeanette Hurt

3. Sundae Shoppe Strawberries & Cream Rose Cones, $3.99 for 4 cones

Imported from Europe, these adorable Sundae Shoppe Strawberries & Cream Rose Cones are a seasonal favorite. And we can totally see (and smell and taste) why. As you unwrap the chocolatey cocoa waffle cone, you’re greeted by the fragrance of strawberries. When you bite into one, you get layers of strawberry and vanilla cream, mixed with strawberry sauce, followed by bits of chocolate and white chocolate crunch on the cone. They certainly rival any ice cream truck treat we’ve ever tried.

Credit: Patty Catalano

4. Emporium Selection Halloumi Grilling Cheese $3.49 for 7 ounces

At Kitchn, we’ve been singing this squeaky cheese’s praises for well over a decade. Halloumi is cooked before being shaped and brined and, as a result, it tastes even better heated than it does cold. It’s an easy add to salads (we made this summery salad four times in one week!), and can also be a satiating option for plant-based patio partygoers when used to top eggplant and veggie burgers, or even skewered for dessert.

Credit: Jeanette Hurt

5. Appleton Farms Pork Sausage Roll, $2.19 for 16 ounces

Dubbed the most underrated item in the grocery store, Aldi’s pork sausage is all you’d ever want to satisfy your coffee-house breakfast sandwich cravings. It’s $2.19 for an entire pound, and the ingredient list is short and easy to understand: pork, water, and (less than 2%, according to the label) salt, vinegar, flavorings, and dextrose (a type of corn sugar). It’s also great for plenty of other things: pizza, dumplings, and pastas, to name a few.

Credit: Patty Catalano

6. Millville Honey Grahams Cereal, $1.79 for 12 ounces

Raise your hand if you have a deep connection to the classic cereals of your childhood! Same. This private-label cereal captures the rippled texture and honey graham sweetness many of us grew up on with astounding precision. Plus, Aldi’s version also has a dusting of sugar that adds a Cinnamon Toast Crunch vibe too. It’s a bonafide breakfast bonanza! (It’s also a great base for post-noon noshing.)

Credit: Jeanette Hurt

7. Specially Selected Premium Blackberry Fruit Spread, $2.99 for 9.95 ounces

Aldi introduced its line of Specially Selected fruit spreads in a variety of flavors a few years back as a seasonal item. Since then they’ve proved to be so popular, now they’re available year-round. This blackberry spread — a favorite — is made with 75 percent fruit, so it’s sweet, but with a gentle tang that keeps it from being cloying. And it has chunks of fruit and a few seeds for added texture. It’s always a good call for PB&Js, and you can also spread it on brioche buns, slather it on French toast, and even mix it in oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast.

Credit: Patty Catalano

8. Specially Selected Green Beans with Cashews and Miso Sauce, $3.99 for 10 ounces

These green beans have earned a permanent spot in our meal plan rotation. Upon first bite, we were blown away by the crisp-tender texture of the beans, the sweetness of the red onion, and the richness of the miso sauce. While we do wish the cashews had more crunch (nuts are notorious for softening upon refrigeration or freezing), we recommend doing the next best thing and adding an extra handful of your own. You can also beef up the serving size by adding plain greens to the mix.

Credit: Patty Catalano

9. Specially Selected Double Chocolate Premium Brownie Mix with Chocolate Chips, $1.85 for 18 ounces

While we would never turn down a bite of any of brownie mix found at Aldi, the square from the Specially Selected line earned the top spot in our taste test. These brownies straddle the line between chewy and cakey in the best way possible — neither dry nor overly dense. The tops have the tell-tale sheen and crackly consistency of a home-baked brownie. We doubt that your guests will ever know that this sweet comes from a box.

What are some of your favorite budget-friendly Aldi Finds from this year? Tell us in the comments.