Aldi just might be the most underrated supermarket of all time. Why aren't more people talking about it? And why aren't more people shopping there? We do and we know a lot of you guys do, too, so we wrote a lot about it in 2017. Here's a recap of what we learned.
1. There are a few things to know before you go.
Nothing major. It's just important you know what to expect. For example, it's not going to be a giant store. And you'll need to bring a quarter if you want to use a cart.
2. The chocolate and coffee are always worth buying.
I make special trips to Aldi just to stock up on coffee — and my houseguests always lose their minds over the stuff. Our Food Editor, Hali Bey Ramdene, goes there for the chocolate.
More on Aldi Chocoalte and Coffee
3. You should check out the refrigerators.
With the refrigerators pushed along the perimeter of the store, it's easy to accidentally skip them. You should not, though. There, you can find good deals on yogurt, inexpensive eggs, and some special snacks.
What to buy: The 7 Best Refrigerator Snacks from Aldi
4. They have award-winning wine.
Forget Two-Buck Chuck (from Trader Joe's) — this year, everyone was all excited over Aldi's wine. It's all discounted heavily and the quality does not reflect the price — some bottles have even won awards, beating out more expensive bottles.
More on Aldi's Wine
5. And a $60 stand mixer that is totally legit.
You could pay a couple hundred bucks to get a name-brand stand mixer. Or you can pay $60 to get Aldi's version. Is it just as good, though? We put it to the test to find out!
More on Aldi's Stand Mixer
5. And these beautiful copper pots.
These gorgeous copper pots look just like the swanky copper pans in Nigella Lawsons's kitchen and in fancy department stores, but Aldi's collection ranges in price from just $24 to $47. That's a fraction of the price of copper kitchenware at most other stores.
6. Aldi teamed up with Instacart.
In August, Aldi announced a partnership with Instacart, which launched later that month. It's now available in three markets — Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Dallas — but there have been no official hints about expansion plans.
7. Aldi is a good place to go for Thanksgiving.
We sent a reporter to Aldi to price out all the ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It cost her $69.88 (plus tax) and she found nearly everything she needed (except fresh herbs and ground mustard powder).
More on Aldi and Thanksgiving
8. It's got a new competitor.
If you've ever been abroad, you might be familiar with Lidl, which describes itself as "a cross between Trader Joe's and Harris Teeter." (We actually think it's more like a cross between Harris Teeter and Aldi, which is why we're talking about it now.) We got some Lidl stores in the States this year — and we covered them extensively.
More on Lidl
Did you learn anything else about Aldi this year? Share your discovery in the comments!