Cooking for two again? Start here to rediscover your favorites.

I sometimes giggle when I see the luxury cars parked outside the new ALDI in my town.  My mom was an ALDI fan way before it was chic.  In those days, canned goods were the “safe” items, and produce, dairy, and meat were to be avoided.  She was a single mom raising a family on a teacher’s salary, so ALDI was a lifeline- especially for large, family get-togethers.

ALDI has upped their game in recent years, offering exceptional quality across the board, as well as many specialty items for those of us on restrictive diets.  Now that my last little bird has flown the nest, I’m rediscovering ALDI as a great resource for preparing meals just for the two of us.

Here are some of my ALDI favorites, as well as what I bought on my most recent trip:

After all, we’re over 21!

1.  Specialty wines and spirits

We aren’t alcohol connoisseurs, but we’ve found the wines and specialty spirits priced right and very tasty.  ALDI offers some fun options for holidays, which make great gifts or party additions.

You can save big bucks without sacrificing taste.

2.  Chips and Salsa

Although my kids prefer name brand potato chips and eat them by the barrel when they’re home, my husband and I are fine with the no-name variety for a fraction of the cost.  Little Salad Bar Fresh Salsa is my absolute favorite, and can be found in the refrigerated section.

3.  Produce

ALDI really shines in this category, with unbeatable pricing and organic offerings.  Several of my friends have commented that, after shopping at ALDI, they were shocked at produce prices when they returned to their former grocery store.

My favorites are organic avocadoes, honeycrisp apples, fresh garlic and potatoes.

Lookout for the “fun aisle”! Filled with a bevy of unexpected items.

4.  Gourmet Cheeses

ALDI has long been my go-to in this category, especially for graduation parties and book club nights.  Snag a few packets of cheese, a couple bottles of wine, and a bag of grapes and you’ve turned a get-together into a classy event.

5.  Frozen Seafood

My idea of a decadent breakfast is lox with cream cheese.  I would put ALDI’s Cold Smoked Atlantic Salmon up against the lox I’ve tasted in luxury hotels.  Some of our other favorites are scallops, tuna steaks, and jumbo shrimp.

If you’re and ALDI shopper, what are some of your favorites?