by Hannah Alderfer, Organic Eating Personal Trainer!

Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Earth Fare, Raisin Rack, Costco. These are the stores where many of us know we can find wholesome, organic products, but we also know it comes at a cost. If you could spend less money on quality, organic groceries, wouldn’t you? Utilizing local markets and farmers is a great way to do this, but that option isn’t always available or practical. I am always on the hunt to find the least expensive organic or all-natural foods possible, and I want to make sure that what I am cooking is going to be beneficial to the health of those who are going to eat it. I used to get very frustrated about the prices of organic foods and then pick the conventional (non-organic) item, to my dismay, because it was more affordable or just put the item back on the shelf. Sometimes it’s still tough to find what I want at a reasonable price, but my frustrating shopping experiences are becoming less and less. And it’s all because of one grocery store in particular. It might be surprising to some of you, but the budget-friendly store that’s been around for awhile and has been working to provide more nutritious and organic food options for less is Aldi!

Aldi has slowly been incorporating more and more products that are certified organic and/or do not contain additives and preservatives. When you walk into an Aldi store today, you’ll see the changes they’ve made to present healthier selections. Their website even has tips for healthy eating, good-for-you recipes, and blogs from registered dieticians. When I first started grocery shopping for my own home, it was challenging to find certain foods that didn’t have all the added junk without spending a fortune, but over the past few years, Aldi has started stocking more items at reasonable prices. The author of the book The Recovering Spender, Lauren Greutman, writes, “I know with 100 percent certainty that someone who wants to eat all natural and organic items can save hundreds per month by shopping at Aldi.” I agree! Their main line of organic products is called Simply Nature. The Simply Nature brand is made without over 125 additives, has no artificial flavors or colors, no high fructose corn syrup, and no hydrogenated oils, and many of it’s products are certified organic, though not all are. In addition to the organic products Aldi has began selling, it has also banned 9 different pesticides, certified synthetic colors, partially hydrogenated oils, and MSG from all its private-label products. They have introduced a line of baby products called Little Journey that makes organic baby foods and snacks and has hypoallergenic and fragrance free diapers and wipes. They now offer gluten free products called Live G Free, many of which are non-GMO and/or organic. You will also find a whole area designated for artisan cheeses. And though their organic meat selection is limited, they do carry a brand called Never Any, which contains no antibiotics, no hormones added, and no animal by-products. The best part of all of this, however, is the prices! I now leave the grocery store with a smile on my face because I know I’m getting healthy foods for a price I’m willing to pay.

So, if you are interested in giving Aldi a try for your next grocery shopping experience, check out the list below of organic or other real-food products—with ingredients lists that are much cleaner than other brands—that I frequently purchase from Aldi (prices may depend on which store you shop at and their weekly sales). If the item has an O next to it, it means that the product is organic.

Refrigerated/Frozen Items:
Milk, ½ Gallon (O) – $2.95
Yogurt, 32 oz. (O) – $2.99
Parmesan Cheese Wedge 8 oz. – $3.79
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, 8 oz. – $2.69
Eggs (O) – $3.49
Grass-fed Ground Beef, 1lb. (O) – $5.49
Frozen Strawberries – $2.69
Frozen Blueberries (O) – $2.99

Produce:
Bananas (O) – $0.59 per lb.
Apples, 3lb. (O) – $4.99
Grapes, 2 lb. (O) – $4.99
Oranges (O) – $3.49
Grape Tomatoes, 1 pint (O) – $2.49
Baby Carrots 16 oz. (O) – $1.19
Peppers, 3 pack (O) – $3.69
Potatoes, 5lb. (O) – $3.29
Avocados, 4 pack (O) – $3.49
Spinach, Arugula, Mixed Greens, 5 oz. (O) – $2.49
Bulk Mixed Greens, 16 oz. (O) – $3.27

Pantry Items:
Bread (O) – $3.49
Peanut Butter, 16 oz. (O) – $3.99
Almond butter 12 oz. – $4.99
Honey, 12 oz. (O) – $3.49
Beef and Chicken stock (O) – $1.79
Salsa, 16 oz. (O) – $1.99
Tomato or Pasta Sauce (O) – $1.79
Kidney, Pinto & Black Beans (O) – $0.79
Diced Canned Tomatoes (O) – $1.49
Whole Wheat Pasta & White Pasta, 16 oz. (O) – $1.19
Brown Rice, 28 oz. (O) – $3.29
Quinoa, 16 oz. (O) – $2.99
Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, 18 0z. (O) – $2.69
Spices (cinnamon, garlic, thyme, basil, oregano, cumin, Italian seasoning O) – $1.99
Olive Oil, 16.9 oz. (O) – $3.99
Coconut Oil (O) – $3.99
Unsweetened Apple Sauce, 14 oz. – $1.89
Salad Dressings (O) – $1.99
Nuts (almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, macadamia nuts) 8 oz. – $4.99
Tortilla chips (O) – $1.69
Brown Sugar, 32 oz. (O) – $2.89

*Plus many other real-food items, though not organic, but still very inexpensive!