25+ affordable plant-based foods to buy at ALDI when you’re on a budget and follow a whole food, plant-based diet.
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Want to save money while still eating healthy? You can buy plenty of whole food, plant-based staples at ALDI, which is a German-based discount grocery store that makes eating plant-based super affordable!
If you’ve never been to ALDI before, then you don’t know what you’re missing. This grocery store offers huge grocery savings, and I can honestly say that we would not be able to afford a whole food, plant-based diet without buying a good chunk of our groceries here.
Granted, you probably won’t be able to get everything on your grocery list from ALDI, but you can easily stock most of your plant-based kitchen if you know what to look for. And since you’ll save so much money shopping here, you’ll actually be able to afford those specialty items from the more expensive grocery stores.
So let’s dive right in!
What to Expect at ALDI
Before we get to the actual list of plant-based foods you can buy, there are a few things you should know about shopping at ALDI:
- You need to bring a quarter to unlock a shopping cart (located just outside the door), but you get your coin back when you return the cart to the corral.
- ALDI does not bag your groceries. The cashier puts your items back in a shopping cart and you take it to the bagging area against the back wall to bag your own groceries.
- You can buy bags from ALDI, but it’s cheaper and more environmentally-friendly to bring your own reusable bags.
- ALDI typically doesn’t carry name brands, and most of the items are ALDI’s store brand. The exception is the limited-time aisle where you can sometimes find brand items.
Plant-Based ALDI Shopping List
These are the items I prefer to buy from ALDI because they’re much cheaper than what you’d find at other grocery stores.
1. Almond Flour
Almond flour is pretty pricey no matter where you buy it, but it’s a little bit cheaper when you get it from the baking section of ALDI.
2. Almond Milk
Store-bought almond milk usually has preservatives to keep it fresh, and ALDI’s almond milk is no exception. Homemade almond milk will always have the best ingredients, but if you need a pre-made version to save time in the kitchen, then ALDI’s almond milk is a good choice.
You can find all sorts of beans at ALDI. My favorites are canned organic black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans. You can also get dried black beans, pinto beans, and lima beans.
Bread is tricky business, so be sure to read the ingredient list if you have special dietary requirements.
These are the breads I usually buy from ALDI:
- Knock Your Sprouts Off – this bread is sweetened with honey, which is allowed on a whole food, plant-based diet but is NOT acceptable if you’re also vegan.
- Oat So Healthy – this bread is sweetened with a small amount of cane sugar and honey.
- Seedtastic – this bread is sweetened with a small amount of cane sugar.
- Nice to Wheat You – this bread is sweetened with a small amount of cane sugar.
While not 100% perfect, these breads from ALDI are better than most, so the best thing to do is pick the one that most closely aligns with your dietary requirements.
5. Brown Rice
You can get regular brown rice and brown basmati rice at ALDI. I like brown basmati the best, so I always have a bag at my house.
6. Canned Tomatoes
You can get canned tomato sauce and canned organic diced tomatoes at ALDI. The tomato sauce has seasonings added to it, but the ingredient list is still whole food, plant-based compliant.
7. Dried Fruit
Raisins and prunes are my favorite dried fruits to get at ALDI. You can find other dried fruits too, but be sure to check the ingredient list for added sugars.
8. Fat-Free Refried Beans
Refried beans are another plant-based staple to always have on hand. ALDI has two kinds: regular and fat-free. Get the fat-free kind because the regular kind has lard in it.
9. Frozen Fruit and Vegetables
You can get all sorts of frozen fruits and vegetables from ALDI. I always keep frozen corn, peas, and blueberries in my freezer.
10. In-Season Produce
As with other grocery stores, ALDI’s produce tastes best when you buy it in season. Check out some seasonal produce guides on Pinterest so you know what to buy during the different times of year.
Bonus: produce is cheaper when it’s in season!
11. Kalamata Olives
ALDI’s kalamata olives have a short ingredient list that is whole food, plant-based compliant.
My local ALDI carries a couple different brands of kombucha, but my favorite is GT’s kombucha. I like the gingerade, gingerberry, and trilogy flavors.
13. Maple Syrup
You can get pure maple syrup in the breakfast section of ALDI. Sometimes you can even find a big jug of maple syrup in the limited-time aisle!
14. Marinara Sauce
ALDI has an organic marinara sauce that doesn’t have any sugar or oil added to it. It just has tomatoes and spices that fit the whole food, plant-based bill!
15. Medjool Dates
You can find whole medjool dates in the produce section of ALDI for much cheaper than what you’d find at other grocery stores. You can also find chopped dates and pitted deglet noor dates in a bag in the dried fruit section.
ALDI has a great selection of mustards to choose from. Yellow mustard and spicy brown mustard are the ones I always have on hand since their ingredient lists are fully compliant.
17. Nuts and Seeds
You can find all sorts of nuts and seeds at ALDI, but be aware that some of them are roasted in oil. Try to find nuts that haven’t been roasted, such as almonds, raw mixed nuts, and chopped/sliced nuts from the baking section. Don’t forget to grab chia seeds and flaxseeds while you’re there too!
Oats abound at ALDI. You can get old fashioned and quick-cook rolled oats, along with traditional and quick-cook steel cut oats.
I prefer to keep old fashioned rolled oats and quick-cook steel cut oats in my pantry.
You can get whole wheat pasta, gluten-free brown rice pasta, and legume pastas at ALDI.
For the legume pastas, they usually keep edamame and black bean pastas in stock all the time, but I have found red lentil pasta in the limited-time aisle on more than one occasion! The red lentil variety is actually my favorite, so any time I see them at ALDI, I grab several boxes.
20. Peanut Butter
There’s one type of peanut butter at ALDI that is 100% whole food, plant-based compliant. It’s the Simply Nature creamy peanut butter that looks separated in the container (you have to stir it before you use it).
It only has two ingredients, peanuts and sea salt, so it’s as close to homemade peanut butter as you can get.
Of course, I get that peanut butter that separates isn’t the easiest to work with. If you don’t want to stir your peanut butter every time you use it, you can do what I do and store it in the refrigerator after you stir it the first time. It stays mixed and won’t separate when you keep it chilled!
Quinoa can be pretty pricey at regular grocery stores, so I like to buy my quinoa at ALDI. It’s a much better value!
ALDI’s organic salsa has a fantastic ingredient list that’s almost 100% whole food, plant-based. The only questionable ingredient is the added sugar, but that’s negligible since there’s less than 1 gram of added sugar per serving.
Personally, this is close enough to compliant for me when I want a store-bought salsa from ALDI.
Jarred sauerkraut is something I usually have in my refrigerator, and ALDI’s German Style sauerkraut really hits the spot! It has a short list of plant ingredients, and you can find it next to the canned goods.
ALDI has a fantastic selection of spices! I buy almost all of my staple spices there, and that frees up my budget to get my specialty spices from another grocery store.
Here are some of the spices I always buy from ALDI:
- Ground cumin
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Basil leaves
- Thyme leaves
- Oregano leaves
- Parsley flakes
I also buy sea salt grinders, Himalayan pink salt grinders, and black peppercorn grinders from ALDI. These are much more affordable than the grinders in other grocery stores.
25. Unsweetened Applesauce
I prefer making my own applesauce, but when I need something quick from a store, I grab ALDI’s unsweetened applesauce! It has minimal ingredients and tastes fantastic.
ALDI has a great selection of vinegars, which is perfect for plant-based dressings and sauces. I keep ALDI’s apple cider vinegar (it even has the mother!), balsamic vinegar, and red wine vinegar in my kitchen at all times.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Aldi carry vegan products?
Yes, ALDI does carry vegan products.
The Earth Grown line of products are vegetarian and vegan friendly, and you can easily spot the ones that are vegan by the label. It will say “Earth Grown Vegan” rather than just “Earth Grown.”
Keep in mind, though, that just because the label says “vegan” does not mean the ingredients are healthy or that they comply with the whole food, plant-based diet. Many of the Earth Grown products have added sugar, oil, and other highly processed ingredients. You should still read the ingredient list and weed out any products that don’t fit your dietary needs.
That being said, ALDI also has other products that are vegan but aren’t specifically advertised as such, so don’t limit yourself to only the products in the Earth Grown line. Most of the items I just listed are vegan friendly, but always read the ingredient list just to be sure.
Does Aldi sell plant-based meat?
Yes, ALDI does sell plant-based meat.
You can find veggie burgers, hot dogs, chickenless patties, and other meat alternatives within the Earth Grown line. However, be aware that while these are marketed as “plant-based,” they aren’t whole food, plant-based since they contain sugar, oil, and other highly processed ingredients.
Does Aldi have tofu?
ALDI’s Earth Grown line does have tofu, but I have not personally seen it in my East Coast ALDI. Different regions carry different products, so it may be that tofu just isn’t a popular item where I live.
Be sure to check your local ALDI to see if they carry tofu.
Does ALDI have organic food?
Yes, ALDI does have organic food.
There’s an entire section of the produce department dedicated to organic produce, and plenty of other items throughout the store have an organic counterpart.
Be sure to check the Simply Nature line of products while you’re shopping at ALDI. Not all of the products in this line are organic, but plenty of them are. Just check the label for the word “organic” at the top of the product package.
While you’re checking labels, also look to see if there’s a non-GMO certification. Many of ALDI’s products are non-GMO too!
Is ALDI good quality?
I certainly think so!
Not everything in the store will taste like the name brand version, but that mostly applies to pre-packaged foods that you probably wouldn’t buy anyway on your whole food, plant-based diet.
When it comes to the quality of the plant foods at ALDI, you really can’t go wrong. The produce is fresh and flavorful, especially when you buy in season. Canned goods like beans and tomatoes are nearly identical to what you’d buy in other grocery stores. And dry shelf items like grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit are on par with big brands.
Beyond that, you can also find plenty of organic foods that taste even better than their conventionally-grown counterparts.
And you can rest easy knowing that ALDI is ahead of the game when it comes to eliminating certain questionable ingredients from their product lines. Before they were even required to do so, they removed all certified synthetic colors, MSGs, and partially hydrogenated oils from their store brand items (Source).
Those actions speak volumes, and it’s clear that ALDI cares about the quality of their products.
Final Thoughts on Plant-Based Shopping at ALDI
I love shopping for plant-based food at ALDI. It makes the whole food, plant-based diet so much more affordable and saves me hundreds of dollars on my grocery budget every single month.
If you’re looking for quality, affordable food, then you’ll appreciate the selection of plant-based foods ALDI has to offer. Hop over to their website and see if there’s a location near you so you can check it out!
Other Plant-Based Lifestyle Articles You May Enjoy
- Plant-Based Shopping List: What to Buy When You Follow a Plant-based Diet
- How to Start a Plant-based Diet: The Ultimate Transition Guide for Beginners
- The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen 2019 (Free Printable List!)
- 15 Must-Have Kitchen Items Every Plant-Based Kitchen Needs
What about you? What are your favorite plant-based foods at ALDI?
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