Aldi product reviews

So, in my quest to become a cheapskate, I’ve tried a few Aldi products.

Having pretty-much restricted myself to Aldi products made in Australia (food miles, though it’s something of a generalisation), and ruled-out some categories I’ve been warned about (fresh fruit and veg, meat), here’s what I’ve found so far:

The Weetbix clone — I’m a Weetbix snob. I have in the past rejected Vita Brits for being un-Weetbix-like. The Aldi version is close, but… not the same, somehow. The consistency is different. I’ve gone back to buying real Weetbix, which when on-sale isn’t too much more expensive than the Aldi version.

Light milkas I noted previously, the Aldi milk is a fair bit cheaper than other brands. I’m not that keen on 2 litre milk bottles; they’re especially awkward for pouring small amounts, unlike the 1 litre cartons. But in any case I’ve started buying the Safeway brand milk as it’s more convenient than trying to get to Aldi every week. (An article a couple of months ago noted that milk prices are slowly dropping.)

Yoghurt (plain) — there’s something not quite right about this. It seems too watery. Will go back to the Jalna etc. Not much price difference anyway.

Homestyle mixed grain bread — Great, close enough to Helga’s, though the first loaf I bought included about 4 slices that had a noticeable hole in them, and it’s worth hunting around in the rack to find one with the latest possible expiry date. Other than that no complaints. Slices are a good size for jaffles.

The Sultana Bran clone — the “bran” isn’t really bran, it’s small flakes of wheat. So probably not as healthy. This isn’t a staple in our house, so just buying the real stuff when it’s on sale (and the price isn’t much different) is probably sufficient.

Long life juice — seems about the same to me, though the flavours are limited.

Tomato paste — fine, does the job, and unlike the Leggos stuff, it’s in a clearly recyclable glass jar. Not available in reduced-salt though.

Passata — great.

Recycled toilet paper — seems a little thinner and slightly more ragged than the Safe brand, but works fine. The savings aren’t compelling on this one, mind you, at about 6 cents difference per roll.

Muesli — good. Tasty.

Diced peaches in juice — good, yummy.

Hillcrest nut (Muesli-ish) bars — not that brilliant, at least not compared to the Carmans or Be Natural (a Kelloggs brand) meusli bars. I’ll wait for those to be on sale.

Bramwells Honey — sameish as the name brands.

As for non-grocery items, some cool cheap stuff shows up from time to time. But I’m very wary of Aldi’s consumer electronics, which seem to have a very mixed track record. Fine, they’ll replace anything that breaks down, but I’d rather stick to name brands and avoid the hassle in the first place. (My Pioneer DV-344 DVD player is still going strong after six years, for instance.)

See also: More reviews and a whole web site dedicated to the topic

Related: Woolworths to revamp its house brands

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12 Replies to “Aldi product reviews”

  1. The one really cheap thing at Aldi is cheese… cheese elsewhere has just gotten hideously expensive. Mostly the the Aldi savings aren’t that great, and the most convenient one for me (CBD Store in Franklin Street) is enough out of the way that by the time I go there and do my shopping I’ve probably spent enough of my time that the money I’ve saved wasn’t worth the extra time I spent.

    I reguarly go to Coles and Safeway in Glenferrie Road, but there’s actually an IGA very close to my house. The main reason I went to them was the 3 litre milk was very cheap there, but now IGA have 3 litres for $4.29 so I’m virtually ditching Coles and Safeway as well.

  2. I remember anarticle about milk prices a few weeks back too (in the HS)- I distinctly remember all the home brand milk prices being the same! Coles/Safeway/Aldi

    If you’re looking for savings I’d seriously encourage people to consider home brand- I bought the home brand can of tomatoes and it was great, I noticed in the Aldi can there was a lot more water! ALthough don’t buy the homebrand dishwashing detergent, doesn’t do the job well im afraid.

  3. I buy Protane shampoo and conditioner (a knockoff of Pantene) at Aldi and it works just as well with my long hair as Pantene does leaving it easy to comb. Which shampoo one chooses is less important if one has short hair. Their Tandil super strength dish detergent works very well for me too. It would easily handle the mess in a commercial kitchen. I also really like their Choceur chocolate with hazelnuts (made in Germany). The hazelnuts inside the chocolate are whole and they have a nice freshly roasted flavor. I don’t go to Aldi very often and I don’t buy much else there. I live very close to their location on Inkerman St. (St Kilda) and the Prahran market store is not too far from me either.

  4. Yvonne, yeah, I posted specifically about milk in May. At the time, Aldi was 20 cents cheaper than Safeway, which was 20 cents cheaper than Coles, which in turn was at least $1.30 cheaper than Pura Light Start or Rev. All of them appear to have very similar figures in the nutrition table.

    I don’t buy the Aldi tomatoes because they’re imported (Italy?), and I’d rather support local jobs and discourage long-distance transportation of food. Many of the Home Brand ones are also imported, though my local Safeway recently started selling bigger cans of Australian tomatoes. Worth checking the percentage of tomatoes on the can, but also note Ardmona and other name-brands are regularly on special (I think Safeway had them last week for about 70 cents, which is less than half-price), so I end up stocking up.

  5. Although we must remember the importance in terms of reduced packaging as a plus for 2L cartons/bottles of milk! Basically cutting that waste product in half.

  6. I agree on the peach slices. Aldi’s are really good and they’re in various sizes of slice (unlike SPC, which are all huge and therefore used up quickly). We bought some IGA peach slices last week and they tasted like water. They are rubbish. Back to Aldi for those until we next go through Shepparton and visit SPC.

    Aldi’s Logix dishwasher powder isn’t very good. I found it caked too much, which stopped it being dispensed properly so there was always some left at the end of the wash. The result was that otherwise clean dishes were left with detergent residue on them and needed to be washed again. We went back to Finish.

    Almat laundry powder does a good job and is about $3 per kg. I used to buy Duo on special at $2 a kg (in other shops, not Aldi) but it’s now only available with built-in softener and we don’t want softener, so Almat is king.

    Can I please warn everyone to steer clear of Black & Gold frozen peas (from other shops, not Aldi). They’re shrivelled garbage. Butter and cream from that brand are good, but their frozen peas are a waste of money.

  7. There are some things that a cheap supermarket CANNOT muck up. Tomato paste is one of them. The cheeses aren’t too bad and their Christmas cake is actually pretty good. Have you tried the alcohol they sell? They have cheaper versions of named brands that aren’t too shabby if you’re on a budget.

    My mum recently picked up some bags of cheap wool from Aldi (my dad crochets in the evenings to stop him snacking) so always keep an eye out because they do have some odd things in as a ‘one time only’ arrangement.

    I lived in Germany for a while back in 2007 and I found that the fruit and veg was always bad and if you’re intending to eat the bread on the day of purchase, that’s decent value too.

  8. I’ll add my 2 bobs.
    I’m a seasoned snow-goer and I think the Aldi Snow Gear is quality.
    Obviously the season has just finished, but they usually have a big sale around the start of June for the beginning of the season.
    Don’t waste your time with overpriced brandname snowgear – Go Aldi.
    Especially good if you’re only going to the snow once or twice a season.

  9. I have found the aldi products good and a friend of mine who wroked for cambells told me that they supplied cleaning products for aldi and he said that they wernt the bottom of the line products either. Also i am fairly certain that the weetbix aldi sell are supplied by sanitarium .
    Most of the australian products they sell are sourced from the local manufacturers and packaged in the aldi packaging.
    We miss our Aldi where we are now we used to live within a 30 min drive of 4 aldi stores now our nearest is 2 hours away.

    Also Gday Daniel been following your blog for years this is my first comment

  10. living up in echuca, when i come down to melb to visit family i often do my shopping at aldi, it is really sooo much cheaper than woolies and coles in echuca, and i know many people that will travel to shep/bendigo just to do their shopping at aldi.
    i know for a fact that aldi tries to be as competitive as possible and encourage everyone to have a go and let their dollar go further
    i know that mine does having 3 kids and a very busy interstate furniture removalist owner/operator saves a lot in the long term

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