It’s January again, and that means a bunch of people trying out the Whole30 in the new year, seeing how it can help them. (Spoiler alert: it will change your life if you do it right.) Whole30 can be tough, but I really think it’s only as complicated as you make it. Some people get realllllly into the fine, nitty gritty parts. Me, I’m more of the “stick to the plan and do the best you can” kind of person. (But you already knew that, because, Scaleo.)
I’ve completed about 5 or 6 Whole30’s (I stopped counting – I just do it as a reset when I feel like I need one!) Shopping can be intimidating, and having some direction when you head into a store can make or break your shopping trip. My Costco Whole30 Shopping List post has been so wildly popular that I want to set you up for success at other stores too!
Aldi is a wallet-friendly grocery chain. Be forewarned, they have a lot of junk food and plenty of things that you think would be compliant on Whole30, but when you read the ingredient labels, you discover they aren’t. That being said, they also have some awesome options, both organic and non-organic, to get you through your Whole30 without breaking the bank.
Depending on where you live, your Whole30 Aldi shopping cart might vary, as all the stores don’t always carry all of the same things. I did a quick roundup at my local store here in Charleston, SC. Even if your store doesn’t carry all these exact items, it should give you some good ideas of the type of things available to you.
Nuts & Seeds
Aldi has two sections of nuts – the snacking section and the baking section. Many of the nuts in the snacking section are not compliant for Whole30-they were roasted in either sunflower, canola, or peanut oil, which disqualifies them. Womp womp. There are a few options that are simply roasted with sea salt though, and those are great to have on hand. The baking aisle has sliced & slivered almonds, as well as pecan pieces – all plain, assuming that you would put them in something. However, you could easily just sprinkle them on a salad, roast them in the oven on a pan, or just eat them raw! The seed selection is a bit slimmer, but they do have both chia seeds and flax seeds, which are both nutrition power houses!
Dried Fruits and Snacks
Dried fruit can be a crutch on Whole30, as they have a much higher sugar concentration. On top of that, quite a few options at Aldi have added sugars (totally unnecessary). However, these types of snacks are portable and don’t go bad or mush up in your purse, so they can be handy in a pinch. I like to use these medjool dates to make my Nutty Espresso Bars and my Sweet and Spicy Date Bars, both of which travel well! And if you don’t have time to make something, these little boxes of raisins are handy in a pinch for an on-the-go snack.
Sauces, Oils, Condiments, Garnishes and Spices
This was probably my favorite reason for Whole30Aldi shopping. They had so many options in this category. And their coconut oil was SO cheap! You won’t find coconut oil at this price anywhere. They had multiple vinegars -white, apple cider, balsamic, and more. Spices started at 99 cents! They had jars of olives, artichokes, and organic salsa. Diced tomatoes, tomato paste. They even had tomato/pasta sauce that was organic and didn’t have added sugar, which is so difficult to find. (No, you can’t put it on pasta during Whole30, but you can put it on zoodles or spaghetti squash!)
Olive Oil Confession: I don’t buy my olive oil at a store, for two reasons. One, because I’ve found literally the best olive oil ever, and will never go back to another kind ever again. Two, because most olive oil that you purchase from a 3rd party (not directly from the source) is not actually olive oil. You can read all about it, and find my favorite olive oil that I recommend, in this post.
Meat & Protein
Admittedly, Aldi is not necessarily the best choice if you’re looking for high-quality meats. That being said, if you’re on a budget, this is a great place to start. Watch out for the pre-processed stuff – sausages, marinated cuts of meat, etc. None of those will be Whole30 compliant. They have lots of regular cuts of meat, though – pork, beef, and chicken. My store had whole organic chickens for $2.49/lb, and non-organic ones for $1.49/lb. (Clearly as you can tell in the photo they were mostly sold out, but the option was there!) And if you’re cooking chicken on a budget, a whole chicken is the way to go. It’s so much cheaper than buying the parts and pieces. My favorite way to cook a whole chicken is in a salt crust – you can find the recipe here!
Last but not least, they had eggs for 99 cents a dozen. Again, probably not from chickens with names that were tucked in at night, but if you’re on a budget, that price can’t be beat.
I’ll start this section with a brief caution – check out your produce and your expiration dates before purchasing. A family in front of me picked up a bag of apples that definitely had a rotten, mushy apple in it. That being said, you can run into that almost anywhere, unless you’re buying directly from a farm. Aldi has a lot of good produce options, and I would bore you if I photographed and talked about every single produce item. Instead, I just picked some of my favorites and the ones that are the best value. Their sweet potatoes are $1.69 for a 3lb bag. They sell organic berries at totally reasonable prices. Their salad mix is $3.49 for the big box, which is usually what you’ll pay for the small box at other stores. They have an entire organic produce section, and they sell avocados for 59 cents. (These must be black market avocados, because they are normally almost $2 everywhere else, but I won’t tell if you won’t. Let’s just keep this secret for ourselves and we will have a line on all the cheap avocados.)
I drink a lot of water. Honestly, I rarely drink anything else. But when I do, it’s usually coconut water or seltzer water (yes, I realize those are both still waters!) Aldi had a few different kinds of coconut water, and some had additives and added sugars – this one here did not, and was Whole30 compliant. They also sell 12 packs of flavored seltzer for $2.49, or $2.99 if you want to get really fancy combo flavors.
Almond milk can be a dicey Whole30 topic, so I’ll just say this – they have a couple of almond milk options that I would be ok with on Whole30. Watch out for the flavored ones, and the cashew milk, which has sugar. Whole30 nazis will argue that you should make your own nut milk if you’re going to consume it, but let’s be real, no one has time for that. It is not going to be the end of the world if you want to make my Sweet Potato Crust Quiche, and you use some store-bought almond milk in the recipe!