What to Buy (and What to Miss) at ALDI This Thanksgiving

When it comes to seasonal products, Trader Joe’s prefers the “throw the pot of spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks” product development method. ALDI, the eldest, wise and cautious of adoptive siblings in the grocery chain, takes the exact opposite approach.

Rather than launching a series of fifty billion specialty items for Thanksgiving every year, ALDI offers a selection of seasonal laser-oriented merchandise at ultra-low prices for the thrifty Thanksgiving hobbyist. You won’t find pre-made butcher squash gratins or turkey and stuffing en croute (and maybe thank God for that), but you will find all the ingredients you need to make these things with a budget for a spare.

Highly Recommended: Food, raw materials and baking utensils.

At the very least, you should buy Thanksgiving groceries at ALDI. A ten-pound bag of reddish brown potatoes costs just $ 1.69 – which is what my store sells all year round – but if you find the blush too easy, ALDI also sells sweet potatoes, Yukon gold, red potatoes, and even small bags. different fry at the same low price. Prices. Carrots, celery, onions, pumpkin platter and greens are also very cheap. You can even buy a turkey there if you like: Butter balls are $ 1.19 a pound, and the fancy organic bird will set you back $ 2.89 a pound. But my favorite bill is fresh cranberries at ninety-nine cents a pound — even Trader Joe’s usually has two or three times that.

ALDI is also a great place to stock up on baking essentials. Cream, eggs, butter, sugar, and flour are always cheap, but they bring wholesome food this time of year. Pumpkin and pecan preserves are more readily available here than anywhere else, and if you like ready-made pie fillings I have found at least four varieties to choose from.

The only downside to buying all the ingredients for your Thanksgiving dinner at ALDI is the choices that vary from store to store and therefore may not cover all of your needs. However, I think this is the perfect first stop; if necessary, you can always replenish stocks with goods from other, more expensive stores.

Recommended (if applicable): Snacks and wine.

If your family loves grazing before dinner, ALDI will take care of you. Grab a selection of trendy cheeses , then cruise through the seasons to buy chutneys, jams, fruit oil and signature crackers to create your dream cheese platter. Alternatively, if you’re going more out of the crowd of raw vegetables, sour cream and powdered ranch or French onion sauce mix. Since the selection of cheeses and snacks varies so much, I cannot give specific recommendations, but whatever you have in your store is sure to be great and affordable.

Depending on your stress level on Thanksgiving, having a glass of wine or five while cooking might be the right decision; I know this is for me. Pennsylvania has fake liquor laws, so I can’t get into ALDI and buy wine, but if you can, please do so. I’m working on a complete review of several bottles I bought in Washington DC last month and preliminary results show that ALDI wine – especially the Winking Owl White Blend in a Box ($ 10.89 for 3 Liters) – is drinkable. Indeed, isn’t high value for money the number one criterion for Thanksgiving wine?

Meh: Dishes

Last minute: “Oh shit, do I need a brazier ?!” Kitchenware shopping can be a huge Thanksgiving catch. If your collection has gaps and you’re on a tight budget, ALDI sells things worth checking out. I bought three items from the Crofton brand: a set of two fancy ceramic baking dishes ($ 12.99), a silicone baking brush ($ 1.19), and a three-tiered oven rack ($ 7.99).

The bakeware and pastry brush are more or less what I wanted – a photogenic dishwasher-safe bakeware and a tool to dispense eggs that aren’t my fingers, respectively. Unfortunately I have bad news on the oven grate because it is pointless. It only fit in my oven if I adjusted one rack all the way to the bottom and removed the other completely, so any vertical space I got was immediately compensated for by the horizontal space I lost. The width of the shelves also leaves a lot to be desired, with enough room for a standard 9 ”plate to slide back. If your oven is taller than mine, you might be luckier, but I don’t recommend it.

Be careful: prepared food

Except for canned cranberry sauce – which I couldn’t find! Thanksgiving pre-cooked or instant meals are always bullshit. My boyfriend and I are mild to moderate trash monsters and love toppings in sacks, so we tested some of ALDI’s suggestions in the name of informed journalism. That is what we tried: packed stuffing brand Chef’s Cupboard tasteful herbs and corn bread ($ 1.99 for a package weighing 14 ounces), french-fried onion Chef’s Cupboard (1,89 dollars per jar for 6 ounces) powdered Stonemill Turkey Sauce Blend ($ 0.39 per bag ), Low Sodium Organic Chicken Broth and Low Sodium Organic Chicken Stock ($ 1.49 per 32 oz box) and Village Bakery Brand Nut Pie ( $ 4.99) I gave up the ready-made pumpkin, because I even consider it a waste of money.

I liked the filling, which is pleasant, familiar and pleasantly salty. The simple instructions were obviously written by someone who loves butter because they required two tablespoons per cup of topping mixture. (damn it) plus some onions and celery. I cooked vegetable shit to avoid unwanted crunching, added the filling and the recommended amount of chicken stock, and roasted at 400ºF for about 20 minutes to brown the top. We breathed in both, but I preferred cornbread; The bagged mince connoisseur I’ve decided to dedicate my life to, prefers these herbs and wants you to know that Pepperidge Farms minced meat is still his favorite. To be honest, with lots of vegetables – caramelized onions, fennel and mushrooms, I think – and homemade broth, it would be absolutely delicious.

The gravy powder was literally salty grease for the filling, and the pie was sweet but soft, with a spongy crust that covered our mouth with Crisco film – in other words, exactly what I expected from powdered gravy and bulk pecan pie. What I did not expect were two outstanding products that represented the best and worst of its kind that I have ever tasted.

Let’s talk about the good news first: Chef’s Cupboard Fried Onions are fortunately better than French ones. They are more bulbous and crunchy than the original for about half the price. I put them on the cornbread filling and do it again. I hid the rest of the can from my boyfriend, so we have more next week.

Now for the bad news. Canned food always sucks when compared to homemade ones, but Simply Nature’s Low Sodium Organic Chicken Broth is really terrible. I bought it to use in the filling and was puzzled as to what was coming out of the spout – the color and viscosity suggested leftover pasta, not chicken stock. I tasted the spoon out of curiosity and I’m sorry I didn’t. As if that day the preparation of chicken broth was entrusted to a homeopath; I tasted almost nothing, and what I felt was unpleasant, like unsalted low-grade broth. Hardest pass.

If your annual shopping ritual is incomplete without holiday decorations and wildly incompatible pumpkin spice stunt food, look elsewhere; Lord knows Trader Joe’s will prepare you well in both directions. However, for the rest of us, ALDI really is where it is. Getting into ALDI the week before Thanksgiving was just like getting into ALDI any other day, making it – for me at least – the perfect Thanksgiving shopping experience.


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