One of the biggest things that came out of my move to the Midwest was discovering Aldi.
As a gluten-free mother of three young children, shopping for affordable foods can be a challenge, but Aldi is full of healthy, budget-friendly versions of all my favorite foods.
I’ve found Aldi’s two best brands for my grocery shopping are liveGfree and Simply Nature, but be sure to check the latter’s labels as not all products are gluten free.
I also recommend taking a tour and checking out the various aisles – especially the freezer section – as Aldi often makes random gluten-free purchases throughout the year.
That said, here are my budget grocery chain must-haves:
I take the bread from liveGfree because it is tasty and affordable.
My favorite thing about this liveGfree option is that the slices look like “real” bread. Lots of gluten-free brands have smaller loaves at higher prices, but now I can get an adult-sized sandwich for a fair price.
Breads freeze well, so I usually keep a pack in my freezer.
For an easy breakfast, I stock up on liveGfree’s Cinnamon Raisin Bagels.
Getting the kids ready for school while I get ready for work can make mornings hectic, but these bagels are a quick breakfast I can put in the toaster and eat while I’m crossing the line. parents.
I usually keep the packet in the freezer and the bagels thaw without any issues.
I love the texture of liveGfree pasta.
Some gluten-free noodles can easily become overcooked and mushy, but liveGfree’s rice noodles have a better texture and are harder to boil.
I substitute this alternative in all my favorite pasta dishes.
Aldi also offers good sauces. Simply Nature’s Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce is one of the few I’ve found that has no added sugar.
Simply Nature Blue Corn Tortilla Chips are great with a dip.
I love chips and salsa, and while many tortilla chips are gluten-free, the blue corn ones are also affordable and delicious.
My kids love that they’re purple, and we go through the bags pretty quickly.
The chips are sturdy and don’t break easily, making them perfect for dipping.
I make sure I have Mama Cozzis’ cauliflower Margherita pizza on hand.
Although I miss the fluffy rise of traditional pizza, this frozen cauliflower alternative is a staple in my house.
The crust is thin and crispy, and I don’t have to worry about cross-contamination from a pizza place.
I enjoy a traditional cheese pizza, but sometimes I add my own toppings to make it a little more hearty.
Earthly Grains Basil Pesto Quinoa Bowl is a quick and easy meal.
I keep a supply of these ready-to-eat meals in my pantry for those days when I need a quick lunch on the go.
My local Aldi has two flavors – quinoa with basil pesto and Indian vegetable curry with cauliflower – but the first is my favorite because it tastes like a pasta dish.
These bowls don’t make a mess and are easy to microwave for work. Plus, quinoa keeps me feeling full all day.
Fit and Active’s Caramel Corn Rice Cakes are one of my favorite snacks.
Somehow I managed to convince my kids that these rice cakes are special treats.
I found the Fit and Active products to be relatively cheaper, and this snack is available at my Aldi in a few flavors.
After a tough run, I usually put nut butter — and sometimes chocolate chips — on one to satisfy my sweet tooth and replenish my carbs and protein.
The perfect bars are good to keep on hand for busy days.
These bars are, in fact, perfect.
Perfect Bars are a tasty way to get protein and calories. They usually fuel my long runs or are packed in my diaper bag if I know our family adventure may last for a while.
They come in several flavors and are made with peanut or almond butter.
Although they are stored in the refrigerated section, they can be stored for several hours outside the refrigerator.
I use Gay Lea’s Coconut Whipped Topping on my coffee.
My body doesn’t like dairy, so I try to consume as many alternatives as possible.
This canned coconut whipped topping contains no additional additives and is similar in texture to its dairy counterpart.
On weekends, my morning coffee isn’t complete without a bountiful addition of Leslie Knope-level canned cream.