I'm a military wife who drives 90 minutes with my toddler to shop at Aldi. Here are 12 things I always buy there.

·7 min read
selfie of amanda turner and son shopping at aldi next to a picture of their cart
We make the trek to Aldi twice a month. Amanda Turner
  • I'm an Air Force wife, and I drive 90 minutes with a toddler to buy my favorite products at Aldi.

  • We recently moved from Ohio to Texas, but the store still stocks our favorite snacks and produce.

  • Fan-favorite products, like the breaded chicken breasts in the red bag, are popular for a reason.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

As a millennial mom, I'm practically required to buy at least seven avocados a week.

boxes of avocados at aldi
Aldi has great produce prices. Amanda Turner

We go through a lot of avocados in our house. Whether we're making avocado brownies, chocolate-avocado mousse, or just adding a topping to tacos, they're very versatile.

Avocados can get pricey at some grocery stores, but Aldi stocks perfectly-sized ones for just $0.49 each.

Kirkwood "Red Bag" chicken has a cult following - for good reason.

aldi's red-bag breaded chicken on the shelves
The chicken is a fan-favorite item at the store. Amanda Turner

Fans of Chick-fil-A are constantly on the hunt for chicken-sandwich dupes, and Aldi nails it with the Kirkwood breaded chicken-breast fillets (fondly referred to by fans as "Red Bag Chicken").

The fully-cooked, perfectly seasoned filets have just a hint of spice and pickle flavor.

To get a perfect crunch, place one in an air fryer for 15 minutes, or cook it in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes — I switch to broil for the last couple of minutes to get that perfect fast-food crunch.

A 24-ounce bag with five to six pieces of chicken sells for $6.29.

Yogurt smoothies are an easy grab-and-go option for little ones.

hand holding carton of danimals smoothies at aldi
The smoothies are the perfect size for my toddler. Amanda Turner

Our little man loves Danimals mixed-berry yogurt smoothies, and I love that they have a healthy dose of probiotics.

If you're trying to be mindful of sugar consumption, these might be better as a dessert as they have 9 grams per bottle. It's fine for a snack, but the sugar adds up when my kid has no problem downing two or three at a time.

A six-pack of smoothies costs $1.99.

The Never Any! chicken sausages provide a solid boost of protein and taste great.

hand holding pack of never any chicken sausage at aldi
The sausage is flavorful and lean. Amanda Turner

Our toddler is obsessed with hot dogs, so we try to sub in healthier alternatives whenever we get a chance.

I love the Never Any! brand at Aldi. Its chicken sausages come fully cooked, so they're fast and easy to prepare. I was thrown at first by the idea of apple-flavored chicken sausage, but they taste great and have just a hint of sweetness.

My 3-year-old loves eating these sliced in half-coin pieces for lunch alongside an apple and some peanut butter.

A 12-ounce pack costs $2.89.

We're constantly looking for grab-and-go snacks like string cheese to take to the playground.

simply nature string cheese on the shelves at aldi
String cheese is a quick and portable snack. Amanda Turner

The Simply Nature string-cheese sticks are satisfying and delicious whether you like to pull them apart or bite right into them (which is a constant debate at our house).

I keep them on hand for lunchboxes, afternoons at the park, and long trips in the car. I love the boost of protein and that they're a cost-effective, organic snack.

A 6-ounce package goes for $2.65 at Aldi.

I've never seen a kid go through blueberries like my toddler.

hand holding carton of blueberries at aldi
I can get organic fruit for a lot less at Aldi. Amanda Turner

My child ate two pints of blueberries in one afternoon recently.

We work hard to encourage him to choose fruits and vegetables often, so it's important to me to always have fresh fruit on hand.

Luckily, the pints of organic blueberries at Aldi are only $3.49.

Southerners know that you can't beat Blue Bell ice cream.

carton of blue bell ice cream at aldi
I've been able to pick up Blue Bell ice cream on sale. Amanda Turner

Blue Bell ice cream is a hallmark of summer in the South, and there's no better flavor than the sweet, salty perfection of pecan pralines 'n cream.

My whole family likes to have a scoop about once a week, so I love that it's often on sale at Aldi.

If you're not in the South, we send our regrets as it's a regionally stocked product.

A 64-ounce container of Blue Bell ice cream sells for $6.97, and I've found it on sale for $5.97.

Pre-marinated chicken pieces are perfect for busy weeknights.

hand holding package of chicken fajita kit
The chicken is already cut and marinated. Amanda Turner

Now that we're living in West Texas, we're more obsessed with tacos than ever before.

Aldi sells packages of precut and pre-marinated chicken breasts that we love to toss with sautéed peppers and onions, toasty corn tortillas, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, and a few slices of avocado.

The marinated pieces are $2.69 a pound.

The Little Salad Bar kits at Aldi are always crisp and full of flavor.

hand holding bag of aldi southwest salad kit
The southwest salad blend is my favorite. Amanda Turner

The Little Salad Bar southwest chopped salad kit has roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds); seasoned tortilla strips; and a crunchy mix of cabbage, green onion, cilantro, carrots, and lettuce.

I've been enjoying the different salad-kit options at Aldi for years, and I've yet to get a bag that's anything less than perfectly crisp.

It also makes a great base for taco or fajita salad, and I love to add sliced avocado to the mix for freshness.

The salad kit costs $3.29.

The Savoritz penguin-shaped cheese snacks have been a hit in our house for years.

hand holding bag of aldi penguin crackers
I keep a bag of the crackers in the car for emergency snacking. Amanda Turner

As a military family, we move around a lot, and I'm constantly looking for ways to provide my toddler with a sense of continuity (like enjoying the same snacks across the country). It's also important for me to have non-perishable snacks on hand to stash in places like the car.

The Savoritz little penguins fulfill both needs, and they've saved my toddler's mood more times than I can count. He prefers them to any other cracker-type snack.

They also come in an easy-to-reseal package that's simple for little hands to open.

A bag costs $1.49.

Rice cakes are the perfect fix when my kid needs a little something to hold him over before a meal.

hand holding bag of cheddar rice cakes at aldi
The rice cakes at Aldi are some of the most flavorful I've tried. Amanda Turner

Fit & Active is by far the most flavorful brand of rice cakes I've ever tasted. They're salty and savory with just the right amount of cheese flavor.

Sometimes I toss a handful of them into a bag with pretzels and penguin crackers to make a little snack pack before we hit a hiking trail.

A bag of the rice cakes retails for $1.99.

Steel-cut oats usually take forever, but these Millville ones cook fast.

hand holding package of steel cut oats at aldi
Aldi stocks big containers of quick steel-cut oats. Amanda Turner

My favorite pre-workout meal is a half cup of steel-cut oatmeal topped with cinnamon, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey.

Oatmeal is also our little guy's preferred breakfast, and I love that the quick steel-cut option at Aldi doesn't take an hour on the stove to make.

A 25-ounce container costs $3.09.

Click to keep reading Aldi diaries like this one.

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