Aldi products with horrible reviews

If you can get past needing a quarter to access the shopping cart and having to remember to bring your own reusable shopping bags, Aldi can be a great place to find healthy and delicious food at low prices. Their shelves are stocked with items like cheese, chocolate, and yes, wines that are so delicious that you won't even miss your old brand.

Like Trader Joe's, Aldi is building their loyal following with the help of their private label brand partners that give customers access to healthy and high quality food options at lower prices. Although most of Aldi's products are amazing, there are a few things that some shoppers feel just don't cut it. Even the most loyal Aldi fans have a few things on their list that they just don't buy from the German discount grocery chain, for one reason or another.

These are some of the Aldi items that have received less than glowing reviews from shoppers, so try them at your own risk. But remember, if you do try them and aren't happy with your purchase, you can take advantage of Aldi's Twice as Nice Guarantee, which allows you return any Aldi food item that you are not completely satisfied with for a full refund — as well as a replacement product.

The produce can be pitiful

When it comes to finding the best deal on produce, Aldi is at the top of the list. According to Kitchn, Aldi's produce often outperforms other major retail chains such as Costco and Trader Joe's on price, making it a whole lot easier for your family to eat healthy. Living Well Spending Less adds that Aldi often gives customers deals on tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango, which generally tend to be more expensive.

But Aldi's produce gets mixed reviews, and there are enough bad ones out there to make you think twice before you load up your shopping cart with fresh fruits and vegetables. Some shoppers claim that Aldi's produce has a tendency to be overripe in the store, which basically guarantees that your items won't have a very long life inside of your fridge once you get them home. Penny Hoarder described Aldi's produce as scary looking, describing the selection as past its prime and saying "fruit flies were buzzing around the produce section." And one reviewer complained on the Consumer Affairs website of seeing mold on the produce in the store.  Wise Bread suggests shoppers always check all of their produce for spoilage before heading to the register to avoid being disappointed.

The cereal doesn't hold up to the competition

Aldi has a selection of store brand cereals that are comparable to some of the most popular name brands on the market. But for some reviewers, Millville, Aldi's brand of name brand cereal knockoffs don't come close to the real thing on taste. The Money Saving Mom thinks the flavor of Millville's version of Cheerios is substandard to the name brand. Commenters on Frugal Girl agree, adding that the Aldi version of Cheerios tend to be "hard and stuck together."

Similarly, a commenter on Wise Bread said Aldi's version of Raisin Bran was not generous with the raisins, and added "the bran flakes taste like cardboard."

If you don't mind a different taste, you may be tempted to switch to the Aldi brand of cereals to save money on your grocery bill. Millville cereals tend to be cheaper than their name brand counterparts. But as Kiplinger suggests, Aldi's prices are their everyday prices. And since the chain doesn't accept coupons, you may be better off taking advantage of sales and coupons for your favorite name brand varieties at your local grocery store.

And if you're still on the fence about swapping out your favorite cereal, you may want to consider the nutritional value of some of Aldi's store brands. The Aldi Reviewer points out that some of the Millville brands have a higher sugar content, much like their name brand counterparts. Some are even higher. For example, Aldi's version of Corn Pops has 15 grams of sugar in each serving, compared to 12 grams of sugar in the Kellogg's version.

Save your money on the soda

Loyal soda drinkers can easily identify the flavors of their favorite drinks, and aren't often willing to sacrifice on that taste, even if it means saving a few bucks. So it should come as no surprise that many of Aldi's Summit sodas have a hard time stacking up to their fellow bubbly brands.

According to Kiplinger, Aldi's store brand sodas don't taste great when compared to most of the mainstream Coke and Pepsi products. They add that you can often find better deals on the name-brand soda varieties at other grocery chains.

The Aldi Reviewer doesn't mind swapping out their Sprite and A & W Root Beer for the Aldi brand counterparts. But they draw the line at Aldi's Summit Cola, which doesn't have much flavor compared to Coke and Pepsi. And if that wasn't bad enough, a serving of Summit Cola has at least 10 more calories than its name brand competition.

The frozen sushi is just as bad as it sounds

If you've spent any time in the freezer section at Aldi, you may have noticed sushi rolls by Fusia, the store's brand of Asian food products. Each package comes with 15 pieces of sushi along with a package of soy sauce and wasabi. Just defrost the frozen rolls on your counter, in a bowl of water, or in the microwave to help you create the complete sushi experience.

Sushi lovers may be intrigued by the idea of having a package of shrimp and avocado rolls on-hand in the freezer in case of a late night craving. And it is possible to find great sushi in your local grocery store. But if you love sushi, you'll probably be disappointed with this supermarket alternative.

The Aldi Nerd describes the sushi rice as cold and mushy. And the Reddit reviews range from acceptable to pretty gross, which when it comes to seafood may give you pause. If you're a true sushi lover, you may be better off just ordering delivery from your favorite restaurant.  

The frozen pizza could use a little more on top

A frozen pizza can be a quick and easy option for dinner when you can't be bothered with chopping or simmering anything. But if you've ever had a bad frozen pizza, you know that in order to make sure dinner isn't a complete #fail, it's important to choose the right brand.

Several reviewers have said that Aldi's Mama Cozzi frozen pizzas are a little lacking in the flavor department, which may be worth overlooking when you're getting a good deal. But that argument doesn't hold up when you consider that at some Aldi locations around the country, Mama Cozzi pizzas can be more expensive than other well-known brands such as DiGiorno, as mentioned on Thrillist.

The folks at Cheat Sheet agree. Not only do they believe that Mama Cozzi frozen pizzas have little flavor, but they also go on to add that the brand definitely skimps on the toppings. Let's face it, if you're going to eat a frozen pizza, the last thing in the world you want is a naked crust.

For a tastier pizza night, Cheat Sheet prefers the Take & Bake pizza options in the refrigerated section over the frozen variety — and we would have to agree.

The paper products just don't hold up

Shopping for paper products can be tricky. Finding that sweet spot where quality and affordability meet is tough. You don't want to blow your entire grocery budget on napkins and toilet paper. But having to use a whole roll of paper towels to clean up a juice spill isn't good for the environment or your wallet.

Aldi offers shoppers an alternative to more expensive name brand paper goods with their own line of products. But many shoppers who have tried them out don't think the products stack up to the competition. Frugally Blonde pointed out that Aldi's paper products tend to be thin and scratchy. The folks at PureWow weighed in on the quality of the toilet paper, describing it as thin and not very absorbent.  

If you're looking to save money without having to sacrifice on the quality of your paper products, you're better off shopping sales or stocking up at your favorite warehouse club, as Cheat Sheet suggests.

The coffee flavors just aren't quite right

If you've already cut back on your trips to Starbucks by brewing your own coffee at home and are still looking for ways to save a few dollars, you may have considered swapping your name brand beans for one of Aldi's store brands. But before you ditch your favorite coffee beans for good, you should know that some shoppers believe that Aldi's coffees don't stack up against their name brand alternatives. The folks at LifeHacker made their dislike for Aldi coffees pretty clear, simply saying, "it sucks."

Kayla and J.R. Cox who blog about their favorite brews at Coffee Coffee Coffee reviewed all of Aldi's coffee brands. They didn't have too many nice things to say about the flavor of any of 11 varieties they tried. They described Aldi's Daily Basics brand of coffee as cardboard and dry. They noted that the Barissimo Fair Trade Dark gave them a dry mouth feeling.

Living Well Spending Less notes that true coffee lovers would be better off spending a little more money on name brand beans.

The toiletry items aren't worth the price

When you're short on time (and money), you need a reliable one stop shop for your groceries and toiletry needs that won't blow your budget. Aldi does have a selection of medicine cabinet staples such as toothpaste and deodorant. But an overwhelming majority of reviewers believe that it is possible to find a better deal on your toiletry products at your local drug store or big box chain.

Julie at Frugally Blonde writes that Aldi's products just don't cut it. She says she prefers to shop sales and use coupons at drug stores for her beauty products. According to Kiplinger, the stores stock shelves with a limited selection of national brands, which can make it hard for you to compare on price or product features.

Many reviewers believe Aldi's toiletry products don't match up on price either. BestLife points out that Aldi rarely puts any of the items on sale. And since Aldi doesn't accept coupons, it's possible to get a better deal on the very same name brand product when you have the opportunity.

The cookie dough doesn't cut it

A good package of cookie dough or box cake mix can be a huge convenience when you find out that you've been chosen for the job of making treats for your kid's class the night before the bake sale. But according to several product reviews, if you don't have time to totally DIY, Aldi isn't the best place to shop for your baking needs.

Living Well Spending Less noted that the bad flavor of Aldi's refrigerated cookie dough isn't worth the cost or the calories, especially when it can nab it for cheaper at other grocery stores with sales and coupons. And according to Wise Bread, the dough burned easily when you bake it and tasted like it was loaded with additives.

The bad reviews don't stop with the cookies. A reviewer on LifeHacker was underwhelmed by the flavor of the Baker's Choice Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix. While it is cheaper than other well-known brownie mix brands, this mix doesn't blow the competition away when it comes to flavor.

Dishwashing gel leaves a lot behind

Like many of their products, Aldi's Radiance dish washing products are often priced lower than most of their name brand competition. And reviewers are satisfied with the powder dishwasher pods and dishwashing liquid for the most part. But unfortunately, they don't have the same love for the Radiance detergent in gel form. Many users claim that the gel doesn't actually clean your dishes… which of course is the whole point.

Aldi's Radiance Automatic Dishwashing Gel often leaves smudging and food residue on dishes after several washing cycles, according to Aldi Reviewer. Reddit users agree. Although they don't mind the dishwasher pods, the general consensus on the site is that Aldi's dishwasher gel just doesn't get the job done.

You may save money on the bottle,  but you'll likely end up using it a lot faster because you'll have to run your dishwasher more than once to get your dishes completely clean.

The chips aren't a great swap

When you're stocking up on snacks for the big game, you may have considered swapping out your Lay's and Doritos for a less expensive Aldi alternative. After all, saving money on snacks leaves more in your bar budget.   

You may think you're doing a good thing for your guests, but beware, many of Aldi's store brand potato chips are not the best game day substitution. According to Cheat Sheet, those snackers who are die-hard fans of the name brand varieties won't enjoy the taste of Aldi's store brand version.

Some shoppers have gone to the consumer advocacy website Pissed Consumer to complain about the quality of Clancys chips. Most reviews claim the chips have a burnt taste and are loaded with salt. Living Well Spending Less adds that shoppers will feel like they're being ripped off when they open the bag and discover that it is mostly full of air.

The sandwich bags are hard to keep closed

You may not be loyal to any particular brand of sandwich bags on the market, but quality can make all of the difference when it comes to keeping your sandwiches, snacks, and other small items secure while you travel. And according to several product reviews, Aldi's Boulder brand of zip top sandwich bags aren't exactly up to the challenge.

According to Brandefy, the sandwich bags are among the worst of the stores household products. They describe Aldi's Boulder sandwich bags as being harder to close than Ziploc's version — a product flaw that could lead to an unwanted mess if your bag is not sealed properly. Amazon reviews have confirmed how hard the bags are to close and how their flimsiness can lead to leaks.

Frugally Blonde complains that the Boulder brand of sandwich bags have a weird plastic smell that makes her wary of putting any of her food inside. She writes that it's possible to find better deals on sandwich bags at other grocery chains.

Kitty litter is a mess

Choosing the right litter can mean the difference between finding a manageable mess or a stinky pile of slop in your cat's litter box. And although cat owners may be looking for ways to save money on this important pet supply, they know that when it comes to scooping their cat's poop, they definitely can't afford to skimp on quality. 

Aldi jumped into the kitty litter game with their exclusive store brand, Fine Feline. Back in 2012, some reviewers on Pissed Consumer claimed the litter didn't do a great job of clumping around liquid waste, leaving them with smelly litter boxes. Aldi has since swapped out Fine Feline for the Heart to Tail brand, but it seems that the grocery chain has missed the mark again. Independent product review site Aldi Reviewer doesn't think the Heart to Tail scoopable cat litter stands up to its name brand equivalents. Their reviewer complains of the dust and the smell of the litter. They add that the Heart to Tail litter doesn't clump the way it should, just like the Fine Feline brand did. 

Heart to Tail is a cheaper alternative, but you may save yourself a cleaning headache by sticking with your favorite name brand cat litter.