Sorry, Trader Joe’s. We’re cheating on you with Aldi, a magical store that’s keeping us stocked with amazing, affordable groceries. The German chain is gaining popularity in the U.S., with 1,500 locations, and another 500 stores slated to open in 2018. OK, there are some drawbacks—you have to bag your own groceries, pay if you use any plastic or paper bags, and put down a 25-cent deposit to use a cart (ooo, so European). But it’s a small price to pay for great deals on cheese, sweet potatoes and tons more. Here’s what you should definitely buy at Aldi—and a few items you can easily nab somewhere else.

RELATED: The 10 Best Cheeses at Trader Joe’s, Hands Down, No Contest

aldi eggs
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Buy: Eggs

A dozen eggs are a serious steal at Aldi—they’re typically even cheaper than our usual go-to, Trader Joe’s. Whether you’re buying a basic crate of white eggs or brown cage-free organic, you’ve come to the right place. 

RELATED: What’s the Difference Between Brown and White Eggs?

aldi toiletpaper
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Skip: Toilet Paper

Welp, sometimes you get what you pay for. Aldi’s generic toilet paper is a great deal (typically four rolls for $1), but it’s thin, rough and not exactly absorbent. Hey, it does the job for 25-cent toilet paper, but maybe stick with a name brand for this one.

aldi onions
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Buy: Pantry Staples

Aldi has an awesome selection of basics—from spices to canned goods to root veggies with a long shelf life, like onions, garlic and ginger. Best of all, they’re usually less expensive than at traditional grocery stores and often available in bulk. Win-win.

RELATED: The 5 Best Bottles of Olive Oil You Can Buy at the Grocery Store

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Skip: Kitchen Tools

Fun fact: Some Aldi stores are stocked with pots, pans and cooking gadgets. But before you outfit your entire kitchen, know that these items are basic and tend to be lower quality than what you’d get in a cooking specialty store. They’re great if you’re in a pinch and need a pair of salad tongs for your barbecue tonight, but not so great for everyday use.

aldi cheese

Buy: Cheese

We usually swear by the Trader Joe’s cheese aisle, but Aldi is really giving our favorite place on earth a run for its money. The generic brands are just as tasty as the more expensive stuff, and most of them are under $3 a piece. This calls for an epic cheese plate.

aldi guac
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Skip: Generic Snacks

The price is definitely right, but Aldi’s snacks don’t have the same pizzazz as the Mini Cinnamon Sugar Churros and Speculoos Cookie Butter from our beloved Trader Joe’s. And if you use coupons, you’re likely to score similar deals on tortilla chips and dip at any traditional grocery store.

aldi veggies
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Buy: Organic Produce

We used to steer clear of Aldi’s fruits and veggies, but in an effort to keep up with Whole Foods’ stellar produce selection, Aldi has been increasing the stock of organic produce at many of its stores. It’s now a destination for organic kale, heirloom tomatoes and tons more at great prices. 

RELATED: 5 Foods You Should Always Buy at Whole Foods (and 3 You Shouldn’t)

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