How I Keep My Grocery Bill Low. A Food Shopping Trip To Aldi.

It’s a well-known fact that I love Aldi. Not only do I shop at my local Aldi, but I search for an Aldi whenever I travel. I just recently returned from a Florida vacation, and yes, I bought all my vacay food needs at a nearby Aldi. I served myself breakfast, lunch and the occasional dinner for three and a half weeks for only $105 (that’s $4.38 a day!)

florida aldi.jpg
This is the Aldi I shopped at while in Sarasota Florida.

Since I started food shopping at Aldi over 4-5 years ago, my current food bill has dropped over 18.3% from $600 a month (for two people) down to $490. By simply buying the same exact food at Aldi vs a large supermarket chain I not only eat better, but I live better. For less money. The nearest Aldi to my home is 12 miles away. When you’re a frugal fanatic like me, you calculate how far your nearest, cost-efficient grocery store is. The 24 mile round trip costs me a gallon of gas @$2.39, plus a $1.25 one-way bridge toll. That’s a total of $3.64 I have to spend before I even buy a single-stick of food. So, I had better be wise and frugal and make careful food choices accordingly.

Thankfully, where Aldi is, so are other stores, so I make it a lovely afternoon of shopping to make the trip worthwhile.  Hubby loves coming with me because we have a lot of fun. Yes! Saving money is a lot of fun! There’s a Wal Mart, Target, Dollar Store, Macy’s, Panera and McDonald’s (for a quick bite, if need be) several gas stations (that sell gas 30 cents less) and some other grocery stores such as Hannaford, Shop Rite and a local family-owned super gourmet chain (Similar to Whole Foods) that offers local meats, poultry, seafood, veggies and fruits (as well as a bakery to die for) deli department, chocolate & candy department, pre-cooked meals (their soups are divine!) and selected specialty treasures from all around the world!

I buy my cut-up whole chickens(@$2.49 lb), hand-made turkey sausage (@$3.49 lb) from this gourmet store vs Aldi because I do like to support our local farmers. I buy my garlic here vs Aldi’s imports from China and when in season, I get my apples, fresh strawberries, tomatoes and just-picked vegetables at the gourmet store. I pay a high premium for these products but I don’t care about price when I am in this store. I am supporting my local purveyors and without them, we’d all starve IMHO. I do buy chicken cutlets ($1.69 lb) and tenderloins at Aldi because the quality is good and the prices are super low. Aldi is known for their superb pork products (baby back ribs, pulled pork) so I get my pork fix filled at Aldi. My monthly food budget of $490 includes what I purchase at this gourmet store. The money I save at Aldi, I feel, offsets what I spend else where. As much as I love Aldi, I can not buy EVERYTHING there.

A reader of my blog, Penny, had written to me a few weeks ago asking me to talk about what I buy at Aldi, what I like about Aldi and how much do I spend. Since I just got back from my vacay, I did a super shopping spree this morning, with hubby in tow. Rather than just talk or write about it, I decided that pictures speak 1000 words. So, I took a few shots of my fridge, pantry and shelves which I hope will give you a good idea of what I buy at Aldi. Practically everything I get is healthy, organic when possible or Fit & Active. I do go to Shop Rite twice a year, when they have their famous Can Can sale. (click here to find out how I shop the Can Can sale) I buy cases of Tuttorosso tomatoes @.77 a can, Ronzoni pastas @.77 a box, Botticelli virgin olive oil @$7.99 for 67.6 fl oz, assorted cans of beans @.59 a can. I buy a six month supply of each. We’re Italian and we cook a big Italian dinner every Sunday, so these staples are necessary to buy in bulk. The beans? Not so much, so I have been buying them back at Aldi.

IMG_2018
I love this butter! Very healthy with the olive oil & sea salt. Hubby loves Aldi dark chocolate (85%). Look below. I have every Aldi mustard, mayo, condiment they sell!
aldi.jpg - 1
Everything Aldi. Except 2 items from gourmet store (Esti & sunflower bread) but only because Aldi was out of it.
aldi.jpg - 2
This is my freezer. It’s small (we’re only 2 people) Frozen meats, poultry, pork (Aldi has the BEST pork products) are in the back. I keep a running inventory in my head.
aldi.jpg - 3
Frozen strawberries & blueberries for our smoothies which we make with Aldi unsweetened Vanilla almond milk. Some frozen veggies on my freezer door.
aldi.jpg - 4
All my spices, coffee (100% Colombian we mix with decaf), salad dressings, Asian sauces are from Aldi. Many condiments too, except sesame oil, rice vinegar and some foreign seasonings.
aldi.jpg - 5
Love cooked oats on a cold winter day (with a dab of my fave butter and a tablespoon of Aldi brown sugar), stacks of unsalted nuts for snacks, un-buttered/un-salted fresh popcorn kernels for our air popper,  hubby loves oil sprays. I like the real thing: BUTTER!
aldi.jpg - 6
Some of the many, many Aldi food staples I keep in the pantry. I try to be ready for anything! Even though we eat fresh, I keep a pantry of canned foods for when a catastrophe hits.
aldi.jpg - 7
I used to get Shop Rite beans, but have switched over to Aldi.
aldi.jpg - 8
As mentioned, I buy Ronzoni pasta on sale for .77 a box. Here’s a secret: Aldi pasta is made by Ronzoni @.99 a box!
aldi.jpg - 9
I also buy cleaning products, sponges, toilet paper, paper towels at Aldi, as well as Pantene shampoo & conditioner, face soap, toothpaste, dog snacks & treats.
aldi cold cuts
quick shot of the inside of my deli meat draw; all cold cuts are organic, cheeses are low fat when possible, brick & pull cheeses make great snacks with our high-protein lifestyle diets

You won’t find any bread, cake, chips or crap in my house. (in the summer I buy frozen fruit bars) Aldi sells these products but we don’t buy it. The choice is up to you. Hubby has to watch his weight because of his heart condition. I’m happy to report that I lost 15 pounds recently and am well on my way of living a much better and healthier lifestyle (yes, I’ll do a post on it very soon). People used to think Aldi sold low-quality foods (I’m guilty as charged) but they have happily kept up with modern times. None of their foods contain high fructose corn syrup and Aldi is very cautious about food dyes and preservatives. They carry gluten-free products as well as many organic choices and items from their Fit & Active line. All while saving you money!

You can follow Aldi on Facebook and other social media outlets.

I just like to follow Aldi. Period.

End of story.

 

Advertisements

26 comments

  1. Love Aldi too. With my new Rosacea diet restrictions it eliminated all the cheeses and yogurt except cottage cheese and theirs is pretty good and reasonably priced. I go to Friehofers thrift store and now pick up Arnold’s organic breads $3 for 3. ShopRite January can can sale Ronzoni prices were even cheaper at 49 cents a package so I stock piled more then usual. I also love Arabica coffee so I picked up Chock full of Nuts 100% Arabica Dark New York Roast At can can sale. My go to snack is Aldi Organic Blue tortilla chips. 😋 congratulations on fifteen pounds weight loss. I guess eliminating the reduced bake goods really makes a difference and the increase exercise. Lara

    Like

    • Lara, it was the bread and desserts that really packed on the pounds for me. It took me a while, but I have eliminated bread & baked goods out of my life. Ditto for sugar and candy. How could I have been so stupid?
      Anyway a low car/low sugar, high protein diet with fruit & veggies seems to be working for me. I just want to go back to who I was.
      Were the Ronzoni pastas .49 in January? I forgot. If so, then that is what I paid. We’re still have pasta/carb Sundays, so it’s a good thing.
      Thank you, as always, for your comments.

      Like

  2. Just pulled out the last quart of turkey soup base from the freezer and four more packages of frozen turkey meat and I will be doing a major stockpile when the Easter sales start at ShopRite. Looking forward to getting fresh spring lamb and usually get turkey on sale too during the Easter sales. ShopRite also usually has ricotta and mozzarella at super great prices. Lara

    Like

    • LAMB! LAMB! LAMB! Oh goodness, how I love lamb on Easter Sunday. Especially with mint jelly! Aldi sells lamb but it’s usually gone in 3 seconds! I always have to buy it someplace else. Guess Shop Rite it will be!
      Can’t wait!

      Like

  3. For the first time last year I got it at Stop N Shop for the unbelievable price for a boneless leg of lamb $2.49 lb. The Tuesday after Easter! Bought three of them! We looked every time we went and they had it later in the month too! I did one on my barbecue spit like my Dad used to do! Heavenly!
    Since this morning I checked the grocery ads and the Market 32 sale prices starting Sunday are beating Aldi and ShopRite prices! So I will pick up roasting chicken at 79 cents a pound and corned beef at $1.69, Bogo on potatoes, onions and carrots. Cabbage at 39 cents a pound. Lara

    Like

    • You rock, woman! If you hear of a good deal on that lamb please drop me an email marked VIP RUSH! LOL……..I don’t have a Market 32 here. Ugh. That chicken price is awesome! We can’t have the corned beef because its too salty for us BUT those other prices rock! You go girl. I love hearing about low prices! Thanks.

      Like

    • I was sitting on the Xfinity free $200 gift card from my 8GPlus IPHONE and had a light bulb moment! I could probably get at least $400 worth of groceries for free! Getting ready to go grocery shopping at Market 32 great sale. What’s Better then FREE Groceries. Especially items you don’t get for free- meat, produce, and dairy. I use my frugalista method of Buying the sale items and lost leader items and combining this with digital coupons, store coupons and bonus buys. I stopped into the library and went through the manufacture coupons and found a Land o Lakes eggs 50 cent coupon which was double on the bonus buy deal of $1.47 so it became 47 cents only off my free debit card, Twenty minutes at the library saved me $20 bucks in deals and coupons. Between two groceries stores the full retail of $165 dollars became only $55 off my $200 gift card so $145 left for future groceries. So the debit card has increase in value for me right now to $310! My freezer is almost full again, Love a bargain, Sincerely, Lara

      Like

  4. We don’t have Aldi out west where I live. I buy a majority of our organic veg/fruit/meats at Costco and any other items from Winco, an employee-owned company I like to support. Price comparison is definitely a great money saver! Curious. You said you don’t buy bread but there is a loaf of bread in your freezer photo?

    Like

    • I don’t buy bread. But hubby does. That loaf is his. Note: since I started a low carb diet, he has sort of joined me. Thus the bread is in the freezer.
      I haven’t been inside a costco for years. When my kids were still living at home, we used to shop there all the time.
      Thanks for your comment, Elle.

      Like

  5. Thank you so much for the Aldi post today! You did a really great job and I enjoyed reading and seeing what you keep in your kitchen. I try and shop at an Aldi’s whenever I am in a nearby town that has one. My small town only has a Piggly Wiggly and a Cash Saver. We use to have a Save a Lot but they closed the store here a couple of years ago. I am trying more and more items from Aldi and so far I especially like their cheese products and canned goods. I see that you use their auto dish tabs. I wondered how well they work–and after seeing that you use them I will give them a try. Will also give their pork products a try too. Enjoyed this post very much. Penny S.

    Like

  6. Happy Sunday! Snowing lightly here! But eventually changing over to rain. March has definitely come in as a Lion! Yesterday we went to Mystic Aquarium to celebrate my Birthday with my kids and grandkids. We postponed to March to take advantage of Connecticut Science Membership affiliate Free admission benefits – a savings of $156 for two adults and two children. You can go as many times in March as you want so we will try to bring my two year old back again at the end of March with his Mom. As a Grandma I like to give great yearly memberships to my grandkids . The Connecticut Science museum is for four and I put my daughter and myself as the adult so I take the grandkids on week days when I have them and my daughter uses it with her DH on special weekend events. I take advantage of their free affiliates months to attend the Beardsley Zoo, ( September and October), Norwalk Maritime Museum (January) and Mystic Aquarium in March. I use my Bank America debit card for their first Sunday of the month museum program to get into the NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art and Rhode Island Children’s museum. Taking advantage of membership and their affiliate programs have saved me thousands of dollars over my ten years of grandparenting. My grandkids have gotten great stimulating and fun memories with Grammie at a fraction of the regular admission charges. We do other free activities library programs and their passes to State beaches and parks, also Multiple playgrounds and hiking trails. What reasonable activities do you like to do with your grant? Sincerely. Lara

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lara. We did have a membership at the local Children’s Museum here but I found the place to be too boring. It was the same thing over and over again. Instead, we like to go to the local library. There’s always story time and other fun things for toddlers and children to do. It’s always free too! Both my grandkids live very close to local parks, so we utilize those a lot. Plus there is a great children’s park here in my neighborhood when they visit. The playground is right next to the pool, so that’s also very good. This year the town is fixing up the kiddie pool so I am certain my grands will be there! There are a lot of activities here for the kids (i.e. Sinterklauss) and many of them are free (i.e. apple picking farms).
      One of the nicest things we all have been doing lately as a family is go to Broadway shows together. It’s expensive but so worth it! So far we have seen Alladin and Frozen is next. Plus we saw the Rockettes Christmas show.
      Right now we are in the middle of planning a family vacation to DisneyWorld for next year. Oldest grand will be 6 and we feel she’s old enough to appreciate and remember DisneyWorld. Hubby still has 8 free entrance tickets to any worldwide Disney park (non-expiring) so that will offset our expenses. For the 12 years hubby worked for Disney, my kids had free access to anything and everything Disney. They walked in and out of any Disney park with ease. We went every year. Plus we had a Disney timeshare in Vero Beach that we used every February. They saw all the Broadway Shows (i.e. Lion King) all the movies, attended all the parties with Mickey and Minnie. All for free. I don’t think any child could have grown up more spoiled or privileged than those two!

      Like

  7. Cindi, Wonderful article with pictures! Just what I need to share with those that haven’t tried Aldi I the savings that can be found there. Question for you- how do you find the taste of the Aldi brand columbian coffee as compared to Folgers or maybe BJ’s Warehouse 100% Columbian or Kirkland at Costco (if you have tried those brands)? I tried ground coffee from Aldi before, didn’t care for it, but it may be my taste buds or perhaps another brand they carried then.
    Thanks for your time – Janet

    Like

    • The 100% Columbia coffee from Aldi is a recent addition. We love it. We mix it half & half with Aldi’s decaf. I haven’t tried Kirkland or Costco’s coffee but we did drink Folgers before finding Aldi (in fact we still keep the empty plastic Folger can to mix our half & half personal decaf mix). We prefer Aldi’s. Aldi also has many other coffees to choose from. Most are fair trade, Arabica, French roast, imports from Germany. Aldi also sells Bustelo, which we use to make cappuccino’s. If I had the extra money I’d buy Aldi’s breakfast blend. That rocks! But at $3.99 for only a few ounces (I think 11?), it can’t beat out the large can (24.2 oz) of 100% Columbian for only $5.79. The decaf (Aldi only sells one brand of decaf) is only $2.79. If you’ve ever priced out decaf, you’d know that is a fabulous price for 11.3 oz.
      I hope this info helps.
      We used to use a Mr. Coffee coffeemaker but just upgraded to a Cuisinart. After 10+ years with Mr. Coffee, it was time for a newer model.

      Like

  8. Cindi,
    Thanks for the info. I know what I am adding to my next Aldi trip. The store I go to in Exton PA recently expanded so it should be there since they have more room for more products. We too have a Cuisinart and previously had a Mr. Coffee (still get it out for my sister drinking straight decaf). I will raise my first cup of
    Aldi 100% columbian when i buy it to you!
    Enjoy the reality of your posts, don’t stop – we need opinions such as yours!!!

    Like

    • Thanks J Grashof. Enjoy your cup of coffee! It’ll taste ever so much better when you know you are saving money with each and every drop! Our local Aldi has shut down for expansion. Should be back open in a month. When they do re-open, they will be including 125 more items! Can’t wait. In the interim we’re shopping at the next nearest Aldi, which has already been expanded. We tried the fresh salmon. It was to die for! PERFECT! Hubby baked it in the oven till an inside temp of 145F degrees. Delish with just a simple drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper.
      Good luck. Thank you again for your comment.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.