Today is our final day of talking about saving money on groceries (although, no doubt, we’ll revisit this topic again!). If you missed any of the posts last week, be sure to read Save Money on Real Food with Your Grocery Budget Toolbox, How to Save Money on Groceries without Clipping Coupons, 6 Alternatives to the Grocery Store, and Save BIG on Natural Care Products at Vitacost.com.
Have I ever mentioned that Aldi is one of my favorite stores? Yes, that’s right–not Whole Foods, not Earthfare, not even Trader Joe’s–but Aldi!
I started shopping at Aldi my first year married (7 1/2 years ago). Back then, the contents of my grocery cart included the likes of boxed macaroni and cheese, low-fat yogurt and canned cream of chicken soup.
And I simply loved how much money Aldi saved me as opposed to shopping at other mainstream grocery chains.
Now, when our family switched to eating real, whole foods, I realized that I could no longer do ALL our shopping at Aldi because the natural and organic selection there is limited (but growing!). Instead, my current routine is to shop at Aldi first, use my debit card to get cash back there for whatever amount is left in our grocery fund for the month, then go to BJ’s or any other stores I frequent to buy our food for the rest of the month.
Although you cannot use any coupons at Aldi, I’ve found that the items are much, much lower than at other stores anyway. You really just don’t need coupons.
I cannot vouch for Aldis nation or worldwide, but the one in my town is very clean and offers good-quality produce (most of the time–as always, check for bruises and mold before you leave the store!).
Aldi also recently released a limited-time natural and organic selection! The employees at my store said this is for testing purposes to see whether or not people will buy it. SO, go buy it!
So what do I buy at Aldi?
Check out my list of real, whole foods I get there–along with a few cheats ;):
My Aldi Grocery List:
- Raw Almonds
- Dried Fruit/Raisins
- Real Maple Syrup (although it’s Grade A..it’s pure!)
- Rolled Oats
- Steel-Cut Oats
- Raw Walnuts or Pecans
- Nirtrate/Nitrite-Free Chicken Sausage
- Domestically-Grown Grapes
- Avocados (sometimes for as little as $.49 each!)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Canned Salmon with bones (although I am sure the cans have BPA–compromise here)
- Jarred Salsa
- Olive Oil
- Almond Milk
- Dried Pinto Beans
- Frozen Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon
- Frozen Tilapia
- Frozen Shrimp
- Frozen Broccoli
- Frozen Peas
- Frozen Green Beans
- Frozen Asparagus (cooks up like fresh!)
- Frozen Stir-Fry Veggies (I toss the sauce packet that comes in the bag and use my own seasonings…This is our “convenience” meal!)
- White Sugar (we ONLY use this for hubby’s sweet tea!)
- Plain Rice Cakes (compromise because they aren’t organic…a favorite snack for the girls)
- Veggie Chips (another compromise but a good treat for the girls)
- Cracked Pepper Potato Chips (“treat” for hubby)
- Tortilla Chips made with organic blue corn
- Paper Towels
- Toilet Paper
- Sandwich/Freezer Bags
- Aluminum Foil
Other Reasonable Food to Find at Aldi
While I don’t regularly get these items at Aldi, these are items that, although not organic, are acceptable when making the switch from processed to more whole foods:
- Honey (it’s not raw, so better to bake with it)
- Baking and cooking staples, like spices, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder, etc.
- Hormone-Free Milk (from cows not treated with rbst hormone)
- Conventional Eggs (better than no eggs at all!)
- Hormone-Free Cheese
- White Vinegar (We purchase it in bulk at BJ’s…this is a small bottle.)
- Canned Beans
- Canned Tomatoes
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Canned Pumpkin
- Natural Applesauce (no high fructose corn syrup…check the labels…they carry two kinds!)
- Natural Peanut Butter
Aldi always has some kind of special buy going on! I was told at my store that the buys are to see if there is a demand for new items. Currently, Aldi is testing out an organic line, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
Among other things, this line includes:
- Organic raw milk cheese
- Organic yogurt
- Organic canned tomatoes
- Organic pasta sauce (although it does contain soy)
- Organic apple juice
- Organic chicken broth
- Organic extra virgin olive oil
- and more!
Update: On July 10, 2013, Aldi is also offering organic, grassfed beef!
Have you ever shopped at Aldi? What do you get at Aldi?
Resources for grocery savings:
Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post.