It’s time for a brand new feature at That One Mom: Monday Money Tips! I’m always looking for new ways to save money and I thought maybe you would be interested in a few too.
For the longest time, my focus was on providing food for a family of five that not only wouldn’t take everything we earned, but that the kids would actually eat. (When two out of three are picky eaters, it can be difficult!) I discovered Aldi several years ago and it has been one of my favorite places to grocery shop ever since. Hopefully you have one close to you and you can check it out soon. (Also, I’m not an Aldi affiliate…I just love it enough to want to share it with my wonderful readers!)
Today’s shopping trip was part of my effort to start my family on a clean(er) eating program. I stocked up on a lot of produce and a few other odds and ends that we needed. My total after tax was $80.07. Do you want to know what that money bought??
- 2 dozen eggs
- 3 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts
- A whole pineapple
- 10 lbs of potatoes
- Watermelon (one of the heaviest I’ve ever carried too!) *
- Green onions
- Bag of Navel oranges
- Feta crumbles
- 2 cans Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Chicken broth
- Black beans (dried)
- Green peppers (3)
- 16 oz Roma tomatoes
- Jalapeno peppers (whole, in a pack, or peck?)
- Avocados (3)
- Kiwi (container full)
- Head of cauliflower
- Unsalted peanuts
- Banana chips
- Almond Milk
- Whole Milk (Gallon)
- Large container plain Greek yogurt
- Whole cashews
- Whole almonds
- Baking soda
- Cooking spray
- Balsamic vinegar
- Pure cane sugar
- Yeast (6 packs)
I’m fairly certain that I could take that list of food to another local store and not get it for nearly that price. We are probably looking at least $30 or $40 more for the same amount of food.
For the longest time, I didn’t buy all of the produce I wanted. Partly because I knew it would go to waste and partly because it was so pricey. Aldi has the best prices on produce in my area. I do sometimes visit the Flea Market and Farmer’s Markets in the summer for the fresh local stuff, but mostly I stick with Aldi. Since we have all been trying to adopt healthier eating habits, we have a need for more produce and I have a need not to go broke buying it!
There are things we really like to buy at Aldi and things we prefer to get elsewhere. I don’t buy a lot of meat there, because I can generally get a better price at other stores. (I’m hoping to get my freezer cleaned out and find a CSA or local producer and buy meat in bulk.) Some things we prefer from Aldi are:
- Produce. It’s generally just less expensive and fresher. They are also starting to carry a lot of organic varieties. The only problem is that if you are looking for a specific product, you may not necessarily find it that week. You have to be a little versatile!
- Cheese. They have awesome varieties of cheeses that you can’t find anywhere else near us or if you do, they cost an extreme amount of money! It’s the only way I can get a Brie fix and my daughter gets highly upset when they don’t have the Garlic Herb Goat Cheese. She swears her macaroni and cheese is just not the same without it!
- Spiral-sliced ham. I always buy these for Thanksgiving and Christmas, sometimes for Easter, and occasionally just because. The price can’t be beat and they taste wonderful. Of course, I do jazz them up a little. : )
- Marshmallows and Stars cereal. If you are going to eat a sweet cereal, this is the one. I personally think it’s better than the name brand stuff it was modeled after. Plus, they have taken the dyes out of it and replaced it with natural ones (think beet juice). It didn’t hurt the flavor any!
- Foods from other cultures. Let’s face it, I live in a pretty rural area. I can read a recipe with the best of them, but I can’t always find the ingredients and sometimes I just have no idea what it’s supposed to taste like. At least with some of the different foods Aldi offers, I can try new things out and decide if we might want them on the menu rotation.
So there you have my money tip this Monday. I’ve saved quite a bit of money by shopping at Aldi and I highly recommend trying it out if at all possible!
*I did discover an error while I was typing my list out. I was charged for two watermelons instead of one. I’ve never had that problem, so I’m not quite sure what to do about it. To be honest, the watermelons were on sale for $2.99. I probably would’ve paid at least $5 to $6 dollars for one anywhere else, so it’s not really that huge of a deal. Of course, that’s $2.99 I could spend on something else!