I grew up in a name-brand grocery house. My family was fortunate enough to be able to afford all of the name brand stuff–Kellogg’s or General Mills cereal, Roberts Dairy products, Nestle chocolate chips…you get the picture. This was all I had ever known. Before J and I got married, I would spend about $60 a week on myself for groceries, which always included fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein.
Growing up, I knew a select few people who shopped at Aldi’s, but other than that, I thought Aldi’s was for people who couldn’t afford groceries at a ‘normal store’. I thought Aldi’s was for poor people.
As I have grown up, my views on the world that we live in are ever-evolving. I still don’t have a stance on the organic versus non-organic products, and sometimes I eat brown eggs and sometimes I eat white eggs. When J and I got married, we faced the fact that we would essentially be living off of one income while I am finishing school. This semester included a 15-hour course load coupled with over 100 hours of community service, and my spring semester holds and 18-hour course load and a research assistant position. Needless to say, I don’t exactly have the time to work.
My appreciation for J providing for us and supporting me while finishing school (one of my biggest dreams) is outstanding. I really could not be where I am right now if it were not for him. That being said, while I am not earning an income, I strive to honor J’s work and the income that he brings home. This means budgeting as much as possible, saving money when we can, and not spending frivolously. This includes on our groceries!
I finally conquered my preconceived ideas and began with some research on Aldi’s. For one, they are owned by the same people who own Trader Joe’s, automatic plus in my book! They are also a company that takes care of their employees, and I have asked several employees while shopping at Aldi’s, and they all enjoy working there.
I had to read about how to shop at Aldi’s–be prepared with a quarter because that’s how you get a shopping cart. Then, when you return your cart, you get your quarter back. I often leave my quarter in my cart for the next person. They also highly encourage bringing your own reusable bags, if not, you can purchase paper or plastic bags for $.06 or $.10 a pop. I like both of these facets of the store because it is pretty intentional shopping. You cannot just leave your cart in the middle of the parking lot and expect someone to put it away for you. It kind of goes against the grain of the direction our society goes in, which I like.
Much to happiness, Aldi’s offers some very healthy options. Some of my favorite items include–
93/7 lean ground beef- often $2 less or more than name brand grocery stores
Avocados- currently $.27 each versus the $1.19 each at other stores
Hummus- their hummus is delicious and is only $1.99 versus Sabra’s $2.99-$3.99
Whole chickens- usually cost around $5, J likes dark meat and I like white meat. A whole chicken can usually provide us with 3 dinners per week
Fruit leather- these are all natural fruit strips, with about 4 ingredients, and J loves them as a snack. $1.99 for 12 strips.
Canned tomatoes/sauce- regularly $.50 or more less expensive than Hunt’s
Aldi’s also has a great selection of produce including cauliflower, onions, asparagus, strawberries, cantaloupe, broccoli, and tomatoes that I stock up on.
Our weekly grocery bill typically falls between $50-$60 a week, which includes three meals a day plus snacks.
I am not writing this post to bash other stores or people who shop at other stores, but I think it is good to be able to shed positive light on a store that people may not first think of when heading out for groceries. I have talked to many other women about my love for Aldi’s, because not many people think that they would have such great options and prices, especially for a family trying to eat healthy on a budget.
There you have it, my two cents on my beloved Aldi’s. I can’t wait to go grocery shopping later!