Groceries: Aldi

Yesterday I wrote a post expressing some of my general concerns about our grocery budget. Not that we were exceeding it, but that maybe it actually is too high and also that we are creating too much waste, picking up more take-out than is ideal (for us) and generally not buying food that is the healthiest and most frugal. I went into detail about those concerns, but suffice it to say that this week’s shopping trips are a bit of indicator of my current feeling of flail. I went to Aldi twice but was so hungry and tired after the first trip that I completely forgot about taking pictures. Everything is documented below anyway.

As a reminder, we are a household of two adults, no children. My grocery budget does include toiletries and similar household items, but not pet supplies, which have their own budget. My goal is to stay at or under (preferably under) $400, and I like to shoot for an average of $60/week at “regular” grocery stores so I have  a decent amount to spend at a monthly or so stock up when I visit BJs (warehouse store). This number feels pretty generous to me and I am more motivated to cook at home when there is a little more wiggle room in my budget. When I tried to keep a much tighter grocery budget, we ended up eating out a lot and that was just frustrating to me. I’m posting all this because I love to read and/or watch grocery hauls from others and I am sometimes guilty of the comparison game, where I never end out on top. But everyone has different needs and resources and, in the end, this is what works for us!:)

This month I am carrying over a $70 deficit from overspending in June, so my budget is actually $329.29.

Aldi, 7/16/16 (not pictured)

  1. Potato puffs, 1 bag @ $1.65
  2. Potato circles, 1 bag @ $1.99
  3. Frozen peas, 2lbs @ $.95/lb
  4. Frozen corn, 1lb @ $.95
  5. Tuna in oil, 1 can @ $.75
  6. Pole & line tuna, 4 cans @ $.99/ea
  7. Cocktail peanuts, 1 can @ $2.39
  8. Tortilla chips, 1 bag @ $1.19
  9. Marshmallows, 1 bag @ $.89
  10. Light wheat bread, 1 loag @ $1.39
  11. Balsamic glaze, 1 bottle @ $2.49
  12. Protein bars, 4 boxes @ $1.99/ea
  13. Tahini dressing, 1 bottle @ $1.49
  14. Limes, 1 pound @ $.49
  15. Take and bake pizza (pepperoni), 1 @ $5.99
  16. Pineapple, 1 @ $1.29

Total: $36.77

This was my after work shopping trip. You can tell that I was tired because I bought a wrong can of tuna, peanuts for chex mix even though I already have some, frozen potatoes because I was hungry (they’re tasty, but we really don’t need to eat these regularly) and the pizza. Even though I actually had planned on cooking that morning. Not obvious from the list is that fact that I wandered around for about 15 minutes in that weird spaciness that accompanies low blood sugar and weariness (for me). I did plan to stock up on the protein bars as we both liked them and I feel that they are a reasonably healthy convenience item. Forty cents a bar definitely beats the price of Clif bars!

Aldi 2 071816

Aldi, 7/18/16

  1. Butter lettuce, 2 bags @ $1.49/ea
  2. Spinach, 2 bags @ $1.49/ea
  3. Tri-color peppers, 2 bags @ $1.39/ea
  4. Mushrooms, 8 oz @ $1.29
  5. Green onions, 1 bag @ $.99
  6. Celery, 1 stalk @ $1.39

Aldi 071816

Aldi, 7/18/16

  1. Seltzer water, 2L @ $.69/L
  2. Vanilla kefir, 2 qts @ $2.79/qt
  3. Bananas, 1 bunch @ $.44/lb
  4. Hot dog buns, 8 rolls @ $.85
  5. Toilet paper, 2 jumbo packs @ $10.28 (not pictured)
  6. Large storage containers, 2pks @ $4.99/ea (not pictured)

Total: $42.94

Weekly Total: $79.71

Remaining Budget: $63.56

I was more disciplined on my second trip but spent more because of stocking up on toilet paper and also purchasing the storage containers. I have been looking for a large container that will hold 10lbs of flour and this one should do so easily. I also picked up a two pack of smaller containers (they’re still large) and at least one will be used to store wheat flour in my fridge or freezer. This will free up some of my glass storage jars to be used for dry beans, which I prefer. I have really noticed a difference in how I feel when I didn’t have the kefir for a couple of weeks so I bought a couple of bottles even though it is vanilla. It’s fine I just prefer it to be unsweetened. I do really like the tart sour taste of kefir and the fact that it improves my gut health so dramatically is amazing to me. It’s a double bonus — I used to buy it just occasionally as a treat but since making the concerted effort to have a serving every day for a month and really seeing an improvement, I’m moving this to the got to have section of the grocery list. Eventually I would like to make my own but I am a little worried about keeping the culture alive.

For the rest of the month I think I will mostly need to purchase milk, half and half, eggs and fruit. Maybe some veggies, although I also want to use some things I’ve had in the freezer that need to be consumed, so maybe not. My BJs membership runs out this month and while I have decided to renew it, I want to stretch that a bit by stocking up at the very end of the month with some of our staples from that store. I’m hoping that by doing so I can then put off renewing until the end of September, which is about when we should run out of coffee. Don’t get between me and my coffee! 😉 At any rate, I will include that trip on the August budget, as I truly don’t intend to shop there until the 29th or 30th.



5 thoughts on “Groceries: Aldi

  1. Your latest shopping trips look very healthy to me 🙂 Thanks for mentioning the bags of butter lettuce, I usually don’t look in the refrigerated greens section unless it’s to reach for the Romaine hearts or spinach when it’s on sale but I’m going there today and we need lettuce so I might get that instead of the Romaine.
    I need to ignore the whole chocolate section at the entrance to the store, though!

    1. Yeah, the chocolate section is dangerous!! Although for me it’s the salty stuff. I’ve decided that I prefer the butter lettuce to the romaine right now. We mix it with the spinach for salads and it’s yummy!

  2. You did have a healthy looking shopping spree! I am commenting on both today’s and yesterday’s posts. Instead of a monthly food budget I plan a yearly one. I am like you and like to have a decent amount of food in storage. If I plan my budget for the year it allows for excess purchases when there are excellent buys. It seems that my fall and winter food costs are quite a bit lower than my summer stock up months. While I don’t keep exactly a year’s worth of food I do that seasonal canning and freezing so that we will have enough of whatever is in season to eat throughout the year. Peaches are at their prime right now, so I plan on hitting the farmers market to buy enough for freezing and preserves.
    I am like you and I aim for the whole food thing as much as possible and I would love to do it 100 percent of the time if it were not so time consuming!
    Have you ever though of making you own kefir? I keep it going all the time and wind up having to toss excess kefir grains. If you are interested I can send you some, but would need to wait until cooler months.

    1. I think my groceries only look healthy because I didn’t take pictures of the first trip. 🙂

      We don’t zero out our budget each month (I know that’s popular but not something I care to do) and to some extent our budget is yearly, too — I just break it into a monthly sum for better accountability. Like you my plan is generally to stock up on things when they are in season or when I find a good deal on things I consider staples (I think I bought 15 bags of lentils at Aldi over the course of a few weeks!). I have been keeping an eye on peaches, too! I love to make jam and preserves and actually one of my favorite things my mom canned when I was a kid was peaches. I’d like to try that myself. Home canned peaches are soooooo much better than store bought, in my opinion. I am so glad I live in this time when I consider how hard keeping a home was even only a 100 years ago. I give major props to those pioneer ladies!!

      I have been considering making my own kefir. If you are willing, I will totally take you up on the kefir grains! I am not up for a new project right now, so fall would be a perfect time (assuming it’s actually cooler — you never know in the South!). Thank you!!

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