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First of all, if you’ve never been to an Aldi, GO! – right now, I mean it. You are seriously missing out. But before you toss your phone in your pocket and head out the door, there’s a few things to know:
- Bring a quarter if you want to use a shopping cart. Seems a bit odd, but it’s one of the reasons the food is SO much cheaper! Plus, when you return your cart at the end of your trip, you get your quarter back. I totally should have made some football pun with that comment…
- You’ll also want to bring your own reusable bags (or you can buy some there). After you check out, you’ll pack your own groceries in those bags, which is just another way they can offer low prices! Thirty One has some AMAZING totes that can fit a ton of food!! (affiliate link!)
That’s it, that’s all you need to know! Now you can head out the door, but I recommend reading the rest of this post before doing so!
How to Stay Healthy and Shop at Aldi!
Aldi carries (almost) everything you need to eat healthy while staying on budget! Now, if you’re looking for some unique veggie, or you swear by a certain brand of granola bar, you likely won’t find them there. Most items are their off-brand replica, but to be honest, they are JUST as good as the name-brand counterpart (and sometimes better!). And every time I go, Aldi seems to get better and better. Just before I had our son Noah, they started carrying baby items – score! They have a gluten-free line and an organic line, plus a line called Fit & Active, which is awesome by the way. I mean really, what more could you want??
I promise you I’m not getting a cut from Aldi for writing this, I just honestly love the place SO much! Alright, so what do I buy and how much do I spend? Let me give you a little glimpse into my shopping trip.
My hubby and I try to plan every dinner meal the weekend before. We have a chalkboard in the kitchen where we write it all down, one similar to this (affiliate link). This way, we know exactly what ingredients we need from the store, and we don’t have to waste time trying to figure out what we want to eat after work. It’s a win-win really! We also pretty much eat the same thing for lunch everyday, which makes planning a breeze. Then, we handwrite our list (yes, I know, totally old school, but I really like to physically cross things out) and put it in order of where things are located the store. You’ll find there’s a certain direction most people go when funneling through the store, which makes it a much quicker trip than trying to maneuver through tons of aisles at a larger store. And now we’re off!
Here’s a list of my FAVORITE, mostly healthy, things from Aldi:
- Dark chocolate (I know what you’re thinking, chocolate probably shouldn’t be first on the list since we’re trying to stay healthy, but it’s DARK, and it’s the first thing you see when you walk in! Plus, you can do this workout, or this one, or even this one to burn off those calories!)
- Trail mix – there are tons of options
- Almonds – oven-roasted salted are the best
- Milled flax seed (a new item that I just love, and they are perfect for Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites!)
- Chia seeds – try them in these overnight oats, and these one’s too!
- Steel cut oats
- Granola bars – again TONS of options, they have some new high protein ones I’m dying to try
- Eggs, milk, and peanut butter – three staples
- Yogurt – the Fit & Active is lower in sugar and delicious, and their Greek style is good, too!
- ALL THE VEGGIES! Seriously, give me all the veggies. Sometimes you have to pick and choose what looks good, but I have never had an issue with their veggies. I like to get celery, peppers, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes.
- ALL THE FRUITS! Again, you’ll want to look through everything to make sure it’s good, but you can get some great stuff at a great price! If you expect it to look like the produce section of the larger grocery store chains, then you’re in the wrong place, but I can typically find enough to keep our house happy! I buy apples, grapes, pineapple, bananas, and whatever berries they have.
- Beans – usually black
- Chicken, pork, ground turkey – lots of good meat options
- Frozen veggies – the steamed ones, super easy
This is just a very small sampling of the deliciousness going on at Aldi, and as you can see, I pretty much buy the basics. Nothing fancy, nothing special, but all healthy and yummy!
Let’s talk about MONEY!
So you have a pretty clear picture on what I buy. Now, how much do I spend? It varies, of course, if we have to buy other essentials such as paper towels, TP, or soap (which are all conveniently at Aldi as well!), but on average, we spend $75 a week!! $75 – that’s it!! Try walking out of one of the other grocery store chains with a full cart and only spend $75. There’s no way! Not only am I able to keep our family on track budget-wise (which pleases my financial advisor husband), but I don’t have to skip out on the healthy options. Many people think that eating healthy costs more, but with Aldi, you don’t have to pick one over the other.
My advice – play with my list of goodies above, add and subtract some of your favorite items, and go check out an Aldi. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can find and how little you spend.
Check out THIS POST on how I put all this good food to use!
Want to see a detailed receipt of mine from Aldi? Let me know and I can post one! Have some delicious products you love? Leave a comment, I’m always looking for variety!