January is always a hard month for us financially. We are still reeling from the post Christmas expenditures and can never seem to get ahead until mid February. One of the easiest ways to pinch pennies is in our food budget ('cause there's no way I'm cutting out my internet and cable!). I have found that shopping at Aldi's is so much better than trying to use coupons or shopping at the big box stores.
You really can't beat $1.89/gallon organic milk and .99 eggs!
Aldi's is no frills, but that doesn't mean they skimp on quality. So far, everything I've purchased from them has been as good as name brand or better. They have a large selection of organic, gluten free, and grass fed beef products that you won't pay an arm and a leg for, but there are a few things you need to know before making your first trip:
Bring a quarter. You are going to need a quarter to get your cart. The quarter is returned to you when you return the cart. You do the cart returning so they don’t have to pay someone to do it, and those savings are passed on to you! If you are one who likes to practice random acts of kindness leave your quarter for the next person.
Bring a bag. Save some green and go green at the same time. Bring a reusable bag (or two!) with you. ALDI does not hide the cost of bags in their grocery prices.You can bring your own bags to shop at ALDI, or buy their eco, paper, plastic, or insulated bags for a very nominal charge. But if you happen to forget your bags in the car (like I do from time to time) don’t worry! They have very low-priced bags you can purchase at check-out (.10 each).
Pack it yourself. Here is something you may not find at your grocery store. There is no one to pack up your purchases. The check-out clerk will put your groceries in a cart for you but it is up to you to take your purchases to the packing counter and pack them up. By not having to pay a bagger they are passing those savings on to you! I don’t know about you, but I am willing to pack my groceries to save some green!
No credit cards. That is right! No credit cards are accepted at ALDI. (But your debit card and cash are always welcome!) Once again, this saves on credit card processing fees and ALDI is able to pass the savings onto you.
No Fancy Shelves. ALDI products are not placed individually on the shelf. Instead, the products are left in their cartons and placed directly on the shelf. This is yet another way ALDI saves on overhead costs. I don’t know about you, but I will take savings over individually placed items!
So this week, money is tight! Sunday night I sat down to plan out our menus for the week. Check out Aldi's weekly flier for specials and try to plan around them. Meal planning is imperative to saving money, do NOT stray from your list!
Here's what we're having:
Poached eggs on toast
(Still have left over bananas and frozen berries from Costco!)
Ham and cheese sandwiches, chips
PBJ sandwiches, chips
Take and Bake pizzas ($4.47 for a large pepperoni)
Chips and salsa
Kale chips (from the garden)
Kale chips (from the garden)
Spaghetti with meatsauce, garlic bread
Spinach fritatta with salsa
Shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches with corn on the cob
Baked ziti with roasted kale (from the garden)
Stuffed peppers with spinach salad
Chicken fajitas with refried beans
Meatball subs and kettle chips