Shopping at Aldi

I spend $250-$300 a month on groceries for my family of five. One of the best things I do to keep my budget is to do most of my food shopping at Aldi. You can get a good price, get in and get out fast and you don’t have to mess with using coupons.

Aldi is a small discount warehouse store. It is not an outlet store and does not sell outdated or rejected products. They offer a double your money back guarantee for all of their products. If you don’t like it, they will give you your money back plus a new item. The foods are mostly Aldi brand foods. The Aldi brand is usually very good quality. I have only had one or two items where my family preferred the name brand over the Aldi brand.

The savings are significant. On a lot of items, I can save $1 or more over the price at a regular grocery store. Here’s an example: Chocolate chips at the local supermarket cost $1.99. Aldi’s regular price is .99. White bread in the supermarket costs $1. Aldi’s bread costs .59. Whole grain bread costs $2.59 in regular grocery store, but Aldi’s regular price is $1.29.

Aldi stores are all over the world. Here is the link to the Aldi website to see if one is near you:

http://www.aldi.com

There are a few rules to follow that keep their prices low:

  • They accept only cash, debit or food stamps.
  • They don’t accept coupons.
  • You have to pay a .25 deposit to get a shopping basket. There is a little quarter machine on the basket. When you return your basket, it gives you the quarter back. This keeps prices down because they don’t have to pay someone to get baskets.
  • You bag your own groceries. Bring your own bags. Put all your extra plastic sacks in an empty tissue box and bring it with you. You can also use the boxes they have there for free. If they don’t have any boxes available and you forget your bags, they charge $.10 per bag for you to buy them.
  • To get the freshest produce, ask when their truck comes and go shopping the next morning.
  • Be prepared. The checkers check you out very fast. I have timed it and on average it’s 2-3 minutes check out time with a full basket of groceries. It may be a little awkward the first time getting used to a different way of shopping, but once you do it once or twice, the savings are addicting!

By shopping at Aldi, I get two weeks worth of groceries for $100.00 (excluding meat — I buy it as a loss leader from other stores when it’s $2 or less a pound. ). I am in and out of the store in 30 minutes including bagging my groceries. Plan a little longer the first time or two as you learn your way around the store. Try it a couple of times and see if you grocery bill doesn’t go down!

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the editors of http://www.LivingOnADime.com . As a single mother of two, Jill Cooper started her own business without any capital and paid off $35,000 debt in 5 years on $1,000 a month income. Tawra and her husband paid off $20,000 debt in 5 years on $22,000 a year income. Tawra and Jill are the authors of several frugal living ebooks,including Dining On A Dime, Groceries On A Dime, and Penny Pinching Mama.


About Mary Ann

Mary Ann Kelley has been creating meal plans online for over 15 years, first as part of TheHomeSchoolMom's cooking resources for busy moms and later on Menus4Moms, which has been highlighted by "Diner's Journal," The New York Times' Blog on Dining Out, and PBS Parents' "Kitchen Explorer."

Mary Ann loves cooking and she loves planning/organizing, so meal planning is a natural intersection of the two. She believes her mission for the meal plans is being fulfilled when visitors let her know that she has helped them save time and money by teaching them to plan ahead and become more efficient in the kitchen.

When Mary Ann is not cooking, she enjoys reading, researching genealogy, and traveling.

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