Okay so you’ve asked for it and I’m delivering! Y’all want to know what I buy during my weekly trip to Aldi so here’s the typical list.
Did you catch that? Typical.
Meaning that this list doesn’t always stay the same but these are the things that I typically buy. I usually only shop at Aldi and rarely go to Walmart, Kroger, or another store. I buy pretty much everything we need at Aldi. That doesn’t mean that I don’t ever purchase something outside of what’s listed here, it just means that I try to keep my house stocked with these items. The exceptions of what I purchase at Aldi are:
- Whole wheat flour (my Aldi no longer carries this 🙁 ).
- Deodorant for me (I use Secret Clinical strength and Aldi doesn’t carry that).
- Sick medicine (whenever we need this I go to Kroger with a coupon to grab it. I always try to keep some kids and adult sick medicine on hand. I also take daily Sambucus in the Fall/Winter time to help keep my immune system up.)
- Big things of snacks (whenever Charlotte is in charge of snacks for that week at her preschool, I usually have to go to Walmart to buy the big containers of snacks for her class. This only happens about 2-3 times a school year.)
Please excuse my messy, unorganized pantry…
Okay, so here’s what I typically buy:
- Canned goods: tomatoes (different varieties); beans; tomato sauce; canned pumpkin (for making whole wheat pumpkin muffins for breakfast).
- 6 Packages of Fruits (depending on what is in the season: strawberries, blueberries, grapes, clementines, apples, nectarines.) So for example 2 containers of blueberries; 2 containers of strawberries; and 2 bags of apples.
- 3-4 Things of Veggies (again, depending on the season and if I can get it frozen or not: lettuce/spinach/kale, celery, cabbage, potatoes, onions, peppers.) Example: 2 bags of potatoes; 1 bag of onions; 1 thing of kale.
- 1 Gallon of whole milk (I can skip some weeks from having to buy this so I don’t necessarily buy this every grocery trip).
- 2 cartons of eggs
- 2 things of half & half (we’re a coffee loving duo, my husband and I…)
- 1 – 2 things of real unsalted butter (I always try to keep a backstock of butter on hand so I keep the extras in the freezer.)
- Cheese (we’re a family that loves cheese so I usually have to buy about 2-3 things of shredded cheese).
- Meat (I typically buy: ground turkey [I prefer to purchase this over ground beef because I can get it for $1.89/lb whereas the ground beef is typically $3.95/lb]; chicken; pork chops; bacon and/or breakfast sausage; and sometimes a red meat – my family loves corned beef so when I can get it cheap I’ll buy it.)
- Noodles (egg/spaghetti/penne/elbow macaroni)
- Dog food (usually need to buy this every 2 weeks).
- Sliced pepperoni (I make “lunchables” with these.)
- Crackers (for the lunchables mentioned above.)
- Cereal and/or frozen waffles (school breakfast meal)
- Shampoo and Conditioner for mom and dad (I buy this about every other month)
- Baby wash (Purchase about every 1 1/2 – 2 months. I actually just use Baby Wash as shampoo and body wash for all three of my kids right now instead of buying shampoo and body wash separately.)
- Dish soap (I purchase this about once a month.)
- Dishwasher tabs (purchase about every other week)
- Laundry detergent (I used to make this myself and LOVED it but since we were given a front loader for free, my homemade stuff won’t work in it anymore. P.S. I really hate my front loader and wish I never got rid of my top loader – anyone else feel that the front loaders just don’t clean your clothes well?)
- Frozen veggies (I don’t buy these every shopping trip but I like to have a well-stock freezer of frozen veggies so I purchase as I get low.)
- Pretzels/popcorn/goldfish/other snacks (I only buy these things about once a month. We snack mostly on veggies and apples in our home. But admittedly I’m a popcorn lover and buy stove top popping corn whenever Aldi has it).
- Olive Oil (I buy this about every two weeks).
- Trail Mix ( this is the snack that my boys take to school. My kids are eaters and they need a snack heavy in protein to make it through the day without being hungry.)
- Condiments & BBQ sauce (I purchase this about every 6 months or so).
- Rice (I purchase this about every other week.)
- Coconut oil (I buy this about every 6 months).
- Lunch meats (I purchase this about once a month.)
- Stocks/broths (I make my own but I like to have a well-stocked pantry with stocks and broths but I don’t need to purchase these every time I shop. I only buy them about once every couple of months.)
- Spices (I just purchase these as needed.)
- Sugar/flour/baking supplies (I purchase as needed)
- Yogurt (for the kids and adults)
- Honey (I usually buy this every week because we sub for sugar in most of our baking recipes with either honey or maple syrup)
- TP (Usually purchase about every 2-3 weeks – I buy the big thing of it.)
- Paper towels (I only buy these twice year – we only use them for draining meats. We use barmop cloths in our kitchen for drying hands and quick cleanups.)
- Coffee (purchased about once a month)
- OJ (purchased almost every week)
This particular shopping trip I paid $147.38 for everything, but I purchased very few meats and purchased more frozen and fresh produce than I usually do.
Some things to note
As you can see, I don’t buy everything every time I go to the store. For instance, some weeks I need to buy more meats so I can stock up our freezer and some weeks I need to buy more frozen veggies or household goods to stock up on. And yes, we truly only buy paper towels twice a year and if I can get a good deal on a large package, we only need to purchase them once. We only use paper towels for draining meats and when we go camping. This saves us considerable money every year on our grocery bill!
I think it’s important that we keep in mind when we’re shopping of what we truly need and what we truly don’t. As I said, I don’t necessarily purchase meats for the entire week, every time I go grocery shopping. I stock up as I can throughout the year and this allows us to have “lean” weeks and months with our grocery budget since I don’t need to buy a lot of meats.
Don’t meal plan
Whatttttt???? Yep, sometimes it’s totally 100% okay to not meal plan. You see, I hate wasting food. I grew up in a very frugal home and was raised on leftovers. My husband, on the other hand, he thinks food goes bad within a day if you don’t eat it. Seriously, I wish I was kidding. So, I do this about once every other month, where I don’t plan any meals at all.
I’ll go to the grocery store only for those items that we’re truly out of like milk, eggs, or TP. This forces myself and my entire family to make due with what we have in our home. It allows me to get creative in the kitchen coming up with meals out of the most random of things and forces my husband to eat the leftovers sitting in the fridge because there’s literally nothing else to eat.
So, if you find yourself wasting a lot of food, maybe take a week off from grocery shopping or meal planning and see what kind of creative meals you can come up with!
The key to winning your grocery budget game…
Stock up. Stock up. Stock up. Seriously, if you want to win at the grocery store game, the key is stocking up on the staples that your family consumes. Bonus points if you stock up on these things when they’re on sale! For example, at the end of summer, Aldi puts their huge family pack of chicken drumsticks on super sale (like $3 for 3lbs of chicken) and so I stock up on them. That may mean that I have to readjust our grocery budget for that month or I go without buying other things so I can accommodate purchasing the additional meats.
So make a list of the things your family regularly consumes and try to stock up on them so you can forgo having to purchase them every time you grocery shop.
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