p.s. I don't use a single coupon!!
When I hear moms say they don't make a shopping list it hurts my brain! Every time I shop without a list I buy things I don't need and leave without things I needed. This means I have to go to the store a second time and I will most likely come out with extras that I wouldn't have bought with a full cart.
I use this grocery planner by Brim Papery. You might recognize it because I talk about it another post as well. It keeps me so organized and helps me stay focused in the store.
I am going to give one away on IG later this week so check there if you want one!
So I'm a big Aldi fan girl. If you don't have an Aldi near you, go cry. No, but seriously, cry a little and then try to find something similar. Aldi is a grocery/discount store. The best way to describe it is Costco or Sams without having to buy in bulk.
A. There have limited selections.
If you want cereal they have 6 options. Not 66 like at Walmart. With less options you buy more practically. They also don't have 1000s of ridiculous things that you think you need in the moment and later regret. They have food, toiletries, paper items, and a 1/2 isle of miscellaneous- which I do my best to avoid.
B. Off Brands
Most of the Aldi products are either the Aldi brand or another off brand. Occasionally I see name brand items but they are usually a one time thing. This is great because it cuts out the middle man. If Kelloggs sells their cereal to Target, both Kelloggs and Target have to make a profit on the item so it is marked up twice. Because Aldi sells their own brands, the product is MUCH cheaper.
The have a new line of organic baby products and their fruit and veggie pouches are $.75 compared to Plum Organics at Publix which can be as high as $1.70 a piece!!
C. They Cut Costs Everywhere
They are a no fluff store. Most stuff is displayed in its cardboard box, you pay a quarter for a cart (you get it back when you leave), have to bring our own bags, and they only have a few employees working at a time. All of these things allow the company to lower their prices.
Ok enough gushing over Aldi- but seriously-go there.
If at all possible, avoiding purchasing drinks. We always get milk for Oliver, and 1 juice for us, but that is it. Occasionally we get gatorades (or gatorade powder which is way cheaper), but no teas, lemonades, sodas, or boxed coffees. They will rack up your grocery list quickly. If you can cut out juice, even better, but I need juice to take my vitamins. One week I saw the orange juice was on sale so I bought extra and froze it which is why you won't see any in this haul.
4. Be Flexible With Your List
This week I planned to get oranges, cantaloupe, and apples. However, the discounted produce of the day was Mangoes. Don't be so strict with your list that you can't switch things out when you see a great deal. If cantaloupe is on ridiculous sale, do that this week and get the watermelon another week. If green beans are on sale rather than the asparagus, switch it up.
Important. DON'T ADD- REPLACE. If you see a great deal, don't add that to your list, replace something you were planning on buying. If you see a FAB deal on ground turkey, decide to make turkey burgers instead of BBQ chicken this week. Your list is meant to keep you on track, but you can change it to save you money.
If you are hungry you will buy a ton of things you don't need! I am guilty of that all the time. Try bringing a water bottle with you and chug while you shop! You will be so bloated you won't want to buy anything!
p.s. don't shop with a hungry husband either. Even better- don't shop with a man at all! They are notorious for grabbing things not on the list and begging for them...
6. Plan to Meal Prep
This is a new thing we have started and it has worked wonderfully. Rather than plan 5 different meals a week, we plan 2 main meals and 1 breakfast. For the trip you see below you we did yogurts and granola for breakfast, turkey burgers, rice, and broccoli for our first meal and turkey meat balls with spaghetti for the second. When you plan too many meals, you have to buy too many special ingredients. The fewer meals you can make the better.
And I am not saying make 1 meal of turkey burgers. Cook 1 thing but make enough for TONS of meals. Does that make sense? Example: I made 16 burgers. That was enough for us to have 2 burgers each for 8 meals- aka 4 days worth of food. Then I made enough spaghetti for 3 days.
Have your calculator on your phone and add as you put things in your cart. If you get close to your budget, see if there was anything you added not on your list that you can take out. Make sure to take your sales tax into consideration. I always add 20 cents to every item to keep me on budget.
7. Portion Control Snacks
Last thing- When you get home, open all of the snacks and portion control them. As you can see below, Oliver had already opened a bag of puffs and they were half gone when we got home! I fill small ziplock bags with any dry snacks and mini tupperware with things like cut up grapes, oranges, and any refrigerated snacks. This will make your food last much longer. The longer your food can last, the less you will need to buy.
I hope you can use these tips and cut down that grocery bill!!
Thank you Aldi for helping make this post possible!