Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why I Love Bargain Grocery Shopping

Like many people, I grew up in the US as somewhat of a food snob. My parent's weren't rich and didn't shop at the nicest grocery stores or anything like that, but we always shopped at one specific place. Because of that, when I first married Josh I was a little bit of a snob and stuck my nose up in the air at the thought of going to other grocery stores.

However, over a year and a half into our marriage, that has all changed. Now, this bargain-hunting girl can definitely see the pluses of shopping at a discounted grocery store! Enter: Aldi's.

Just to give you a little hint at how much you can save by shopping for most of your groceries there, all this food cost me under $100 bucks.

Yup, all those delicious groceries for only $99.86.

In most cases, I noticed a savings of over 50%. For instance, the tortilla chips were only $1.19 for a family-sized bag, compared to upwards of $3 at most grocery stores. Yowza!   

Now, for a quick disclaimer, there are SOME things that I just don't buy at Aldi's. I don't buy meat, tuna, or most of our produce there. But for other things, like cereal, pasta sauce, chips, bottled water (24 pack for under $3!!), and such, Aldi's is the place to go! 

Of course, I need to mention that Aldi's did not compensate me in any way for mentioning their store. I just love finding great bargains and sharing ways to save with others! It's so important to be good stewards with the money that God has given each of us, for our good and the good of our families. 

Here's a couple quick tips if you want to try your hand shopping at Aldi's:
  • Bring a quarter for the shopping cart. Yup, you need one if you don't want to lug your groceries around yourself! They keep the carts outside the store, and you just put the quarter in a slot near the handle and then you  get it back when the cart is returned. Voila!
  • Bring your own grocery bags! Otherwise, you will have to purchase them from Aldi's. I use the "reusable" bags that are all over the place these days, they are perfect for groceries since they are a little bigger! 
  • If you're not sure about something, give it a try anyway! I have been pleasantly surprised how the "off-brand" foods taste exactly like what I would purchase from a name-brand store! Like Craisins- they are $4 a bag at Cub but the Aldi version is cheaper and taste just the same. 
  • Bring cash or a check-card. For some reason unknown to me, they DO NOT accept credit cards. It has to be an actual bank card or cash. 
  • When you get up to the register, the cashier will swipe your groceries through the scanner and into a waiting cart. They try to be as efficient as possible, so you'll notice the bar codes are really big on the products for the quickest swipe!

Have you ever shopped at Aldi's or another discount grocery? Do you have any tips to share?

*Due to an anonymous comment I received, I feel it's pertinent to mention that you CAN save much more if you decide to clip coupons and shop that way. I did try that for a while, but found that it was way too time consuming and frustrating for me. If you want to spend hours researching what groceries you will buy and where, and have the pantry space to stock up, then go for it! But my experience was that it was the equivalent of a part-time job and kind of made me go insane. For those of us who choose to not buy every single grocery item with a coupon, shopping at a discount grocery store is a great option. My husband and I have a very moderate grocery budget and I'm really happy with the $$ we save by shopping at Aldi. Also, Anon mentioned that it's ALDI not Aldi's. I stand corrected. 


  1. I love Aldi!! I shop there almost exclusively, except for the things they don't carry. Like sweet potatoes. (We eat a lot of sweet potatoes.) I get all of our produce at Aldi and most meat as well. I do have to check the produce carefully (it tends to be more ripe than the "normal" grocery stores), but it's so worth the savings.

  2. Cindy- That's awesome! I really haven't tried buying the meat there, I just usually get it from Sam's Club. But, I'm thinking perhaps I should give that a try too!

  3. i must admit, i am a bit of a grocery snob when it comes to aldi's... but i should be more open minded :) i am not one to turn down an off brand for most foods, so i don't know what my problem is with this one particular chain!

  4. Sarah- I totally know what you mean! That's how I felt at first too, but I was really amazed by the quality stuff they have and the price!

  5. Shoot! You removed the anon comment! People are weird. I don't have an Aldi/Aldi's. I used to only shop at Safeway (a tad expensive but I did use coupons) now I really try to shop at Walmart for most things but still shop at my Safeway for produce and meat. We have had to take another look at our budget and find ways to save some moolah. The grocery is the start. My husband will freak when I tell him we need to re-look at our cable tv package.

  6. Haha, yup, I just didn't appreciate the tone in which it was written! It's fine to share opinions, but if someone's going to attack me personally they better expect to be edited out! =)

    My post was aimed more at people who don't do the coupon thing and who shop only at stores like rainbow, Cub, Byerly's, etc. It's just amazing to see how much you can save just by switching the places you shop! Wal-Mart is a great place to save too. We buy our milk and eggs there!

    It sounds like you are on the right track! We don't even have cable. =( But, it saves on money and time, since I'm not tempted to watch TLC all day!

  7. Never heard of or seen that store! I shop at the commissary and harris teeter and make my epic road trips to WF and TJ's everyso often. ooh and fresh market. but I blow money on food like its going out of style =) though I do coupon for the "real foods" and shop sales!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  8. Jenn- I checked the website and it looked like there are locations for Aldi across the US, but I wondered if maybe some states don't have them. In my experience though, commissaries have pretty great prices too!

  9. I shop at Aldi's and Save-a-lot. I buy their produce and have been quite happy with it. Unlike Cindy, my Aldi's has sweet potatoes and they are great!

  10. We just visited Aldi last night! Like Cindy, I do a lot of produce shopping there. They had ripe bananas by the register for 50 cents a bag! Popped 'em right in my freezer when I got home, to be turned into banana bread at some point and banana nut waffles on Saturday! Yum.



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