A few weeks ago I wrote about my food shopping woes. In a nutshell, no matter how much I try to save, it just seems impossible. You all gave me some great suggestions. One of my friends thought I should visit Aldi for staples before hitting Kroger since Aldi is so cheap! I shopped at Aldi for a couple of years when we were newly married (although I always had to go to Kroger for some things, too) and we saved a lot that way. So I temporarily suspended my “No More Than 1 Store” rule and tried it. The first time, I saved $50!!! That’s for two weeks worth of groceries, so in other words, $25 per week. Today I did an Aldi/Kroger run (luckily they’re less than a mile apart) and saved $38 on two weeks worth of groceries!
Here are some items I buy at Aldi:
- eggs, 1.19 per dozen vs. 1.85 per dozen at Kroger
- sugar, 1.19 per bag vs. 1.88 (on sale) at Kroger
- chocolate chip granola bars, 1.49 per box vs. 2.40 for Quaker brand/2.00 for Kroger brand (and they taste great!)
- cereal, 1.49 to 1.99 a box vs. 3.00+ at Kroger
(The first time I went, I took the kids, and they picked out a couple of cereals and they seem happy with them. I’ve always bought name brand cereal, but so far, so good! I bought Aldi’s Raisin Bran for me this week, so we’ll see how it tastes!)
- tortilla shells, 99 cents for 10 vs. 1.35 at Kroger
- string cheese, 2.49 vs. 3.85 at Kroger
- bag of chicken tenderloins, 5.50 vs. 6.99 at Kroger
- 10 lb bag of potatoes, 2.99 vs. ? at least 5.00? at Kroger
- peaches/fruit cups, 1.49 vs. 2.00 for Kroger brand
- baby carrots, 99 cents vs. 2.09 at Kroger
- stoplight peppers, 1.49 vs. 6.59 at Kroger
- salad spinach, 1.69 vs. 3.59 at Kroger
*Note: I never liked buying produce at Aldi, but some of their vegetables are very good, and cheap! I have stayed away from their fruit so far, because it just doesn’t look too good.
Things I don’t recommend buying at Aldi:
- cookies/snacks – The kids wanted little cheese “sharks” (sort of like Goldfish), but didn’t like them. We also tried their version of Oreos and didn’t really like them. We do like Kroger’s version, though!
- chips other than pretzels or plain tortilla chips
- soft drinks
- chicken nuggets – I think their chicken nuggets taste good, but for some reason my kids didn’t like them. I guess they’re too used to the Tyson dinosaur-shaped ones I typically get.
One nice thing about Aldi is that they have lots of freezer items. Today they had a ton of Asian frozen meals, Italian frozen meals, and frozen fish items. I got a stir-fry shrimp meal for two, potstickers, and cheese tortellini for less than what they’d be at Kroger.
Just remember if you try it that you have to bring your own bags and a quarter for the cart. The way they keep their carts from being stolen or left to roll around the parking lot is this little chain that connects the carts together. To remove a cart, you have to insert a quarter. When you return the cart and reconnect the chain, you get your quarter back. (My kids thought is was SO cool!)
One last note: I’m not sure if this store is all over the US or not, but Harris Teeter sometimes has buy-2-get-3-free sales, and a friend of mine recently hit that sale and saved something like $145!!! And got a TON of food. It’s a bit of a higher-end market, so prices may be more than Kroger, but definitely worth looking into.