Grocery Shopping Update

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!
– fruit
– chips other than pretzels or plain tortilla chips
– soft drinks
– lunchmeat
– 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.

11 comments

  1. kksorrell says:

    Oh, also: Don’t buy any of their cake mixes or brownie mixes. Pretty bad! And for my Orthodox friends, no I did not buy chicken today! That was last time. :) I will miss you, chicken! Taste you again in 40 days . . . .

  2. kksorrell says:

    And one MORE thing: I’ve also been baking more – cookies, cupcakes, etc., which is cheaper than buying a bunch of pre-made sweets! The only problem is I EAT it! :)

  3. susan says:

    I started shopping at Aldi’s out of need when my husband lost his job a few years back ( the first of four lay offs!) and i am happy to say I have never gone back to the one store rule. I buy all my staples there and find many store brand things are good. Premade stuff….not so much. Not a fan of cereal there but other stuff is fine. If it is a staple or you add to it, it is good. I find the apples and grapes just fine and so are the peppers, onions and zuchini and watermelon. I just stay clear of the bananas.
    The brownie mixes are fine but the cake you need to moisten a bit more. i add applesauce and it is lower in fat and just fine. I shop for two weeks at a time, take a list and a plan for each meal, stick to it and I have saved anywhere from $40- $98. Amazing.
    Lunch meats are fine. they are not boar’s head but they are just like the kind in the tupperware at walmart. no difference. we did a taste test at home. :)
    The only thing I really find a no no are the prepackaged premade foods, like the jello, chips, cookies etc….
    I have even pruchased half priced toys there for Christmas.
    I am a bargain hunter to the max!
    :)

  4. Mothersense says:

    our local ALDI has GREAT produce across the board, and we do find that there are things we prefer to buy name brand or from another store, but it is TOTALLY worth a trip once or twice a month to save that $$$

  5. Heather F says:

    Karissa,

    To save the most at Kroger, shop the sales and use coupons and e-coupons. Kroger will let you use a paper coupon and an e-coupon for the same item, and there have been many times when I’ve gotten something like a box of cereal or granola bars for free or for less than 50 cents when I combined sale prices with coupons. Also, when they do those buy 10 items, save $5 sales, take advantage of them. Often that is the cheapest price you will ever find anywhere for those items (like Hot Pockets for $1.67 or 1 lb boxes of name brand pasta, even the whole wheat kind, for 49 cents). I also agree about getting staples at discount stores, especially things like sugar, eggs, etc. Sounds like you’re doing great on that!

  6. Alexandr says:

    You mean they are always like that?!? Lol. Oh boy! I can see how a prsoen would get tired of that. I was just trying to dart in and out, and as it was I didn’t have time to eat lunch after the time it took at Aldi. :(

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