Saving $$ while shopping for groceries

UMK#1 here…

Has anyone else noticed how their money isn’t going quite as far at the grocery stores lately?  Items are getting smaller (hello, have you seen the teeny-tiny sized boxes of Triscuits lately?!), and prices are going up.  Thus resulting in the “what the hell just happened??” feeling when you get your total.

I’ll admit, I’m hot & cold when it comes to coupons, and a lot of the time, the coupons are for things that I normally wouldn’t buy.  That being said, I try to find other ways to save my family money.

I have been guilty for convenience shopping, as we all have, and still do for necessary reasons.  However, because I was comfortable with my “convenience”, I neglected other stores that could really save me money.  I was just too lazy to put forth the effort to do a little extra work.  And sometimes, I just didn’t have the extra time.  However, I’m MAKING the time now.  I tend to shop 3 different stores… Kroger, Super Wal-Mart, and Aldi.  Kroger is literally 5 minutes from my house.  How convenient is that?  It’s wonderful, really.  Wal-Mart is just a few more minutes away, and again, wonderful.  Aldi is about 20 minutes away… not convenient, but holy moly… wonderful in more ways than I can even express!!

Aldi has gotten a bad rap over the years, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why.  I had not shopped there because it really wasn’t convenient, and I never needed to be on that side of town.  However, now that I’m watching our budget like a hawk, I find myself there once a week!  Did you know that Aldi is owned by the same company as Trader Joe’s?  Well, it is!  

ImageAldi is not like most grocery stores.  To me, it’s kind of bare-bones.  But for me, that’s actually pretty great.  Why?  Because they don’t have “shiny objects”.  Shiny objects?!  They don’t seem to have the “C’mon, you know you want this” end caps, and the “If you don’t buy 10 of these, you won’t get THIS price” deals.  Those are shiny objects to me.  Aldi is a straight-forward, this-is-what-we’ve-got kind of store.  And you know what?  I love it.  If you have an Aldi near you, please try it.  I’ve included a link to their weekly flyers:

I’m constantly combing Pinterest for new recipes, and ways to save money.  While doing that today, I came across this blog: Gimme Some Oven, which spurred my reason to blog about grocery shopping.  This woman has really taken the time to get people fully educated about shopping at Aldi, and I wanted to share it!  Please check out these links if you have one near you.  Remember the Feb. 11th post on our Facebook page (TheUnknownMommies) about the great deal I got on avocados?  That’s right, they came from ALDI!  

ALDI 101 (courtesy of Gimme Some Oven)

Why I shop at Aldi

How to shop at Aldi

What to buy at Aldi

My favorites to buy at Aldi?

Beer Bread mix (no more home-party ordering for me!), cake mixes, Kettle chips, spices, coffee creamer, Silk soymilk/coconut milk, bacon, half & half, honey-nut Cheerios (their version), marinara sauce, tortellini, gnocchi, chicken broth, Ramen noodles, shredded cheese, produce, canned veggies/fruit, frozen tilapia fillets, frozen fruit, Hawaiian rolls, and at Halloween time, their pumpkins were huge & only $2 a piece!!!  I know I’m forgetting items that I normally buy, but this was a list just off the top of my head.  

I go to Aldi first, get what I can off of my list, and either finish up at Super Wal-Mart or Kroger.  I get about 75% of my groceries at Aldi, and I am spending about half of what I normally do on groceries, NO JOKE!   

My philosophy on shopping is this… I ALWAYS try the store brands.  Most of the time, you can’t tell the difference, but there are those times where it’s a total bomb.  I suggest you do the same at Aldi.  Why pay full price just for a name if you don’t have to?  I have no shame in buying generic anything!  

I know I’m not reinventing the wheel here, I’m just sharing a way that I found to save my family some money!  My family & I sat down & discussed ways we could save money.  We came up with a plan (and it was great involving the kids because they need to buy-in to the idea as well!).  We will only go out to eat one time/week, and we have a set budget for that.  If we come in under budget, that extra $$ goes into a vacation fund.  We are also putting the extra money we’d normally spend on groceries into that same vacation fund.  So therefore, I’m working extra hard at saving, because who doesn’t want to go on a fabulous vacation??!  😉  

Happy Shopping!