The 12 Must-Buy Items From Aldi To Get You Through The Week

Grab your free printable Weekly Menu below!

 

One of my bigger goals this year was to cut our monthly grocery budget down by $100 per month to a whopping $300, per month for a family of 4 (which includes two grown-ups, a child with an adult-sized appetite, and a child whose twin is really a mouse for the way she eats).

In prior years, our grocery budget was $400, and we saw great success with setting our grocery bill at that amount. That success translated to us being able to pay off all of our credit card debt as well as paying cash outright for both cars.

Yep, free and clear! Thanks to finally kicking our tushes into gear, setting a budget for our monthly grocery bill, and sticking to it month after month for the past 18 months in counting!

We had found our groove and we want to keep that momentum going.

In the beginning, I thought it was a lofty goal. I mean, when January 1st rolls around, naturally you start thinking of all the things you would do differently this year than you have done in years past.

Maybe it’s me being naive, or maybe not, but I was just gonna roll with it.

I am happy to report that it is now March, and we have gone well past the 21-day point of developing and maintaining this habit of ours, to meal plan on a weekly basis and keep tabs on our budget. (My other big goal is to lose 10 pounds—-mission, complete.)

After all, we are still gung-ho, at the moment, and riding this high wave of success thus far, in the new year with achieving our saving money goal as well as our weight loss goals, so woohoo!

So, we (meaning my son and I) have devised a plan to do plan our weekly menu every Sunday morning during breakfast together. He is a big foodie fan, so this is always a fun task for him.

My daughter, on the other hand, can care less. But that’s another story for another day.

We normally do a “big to us” grocery list bi-weekly at Kroger, Meijer, or Walmart. Whichever one has the best weekly sales on the things we would normally eat.

We then pick up any staples that we might need or happen to run out of at Aldi.

This is a running list of the staples I usually buy whenever we do our grocery shopping at Aldi.

Most of the time their prices are usually better than the other chain grocery stores I’ve mentioned above, like Walmart.

 

Note: Keep in mind that these are the current prices in the midwest. However, they may be vastly different according to your region. We also supplement our staples with weekly sales from our local grocery store chains, swap extras with friends and family, and grow our own herbs & a couple veggies in our backyard.

 

Here is a sample price list of our family’s staples from Aldi:

1- Milk———————————$1.09/gallon
2- Eggs———————————$0.89/dozen of large sized eggs
3- Greek Yogurt———————-$0.39/cup
4- Sliced Bread———————–$0.75
5- Shredded Cheese—————–$1.99/16 oz. bag
6- Frozen Ground Turkey———–$1.89/2 lb. tube
7- Peanut Butter———————$1.99/jar
8- Whole Bean Coffee—————$3.99
9- Cereal——————————-$0.99
10- Idaho Potatoes——————-$1.99/5 lb. sack
11- Produce on Sale——————$0.89/lb. (green grapes, Roma tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, etc.)
12- Chicken Breasts——————$1.69/lb.

 

Here is one of our Weekly Menu Plans for reference: (This menu plan was inspired by Gretchen’s Weekly Menu Plan from www.moneysavingmom.com. )

I love seeing first-hand how Crystal and her sisters show their weekly grocery shopping haul as well as give a break down of their plan each week. So much so that they’ve inspired me to do something similar for my family as well.

Check out our sample weekly menu plan below:

  • Sunday: (Breakfast = milk, cereal & fruit),

(Lunch = PB&J sandwiches, baby carrots & cukes w/ ranch, and fresh cut fruit),

(Dinner = Roast Pork w/ roasted veggies & Mashed Potatoes)

 

  • Monday: (Breakfast = milk, banana bread & fruit),

(Lunch = Deli Turkey & Cream Cheese Pinwheels, baby carrots & cukes w/ ranch, and fresh cut fruit),

(Dinner = All-in-one Turkey Taco Hamburger Helper Replica)

 

  • Tuesday: (Breakfast = OJ w/ Fruit & Granola Yogurt Parfaits),

(Lunch = Mac & Cheese, baby carrots & celery w/ ranch, and fresh cut fruit),

(Dinner = Zupa Toscana Replica w/Italian Bread)

 

  • Wednesday: (Breakfast = milk, nutella toast & fruit),

(Lunch = Pizza Day @ school=Kids buy lunch),

(Dinner = Beef Broccoli Stir Fry w/Rice)

 

  • Thursday: (Breakfast = milk, overnight oatmeal jars w/fruit & chia seeds),

(Lunch = PB & J “sushi rolls”, mozzarella cheese stick, grape tomatoes & bell peppers w/ ranch, and fresh cut fruit),

(Dinner = Chicken Tortilla Soup w/ guacamole & nachos)

 

  • Friday: (Breakfast = milk, cereal, & fruit),

(Lunch = Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, baby carrots & cukes w/ ranch, and fresh cut fruit),

(Dinner = Fresh Spring Rolls w/Shrimp & Miso Soup)

 

  • Saturday: (Breakfast = Pancakes, Bacon, & Eggs),

(Lunch = Refridgerator Refresh aka clean the fridge for leftovers),

(Dinner = Grilled Salmon, Asparagus & Portabello Mushrooms, w/wild rice & quinoa)

 

 

Some Helpful Tips To Consider:

  • Be sure to bring a quarter ($0.25) to rent their shopping cart while you are shopping.
  • Bring your own shopping bags from home.
  • Or you can also buy their plastic or paper bags for $0.10 each
  • There are also plenty of empty cardboard boxes around the store that you can grab for free.
  • Aldi does not accept manufacturer coupons.
  • However, on rare occasions, they do distribute generous store coupons in the mail. (We’ve seen some coupons that were $5 off $25 total purchase around Thanksgiving or a store grand opening.)

 

But lately,  because of all the weekly download Friday deals or freebies and also gas points, it’s been Kroger Click List for the win!

Aldi doesn’t have that.

However, it really pays to check your weekly sales ads so you can double check the prices in your local area for yourself. Or you can just follow your favorite deals blog to get a more complete list of what’s on sale before you head out to do your weekly shopping.

My family and I have benefitted so much from learning and implementing some of the coupon strategies these ladies have generously shared with us over the years.

If you are overwhelmed with keeping up with the day-to-day life and saving money on your grocery bill, check out these awesome ladies here: moneysavingmom.com, passionatepennypincher.com, freestufffinder.com, and krazycouponlady.com.

These are some of my personal favorite deals blogs that I have followed through the years to help my family and I get our heads in check when it comes to all things family and personal finance related.

I have also created two versions of this free printable Weekly Menu to help you and your family plan out your meals at home so that you can save your hard earned cash. Just print it out, laminate it, and stick it on your fridge.

 

Pair it with a dry-erase marker and it will save you time and money from having to hit the drive-thrus.

Enjoy!

10 Do’s and Don’ts To Help You Beat Debt

Image Source: Pixabay

 

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on any of these links, I make a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. Thank you so much for supporting my blog. 🙂

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock your entire lives or you are one of the lucky few who happens to be born into wealth, you are no stranger to debt. It is mind-boggling to see how quickly and easily you can spend your hard-earned money.

Yet, on the flipside, you know how painfully slow and difficult it can also be to earn it and to save it. There simply are way better things that you would all rather spend your hard earned money on anyway.

And then you quickly find yourselves continuously digging deeper into a grave of your own doing. Yep, debt happens to the best of us.

Yes, even me.

Growing up, I was always taught that a successful life equated to hard work and continuous pursuits in education. Well for me, that meant getting a higher education, which meant either getting scholarships or taking out school loans in order to go to college.

I did BOTH…

We were pushed to try harder, to do more, so that we can make more money later on and buy a big house and live a lavish life because that was what success looks like. And like a house, higher education was treated as a “good debt” in our household, and so that was what we all believed because that was what we were taught.

I’m sure that’s what you were probably taught too. So that’s what I did.

And because of that, I now have a huge mortgage and matching huge school loans to look forward to every month for the next decade or so of my life. All because I was duped into thinking that this is the norm for everyone who wasn’t blessed to be born into a rich family. 

Or so I thought…

This was what I believed, up until recently when I discovered tons and tons of stories from people who have gone against the grain to dig themselves out of debt.

Sometimes, it might truly be your fault. You just can’t help yourself from the allure of the latest and greatest new tech toy that just came out this season.

Other times, you just happen to get served by a circumstantial “act of God,” at no fault of yours whatsoever. Perhaps you might have bought your first house only to find out later that it was swept away because it happens to be in the direct path of a deadly hurricane.

Or, you made an appointment for your annual exam expecting your usual clean bill of health only to be told that you have incurable cancer that can possibly cost you and your family a future of uncertainty and an insurmountable amount hospital bills afterward.

Whether it is due to health, an act of nature, or just exercising poor choice, debt happens and it happens to the best of us, believe me.

So what can you do to prevent it? It may surprise you to learn that there are many ways to soften the blow of debt and build yourself a soft cushion for when life strikes.

Check out these 10 Do’s & Don’t s On How To Beat Debt below:

 

1. Do Boss your money around: create a budget and tell your dollars and cents where to go. Be diligent with every penny and soon you’ll quickly find your peace of mind when you’re able to gain control of your money and not the other way around.

 

 2. Do get an umbrella: and start saving for a rainy day. Create a savings account for emergencies only, meaning do not spend it unless your life depended on it. Start off small, $25 per week, and by the end of the month, you would have saved yourself $100. Do this for a whole year and you would save yourself $1200, for when it really does rain.

 

 3. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: Pull back the reins on your spending spree and start asking yourself if this item is a “need,” or a “want”. Do this for every purchase and you’ll soon make a routine out of it. If it is truly a “need,” give yourself the green light to buy it. However, if it is a “want,” it can wait a while until you have the cash available to spend later.

 

 4. Do Find Alternatives: Look for other ways to achieve the same effect, swap out an old item before replacing it with a new item, trade services with a friend who happens to be a hairstylist if you happen to moonlight as a good alterationist on the side; host a potluck night where everyone BYOB (bring your own beer) and/or side dish; think of free games or activities to do with the kids instead of going out to eat or spending money at the amusement park.

 

 5. Don’t Try To Keep Up With The Kardashians: simply put, do not spend money and buy things just to impress people that you do not like. Instead, let it be known that you are living frugally and chances are your true friends will respect you enough to follow suit. Because as we all know, “birds of a feather stick together,” find like-minded frugal folks to hang out with so you don’t succumb to the spending craze.

 

 6. Don’t Knock Meal Planning: do not underestimate the power of meal planning. A quick fast food run can be convenient, but it can easily rack up a $40+ for a family of 4. Take that number times 3 meals for 7 days a week and you’re easily spending upwards of $840  per week just on eating out for all your meals. (That’s a mortgage payment for some folks!) Do your family a favor by spending just $40 a week and plan out your meals. It will save your wallet, your waistline, not to mention your sanity for the cash you’ll be saving. Make this a priority on Sundays so that the rest of your week runs smoothly. Take advantage of grocery store loss leaders (the front page of sales ads) and buy items on sale. With the money that you can save on your weekly grocery bill, you and your family can rack up a nice fortune at the end of the month to pay down credit card bills or even start a fund for a nice family vacation!

 

7. Do Set Goals: Have a family meeting once per quarter and write down everything you plan to do this year, then next year. (Don’t worry if your goals change, it’ll happen.) Set up a savings account/fund for each goal and set aside a specific amount per pay period in order to reach that goal together as a family. Get your family to visualize the goal(s) and work hard towards achieving it together.

 

8. Do Celebrate The Small Things: Start off small, say, 3 days at a time, and keep a spending journal of all the things that bought and did not buy. Did you spend any money? If you did, can you return the item? If you did not, congratulations! You did it! You saved yourself some moolah in our hot pocket! You get a gold start for that. Now let’s have a homemade dessert and extend that 3-day goal into 7 days! There’s another homemade cookie waiting for you in the cookie jar with your name on it, in 1 week. You can do it! 😉

 

 9. Do Believe in Yourself: THIS IS NO SMALL FEAT. Otherwise, everyone in the entire world would be rich, right? But you have to be your own cheerleader and dig deep within to find the gumption and grit to dig yourself out of debt and save not only for you but also for the future of your family. You can do it! I believe in you.

 

 10. Do Move Forward: So you hit a stumbling block. You were working late yet again this week and you answered the bright yellow siren call of the double arches. It needs you and you need it, like right now. And even though you know it’s wrong, no burger in the history of all burgers has ever tasted better or half as juicy as the one you’re about to sink your pearly whites into right this second. You hate yourself but you just can’t stop. You just spent $25 on a subpar meal that will give you heartburn for the rest of the night because you were just too busy this week to meal plan and pack a meal from home. It’s ok, you heard me right, it’s ok.

This too will happen and it too shall pass because tomorrow is another day for you to try it all over again. 

It’s kind of like falling off a bike. Once you get tired of the bruises, you’ll either quit or you’ll suck it up and do it again.

 

Having debt can weigh you down and make you feel as though whatever it is you do, you just can’t seem to stay afloat for very long. At first, you may start to feel as though you are nothing more than just another cog in a constant hamster wheel, destined to spend your life trapped in this never-ending soul-sucking cycle.

It’s suffocating and can oftentimes feel like you’re being bound by shackles anytime you are faced with the temptation to spend money.

But it doesn’t have to be that way forever.

If you are ready and willing to take these small steps and be willing to sacrifice a few creature comforts now, you will set yourself up for a much more comfortable future later on in life. Because let’s face it, wouldn’t you rather be relaxing, digging your toes inside the soft sugary sands of a tropical island somewhere rather than digging yourself out of the grave of debt you’ve dug yourself into because of all the financial mistakes you’ve made in your youth?

The choice is entirely up to you. But for most of you, it’s a no-brainer, right?

As the saying goes, “there’s no time like the present.”

Now go out there and get it done!

 

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