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:
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
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.