I used to shop for groceries on a biweekly basis, and noticed I was spending a lot on food. I sat down, reassessed my grocery habits and started seeing positive changes. Find out four easy ways I’ve started saving money during my weekly grocery runs.
Shop at Aldi or Lidl
I used to shop at Walmart and sometimes Target for my groceries until I discovered the magical store that is Aldi. Aldi is a smaller grocery chain that originated in Germany, and it’s becoming a household name for a reason. Their products are high-quality and at cheaper prices than even Walmart. Lidl is Aldi’s brother, literally. They’re owned by the same family (brothers took over ownership of Aldi back in the 1950s and along the way, split Aldi into Aldi and Lidl). Lidl is started to grow along the east coast of the US, but has yet to reach us in Florida. Here’s a quick and real example of the savings you can expect from Aldi, Lidl and Walmart.
Common spices like oregano, rosemary, poultry, thyme, etc.
Spices at Aldi: $1.69-$1.79
Spices at Lidl: $0.69 (I kid you not)
Spices at Walmart: $2.34 (McCormick brand, since Great Value doesn’t offer a full range of seasonings)
As you can see there’s a clear winner. I found things like egg noodles to be a dollar cheaper at Aldi versus Walmart. Now, if Aldi or Lidls are farther from you than Walmarts, then obviously Walmart will be your best stop for low prices. One thing to note, you’ll need a quarter to use shopping carts at Aldi, and you’ll have to bring or buy your own reusable shopping bags.
This one requires more time and effort because you’ll want to plan out every meal that you and household will eat for a week. I try to plan out the week on Saturday and then go to the store on Sunday, although I would rather plan on Fridays and shop on Saturdays because the stores are packed on Sundays. Some things I know will always be the same. My boyfriend will always eat cereal for breakfast, while I’ll make overnight steel cut oats. Lunches and dinners may vary, but it’s important to know how many lunches you’ll be prepping, so you don’t over buy at the store. Your wallet will thank you in the end. I also suggest you check out Crafty Coin’s Budget Grocery Price List. Crafty Coin is a blog I started reading last year and it really helped me start grocery shopping with more intention. I’ve started working on my own budget grocery price list for where I live in Orlando, based on Aldi. It’s still in the very early stages, but I’ll share that once it’s complete!
Don’t Go Shopping Hungry
This one is a no-brainer because when we’re out buying food and we’re starving, we will often buy food we can eat immediately or things we’re craving at that very moment. I try to eat my breakfast or a good-sized snack before I head out the door.
Write Out Your Shopping List
This one has helped me stay on track because if it’s not on my list then I don’t need it for the week. There will be exceptions where I’ll find something on sale that I know I can incorporate into meals for the week, but I try to limit my non-list items.
I hope these tips help you out as much as they’ve helped me reform my grocery shopping experience!