Back in February, I set a challenge for myself to shop only at Aldi for the whole month. I wanted to see if I could do it & more importantly, if I’d save money. Well I did complete the challenge & I did save money – an average of $53 a week – a substantial saving, especially for those on a tight budget as that’s over $200 a month. There’s lots one could do with 200 extra bucks a month right?!
All household items, including alcohol, cleaning products & food was purchased at Aldi. It meant going without my favorite Columbia Crest chardonnay but Aldi have a okay selection of wine (in a pinch) & stock local beers. I did enjoy a French rosé whose name alludes me right now. And my husband & I certainly enjoyed some great meals – here are a few. Oh & I could buy all the fresh ingredients for my vegetable juice I make every morning.
One pan Garlic Butter Shrimp using gorgeous tiger shrimp was a quick & easy recipe. I currently shop at Aldi in Noblesville, Indiana & they have a good selection of frozen seafood. Including tuna, big crab legs, scallops & these delicious tiger shrimp.
Smoked Salmon, Potato & Beet Salad using delicious hot-smoked salmon. Aldi have good fresh produce so it’s easy to shop for nutritious foods & not pay a fortune. Don’t dare say to me eating healthy is expensive if you’re not shopping at your local Aldi store, growing your own or the farmer’s markets in summer.
Aldi sell a decent selection of meat – including grass fed beef. Their rib-eye steaks which are so popular in my home, are about 1-inch thickness. Nice! This is Steak, Mushroom & Swiss Open Sandwich using New York Strip, also nice & thick. And using one of their artisan breads they have available.
Tuna Pineapple Tacos are a huge hit in my home. Once I knew Aldi sold tuna, I was all over that. And it’s inexpensive – about five bucks for 4 smallish pieces. Still, it’s enough to feed two to three people. Especially in tacos.
Aldi has a nice selection of deli meats – prosciutto, capocollo, various salami, nice smoked ham that you carve yourself. Their cheese selection around the holidays is pretty good. Remember, we’re talking about a small store here when you compare it to the likes of Walmart (which has a completely crappy cheese selection), Kroger etc. Here’s a nice cheese platter & a meat platter, all from Aldi that I put together.
They stock some Mexican items & fresh cilantro, jalapenos & good tomatoes. This recipe for Mexican Bruschetta is so tasty & really simple to make.
They have a good selection of nuts & seeds. And they’re reasonably priced. I made this decadent lemon pistachio brownie. They have both shelled & not shelled pistachios. Thank you!
I probably have the distinct advantage of shopping in more Aldi stores than most Aldi shoppers, having shopped in two or more stores in Minnesota, Florida & Indiana. What I like about the stores is they’re not huge. I have a damaged, very sore knee & walking for long distances (any distance actually) is dreadfully painful so appreciate I can be in out of Aldi in 30 minutes or less without having to hiked for miles just to buy toothpaste & eggs. I don’t mind packing my own bags – it makes for easier unpacking when I put my groceries away. I also don’t mind having to pay a quarter for a cart because I get it back – & their carts are nice. Parking is easy & close to the store because they don’t have to take up an entire block for parking. They also keep up with what foods are on trend – coconut, ancient grains, gluten-free products & organic fresh & packaged items.
My one real gripe, maybe two, are the staff can be abrasive at times. I think this is because they’re always so busy. The same staff that ring-up your groceries also load the shelves & do everything in the running of the store. So I get that they’re busy. They’re also fast. I don’t need idle chit-chat. I just want to pay, pack my groceries & leave. Just don’t get in their way when they’re unloading, they’ll block you or run you down.
My other “gripe” is Aldi are missing some key items: fresh ginger, self-rising flour; buttermilk; fresh herbs; blocks of feta & blue cheese (they do sell blue cheese blocks during the Christmas season) & puff pastry. Now, I understand they don’t have an infinite amount of space but instead of having 12 rows of romaine lettuce, maybe add some fresh herbs & ginger & just have eight rows of romaine lettuce. Same with the milk, flour & such. If they stocked these items, I could have many weeks when I only shopped at Aldi helping my knee & my wallet. In short, I really like their stores. Of all the ‘main-stream’ grocery stores I’ve shopped in, Aldi is my favorite.
If you’d like to know more about my Aldi challenge or see more recipes, please send me an email Lovoni@freshhunger.com or reply in the comments section below. Cheers, Lovoni