“This post about stretching your organic food budget was sponsored by ALDI as part of Influencer Activation for Influence Central.”
When I heard ALDI was opening 25 new locations in Southern California, I was very curious. I had never been to one before, but had heard plenty of stories from my mom of amazing deals on meat, produce, and more. Now, I’m not perfect, but I do try to feed my family mainly organic and GMO-free foods. So when I learned that ALDI offers a variety of private-label USDA Organic foods at low prices, I was excited to see how far I could stretch my dollar.
Right off the bat you’ll notice the things ALDI does to save you more money. There aren’t any cart corrals in the parking lot and they don’t have anyone out there collecting them either. The carts are all nicely lined up right in front of the door and chained together. If you’d like to use a cart for your shopping you have to put a quarter in to unlock one.
The quarter serves as your key, as well as an incentive to bring the cart back to the front of the store. While I was rummaging through my messy purse to find my quarter, an nice woman offered to give me one! You can also borrow a quarter a cashier if you don’t have one.
The store was clean and easy to shop and find what we needed. There aren’t a bunch of different brand names to choose from – ninety percent of the groceries ALDI sells are under its own ALDI-exclusive brands. These brands include SimplyNature®, liveGfree®, and NeverAny! product, and all are regularly tested for taste and quality, so the only thing that they cut down on is the cost.
Most of the products at ALDI are stocked in their cases or on pallets which makes it easy to shop from and I’m guessing easy to stock as well. They don’t have to spend a ton of time straightening boxes and cans all day, again passing the savings on to you.
So, armed with a $50 gift card, I went through the store on a mission to get as much Organic or hormone/antibiotic-free food as I could. It’s a delicate balance between eating healthy and living on a budget. Could ALDI be the secret to making it work?
I follow the Dirty Dozen rule of produce-buying. For those of you not familiar with the dirty dozen, it’s a list of 12 produce items that have the highest amount of pesticides. I was glad to see some of them represented in the organic produce section at ALDI – and at great prices.
Their NeverAny! products are free of antibiotics and hormones, and once again a great price. I wanted to grab items that would be healthy and make for some easy meals, so these chicken sausages fit the bill perfectly.
We don’t have to worry about finding affordable gluten-free foods, but it’s nice to know that ALDI has a great line called, liveGfree®, full of pastas, cereals, snacks, and even baking products.
With my cart full of fresh produce, pantry staples, hormone-free meats, and more, I headed to the checkout. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your own bags – they charge for their plastic bags there. (Yet another way they can afford to save you more money on your groceries!) I for sure thought I had gone over my $50. In my excitement over shopping the new ALDI store I hadn’t been keeping track of prices. But my grand total? $53 and some change.
I was able to get four full dinners out of this haul, as well as a couple of delicious breakfasts and I added some staples into the pantry. The best part? I didn’t feel like I had to compromise my standards in order to meet my budget. And because of that, I will be shopping at ALDI again very soon.
For more ideas on stretching your food budget, connect with ALDI on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also find great recipes and other advice on the ALDI blog!