When ALDI finally came to Orange County we knew we had to try it. With $50 in our hands, we headed to our closest ALDI location to find the best ALDI summer items.
Save Money with ALDI
Living in Southern California sometimes it seems like there’s a competition surrounding who can spend the most on groceries. You know the stores, with their fancy salad bars and dogs riding in purses.
In this house we are pretty proud of our budget. We wrote our budget before we got married. Although it has been tweaked over the years to allow for growing families, much remains the same.
We set a grocery budget for ourselves and we stick to it, every month.
Budgeting for Summer Groceries
In the summer that budget becomes trickier because everyone is home all summer, including my husband. He works so much during the school year that he longs for lazy days and grilled food and freezers stocked with popsicles and ice cream sandwiches.
We entertain casually all summer long inviting friends over for dinner and extending bedtimes and making s’mores over the fire pit. And yet, the budget remains.
I’ve never been willing to compromise quality for my family for the sake of maintaining the budget. I shop with a list and a plan and I make it work, but sometimes our summer grocery totals are shocking.
We had the chance to visit ALDI this week and we did so with $50 to spend. We wanted to see how far we could get that $50 to stretch while coming home with all of the things that our families love in the summer: fresh fruit, veggies and meats to grill, chips, nuts, ice cream and drinks.
What’s the deal with the ALDI quarter?
I will admit to being shocked by the four overflowing bags of groceries we loaded into my car an hour later. ALDI makes their groceries affordable by eliminating a few elements of shopping that we have grown to expect – you have to place a quarter in the cart to release it from the corral and you get the quarter back when you return the cart.
Already I’m imagining my kids loving this element of the shopping trip.
How does ALDI keep prices down?
In addition to requiring a quarter for your cart, you bag your own groceries.
You need to bring your own grocery bags, buy reusable bags from ALDI, or purchase paper or plastic bags when you check out.
All of this in the name of being able to bring home high-quality groceries, including many organic selections, to my family and you bet I’m on board.
Does ALDI carry national brands?
While ALDI carries some national brands most of their items are from their own in-house brands that they regularly taste test to be sure that they stack up to the competition.
We grabbed a few packages of Benton’s Caramel Coconut Fudge Cookies, Benton’s Fudge Mint Cookies and Benton’s Peanut Butter Filled Cookies to compare them to a counterpart that we all know and love. That taste test video is coming soon, but spoiler alert – they were amazing!
Does ALDI carry organic items?
If, like me, you’ve assumed that you need to forgo buying organic in the sake of sticking to a budget, ALDI has you covered there as well.
The SimplyNature brand features many organic selections, in addition to organic fruit choices and meats from their NeverAny! line that are free of antibiotics, hormones and animal by-products. Color us impressed.
We created a video sharing our ALDI grocery haul, minus one item that we forgot. Can you spot it in the picture above? Hint: it’s a sweet treat.
Are you an ALDI shopper? If you’re in Southern California, ALDI has opened 25 new stores. Let us know your favorite things to pick up at ALDI on our next trip.
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