Monday Health & Wellness: 5-Day Meal Plan for Under $100 at Aldi - Modern Alternative Mama
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Monday Health & Wellness: 5-Day Meal Plan for Under $100 at Aldi

admin June 30, 2014

We all want to save money on groceries, right? I shared a couple weeks ago how I save money by shopping for real food at Costco and Aldi.  That was a really popular post because lots of people are looking for a good, easily accessible source of real food.  That’s the dream.

Today I’m going to get more specific.  I’m going give you a five-day meal plan and a grocery list for Aldi, to show you just how much awesome real food you can make using their products — and how much money you can save while doing it. This meal plan covers all three meals each day — that’s 15 meals for less than $100!  For the purposes of this exercise, I’m going to assume a couple of things:

  • You have some basic “staples” on hand, like milk, butter, salt, pepper, etc.
  • “Real food” is any single-ingredient food (i.e. it won’t all be organic or farm-quality)

On that last point, I understand that budgets and availability are big for many of my readers.  You might not have farms nearby.  Or you might not be able to pay $15 for just one chicken.  No guilt, mama.  A conventional whole chicken will work out just fine too.   If you can and want to purchase some of these ingredients from local farms to upgrade the quality, that’s totally up to you.  It’ll hike the price up as well.  The goal here is to show you how you can afford real food that’s pretty decent.  We all have to make some concessions sometimes (me too).

The neat part about this plan is that it actually costs only $75, which gives you an additional $25 to fill in spices, pantry staples, bulk, or extra fruits and vegetables, and you still have a meal plan under $100.  All real food!

The Shopping List

The prices noted on here are roughly what I pay at my local Aldi.  Your prices may be a bit more or a bit less, depending on what area of the country you’re in.  Product availability may vary, too — these are the items that available in stores near me and many others, but may or may not be in your local store.

I also didn’t include any of the sale prices.  I love to buy pineapples when they’re one of the Produce Picks of the Week for just $1.29, but that’s not an “everyday” price.  (Actually always check Aldi‘s website for their Produce Pick of the Week before I make my grocery lists.  It’s a great way I can afford more fruits and vegetables without spending a ton of money.  If you happen to get lucky and they have a great sale on pineapples or onions — which happens sometimes — you might pay even less for this list.  They are offering more organic produce now too.)

few of these are what I’d consider compromises (organic pancake mix, organic cereal) but I would buy them and I have bought them at times.  They aren’t perfect traditional food but they don’t have any junk in them, either.  Sometimes you just need something that’s quick and easy, you know?  (I did the cereal a lot in the last month or so I was pregnant with Nathan, and not so often since then.)

Grocery List

  • Rice (1 lb. for $2)
  • Salsa (16 oz. for $2)
  • Avocados (1 for $0.99 — buy 3)
  • Salmon (1 lb. for $4.50)
  • Kerrygold cheese (7 oz. for $3.50)
  • Uncured bacon ($3.79 for 12 oz.)
  • Organic oat cereal (1box for $1.99)
  • Pancake mix (1 box for $1.99)
  • Maple syrup (12 oz. for $3.99)
  • Lifeway kefir (32 oz. for $2.79)
  • Green peppers (2 for $1.29)
  • Red/yellow peppers (2 for $1.99)
  • Pineapples (1 for $1.99)
  • Apples (3 lbs. for $2.99)
  • Mushrooms (8 oz. for $1.29)
  • Green onions (1 pack for $1)
  • Peas (1 lb. for $0.95)
  • Onions (3 lbs. for $1.49)
  • Potatoes (5 lbs. for $1.99)
  • Organic chicken stock (1 quart for $1.99)
  • Organic spaghetti (1 lb. for $1.99 — buy 2)
  • Whole chickens ($0.89/lb. – about $3.50)
  • Romaine hearts (3 for $1.99)
  • Lemons (1 lb. for $1.29)
  • Black beans (1 lb. for $1)
  • Bananas (1 bunch for $1.50)
  • Frozen organic fruit (12 oz. for $2.79)
  • Grass-fed beef (1 lb. for $4.99)
  • Olive oil (17 oz. for $3.99)
  • Eggs ($1.50 for 1 doz)
  • Crushed tomatoes ($1.25 for 28-oz. can)

The Meal Plan Under $100

Breakfasts

  • Cereal and bananas (1 box of cereal, milk, and bananas)
  • Basic fruit smoothie (6 oz. frozen fruit, kefir, water, ice)
  • Pancakes and w/syrup and apple slices (x2)
  • Avocado-blueberry smoothie

Lunches

  • Mixed greens salad (Romaine lettuce, tri-color peppers, olive oil, vinegar)
  • Baked potato soup
  • Salmon salad (Romaine lettuce, grilled salmon, olive oil, vinegar)
  • Chicken taco salad (leftover chicken, lettuce, salsa, rice)
  • French onion soup

Dinners

  • Chicken veggie soup (boil whole chicken for stock, use shredded chicken, onions, potatoes, other veggies)
  • Chicken tacos (shredded chicken, salsa, guacamole, rice, lettuce)
  • Mexican casserole (use shredded chicken or skip the meat)
  • Spaghetti and meat sauce (ground beef, crushed tomatoes, onions, basil, olive oil)
  • Chicken Tetrazzini

The groceries on this list are about $75.  It might cost you another $10 – $25 to fill in milk, spices, a few more salad veggies, or other pantry staples.  The total for all these meals will be easily under $100!

Yeah — that’s pretty awesome, right?  I think so.  For a family of 4 – 6 people, spending $300 – $500 a month on real food is great.  Truly.  I hope that this meal plan is helpful to you, so you that you can see how to use those groceries from Aldi in some really frugal ways.

What are your favorite finds from Aldi?  Can you meal plan for under $100 a week?

**This post was sponsored by Aldi.  I did the shopping and the planning myself!**

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14 Comments

  1. I think I might be confused. Is this a meal plan for one person? If so, that would be $15/person/day, right? So, $450/person/month? Plus snacks?

    Reply

  2. Great ideas. I would never call cereal a real food, however. Convenient, yes, but it is highly processed rather the ingredients are good or not. It is simple enough to soak rolled oats overnight and then cook in morning with a bit of butter and cinnamon. Much healthier and probably less expensive per serving. I serve with maple syrup. I like to throw raw eggs in when I cook the oats to up the protein content too.

    Also, you can cheaply make your own stock from veggie scraps and the chicken bones and make the budget stretch even further next time.

    I haven’t shopped at Aldi’s in years. We are Gluten free and eat mostly organic and a lot of local (all our meat is local). However, I have heard they carry more organic and Gluten free now. I may have to check it out sometime in the near future.

    Reply

    • We almost never buy the cereal — it’s pretty “clean” for cereal, but it’s a definite “treat.” We can’t personally do oats but that’s a great option for those who can, to buy and soak for oatmeal.

      I forgot to note that you also need to make chicken stock from the bones for this to work, and could probably skip the organic stock entirely. I don’t actually buy stock ever, I was including that to make it easy on those who are newer to real food. Mine’s in my crock pot 24/7. 🙂

      Aldi really does have a lot of good options though. The uncured bacon, real maple syrup, organic produce, Kerrygold cheese, Lifeway kefir (also a treat), wild caught salmon…you should check it out!

      Reply

  3. This is great….except if you want to avoid GMOs, pesticides and other chemicals. 🙁
    Too good to be true

    Reply

    • No, it’s not.

      The only item on this list that could contain GMOs is the whole chicken — because it would have been fed GMOs. Nothing else does. Potatoes and peppers would contain pesticides, but some Aldi stores have organic potatoes. They have organic apples although I didn’t note that (but the price is about the same for organic). There’s also nothing on this list that contains any chemicals at all. The vast majority of items are single-ingredient and the few that aren’t, I’ve read the labels very carefully. I promise you, this is NOT too good to be true and it is NOT full of junk. I wouldn’t have promoted this at all if that were true because I am very committed to real food.

      Reply

  4. Great ideas! We eat a similar whole foods diet (except nightshade free) for a very similar price…and don’t have an Aldi near us. I was surprised no to see beans on the menu anywhere — we eat beans at least once a week! And we also eat lots more eggs!

    Reply

  5. Thanks for sharing! I shop at Aldi all the time now that we’re down to one income. We are gluten free and do mostly real food. I try not to feel too bad when we have to buy their conventional meats. But I still a little. Sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do.

    Reply

  6. I really like this! The majority of weeks our grocery budget is even tighter than this (at $50 a week). Yes, it is tough, but we still manage to eat real food. No, it might not all be organic, but it is about doing the best you can with what you have! I only wish we had an Aldi here in Central California!

    Reply

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this! My grocery budget is out of control (I am ashamed to tell you how much we spend each month on food) and this actually seems doable.

    Reply

  8. Thank you so much! We have clearly been spending too much on food. We spend a little over $400 each month and it is just me, my husband, and our 12 month old who doesn’t eat a ton yet. Looks like I need to take a trip to ALDI asap.

    Reply

  9. Hi! Love your site. I was taken a bit surprised to see “cereal” on your list. I read the comments above and I know that cereal is a very special treat and that you almost never buy it, but I also agree with the other comment on cereal not being a real food. Even if it’s a pretty “clean” for cereal, it really still not real food. Also, I feel as if though by including cereal on the list while omitting other real food choices such as oats, (or even buying more bacon, eggs), it makes cereal the better alternative, which is not. I really get your point on cereal being a compromise, yet I still feel that there are better compromises. I too have compromised on the organic pancake mix (but at least they’ve got eggs in them to at least boost the nutritional profile, yet I feel that cereal is a big no.

    Reply

  10. I love Aldi’s. I moved and this state does not have an Aldi’s so I drive the 2 hours there. I spend $300. But it will last 4-5 months [sometimes longer]. Between the freezer and the canning nothing goes to waste. Plus I love to can so it’s an added bonus. I still have to buy milk and make bread of course. I am also an avid label reader. I take my do not buy GMO list with me as well.

    I would also suggest you check into your farmers. I have 2 farms and standing orders. What that means is every month I get the same amount of meat and poultry [organic ] It is cheaper and I don’t have to worry about what is in it. I pay $ 1.09 per pound for poultry. That’s chicken or turkey. I also have a standing order for pork and beef. $2.59 a pound again organic. And it’s packaged much better than the store packages it. Also some farmers have frozen meat they sell cheaper but it has to be used up with-in a month usually. I can it …that way it cooks and stays good.

    Reply

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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