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 I 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.)
A 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.)
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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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