The last post was a summary of my grocery shopping for allergy free foods. (You may want to re-read it as I added some new information). Today I will talk about my weekly shopping and how I keep costs down. I hit two stores each week. I head to Aldi and my list is pretty long for there. At one point I typed up a list of everything I buy at Aldi for a friend. While I still have the list, it is much too long for a blog post. Nevertheless, I buy a large portion of our groceries at Aldi. One can really save money there. Some of these things are cereals, canned beans, jarred items, meats, honey and pure maple syrup, chips, pre-packaged snacks (for the non-allergic), and produce. Now before you write off Aldi consider this. I find that many of their goods such as spaghetti sauce are free of milk, whereas the brand names and generics at the local grocer often have milk in the goods that Aldi does not. I buy lunch meat at Aldi that is gluten free, whereas a lot of the brand names contain gluten. These are just two examples of many instances I have had occur.
Here is another thing. The produce at Aldi, while not organic, is wonderful; at least at my location. I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with the produce there with the exception of bananas. One thing I noticed is that a lot of the produce at Aldi comes from the same local warehouse that supplies a high end grocery in town. I am buying the same thing for a fraction of the cost at Aldi. And on occasion, I have found gluten free crackers and cereals at Aldi.
Aldi is not just for people on fixed incomes as some people seem to think. Every week I see luxury vehicles in the parking lot. If you have one near, you should really give it a shot. You will save money there. Although, let me remind you to always read labels! The spices at Aldi do contain milk and this just serves a great reminder to always read labels.
After Aldi, I head to my local grocer for all the things I cannot buy at Aldi. I see no sense in writing a list of what I buy there because it varies so much from week to week based on my menu plan; and as Aldi simply does not sell certain items that most households need. But suffice it to say, I generally spend about equal amounts each week at Aldi and my local grocer.
That wraps up part two of this series. The last part, coming soon, will give some tips and resources if you do not have access to the stores I have access too. Make sure to come back for that and then I will start sharing recipes again!
Edited 7/16/14: Since this original writing Aldi has added a new organic line which is very affordable. This line makes nitrate and nitrite free bacon and lunch meats which are gluten free and allergy free.
Also shared at Gluten Free Friday.