I have a love/hate relationship with grocery shopping.
First off- it gets me out of the house. I get to look at shiny things and buy food for my family and stock up on all that we need.
But then again, I have to get out of the house, usually with my three kids in tow and go to the store. I have to load the groceries into the car and then carry them into the house when we get home.
And I always, always have to think about how much I can spend and how much I am actually spending (and it’s quite a feat to get those two numbers to match up).
Yesterday I posted my tips and tricks to menu planning, but the next step is actually grocery shopping and buying my food.
While planning my menu for the month, I make my grocery list of the things we need. Armed with my list, I load up my kiddos and we head off to the store!
I always go to Aldi. Aldi is my place.
If you have never been to Aldi or haven’t been to an Aldi in years, you need to get yourself there…NOW. Aldi has changed and improved so much of their store, and they offer so much more now including name brand items, organic items, and gluten free and dairy free items. Aldi works very hard to keep their prices down by using simplicity.
They don’t pay and employee to take bulk items out of boxes, instead they just put the boxes on the shelf. They don’t pay for millions of plastic baggies and someone to bag them, instead the customer bags their own groceries. They keep the store small- only 5 or 6 aisles which saves SO MUCH TIME on grocery shopping. They don’t ever lose any carts in the parking lot because you have to pay a quarter to get your cart- and then retrieve your quarter when you are done shopping (and who doesn’t want to retrieve their quarter? No one. So all the carts go back.) I have found that Aldi provides just as good quality items as any other grocery store, and usually for a much cheaper price!
Armed with our grocery list, we go up and down each aisle and get what we need.
Once we have finished grabbing our items, we load them onto the checkout belt, pay, and then head over to the bagging counter.
Trust me…keeping both kids contained while loading up all the groceries is not a task for the faint of heart. I always wish I had several more arms at this point in the shopping trip!
My last Aldi haul was just under $100 ($94 to be exact), and this is what I got:
There are always a few items I don’t get at Aldi, so I head over to Walmart usually immediately after I’m done shopping at Aldi.
I always buy the following items at Walmart:
- Most Fruits (Walmart tends to have better quality)
- Cheese (I need the big 2 pound blocks which Aldi doesn’t have- they do have a great selection of cheese, but only in 1 pound blocks)
- House Cleaning Supplies
- Toiletries (I’m a name brand snob. Aldi does carry some name brand toothpaste, feminine hygiene items and deodorant, though)
- Eggs (We go through so many eggs that I like to buy the 18 packs which Aldi doesn’t carry)
- Cat Food
All in all, my grocery trips take 2-3 hours. I go once a month for all the big, bulk stuff and then usually end up stopping by at Walmart once a week for fruit, milk and eggs.
One thing that I would really like to work on is only going to the store once a week. I painted the inside of one of my cupboard doors with chalkboard paint so that I can keep a grocery list going there. Instead of running to the store every time I run out of an ingredient, I am working on getting creative with what I have at home and only going to the store once a week.
Now, of course this is my ideal. It doesn’t look like this every month. Some months I feel like I’m going to the store every single day for something else that I forgot. Sometimes I go way over budget and some months I just fail to plan correctly. It’s always a constant battle of doing it most efficiently and feeding my family while also saving money on grocery shopping.
What does grocery shopping look like in your home? I’d love to hear how it goes for you, where you go and what kinds of things you like to get! I’d also love to see your grocery haul!
Feel free to let me know if you have any questions related to grocery shopping or menu planning!