After watching about a zillion Youtube videos, I’ve FINALLY popped my Aldi cherry (Harlem location)! I’ve been dreaming of this shopping experience for quite some time, but have yet to make my way there. In 2017 alone, I’ve moved from Manhattan to Queens, back to Manhattan, and luckily for me, I am now approximately 15 blocks from this Aldi location (as well as Target – control yourself, Jocelyn!)
It is true when people say that you can easily save 50% on your grocery bill by simply coming to Aldi. You don’t have to wait for sales or use coupons to save a lot of money here. I haven’t tried many of the products yet like other bloggers and YouTubers have, but I can say that the produce is fresh and well-priced. For example, you won’t find wilted salads here! Like many others have mentioned before me, Aldi supplies their own off-brand products, which so far, have been of very good quality, with many low-priced organic and GMO-free varieties to choose from. A few things you should keep in mind: They don’t bag your groceries, and you have to pay for plastic bags if you don’t bring your own. The same can be said for a shopping cart.
Unfortunately, because my husband and I have to lug back everything we purchase, we can’t shop too heavy. And, let’s face it, the bigger the value, the heavier it is! I’m not even kidding – the canned goods, the rice, the bag of sugar, flour, potatoes, etc. – that’s heavy stuff, and we only have 4 arms combined. However, the great thing is, those prices won’t disappear. They’ll still be there next week.
So, I’ll begin by sharing with you all what I’ve purchased along with a list of meals I plan to incorporate with these items. Then, I will share some good finds that I weren’t able to purchase and carry home, but felt it was worth mentioning.
Before I begin, keep in mind that I am meal planning under certain circumstances such as limited refrigerator space and cookware. This haul is meant to last 2-4 days, with a focus on snacks, lunch, and dinners. We are also shopping to stretch our food stamp dollar the absolute furthest possible.
Bag of navel oranges — $1.49, probably the best deal from this haul!
Baby carrots — .99
3lb Long grain rice — $1.39, again, you won’t find this price elsewhere
2 cans of black beans — .69 ea, ^^^
2 cans of vienna sausage — .49 ea, I’m not quite sure why I bought this, I used to eat them straight out of the can as a child and it’s kind of a treat when I’m feeling homesick
Peanut butter wafers — $1.09, my husband’s guilty pleasure
Bag of hard-boiled eggs — $1.89, this is a pure convenience purchase; we share a community kitchen with our neighbors and any time I can save in the kitchen goes a long way
Kielbasa sausage — $2.29
2lbs of potato salad — $2.49, I love potato salad, what can I say?
Honey Ham, cold cuts — $2.59, makes about 3-4 sandwiches, depending on how generous you want to be
Smoked Turkey, cold cuts — $2.59, ^^^
Cheddar cheese slices <3 — $1.89
Strawberry yogurt cups — .49 ea
Chicken fried rice — $3.09, meal for 2 type of thing
Frozen peas — $1.05
Right now, we have a decent amount of cereal, cereal bars, and granola bars, which, by the way, are mostly from Aldi as well! With that in mind, we didn’t shop for any breakfast foods. For lunches, we plan to have sandwiches with a cup of yogurt, an orange or handful of baby carrots. I have some salad dressing and hummus in the fridge to jazz things up. For dinners, we will be enjoying A LOT of rice and beans, and rice and peas (with carrots too)! We plan to throw in some kielbasa, eggs, or even some sliced ham. I will probably divide our kielbasa up between 2-3 meals and have some of it sliced, browned on the stove, then put on some bread with potato salad on the side.
Flavors will depend on what we have on hand from take-out condiments such as soy sauce or hot sauce.
In all honesty, I am a very simple eater. I am very satisfied with a bowl of rice and eggs with a little soy sauce or hot sauce. Chances are, we may go back for more kielbasa because it’s literally $2, and we can’t deny how versatile it is for meal planning – they have all-beef smoked sausage, lean turkey, etc. so there is some variety to choose from. Next time, I also plan to pick up some canned tuna because they’re .50 a can! Another simple meal I enjoy is diced tomatoes tossed in with some tuna (preferably tuna in-oil) with a few tablespoons of fish sauce stirred in over hot rice.
A few goodies I spotted but wasn’t able to purchase:
$1.99 box of fruit bars that I really wanted, but would melt before I got home :/
MILK – it’s $1 less than anywhere else I’ve been!
Spices, sauces, dressings, and condiments.
Basically all baking and staple pantry items such as flour and sugar.
What are your favorite Aldi products? What would you recommend to new Aldi shoppers?