Eating Healthy on a Budget | Save Money on Healthy Food with Aldi
Shop at Aldi -- Save Money, Lose Weight
The common myth surrounding a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating is that it is expensive. As a personal trainer by profession, I hear this one a lot. "But it's so much more expensive to eat healthy food..." but what I hear is that it's just not worth it to them. Where there is a will, there is a way!
I've been buying staples for my household pantry and refrigerator from Aldi since they opened up in Florida in 2008. Although there is a lot of processed food there, they have slowly been adding in more and more items that complement a healthy lifestyle.
Eating at Home
We already know that eating homecooked food is a surefire way to save lots of money on your monthly food bill. But you can save even more money if the ingredients you buy to make that homecooked food, that delectable goodness, is less expensive, too. And Aldi Food Market is a store that makes doing that oh so much easier!
An Example of Healthy Options at Aldi
Here are some things I picked up the other day!
- Strawberries: $0.99/lb
- Roma tomatoes $1.69 for 20 oz
- Black beans: $0.55 per can
- Brown sugar $1.49 for 2 lbs
- 12-Grain bread: $1.99 per loaf (my husband and I both LOVE this bread!)
- Frozen veggies (like peas, sweet corn, etc.) $0.99 per 16-oz bag
- Blueberries, frozen -- $2.99/lb
- Bananas -- $0.44/lb
- Sweet Potatoes -- $1.99 for 3 lbs (I've actually gotten 3 lbs for 50 CENTS before!)
- Celery - $0.89 (seen it as low as $0.49)
- Tangerines (Florida) - $1.99 for 3-lb bag
- Tomato sauce - $0.29 for an 8-oz can
- Tomato paste - $0.39 for a 6-oz can
- Bell peppers - $1.99 for TWO ... a red and a yellow!
- Large container of old-fashioned oats - $1.99
- Dry pinto beans - $2.29 for 2-lb bag
- Hummus - $1.69 for an 8-oz container.. compare to $2.99+ at Publix
- Dijon mustard - $1.19
- Almond milk - $2.49 for a 64-oz carton
Where do you buy your healthy food?
Recommendations for YOUR Trip to Aldi
Shopping for healthy food at Aldi can be daunting at first. Even though there are only about 1000 "staple" products for sale there at any given time, the store is small and it is easy to miss things. It is also easy to end up with things you don't need, since everything is so inexpensive.
Here are some recommendations for maximizing the money you save while shopping at Aldi for healthy food.
- Start slow. The store is set up somewhat like a maze, which makes it easier to get in and out quickly. When you enter the store, move slowly and off to the side so you can really take note of what sorts of foods are available at Aldi, which ones are healthy food, and which ones you'll be leaving out of your shopping cart.
- Make a list. Bring a notepad with you to make a note of prices on items you'll need in the future. This will help you when you comparison shop. Sometimes when other grocery stores put things on sale, the Aldi price is still cheaper than the sale price at the other store.
- Read labels. Some food at Aldi may seem to be healthy, but it isn't! Follow the natural food guidelines. If there are more than five ingredients on the label, it is too processed and not natural. Aldi's line of "Fit n' Active" can look appealing and diet-friendly, but watch out! Many of those items have added sugar and are highly processed. It is better to stick with natural items like raw oats and fruit.
- Keep receipts. Keep your Aldi receipts for a while to reference against newer ones. It will help you realize when prices go up and down and know when is the best time to snag specific things. Produce prices at Aldi vary a lot more than regular shelved items. I have seen the price of celery fluctuate between 49 cents and $1.50!
Why is Aldi so cheap?
We love the fact that Aldi allows us to eat healthy on a budget! But why are Aldi's prices so low? How can they afford it? Here are a few reasons:
- You bag your own groceries and pick things up out of the boxes they arrived in, so they don't pay baggers or extra stock workers.
- You "rent" a shopping cart. By inserting a quarter into the shopping cart, you need to return that shopping cart in order to get your quarter returned to you.
- You purchase bags if you don't bring them from home. So the store doesn't need to spend thousands of dollars a year on flimsy plastic bags.
- They don't spend money on advertising. In comparison with other stores, their budget for advertising is small. Word of mouth travels fast!
- They don't spend money on expensive labels. Save the specials that come into the store each week, their store brands are just as high quality and often made at the same factories as the name brand products. So, at Aldi, you pay for the product and not the name.