5 Aldi Staples That Help Keep My Grocery Budget in Check

published Sep 16, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Aldi was never on my radar when I was growing up. My mom shopped at Giant Eagle, the local grocery chain in Pittsburgh, and I’d occasionally tag along with my dad to Safran’s, the neighborhood market he loved. It wasn’t until I was older and heard my grandmother raving about Aldi that I started to get intrigued. Eventually I visited one with my husband during a trip to see his parents, and that’s when I understood the appeal of Aldi.

We got lucky earlier this year: An Aldi popped up about a mile or two up the street from our home in the D.C. area. My husband and I soon realized that by making some small swaps to our grocery staples, we could save hundreds of dollars in a single month. These are the items we’ve been buying at Aldi over the last year to stretch our grocery budget.

1. Fresh Fruit

My husband and I love fresh fruit — especially in the summer. Before Aldi, we would usually grab a pint of strawberries and blueberries for $7.59 and $6.09, respectively, and think nothing of it. The fruit at Aldi, of the same size and variety, is $2.19 (strawberries) and $2.49 (blueberries). This alone has been hugely helpful in saving money and stretching our budget.

2. Milk

We use milk every single morning in our coffee, for cereal at least a few times per week, and for occasional dinner recipes. Basically, we go through a lot of it. A gallon of 2% milk from Aldi is $3.75 on Instacart (which we use almost exclusively), compared to $4.79 at a local grocer (again, on Instacart). Saving more than a dollar per gallon really adds up quickly.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

3. Yogurt

Another morning staple, my husband adds vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt to his morning smoothies, and I use it frequently in yogurt parfaits with fresh bananas and granola. We typically purchase large, family-size containers and portion it out for the week (versus multiple single-serve containers). We pay $3.75 for a 32-ounce vanilla Greek yogurt at Aldi, while the same size store-brand Greek yogurt at another local supermarket is roughly 33% more ($4.99).

Credit: Meredith Schneider

4. Frozen Vegetables

Frozen vegetables are an easy way for me to get quick, filling dinners on the table. I use them in stir-fries, as sides for steak or chicken dinners, and more. The ones at Aldi, including mixed vegetables, green beans, and peas, are priced as low as 95 cents (compared to $1.50 up to $3.00 per bag at other stores)

5. Shredded Cheese

This one is a huge get. We’re constantly using shredded cheese for homemade taco Tuesdays and pizza Wednesdays. Aldi carries our favorite shredded mozzarella and cheese blends in one-pound bags for $3.29. The price at other grocery stores in my area can run as much as $5.09 for the same size bag and $4.49 for a bag that’s half the size.

Have you been able to stay in budget with the help of Aldi? Let us know in the comments.