This 2-Person Family Spent $85 at Aldi on 2 Weeks’ Worth of Groceries — Here’s What We Learned from Their Shopping Haul

published Jan 28, 2023
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Aldi is practically synonymous with discount. The grocer is well-known for its creative approach to keep costs down and prices low for us shoppers: shelve-less aisles, shorter hours, quarter-fueled shopping carts, to name a few. Frequent shoppers of the expanding chain expect big savings, particularly when compared to other retailers. But even these stans were surprised to see just how little one family spent on groceries at Aldi.

In an Aldi-themed Facebook group, a member posted a picture of her most-recent grocery haul, which included a lot of fresh produce (berries, pineapple, clementines, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, green beans, and more), cheese sticks, fruit punches, frozen chicken (nuggets and fillets) and fries, buns, pastries, and several pantry items (jarred pickles, canned chilled, bottled dressing, etc.) The haul was noticeably light on meat and dairy (more on that below). In her caption, she explained she spent less than $85 for two weeks’ worth of groceries for her family of two, which includes her and her 15-year-old daughter. And people were (mostly) positively gobsmacked. 

There were more than 5,000 likes and 260 comments. As a newer Aldi fan myself, I was curious to learn if I could pick up any tips for my next grocery run. So I read through every comment to find the goods. And let me just say, these shoppers know their way around the store — and how to stay within a budget. I gathered up five of their best tips and compiled them in this neat list. 

Credit: Patty Catalano

1. Pick up croissants, buns, and croissant buns in the bakery.

For years, Kitchn has raved about Aldi’s bakery aisle. The cookies! The cakes! The pies! Not to mention all the pastries and breads! It’s where you’ll find the highly praised croissants and “fancy” buns, both of which this shopper brought home in her haul. Several members noted how “amazing” and “delicious” both are, although one suggested freezing the croissants if you don’t eat them “very fast” to prevent molding. (Pro tip: Slice them crosswise first.) A few members also mentioned the croissant buns make excellent breakfast sandwiches.

Credit: Heather McClees

2. Load up on produce.

Another not-to-be-missed area at Aldi: The produce section. “I’m most happy that I could get FRESH fruits and veggies and still stay on budget,” explains the member who wrote the original post. It was the majority of her haul, after all! While some members pointed out that the selection can vary, depending on your local Aldi, others noted it was “the best” in their area. They were impressed with the onions, bananas, spring mix, and the “good quality and value of berries, cauliflower, and more!”

3. Look for less expensive dupes of your favorites.

Whether it’s restaurant-quality salad dressing, sparkling waters reminiscent of brand-name bubbly, or pretzel nuggets that rival the ones from another beloved grocer, Aldi aisles are overflowing with store-brand versions of your favorite staples. (Fun fact: Roughly 90% of the products Aldi carries are the store’s own brand). More often than not, they’re cheaper than their name-brand counterparts and just as good — if not better.

Credit: Patty Catalano

4. Shop for meat with your freezer in mind.

Notice anything missing from this haul? If you said meat, you’d be correct! It turns out, this member buys her meat when there are “great sales” and stocks it in her freezer to use as needed. (She also buys several dairy items — butter, cheese, cream cheese, etc. — in bulk, so she doesn’t need to pick them up every time she grocery shops.) Several members also suggested investing in a vacuum sealer to prevent freezer burn. One loves hers so much, she bought one for her daughter-in-law for Christmas!

5. For extra savings, get there when the store opens.

The early shopper gets the discounts! On top of the already low prices, you’ll find additional markdowns, including $1- or even $2-off stickers placed on products nearing their sell-by dates (most notably in the meat, seafood, and bakery sections). These desirable deals, however, are in high demand and can be harder to spot. According to one group member, it happened just one time. Another member, with slightly more luck, suggested we get there when the store opens to score the extra savings.   

Got a tip to add to the list? Tell us about it in the comments.