Afford your Life: Save $400 per month

We all spend a lot on the "grocery habit" - you gotta eat! I used to spend $800 on our monthly bill easily by going to Acme and Whole Foods. Now I go to Aldi and spend $50 per week for our family of three.  You may not have an Aldi near you, or you might be scared to go, but give it a try if you can.  I know that people say a lot of weird things about Aldi because they just can't understand the low prices.  There must be something wrong, right? The truth is Aldi keeps their overhead low with a few simple and smart business practices, and when you run a store, the price of your product is directly tied to the cost of running your business.  NOTE: I was definitely not paid to write this post, but I'd welcome anything you want to throw my way, Aldi ;)

Here's our typical grocery list for a week (some items like honey or potatoes aren't bought every week, but we would buy coffee or olive oil instead):

  • Chicken (1 whole at .95c per lb) $5.07
  • Beans (2 cans of black beans at .59c each) $1.18 
  • Bananas (.44c per lb) $1.06
  • Rice $4.99 per bag
  • Potatoes $3.49 for a 10lb bag
  • Vegetables (though we buy different types every week, this week we got: green peppers $1.49 for two, cabbage $1.39, asparagus $2.49, onions $1.69)
  • Fruit (cantaloupe $1.29, peaches .49c per piece)
  • Yogurt $1.89
  • Eggs $2.89
  • Bacon $2.99
  • Tortillas .99c
  • Bread $1.79
  • Hummus $1.99
  • Bagels $1.69
  • Neufchatel cheese (like cream cheese) .99
  • Spaghetti $1.45 
  • Honey 5.49
  • Oats 1.89
  • Milk 2.59

TOTAL: $53.05

Compare this list to where you usually shop - the savings are pretty impressive.  I was spending close to double on some of the same items at my usual store, plus I was buying all kinds of things that we didn't need: junk food, expensive cuts of meat, expensive brands of yogurt and cheese, etc.  If you multiply this list by 4 weeks in the month, depending on your usual spending, you could save anywhere from $200-$800 per month!  Try out the $50 per week challenge and see for yourself :)  

A few other cost-saving tips for your grocery bill:

  • make your own granola: too easy!  Oats, honey, molasses, and coconut oil (Aldi sells organic virgin coconut oil for $4.99!)
  • outlaw junk food: good for your belly and your budget
  • buy Cafe Bustelo coffee - ridiculously good an inexpensive
  • use lemons and black pepper for salad dressing