Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Buying Organic Food at Aldi Without Breaking the Bank

Now, I did not always use to buy organic- I've definitely gone in phases. But with little ones eating around the table, I just really can't stand the thought of serving up a plate full of pesticides, chemicals, and added hormones. With that in mind, one of my goals coming into the new year was to cut out most processed foods and by more organic foods. I talked a little about this here, but for more inspiration why to do this- read here and here.

With that in mind- if I did not have a grocery budget, you would totally find me at Earth Fare. The produce selection in Earth Fare is amazing and you can find an organic option for everything on your grocery list! The atmosphere in Earth Fare is perfect and they have a great selection of ready-to-eat foods (especially hot and ready pizzas). But if I did all of my grocery shopping at Earth Fare or even Harris Teeter, I'd be way over my weekly budget.

Cue why Aldi is now where I do a majority of my grocery shopping. You can find so many organic options at Aldi for at least less than half the cost of what it would be at Earth Fare, Whole Foods, or Harris Teeter AND for the same and/or less than the cost of non organic options at Food Lion. Sounds like a win, right?!

 Now, if you've never been to Aldi, here are a few things to keep in mind and bring with you:
1. Bring a quarter to get a grocery buggy, which you get back when you return it.
2. Bring reusable shopping bags, but if you forget them you can buy reusable or paper bags at Aldi.
3. Use empty boxes left on the shelves to bring home boxed or easily squished items like bread and bananas.
4. Be prepared to bag up your own purchases, which is why I mention #2 and #3. This is also why I try not to do my Aldi shopping with kids.
5. Avoid shopping on Sundays between 12 and 5 pm. Maybe it is just my local Aldi, but I've gone shopping there then and it was a mad house.
6. They are remodeling and expanding my local Aldi and from what I understood this is going on at many Aldi stores currently. Aldi is going to be expanding their product selection. This doesn't really change anything, but there might be construction currently going on.
7. Keep in mind the selection varies a little bit week to week, so you may not find everything you need on your grocery list.

While I do buy some things at Aldi that are not USDA Certified Organic or not even food for that matter, I'm just going to share my Organic finds from Aldi today.

Here's what I buy from Aldi on just about a Weekly Basis (all of these items are USDA Certified Organic):
1. Eggs (only 3.49 for a dozen!)
2. 2% Milk
3. Apples (typically they have Gala)
4. Bananas
5. Plain Yogurt
6. Frozen Strawberries
7. Frozen Blueberries
8. Baby Spinach and/or Salad Spring Mix
9. Baby Carrots

Here's what I buy from Aldi as needed (also USDA Certified Organic):
1. Coconut Oil
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3. Brown Sugar
4. 100% Pure Cane Sugar
5. Brown Rice
6. Pasta Sauce
7. Whole Wheat Pasta
8. Chicken or Vegetable Broth
9. Quinoa
10. Honey
11. Ketchup
12. Unsweetened Apple Sauce
13. Chia Seeds
*I should add while I don't buy these items every week, I've always seen them in-store.

Here's what I buy from Aldi when they have it (also USDA Certified Organic):
1. Blueberries (They have only had organic blueberries in stock once this past month, but I think it is related to the season. I'm hoping the organic produce section will be bigger this summer/spring.)
2. Nuts
3. Apple Juice
4. Cherry Tomatoes
5. Creamy Peanut Butter

I'm still working on some practical ways to buy organic and eat better without breaking the bank, so I'll share more tips as I learn. But Aldi is a great place to start. So if you have an Aldi in your area, go check it out when you need to go grocery shopping this week.

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