We get asked where we like to shop for food a lot. Not to let all our personal business out there, but neither Jen nor I are wealthy. Starting a business takes money (MD/VA/DC/DE/NJ/NY folks…holla if you want to help us with that by hosting a Pouch Party™ at YOUR support group!) and we are just crazy enough to be doing this whole thing WITHOUT a business loan (cuz we aspire to be debt free like the Duggars! LOL).
So all that is to say that we have to be careful with our respective food budgets. Being a food blogger and a mom, I have to be especially careful. Because, please believe me when I say this, if I cook it, I gotta eat it. There is no cooking JUST for the blog. Or cooking and freezing. If I cook it, I gotta eat it!
But I digress. So I personally shop a lot at Aldi’s. If you’ve never been to Aldi’s, you should check it out. Here’s a page where you can find a location near you. They are a discount grocery store, but unlike other discount stores (and you know who you are) they have healthy options right alongside the usual sodium-laden, high fat, high carbohydrate fare (cuz…you know…carbaholics gotta eat too…).
They carry a line called Fit & Active that sells everything from salad dressing to fat free whipped cream to multi-grain wraps.
Here is my comprehensive Aldi’s shopping list for the first time shopper. And for your convenience, we’ve even compiled a downloadable shopping list to use your first time there!
Fit & Active:
- Meatballs (made from beef, excellent stats)
- Turkey burgers
- Turkey sausage
- Turkey tenderloin (I was dubious about this, but it comes in two flavors and is GOOD)
- Turkey mignons (my pouch doesn’t like them, but I can at least admit that they are good)
- Grilled chicken bites (Naked Nuggets…for a fraction of the price)
- Ground turkey
- Ground beef
Not Fit & Active, but still good:
- Chorizo sausage
- Country ribs
- Pork chops (always a good amount of meat and they’ve never been tough so far)
Any of the Fit & Active deli choices are low-sodium and low fat. I like the taste very much, especially:
- Honey ham
- Mesquite turkey
Fit & Active:
- Egg substitute (Egg Beaters…for a fraction of the price!)
- Nonfat plain yogurt
- String cheese (their string cheese beats commercial brands by 20 calories with the same amount of protein!
Not Fit & Active but still good
They also carry a regular lowfat cottage cheese that is comparable to national brands in stats but lower in price. They also sell bagged cheeses. These are full fat. That doesn’t bother me. They also have a bunch of varieties of sliced cheese in full fat varieties.
Ohhhhh…the frozen section. How I love thee! For a mom on a budget, the frozen section is pay dirt!
- Fit & Active fat free whipped topping (88 cents y’all!)
- Fit & Active pocket sandwiches (for the divas…Hot Pockets…for a fraction of the price!)
- Frozen chicken breasts
- Frozen chicken breast tenderloins
- Frozen tilapia filets, salmon fillets, whiting fillets
- Frozen shrimp
- Frozen fruit: strawberries, mixed berries
- Frozen ground turkey (not the lowest fat kind)
- Fit & Active multi-grain wraps (Flat Out wraps…for a fraction of the price!)
- Fit & Active Rice Cakes (which are flavored VERY well. They come in white cheddar, caramel, lightly salted and apple cinnamon)
- Fit & Active Multi-Grain Waffles (I’ll cop to eating one every now and again with a smear of peanut butter)
- fat free refried beans
- pinto beans
- black beans
- tomatoes and chiles.
- Fit & Active whole wheat pasta
- Onion soup mix
- Taco seasoning
- All sorts of super cheap dry spices
- Instant and regular brown rice
Fit & Active carries a LOT of really good salad dressings, many with 70 calories per serving or less, including:
- Light Ranch
- Light Sundried Tomato
- Light Honey Mustard
- Light Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Light Thousand Island
- Light Caesar
- Light Parmesan
Snacks/For the rest of the family
Aldi’s also has a lot of stuff that I buy for my kids, but that I don’t generally tend to eat, including:
- Fit & Active rice snacks (like the Quaker ones)
- Fit & Active dried fruit snacks
- Fit & Active frozen treats (fudge pops and fruit pops)
- Fit & Active frozen sandwiches (Hot Pocket style and panini)
- Fit & Active turkey sausage links (my pouch doesn’t like them but my girls inhale these)
- Fit & Active no sugar-added juices
- Fit & Active sugar-free flavored waters (carbonated)
- Mixade Light drink mixes (like Crystal Light)
- Diet Green tea (12 pack of 16.9 oz bottles
So that list ought to get you started. Now don’t get all stressed thinking you have to remember all this when you go to Aldi’s. I told you…we’ve got you covered! Here is(again) is a downloadable shopping list to take with you.
And you are also going to flip when you see their produce section. Just remember a few tips:
- Products vary by location. So if you get their circular, look for good deals. Or you can do what I do the first time I go to a store and do a “recon” mission. Just go without the intention of buying anything (in fact, don’t take any money) and just look around. For some reason I find the best stuff that way.
- Bring your reusable shopping bags. They charge for plastic or paper bags. But they extend the savings from doing that to you.
- Bring a quarter, you have to deposit one to get a cart. Don’t worry, though. They give it back to you when you are done!