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Real Affordable Real Food

I just wanted to take a moment away from recipes today to step back and look at the shopping trips behind what we’re cooking up around here. If you’ve been reading for a while, you already know that I do a lot of my real food shopping at ALDI — but I also supplement that with trips to my local produce store, Amazon subscribe & save deliveries, and the occasional trip to a major grocery chain (when they have a sale to make it worth my while…).

One secret to how to save on real food? Be flexible, and shop around!

For instance, here’s what I picked up today…

Today I took a little trip over to my local Jewel-Osco grocery store and picked up the following:

  • Left Field non-GMO whole milk, $1.99. Used a $.75/1 digital coupon to drop that to $1.24.
  • Fisher whole cashews, $6.99. Used a Facebook offer to get these free.
  • 2 bananas, $.22.
  • Broccoli crowns, $.95.
  • 2 packs sliced mushrooms, $1.98.
  • Strawberries, $1.50.
  • An 8.4 lb center cut pork loin, $8.32. Used a $2.00/1 printable coupon (no longer available) to drop that down to $6.32.

That came to $12.47 for everything, and then I also got back $.25 on Ibotta for “any grocery item.” (We’ll get any number of meals out of the pork alone!)

Another secret to how to save on real food? Guess what: You can actually sometimes find coupons for these types of items; they’re not always just for processed foods.

Chop it up

The pork loin I picked up today was on a short-term sale for $.99/lb — always watch for these sales, because one of the best ways to save on meat is to pick up one of these larger cuts on sale and then chop it up yourself for the freezer.

I’ll cut mine up this time into thinner chops for broiled pork chops, a couple of roasts to make garlic rosemary pork roast or Parmesan pork roast, and a couple of bags of smaller pieces to use for pork & veggie stew or chipotle pork chili.

You guessed it: Your next secret to saving on real food is to stock up when it’s on sale!

Amazon is my coffee go-to

I was just looking back over my old subscribe & save orders from Amazon, and realizing that I get some kind of coffee delivered from them just about every month. (My upcoming May delivery currently has three bags in it, but I’ll probably do some shifting around there…)

Beyond coffee, though, I also regularly use subscribe & save for everything from nuts to cacao nibs to extra virgin olive oil. Useful subscribe & save offers are posted in the Facebook deals group daily, so keep an eye out there for savings to supplement your in-store grocery shopping.

Your next secret to saving on real food? Judiciously mix your in-store shopping with online offers!

Last but not least… We love ALDI for a reason, right?

Even with all these other avenues available, the bulk of my grocery shopping is now done at ALDI. If you meal plan around ALDI sales and everyday low prices, you can enjoy (mostly) real food and feel good about what you’re feeding your family.

  • If ALDI is available on Instacart in your area, don’t miss my ALDI Instacart review (and $20 off $35 savings code!).

Think about what your time (and gas, and effort) is worth when you’re thinking about how to save on real food. The ease of one-stop shopping at decent prices goes a long way sometimes. 🙂

Your last secret to saving money on real food? Don’t fall for the brand name hype; make your local discount grocer your first stop!

How do you save on real food?

What tips would you add here for ways to save on real food?

Mary Catone

Thursday 26th of April 2018

I am really looking forward to receiving and using these Aldi meal plans. Aldi's is our favorite store and we are very thankful that we have it so close to us.

I looked into being able to use Instacart here at our local store, but it is not part of the group yet. We live in upstate NY, maybe that is why and it still has to come here.


Thursday 26th of April 2018

Welcome! ALDI Instacart is only in a few areas so far -- they JUST rolled it out in Chicago in March so I think they're slowly expanding.


Friday 20th of April 2018

I usually buy the half caff coffee when it is on sale at Jewel. I bought a can of Hill's Brothers last week for $4.99, which I have not opened up yet because I am finally using up the holiday coffee I got for $1.50 at Jewel back in Feb.

I am going to Jewel today because I need some bread and milk, and I will pick up the cashews if they still have them, but I will end up giving them away. I love cashews, and I could eat the whole can and I don't need it. I will pass on the pork, because I don't usually buy red meat, and plus it would take me forever to use it up. I still have a whole chicken, some chicken breast and some cod I got really cheap that I need to use up. I also don't need any veggies. I am trying to use up what I have before the farmers market opens up on 5/5 in Evanston where I can get fresh picked asparagus.. I am going down to New Orleans next week too, and I can get homegrown strawberries there as well as gulf coast shrimp for $6 a pound which I will bring back on the plane with me.