One of the ways that I have tried to cut my grocery bill is to shop at more than one store when I grocery shop. This can backfire, in that you can end up spending more on gasoline than you save on your total bill, or the amount of time it adds to your shopping could not at all be worth it. For me, I have found because of the proximity of the three stores to my home (I literally pass the first two stores to get to the third, where I do the vast majority of my shopping) the first isn’t true, and it only adds at most a half hour to my shopping to go to all three as opposed to just one. For me – the strategy works, and more than works, it has been very beneficial to my bottom line.
The centerpiece of my strategy is doing the majority of my shopping at Aldi. Aldi is a chain of grocery stores that sells primarily generic items, and there are many mixed opinions out there about shopping there. I have heard everything from people thinking that only cheap peoiple shop there, to the idea that the stores are hideous and dirty, to the idea that the food itself is seriously suspect. I actually both agree and disagree with many of the things I have heard said.
I have shopped at quite a few different Aldi stores in the past, and I have found some of them to be run down and not pleasant to shop at. The one where my brother used to live was like that. But the one where I live now is very nice and well kept. I also have both positive and negative experiences with the food. The food has a double money back guarantee on it – if you aren’t satisfied you can return it for both a replacement and a cash refund. That being said, I primarily only buy non-perishable and frozen items there. I have had a lot of problems with produce not lasting more than a few days (at most) after I brought it home. The non-perishable items however (rice, pasta, beans, canned items) and frozen items have all worked out very well. As I’ve talked about in previous posts, I discovered some of the same exact generic items at higher profile chain stores (at a higher price) as what Aldi carries.
For me, going out and trying a different store, Aldi, has helped cut my grocery budget significantly. I used to spend $100-$150 a week on groceries for two people 4 years ago, which would be a much higher number now with how the cost of foods has gone up. Now I generally spend $50 or less a week for the bulk of my groceries at Aldi and then supplement them for another $~30-$40 at Walmart and Kroger for items not available at Aldi or produce (at Kroger). And that is for four people instead of two. Aldi has really helped us lower our monthly grocery bill even while our family has grown.