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Tonight’s ALDI & Kroger Shopping Trip (I stayed under budget — yay!!)

ALDI & Kroger Grocery Shopping Trip

So this may seem a little silly, but I practically floated home after my shopping trip tonight… because I stayed under budget and found some pretty good deals! Not anything downright and utterly amazing, but SOOO much better than my first TN shopping trip.

I’m making headway — huzzah!!! Next week, I might just be brave enough to try using coupons at Publix. 🙂

Here’s what I bought:


Whole Milk — $2.99
2 packages of Tyson Bacon — $2.99 — I was so excited about this price!
1.73 lbs. of Angus 93/7 ground beef — $9.50
1 lb. ground turkey — $3.99

Total with tax: $24.09


6 cucumbers — $0.33 each
1 bag of potatoes — $2.99
1 bag of onions — $1.89
2 colored peppers — $1.99
Blueberries — $1.99
Cabbage — $1.29
3 garlic cloves — $0.99
2.73 lbs. of bananas — $1.20 {I will not covet my sister’s 43-lb. box of bananas for $5 find. ;)}
1 bag of tomatoes — $1.99
2 bags of baby carrots — $0.99 each

Total with tax: $19.62

And if you missed it, here’s our simple menu plan for this week.

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  • Monica says:

    Miss your shopping trips. Good to have you back. I live in CA, but I love seeing all Mom’s pick up deals/steals. =)

  • WOO HOO! Much better then your last trip. I am still jealous of your $.33 cucumbers. Mine are still $.49 each. I just bought 2 today to be sure. 🙂 Nice to see you posting your shopping trips again. I miss that.

    • Thanks so much! I’m so encouraged… and am really starting to scout out options here in the hopes that I’ll feel back in the bargain groove in another month or two. We’ll see!

  • Abby says:

    Yay for your inexpensive milk! I paid $4.38 for a gallon of whole milk today at Walmart.

  • Wendy B. says:

    Feeding a family of six, we started buying the frozen ground turkey at ALDI. I think it’s around $1.89 per pound and no one has ever known the difference from it not being ground beef! We’ve also bought our milk at ALDI for around $2.89/gallon! We are definitely an ALDI family!

    • I had already gone to Kroger and bought milk for $2.99 (wasn’t sure what the ALDI price was here), so I was excited to see it was even *cheaper* at ALDI! Yay!

      Thanks for the ground turkey tip. My family isn’t big on ground turkey, but I mixed ground turkey in with ground beef the last time I made meatloaf and no one could tell!

      • Kim says:

        I mix any combination of ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken,, cooked & shredded deer meat, cooked lentils, & last time fake meat from the health food store. (The fake meat was free with a coupon posted on MSM!). As long as it has some ground beef in it, I can’t really tell the difference. I use the mixture in taco meat, soups, & casseroles. The mixture makes it leaner AND cost less! 🙂

      • Amy says:

        My husband has always preferred ground beef to ground turkey but I found I can get away with making spaghetti with ground turkey. Key is when you are browning the meat to add things like Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder and I do diced onions as well!

      • Jennifer says:

        I can get frozen ground turkey for $1.80/lb in a large chub also & usually use it in tacos or spaghetti (slight taste difference), but have 2 awesome recipes: one for meatloaf (I know… awesome meatloaf? But the hubby usually asks for seconds or wants it in his lunch!) & one for Italian meatballs that use it. We love the meatballs on subs or with spaghetti. Let me know if you would like the recipes. 🙂

    • Courtney says:

      We also use ALDI’s frozen ground turkey ($1.69/lb here in STL) for our family of 8. Since I don’t make meat-only dishes (like hamburgers or meatloaf) very often it never gets noticed. It blends right in in cheeseburger buns or chili. 🙂

    • Sandy M. says:

      We eat a lot of ground turkey in Mexican dishes using Mexican spices. Can’t really tell the difference between the ground turkey and ground beef with all of those seasonings. Great shopping trip! Kudos!

  • Melissa says:

    Do you have much of a stash built up in TN? Your shopping trips always look so small compared to ours, but I always assumed that you were eating from the freezer and pantry also. Is that the case now, or are you building up?

    • We moved some of our stash — canned goods/bulk purchases, etc. And I also used some of my Swagbucks to buy some things on Amazon to help build our pantry stash back up. {I forgot to take a picture of those boxes when they came in!! I’ll do my best to remember when my next shipment of Amazon stuff comes in!}

      Then, we ended up not using a lot of groceries last week because multiple friends invited us over to eat with them and then another friend brought us some of her extra food that her small family couldn’t eat and it ended up feeding us for 4+ meals! Anyway, it’s been a little crazy how generous people have been with us here… we’re hoping to be able to start returning all the favors and kindness now that we’re settled in!

      I’m hoping to start building our pantry and freezer stash back up again once I learn the ropes of bargain-shopping here!

      • Aimee says:

        I’m really new to all this and was wondering how you factor pantry staples into grocery budget. Do you use part of your weekly grocery budget when?

        • We have a weekly grocery budget of $50. We take that out in cash at the beginning of the month and that’s what we have to work with each week to buy weekly groceries or to stock up on pantry/freezer staples. We don’t count our eating out budget in this (it’s a separate cash category) nor do we count Swagbucks purchases.

          • Jennifer says:

            Does your $50 count household/paper/personal items?

            • Yes — basically anything we’d buy at the grocery store. However, some of those are things we regularly get on sale with Swagbucks from Amazon.

              • Jennifer says:

                Wow! I shop on a cash budget, meal plan, coupon & shop @ multiples stores for sales & still spend $100/week for our family of 3. This does include disposable diapers though. I’m trying so hard to do better. I need to check into CVS & will have to check out the Swagbucks as well. We also drink coffee & my hubby likes his soda, so that adds a lot to our budget as well…. Kuddos to you! I LOVE your blog!

                • Amie says:

                  I cannot tell you how much money I have saved by shopping CVS for diapers (and other items). If you sign up for the card and register it online, you will get targeted store coupons to stack with manufacturers coupons, which regularly include $5/30 Baby purchase coupons. At times, their website offers store coupons for diapers that you can stack too. I do the “spend $30 and get $10 extra care bucks” deals and just roll the extra care bucks the next time. I never spend more than $4 per pack for brand name diapers and sometimes I spend less than $3. You can even get CVS gift cards from Swagbucks to save even more money. I breastfeed and supplement about 1 can of formula per month. In the past few months, I was able to pick up 6 cans of formula for $28 after sales, coupons, and extra care bucks. I am stocked until my baby switches to milk. I have a family of 5: one in Pull Ups at night and a baby. We do soda and coffee and have pets and I average $75 per week. CVS saves me a ton.

                  • Jennifer says:

                    Thanks for the ideas! Going to try to CVS deals for the 1st time this week.

                    • Amie says:

                      Good luck. The ad that starts on 6/8 has Huggies diapers/pull ups as part of a spend $30 and get a $10 gas card deal. You can use a coupon database to pull printable Huggies coupons. I will stock up on Pull Ups this week. My deal is: 3 Pull Ups and 2 boxes of Pop Tarts to reach the $30. I will use $3/15 emailed CVS coupon, 2 $3 off Pull Ups printable coupons, 1 $3.50 Pull Ups printable coupon, and 2 $1.50 off printable Kellogg’s coupons. My out of pocket cost: $15.48 before tax, but I will get a $10 gas card. I will also check my extra care account to see if they offer any other coupons that I can stack before I shop. This is why I love CVS.

              • Charleen says:

                What are some of the things you order from Amazon?

  • MrsKruse says:

    I wish we had milk deals here. The great state of PA has a floor on milk prices…it’s within pennies everywhere for the store brand milk. Luckily we only go through a quart a week, but we pay $1.07 for our quart of 2%.

  • April says:

    I was wondering is this is for a week and for how many? Thank you:)

  • Janina says:

    Welcome to Nashville! We are glad to have you here! I live just south of the metro area and discovered that Kroger appears to mark down their meat late Saturday night and/or early Sunday morning. Last week found 1# ground turkey for $1.49, half price organic beef, and saw a lot of other selections with decent prices. I like Aldi, too, but I it’s good to know the competitor prices because sometimes it is actually cheaper if similar item is on sale and/or coupon.

    • Thanks so much for this tip!! I scoured the meat and produce sections for markdowns and found little to nothing. I’m going to have to spend more time learning when the mark-downs happen!

  • Kim says:

    I know you’re renting, so may not be able to. If you want to & can, garlic is REALLY easy to grow. It’s next to no maintenance if you want to save some $. Plus it stores all winter. I just tossed seed on my herb garden last fall & it’s growing great right now. It does like water & a sunny spot to grow. Just make sure to cut the seeds off the top of the stalks or you’ll have garlic popping up wherever the wind blows the seed! 🙂

    • Are you growing hardneck or softneck garlic? I’ve always grown from bulbs; where did you get seeds?

      • Kim says:

        I started with bulbs I transplanted from my parent’s garden 14 years ago. I don’t know what kind they are. What looks kind of like bulbs will grow from the tops of the leaves, just like onions. These are the seed pods. The garlic bulb grows under ground. I cut the seed pods off & save them to plant every fall (plant individual seeds not the entire pod as one). Each pod will have maybe a dozen seeds. I use all my bulbs to cook with.

        People at Farmer’s Market have told me the best time to plant either is in the fall, but you can plant pretty much any time. They grow the largest if planted in the fall. I’m in Missouri, so the snow will water them in the spring & start them growing. You could probably get one or two garlic at the grocery or seed store & plant the individual bulbs, & then start saving the seed to plant each year. Just don’t store either in a sealed container or bag (mine turned moldy one year!).

        • I already have garlic in the garden; I can let them go to seed and try collecting seeds. I collect seeds from many other things (it’s on my to-do list this week, in fact!) but I have not from garlic. That’s what I thought you were doing; I just didn’t know they made a seed head as well. Of course, many flower bulbs can do the same thing, too–if they don’t just die back. Thanks!

  • BabyWheels says:

    That is a very cheap shopping trip. An Aldi store opened near us recently and so far I have just been a couple of times mainly for juices and smaller items. How have you found the quality of their products? It almost seems that the prices are so low that they make me question the quality.



    • Rebekah Harper says:

      I have been shopping at Aldi for YEARS. I have had virtually no issues with any of their products. (I will say, I do *not* like their canned crescent rolls.) I mostly buy staples there: milk, eggs, heavy cream, butter, flour, sugar, etc (when I’m not getting flour and such from Costco or Sam’s). I also buy 90% of our produce there (which I consider a staple). Their produce has a shorter shelf life in my experience, but they also have a fabulous return policy. Their regular produce prices are quite good, but their sales are often epic. I’ve gotten strawberries for 69¢, cucumbers for 29¢, 3-pack of tri-colored peppers for $1.69, cherry tomatoes for 79¢, blueberries and pineapples for 99¢, Honeycrisp apples for cheaper than anywhere else I’ve ever seen, 10-lb bag of potatoes for less than $2…if it weren’t for Aldi I don’t know how my grocery budget would work with the amount of fresh produce we go through a week. 🙂

  • Kristen says:

    Crystal, what do you buy in bulk from amazon?

  • Lauren says:

    Once you get Publix figured out, you will love it. They have been running a great P&G promotion- Spend $30, get a $10 Publix gift card, or spend $50 and get a $20 Publix gift card. They were also running a promotion to get a free rotisserie chicken when you buy 3 featured P&G products. After the rebate, manufacturer’s coupons and a $5/$30 store coupon that Publix mailed me, I spent $11.93 (plus tax) on 5 big boxes of Tampax, 2 packs of disposable razors, an Herbal Essences body wash and 2 rotisserie chickens.

    I also love Aldi and make at least one trip there every week.

  • Becky says:

    Awe, I knew you could do it Crystal 🙂 I live in AZ, we don’t have Aldis here 🙁 I shop at Fry’s and the .99 cent store. We do have a small garden. Can’t wait for your Publix trips!

  • Ahnah says:

    I don’t know how far you are from these locations, but I would definitely recommend if you are ever in this area:
    1.) Price Less IGA
    3060 S Church St, Murfreesboro, TN 37127. (615) 494-0740
    2.) United Grocery Outlet
    117 SE Broad St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130. (615) 849-3545
    The United Grocery is a diamond in the rough. It has some amazing deals on specialty items!

    • Thanks so much for these recommendations!

    • Kathy says:

      I just discovered our UGO here in Cleveland and it is a gold mine sometimes! I have found great deals on organic products, plus they have my husband’s favorite Mayfield milk for $1 cheaper per gallon. I go weekly to see what they have, and sometimes I come out with just milk. I know the prices at my other stores, so if I see something we eat, but the price isn’t any better, I wait on it a while. It’s a great place to check out if you have one close by! I know the one in Murfreesboro isn’t that close to you Crystal, but you could see if they have one near where you are in Nashville…it would be worth it!

  • Ahnah says:

    Their website is:

  • Billene says:

    Congrats, looks like you did well, excellent price for the bacon. Crystal, I don’t know about you but, the recent increase in the cost of beef really blows my mine. Almost too expensive to buy.

  • Lisa says:

    I’m not sure if anyone else can relate, or feels this way, but when I look at the groceries you buy (for the week?) I can’t help but wonder how that could stretch for an entire week. I don’t see snacks or other filler foods that kids and husbands always want. Granted, I have 2 teenagers at home, so my perspective is probably different, but I think my family would starve with such a small amount of groceries. (for example, we easily go through 3 gallons of milk a week) Does anyone else feel this way too?

    • Just remember that I have a lot of bulk foods that I have on hand to use for making snacks, etc. that aren’t shown in the picture (if I pulled out all of those and set them on the table, it would engulf the table!), my kids are still little, and we go out to eat once a week (and often bring home leftovers).

      We make most things from scratch, buy quite a few of our items in bulk from Amazon/Vitacost/bulk foods places, and eat very simply, so that’s why most of our purchases are pretty basic. I hope that helps!

      • Heather says:

        I also make just about everything from scratch and buy items in bulk but I can relate to the post you responded too. My three boys (19, 17, 14) eat me out of house and home. I bake a loaf of banana bread – gone in a hour (learned to make two and hide one to freeze HA HA) 4 gallons of milk – and we do limit milk and only do milk and water – no juice but it seems like I use milk in a lot of baking too – especially breakfast foods – pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, overnight oats…….. I have learned to stretch one pound of ground beef by bulking it up with beans and shredded veggies or even rice if I can. But $150 a week is cutting it to the chase. Oh my goodness- I picked 7 pounds of strawberries today at $2.50 a pound and I just noticed the boys have grazed through half of that already. They are always hungry.

        • Emilie says:

          You can use powdered milk in baking and breakfast foods and no one will know the difference. I found that it was cheaper to buy the powdered milk in the long run…you can make as much as you need for a recipe.

    • Tammy L says:

      I think the food in the picture would be about 2 days’ food for my family. I don’t even have teenagers! 🙂

  • Amie says:

    I think you will LOVE Publix… competitor’s coupons, store coupons, BOGO sales, rebate offers, and great customer service. There are a lot of blogs that address couponing there. I have a Publix an hour away. I used to commute to that city for work and would shop there. It kept my stockpile padded. I still have appointments in that city every month or so and always plan a Publix trip afterwards because the savings are so good.

  • Tammy L says:

    Looks like a great shopping trip, Crystal! It’s exciting to try to stretch things in the grocery department. 🙂

  • Heather says:

    Maybe some time you could have a guest post by someone that feeds a family of five with teenagers cheaply. I would be greatly interested. I have seen some things but no garden here, no hunting husband, no chickens or anything else to help me out. 🙂

  • Meredith says:

    Crystal, there is a really fun children’s museum in Murfreesboro that just *happens* to be down the street from the United Grocery Outlet. I try to swing by whenever we take the kids to the Discovery Center (about 45 minutes from Nashville).

    The Aldi + Kroger markdowns is my go-to bargain combo. We do Trader Joe’s in Green Hills every month or so for specialty items and fill in with Publix BOGO deals.

  • Janina says:

    This is a GREAT website to coordinate sale ads with available coupons
    I always check this out when making my weekly menu.

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