All questions

Budget Crunch time. Due to employment layoffs we're in crunch time.

An Aldi supermarket is opening this week near us. What good deals would be available there?

Sam is a trusted home cook.

asked over 6 years ago

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
15 answers 2502 views
bigpan
added over 6 years ago

Sorry it is crunch time. I would suggest buying good vacuum packing machine (yes,costly) - but that allows you to buy bulk meats at great savings. Takes five minutes to make up individual dinner size portions and freeze.
We found our machine paid for itself within a couple months. Good luck.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
Sam1148
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

Fortunately we have one..and a several rolls of bagging stuff.
It's one the things that always sits on top of the counter top for me.
April will be 'panic' mode. As COBRA will be an issue and suck most of the savings out.

susan g
added over 6 years ago

I have been to one Aldi market, one time. There are some very good buys, as long as you buy what you need and will use. Other things, leave along! And there are no shopping carts in the store, or free bags -- so BYOB and either be prepared to drop a coin for the cart outside the door or -- actually good budgeting technique -- buy only what you can carry.
Do you have local stores that sell salvage, overstocks, or such? Very down-market, of course, but if you recognize quality (and I'm sure you do), you can cut food costs drastically. Again, it's shopping with serendipity.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
sdebrango
sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 years ago

Never heard of Aldi just wanted say sorry and hope things get better.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
KimW
added over 6 years ago

Pay attention to the sales. When there is a great sale, buy as much as you can. Prepare in as many ways as you can and freeze what you won't use immediately.
Example: a few weeks back ground beef was on sale. I made a couple meatloafs, tons of meatballs, two meals worth of shepard's pie, portioned out burgers and made 2 lasagnas.
If chicken breasts are on sale. Cut into different size pieces, small for stir fry, thick for fingers, butterflied for stuffing...
Not only does this make cooking dinner easier, but it makes you feel like you are stopping when you go in your freezer.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
SKK
SKK
added over 6 years ago

Regarding employment lay offs, this too shall pass.

Don't know what Aldi is.

Regarding saving money and eating well one possibility is to not focus on meat. Bring meat into your recipes every 3 days or even more. So many great vegetables to call upon, whether roasting, dehydrating or steaming. Also fresh beans are so wonderful.

Salads with beans and nuts.

Get that dehydrator out Sam!

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
babytiger
added over 6 years ago

Aldi is owned by the same people as Trader Joe's. What it sells vary from country to country. I don't know about the ones in the US. The ones in Europe, I have not heard much good things about. The ones in Australia are quite good. I tend to buy pasta from there as well as some pasta bake sauce. Snacks are generally well priced, but quality does vary. I also buy stocks and frozen vegetables from there. I think you will have to do some trial and error with items available at your local Aldi. Good thing is, prices are generally low so if you don't like something, you haven't spent much on it. And I haven't come across anything there that is so bad that I had to throw away.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
Stephanie G
added over 6 years ago

So sorry to hear that. COBRA is very expensive. As long as your family has no health issues, you might find that private health insurance is a better deal than COBRA. We found an insurance broker who found private insurance that was MUCH cheaper than COBRA. Might want to research that before you pay for COBRA.

Also, beans, rice, and lentils are some of my favorite dishes, so healthy and so CHEAP!

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
inpatskitchen
inpatskitchen

Pat is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

I go to Aldi occasionally to stock up on canned goods like beans, beef and chicken broth, vegetable oil..If you take your time and aren't too concerned about brand names you can find some good bargains. We actually bought a decent size generator there for under $200.00!

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
MTMitchell
added over 6 years ago

So sorry that you are going through this. I second the buy-in-bulk/vacuum sealing response. I have friends who swear by a range of Costco products and stock their freezer every month or so using their vacuum sealer. Also, good for sales and making-ahead as mentioned above. I've shopped at Aldi before, but for limited products (snacks and sandwich fixings for high schoolers) and found that the quality, at least for what I was purchasing, was fine. I'm sure this goes without saying, but some kitchen appliances can be money-savers. For example, my husband and I never buy canned beans anymore because we use our slow cooker or pressure cooker to make beans when we want them, and at least in our area, the dried beans are a lot cheaper. I'm not sure what your area is like, but we live in a big city, and we've found that some of the ethnic markets have much more reasonable prices than the regular supermarkets. Good luck, and I hope it's a short enough length of time that it ends up feeling more like a break and less like unemployment!

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
petitbleu
added over 6 years ago

You might also want to check with others in your area about buying clubs. I think they tend to be more in rural areas, where getting to any store costs more gas and time. Often, these "clubs" are comprised of people who go in on bulk items (everything from herbs and spices to beans and rice, to olive oil) together, allowing them to save more. I don't know where you go to see if there is one in your area, but it might be something you should look out for.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
healthierkitchen
added over 6 years ago

good luck sam

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
drbabs
drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 years ago

What do you do, Sam? And where do you live? Maybe someone in the community knows someone who could help you find a job.

In NY there's Healthy New York as an option for health insurance. I hope this is a short time for you.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
irinaleibo
added over 6 years ago

Good luck Sam! My sister is in a budget crunch also. She lives in Permbroke Pines and shops at Aldi.
Not for everything but good for generic stuff. Also second the ethnic stores. Much cheaper. There she goes to Sedano's. They have a picnic shoulder this week for 69 cents a pound! Excellent buy.
Good luck.
Irina

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
lorigoldsby
added over 6 years ago

Aldi is good for stocking up on basics...similar prices to Walmart. They actually have a spiral cut ham that I buy there every holiday. Agree with inpatskitchen...I do buy oil and their lo-sodium chicken stock there regularly. The frozen fish is "fine" but not equal sizes...the dairy/yogurts are fine and usually very fresh as it is restocked every day in my neighborhood. I also pick up cumin, dried spices very cheaply there. Their mustards/mayos are fine...catsup is "ok" (kids dont notice) Take a quarter for the cart--you'll get it back when you return your cart to the corral.

Best of luck in finding a new job soon and complaining later that you "wasted" the COBRA monies. The crazy thing about insurance--you hope you never get what it's worth because if you do have to use it, you learn it's true worth!

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
Recommended by Food52