L.A. has no shortage of choices when it comes to food, but grocery shopping here can take a big bite out of your budget. Here are a few tips for shopping smarter.
Get to know your store
Rather than bouncing from store to store looking for the lowest prices, choose the right store — one that emphasizes savings, just like you do. Get to know the layout of the store and shop more efficiently. Familiarize yourself with the store brands. Signing up for ALDI email newsletters is a great way to learn about weekly deals and other specials. You do want to know when SimplyNature Kale Chips are on sale, don't you?
Stock the pantry
There's nothing wrong with hitting the store for just an item or two. But the better prepared your kitchen is, the fewer unplanned shopping trips you'll make. Buying basics such as spices, oils, vinegar and pasta frequently will keep your cooking versatile and your grocery bill low. Of course, ALDI offers great prices on many items and saves shoppers up to 50%* on their grocery bill.
Make fresh herbs last
Fresh herbs are delicious but expensive, and few things are as frustrating as using half of the bunch for one recipe only to let the other half wilt in the fridge. Get the most out of your purchase by filling ice cube trays with minced herbs covered in water, then thawing them out for the next recipe that needs a fresh kick. This technique also works (minus the water) for oil-based herb sauces such as pesto, whether store-bought or homemade.
Do it yourself
Though prepared foods are quick and easy, sometimes a fresh, home-cooked meal is just what the doctor ordered. Buying whole carrots and chopping them yourself, for example, is less expensive than buying cut carrots (and the whole ones last longer). When making a home-cooked meal, look for less-processed options, like the SimplyNature brands at ALDI.
Look around you
Most of the time you spend shopping, you're looking straight ahead. But new products — and sometimes better prices — can be found above and below eye level. Get to know the store and check out the aisles from top to bottom. You'll save time and money while getting the best deals. It's also a great way to find new products to try.
Try something new
Maybe you grew up with a particular brand, and you're hesitant to try something new. But loyalty to a logo can cost you. Benton's Caramel Coconut Fudge Cookies, for instance, won an award from Better Homes and Gardens, and they're easier on the pocketbook than many similar treats.
Shopping list of suggested ALDI items:
- SimplyNature Kale Chips
- SimplyNature Organic Spices
- California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Priano Rosso Pesto
- SimplyNature Organic Linguine
- Fresh Herbs (parsley and cilantro)
- Fresh carrots and plenty of organic produce
- Benton’s Caramel Coconut Fudge Cookies
*Based on price comparison with other leading grocery store chains