Five ways you can eat a specialty diet and still save money
If you have dietary restrictions, saving money on groceries can seem like an uphill battle. But it's a battle you can win by investing a little time in preparation.
Much of the traditional wisdom for saving money on groceries applies when you're looking for specialty foods: Don't shop hungry, consider the true cost of prepared or packaged foods, create a menu in advance, purchase only what you need and comparison shop for good deals.
A protein-heavy diet puts the focus on high-quality meat, fish and poultry. Without carb-loaded ingredients like pasta and bread, quality proteins take center stage. ALDI has USDA Choice beef available for budget-conscious carb-counting carnivores. It pays to watch for ALDI Finds on meats, such as "Family Pack" chicken and beef.
The least expensive options for beef and pork (like chuck roast and pork loin) take the longest to cook and are generally sold in large portions at a lower price per pound. Slow cook these toward the beginning of the week and use the leftovers in the days that follow. Or buy and roast a whole chicken and divide it for meals throughout the week.
Vegetarian or vegan
Produce is key in vegetarian and vegan diets. The best way to save money on produce is to shop for in-season fruits and vegetables and purchase as much as possible whole. It's easy to get pulled in by the convenience of chopped veggies or bagged salad, but that doesn't always translate to savings. If you have the time to chop your own veggies, it's a wallet-saver.
Spices and seasonings go a long way toward adding flavor to veggie-based meals without adding a lot of calories. Stonemill Essentials is a good choice for ALDI shoppers. You can't beat ALDI prices.
With so many gluten-free substitutions out there, it can be tempting to just replace everyday foods with their gluten-free counterparts. But the costs can add up. Simple tweaks to your menu can eliminate gluten and retain flavor at a lower cost. In fact, many dishes found in Indian and Mexican cuisines are naturally gluten-free and pair so well with rice or corn tortillas that you won't even notice there's no bread on your plate.
But if you have a craving for traditionally gluten-filled treats like cookies or crackers, look for gluten-free brands like the ALDI exclusive liveGfree line: The prices at ALDI are hard to beat, and the "liveGfree" label means you don't have to scour the ingredients list to know that it fits your needs.
Avoiding artificial ingredients
Looking to sidestep artificial colors, flavors and additives? The key to avoiding unwanted ingredients is checking labels carefully. Many grocers carry brands that cater to customers looking for a more natural alternative to standard packaged foods. ALDI created its SimplyNature line of products free from over 125 artificial ingredients and preservatives with this in mind. And all ALDI exclusive brand products are free of added MSG, certified synthetic colors and partially hydrogenated oils.
It's hard to go wrong with a glass of wine — especially when you're looking for a diet-friendly alcohol option. It's low-carb, natural and gluten-free. Averaging fewer than 150 calories per serving, a little vino will let you celebrate without putting a dent in your dieting goals.
To save money, be savvy: Higher cost doesn't always mean better taste. ALDI carries more than 15 wines that have been recommended by experts across America, like its Ashokawna Pinot Noir — a 90-point wine honored with a gold medal at the Beverage Tasting Institute's World Wine Tasting Championships.
Cheers and bon appétit!