I remember when I first became a mom, and I realized how many things I needed to buy for my baby. It was overwhelming- diapers, wipes, nursing pads, breastmilk bags, baby food… there’s so much those little babies need! Then as my daughter grew, I needed new things, more food, more milk and all of the sudden, my grocery bills grew- and fast!! Then when you add another kid to the mix, all of the sudden the things you used to buy for just two of you didn’t cut it anymore. Now there’s four of us- and a dog, cat and a fish. When you add that in with my buying organic and non-GMO foods, our grocery bills have skyrocketed. It’s astronomical. We did a budget to see what we are spending on groceries and other ‘needs’ like toilet paper, diapers, wipes, paper towels, etc… and we realized we’re spending almost $1000 a month on these things. That is a TON of money.
Because we have to watch what we spend, we’ve found ways to cut back without losing quality. Mostly that starts with the stores I shop at. You probably know what a fan I am of Trader Joe’s. They have good quality, Non-GMO (non-verified but I’ll still take that!), lower priced foods. I get a lot of things from Trader Joe’s but they don’t have everything I need. We also have a Mariano’s (Roundy’s) where I get most of my organic produce from- their quality and prices are really good, it’s hard to pass up. And I do stop by Whole Foods when I can, but usually have to commit to spending at least $200 a shopping trip there.
We have a Dominick’s (Safeway) that is walking distance to our house, so we would go there all the time for last minute things we needed. But they sadly closed all the stores in our area yesterday. It was a bit of a sad day. They had pretty decent prices on organic food.
So today I decided to check out Aldi’s which is close by, but a place I had avoided and disregarded as having low quality food, because of their pricing and business model. But I thought I would do an experiment so my daughter and I headed to Aldi’s today to check it out.
I was pleasantly surprised by what they had. Once you get over the fact that to get a cart you have to put a quarter in the shopping cart (My daughter thought this was awesome!), I realized they actually had SOME pretty good things- and really good prices. Right when we walked in, I found some non-GMO certified granola, organic chicken broth (I should buy this by the pallet), and a brand called Fit and Active that they promise lower prices and better nutrition on. While the Fit and Active brand wasn’t non-GMO certified, some of the products looked like they might be non-GMO, and many of them were certified organic. They had organic carrots, apples, kale, arugula, tomatoes, and bananas- all that looked great and were about half the price of most other grocery stores. They also had things like toilet paper and other staples that were really low price.
I looked at their store brand products and the majority of their boxed products contained WAYYY less ingredients in them than their brand name counterparts. Many of them boasted no-preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup, which is always a good sign to me.
While they didn’t have organic milk or eggs, and their meats and cheeses weren’t really too appealing to me, they did have some good looking uncured bacon which was about $3.25 for 12 ounces which is a really good price around here!
I left spending only $60 for what I normally would have spent over $100 for, and felt really excited. The checker told me that they get more and more organic and non-GMO products in each week, so I will definitely be checking back. It wasn’t exactly my dream store, but I did get some pretty good stuff for very little cash.
Where do you do the majority of your Non-GMO/Organic shopping at? What’s your weekly grocery bill? I’d love to see how I compare! 🙂