I’m no economic expert, but…

October 9, 2008 at 9:07 am 41 comments

With all the talk of the economic crisis/downturn/recession/slump (insert your adjective of preference here), many people are talking about wanting to save money.

Now many of you might already know this secret four-letter word, but for the rest of you, consider this a favor from me to you:


Say it with me now: “ALDI!”

Good job.

Yesterday I found that I had not a single can of beef broth in my cupboards, which was the only thing I lacked to make Abraham’s favorite spaghetti sauce recipe. We have an ALDI within walking distance of our house (another way to save money!), so I thought I’d hike it over there and pick up a couple cans.

Now, one thing that I consider an inconvenience about my ALDI is that they don’t take my debit card; I always have to pay with cash. And considering I never carry cash, I began the process of spare-change scrounging.

I was able to collect about two dollars off my dresser, so I stuffed that into my pocket thinking, “That should be enough for 2 cans, right? Then I’ll have one for next time.”

I get over to the store, find the broth, and check the price to make sure I have enough money. And much to my delight/shock… 39 cents. I think I did a triple take. Thirty-nine cents?! I was able to leave the store with $1.22 in my pocket!

This is good economics, people. At my regular grocery store, I would have paid at least twice that amount. I can’t say I’d buy all my groceries there, but for pantry stuffs, they can’t be beat.

To those of you without an ALDI in your neck of the woods during this time in our economy… God be with you.


Entry filed under: Food, Fun, Spoutings.

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41 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michael  |  October 9, 2008 at 9:18 am

    That post is absolutely hilarious! I laughed out loud at work. Seriously – people looked at me like, “What is so funny?”

    Very nice…

  • 2. stacey  |  October 9, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Way to rub it in Molly…………NO ALDI HERE!

  • 3. Val  |  October 9, 2008 at 9:55 am

    We love ALDI! Its a mile from our house AND ours take a debit card.

  • 4. Joanna  |  October 9, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Aldi is a GREAT place to buy frozen and canned food. We’re big fans of the frozen salmon from Aldi in this household! The fresh produce is lacking, so we go to Meijer for that. I’m sure you have Kroger or some other chain for yummy, fresh foods.

  • 5. ToilingAnt  |  October 9, 2008 at 10:00 am

    I would have spent the rest of the money on another couple cans of broth for next time. 😉

  • 6. aaron  |  October 9, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Since you mention it, the best brands….grandessa and fit and active!
    The best!

  • 7. Zach  |  October 9, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Dude. We love ALDI. Too bad there is not one here in ABQ. We would basically be able to pay cash for our adoption if we had it. Ok, maybe not, but it sure would help. I miss that gross little store.

    We had it in Iowa City and Nashville, too bad for us, but ABQ is hard to beat for other great reasons, like no humidity and not mosquitoes.


  • 8. Jane Swanson  |  October 9, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Now you have to share the recipe for this amazing spaghetti sauce!

  • 9. Maureen  |  October 9, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Aldi is my FAVORITE! Do you have Stanley’s in MN? In Chicago, we rock the deals at Aldi and Stanleys— a fantastically cheap produce store. Other good things I’ve discovered at Aldi: milk, cereals (especially their granola), frozen tilapia, chicken nuggets, and orange juice. Things to avoid at Aldi (trust me): deli meat (ew!) and the ground beef type meats. Here’s another money saving tip: Walgreens rebates! Walgreens basically pays you to shop at their store. Grab one of the catalogs at the front of the store. (There’s a new one every month). You’ll be so glad you did. 🙂

    Abraham’s post asking for names and churches, has forced me out of my shell. I’ve really enjoyed falling in-love with your sweet family through your blogs. You bless me, Molly (+ the fam)!

  • 10. Tina  |  October 9, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Yeah right, way to rub it in. 🙂 I am without an Aldi also… but I am glad for those that do have access to one!

  • 11. Cindy  |  October 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    We love Aldi’s too!! We have been shopping there since May, and when I went to Kroger’s last week, I was flabbergasted!!!! They have a great selection, but for basic food, Kroger’s was at least 3 times as much as Aldi’s store brand. Our Aldi’s has great produce, not so great meat department, but they do take our debit card!!

  • 12. Suzanne  |  October 9, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Exciting to hear…..we have one coming about 5 minutes away! I can’t wait!

  • 13. Chelsea Bass  |  October 9, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of Oprah these days, but yesterday I tuned in to watch America’s Thriftiest Families. It was amazing.

  • 14. JenR  |  October 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    I love ALDI!!! One of the things I like the most about it is the lack of choice. I mainly food shop based on price, and ALDI removes that factor.

    Oh, I discovered another laugh-out-loud website that I thought would help when you are tired from hearing crying: http://improveverywhere.com/2006/03/08/aspen/

    There are a bunch of funny “pranks” that they do that are listed on the right. So far, my favorites are the McDs bathroom attendant, best game ever, and syncronized swimming.

  • 15. Veronica  |  October 9, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    You have a recipe for spaghetti sauce that requires beef broth? Wow…you really must share that. Is it a tomato based sauce? Cause I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before and I go through alot of recipes trying to compensate for my lack of cooking skills.

  • 16. Caryn  |  October 9, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks for the advice!

    I have an ALDI down the street from me, but I tend to go the other way to Super Target (I know, how crazy!) Now, I’m gonna have to try it out!

  • 17. Shadley  |  October 9, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    ALDI rocks. I love it. Ours flooded during the IA floods this year, and I seriously went over budget every month! Now we’re back in ALDI action!!

    They are awesome for dairy products too, but canned goods are the best. Meat is decent there too! Ours takes a debit card, that’s too bad about yours!

  • 18. Nick  |  October 9, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    My wife Rebecca and I love ALDI. It has saved us so much money since we moved to the Twin Cities. The second or third time we went there I almost had a “don’t say your a Christian, Nick, because you will make Jesus look really bad” experience. I tried to pay with my debit card. They didn’t take my type of debit card. So then I tried my credit card. Hmm…. they don’t take credit cards. Now there are a bunch of people in line behind me waiting for me to figure out how I was going to pay for a cart load of un-bagged groceries. And they weren’t doing it with smiles on their faces. I was getting a little frustrated. I went over to their ATM machine to pull out some cash, and it rejected my card. I couldn’t believe it! So, I had to run to my bank next door and within ten minutes the whole fiasco was over. My wife kept on telling me to breath and praise Jesus. I now know that I will never go to ALDI without making sure I have cash, or at least some loose change!

  • 19. Kelsey  |  October 9, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    We miss Aldi’s SO MUCH! Everything is so expensive here…

  • 20. Crystal  |  October 9, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    They just opened an Aldi here a few months ago, and I love it. Ours has pretty good produce most of the time, and I know they take debit cards or I’d probably have left empty handed when I went the first time.

  • 21. Elizabeth Esther  |  October 9, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    We don’t have a what? An ALDI? Yeah, never heard of it.

    Which is a total bummer ‘cuz right now my grocery bill is KILLING ME! Well, not literally.

    Actually, maybe literally.

  • 22. jennapants  |  October 9, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    this is a good reminder to get in there and get the basics really cheap. things like cream cheese, 1/2 and 1/2, frozen veggies…what else?

    i think it would help me if i made essentials lists for each of my grocery stores. otherwise, i default to the regular stores and spend more than i should. and the more i go to aldi, the more i can justify going to trader joes.

  • 23. Chris  |  October 9, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Beef broth in the spaghetti sauce?
    Would you mind sharing the recipe?
    If not, that’s okay.

  • 24. Amanda  |  October 9, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Okay, so I will be checking out my local ALDI tomorrow. Thanks for the advice, I am always looking for ways to save some $$.

    You have been in my thoughts frequently since Felicity’s one year anniversary. I have prayed that you have not been burdened too heavily with your grief. My grief has weighed very heavily on me lately and I am just so tired. Two days ago Gavin would have been 6 months old and I cannot help but imagine all that he would be doing now. May God continue to bless you and your family as you celebrate the addition of Morrow.


  • 25. carissa  |  October 9, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    i’ve never heard of ALDI, but i just looked it up and apparently there are several nearby! also, as i read this post i said “what’s ALDI?” out loud and my apartmentmate said “oh, they’re that store that also owns Trader Joe’s.” if this is true, it sounds like my grocery shopping life is complete.

  • 26. Guinever  |  October 10, 2008 at 6:23 am

    I shop at ALDI too! In my store, I can use my debit card which I’m so thankful for that I don’t have to make an ATM run before shopping. I stocked up on butter (1 pound) for $1.29 all summer long before the price went back up to over $2.00. Because my Aldi is fairly new, it is clean and nice.

    One of my kids has food allergies, so I’m always reading labels to avoid corn and soy (and a million other things) so I can’t buy most of the snack food there, but the dairy, meat, eggs and frozen food are what I buy. I didn’t think I would like the meat, but in our store it always looks good and tastes good in the end which really matters.

    I wrote some tips for shopping at ALDIs when the store near me opened. If you’re interested in reading it, just click on my name above.

  • 27. danielle  |  October 10, 2008 at 6:31 am

    i hope dave reads this.

  • 28. Larry  |  October 10, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Wow, it sounds like people are re-discovering student budgets. Long live Tesco Value/Leader Price/Aldi/Insert budget store here….

  • 29. Jenn  |  October 10, 2008 at 9:21 am

    My coworker JUST told me about Aldi this week! I will be making that trek soon!

  • 30. Dorothy  |  October 10, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I WANT AN ALDI’S! We have a specialty deli as the only shop within walking distance of our house – a can of stock there would be imported and cost $3.50!

  • 31. Phoebe  |  October 10, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I’d never heard of ALDI, but it sounds fantastic. I wish we had one hear in southern New Mexico…. I hope hope hope there’s one wherever I attend grad school!

  • 32. kathy  |  October 10, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks for rubbing it in. I miss Aldi’s so much up here. Our food budget has doubled moving here. But we (just today) found a substitute for Savers and Unique, and we bought several huge bags there. If we could only find an alternative for Aldis….

  • 33. Colette  |  October 11, 2008 at 5:03 am

    Never heard of it Molly–must be since we lived there. Glad you hit the jackpot! Glad you are back to cooking with a baby–that was my most dreaded task w/a newborn in the house–you are even going so far as making your husband’s favorite meal–you are on top it girl!

  • 34. Mike & Jolee kretsinger  |  October 11, 2008 at 5:55 am

    Thanks Molly! I second Jane, will this recipe follow?

  • 35. karla  |  October 11, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Lets talk.
    When i first read your post, I thought it said “I bought a can of beef for .39 cents.” My first thought was “oh my goodness…that is simply gross. What kind of beef can you get for .39 cents!” Now I understand. Well done, .39 is great. Trader Joes can’t beat that.

  • 36. Lorie  |  October 11, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    I have never even heard of an ALDI.

  • 37. Sabine  |  October 12, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Did you know that ALDI is a German brand founded in the 50ties by two very thrifty brothers in West Germany. Their concept was easy: save money on the interior design of the store, only chose one brand per article. They are still alive and still the richest people in Germany, but nobody know what they look like or where they live because theve been keeping out of the public. They now spread all over the world but I didnt know they were so active in the US by now. I once saw an ALDI in Lafayette/Indiana on my honeymoon.

  • 38. 'Guerite ~ BoldLion  |  October 12, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Amazing that most of you all had a wonderful experince with ALDI. I didn’t because that is where my sister buy her food there, and everytime I eat at her place, I never had enjoy it. Maybe it is her cooking.

    But I did remember looking at the label in the ALDI refried bean. There did have a very high cholesterol, and I can find 0% cholesterol refried bean at Harris Teeter with their brand or Ole EL Paso brand. Mine you, I would rather read the label to see what the ingredient say before buying them. Especially when I am allergic to a lot of stuff. Some cheap food isn’t the best thing to have.

    I don’t know how other feels about this, but this is how I feel.

    My 2-cent thought,
    ‘Guerite ~ BoldLion

  • 39. Hannah  |  October 13, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I once did a price comparison on Aldi and our major grocery store chain (Harris Teeter). The same items bought at Aldi cost me 1/3 what they cost at Harris Teeter. That’s CRAZY!

    After you go to Aldi enough times, you know what they have and what they don’t. I used to make two grocery lists– one for Aldi and one for Harris Teeter. I’d go to Aldi first to buy what I could. Then I’d finish at Harris Teeter. It was kind of a pill but saved me a lot of money. Also, our Aldi had great produce in the summer. In the winter, it didn’t have much, but neither did Harris Teeter really.

    Now I’m a missionary in Peru and living it up with cheap fresh produce. An avocado is 13 cents. A pound of strawberries is 25 cents. It’s beautiful. Meat costs the same, but since I mostly cook vegetarian, it doesn’t matter to me. If and when I move back to the US, I don’t know what I’m going to do! How can I go back to eating frozen meat and vegetables after this gourmet vegetarian extravaganza?!

  • 40. Hannah  |  October 13, 2008 at 11:12 am

    PS There are NO grocery stores within 4 hours of where I live I think. Oh how I miss them! Just not their prices 🙂

  • 41. Johanna  |  October 13, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    The Aldi on Lake at Hiawatha just started taking debit cards (yep even WellsFargo Visa Debit cards) this week! HOORAY! I’m a two grocery-store lists gal. One for Aldi and one from the sale ads at Rainbow (or Cub)! I shop Aldi first with my dual list and make sure the “sale” price at the next store really and truly beats the normal price at Aldi. Sometimes it does…often it doesn’t.


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