Feeding your family healthy, whole foods meals on a budget is no small challenge. One of the things that can help is to shop at a discount store like ALDI.
When I discovered ALDI last year, I was astounded at how low the prices were. I could create a menu without having to take time to check sale prices, look for coupons and the like. The smaller inventory was also nice – my brain could take a little vacation from the endless choices at larger grocery stores. If I’m especially tired or busy in a given week, I know that grocery shopping at ALDI will mean less fuss, and I’ll be out of the store quickly.
While I don’t buy everything at ALDI, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at some of the offerings. For instance, wild caught fish – extremely expensive at any other grocery store, but quite affordable if I get it from ALDI. Also, 100% pure maple syrup and organic tortilla chips. The quality of the produce has also been consistent, and at great prices too.
There are a few things I don’t buy at ALDI: other than the wild caught fish, I don’t buy meat there. I only buy grass fed meat and free range chicken. I also don’t buy milk or eggs at ALDI, those come from a local farmer. My bread comes in the mail from Breadbeckers, a local bakery that grinds their grain fresh every day. I also don’t buy any packaged foods like cereal or prepared frozen foods, but these stay off the shopping list no matter what store I’m patronizing – too many mystery ingredients and preservatives. Regardless of where you shop, reading ingredients is a must.
So you’ll notice that the meal plan below doesn’t include meat (other than tuna and salmon). (You might find there are many other items at ALDI you’re comfortable buying. Please leave suggestions in the comments!) Still, shopping at ALDI to stock up on a few items, as well as doing all my weekly shopping there occasionally, keeps my budget happy. I became determined to create a meal plan based on what’s available at ALDI stores that also kept my philosophy of whole foods eating front and center. Here’s what I came up with.
(Click on the links to find printable recipes.)
Healthy ALDI Meal Plan
- Wild Caught Salmon with Soy/Maple Glaze, Steamed Broccoli and Carrots, Rice
- Twice Baked Potatoes with Green Salad (Romaine with tomatoes, cucumbers, grated carrot, avocado)
- Blue Corn Organic Nachos with Black Bean Mango Salad
- Cheesy Tuna Patties, Sauteed Greens, Mashed Potatoes
- Black Beans and Rice with Avocado Mango Salad
- Cheesy Broccoli Soup with Croissants
- Oriental Stir Fry Veggies (includes seasoning packet, no recipe needed, just follow instructions) with Rice
- Oatmeal with dried fruit or raisins, serve with butter and maple syrup
- Breakfast potatoes (Red potatoes, onions, green peppers, cheese)
- Hot rice cereal (Rice cooked with milk instead of water, served with butter and maple syrup)
- Homemade granola
- Fruit and cheese plate with croissants
- Yogurt fruit smoothies
Healthy Aldi Meal Plan Shopping List
(If you would prefer to download this list for prettier printing, you can grab it via Google Documents here: Printable Healthy ALDI Meal Plan Shopping List.)
This list is organized according to the layout of most ALDI stores I’ve been to so you can save time walking through the aisles. Your local stores may not carry all of the same items mine does, but for the most part inventory is consistent. This list also assumes that you already have pantry items such as flour, soy sauce, honey, and herbs and spices.
The recipes linked above and the shopping list below are for an average family size of 4-6 people.
- Organic blue corn chips
- Canned black olives
- Dried fruit, raisins
- Pure maple syrup
- Sour cream
- Cheddar cheese (2 pounds)
- Canned tuna (2-4)
- Canned black beans (4)
- 1 bag of rice
- 1 package frozen wild caught salmon
- 1 bag frozen Oriental stir fry vegetables
- 1 bag potatoes of your choice
- 1 bunch kale or collard greens
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 or 2 bunches romaine lettuce
- 3 mangoes
- 3 avocados
- 1 bag of limes
- 3 heads broccoli
- 1 bag carrots
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
Using my saved ALDI receipts, I’ve calculated the cost of this shopping trip to be approximately $60-$70. I don’t think you can beat that with a stick.
Are you a fan of ALDI? What healthy meal plans have you come up with from their offerings?