Best Tips for Shopping at Aldi and more


Best Tips for Shopping at Aldi

Tips for Shopping at Aldi | save money on groceries without clipping coupons

I hate grocery shopping. Loathe it. Despise it. Always have.

Until I discovered Aldi, that is.

Aldi grocery stores offer terrific savings on outstanding products. The stores are “no-frills,” which both keeps costs low and makes shopping easier, I think. Groceries are stacked in boxes on pallets, which creates aisles. There are no fancy shelves, end-caps, or signs. At least in the Aldis in my area, they all have a similar layout, which means I don’t have to “re-learn” a store when I shop there for the first time. Aldi only carries the most frequently purchased items, which ensures that I’m not overwhelmed when it comes to choosing products. I love the simplicity that comes with fewer options.

What does all of that mean for us? Lower prices and fewer barriers to getting to the items you want to purchase.

What to Bring With You to Aldi

»A Quarter
I actually keep a stack of quarters in my van change holder, specifically for my Aldi shopping days. You will need the quarter to take a shopping cart from the corral. Pop the quarter into the chain mechanism and the lock will open. Once you are finished with your cart, return it to the corral and pop the chain back into the lock. The quarter will pop out and you can take it with you.

I personally LOVE this shopping cart system. These carts are the best carts in any grocery store. There’s room for 2 small children in the top seat and there are no ads plastered on the carts. They are very large and sturdy and I have never encountered a cart with a sticky or squeaky wheel.

»Cash or Debit Card
Aldi does not take credit cards or checks. You will need to bring either cash or your debit card.

»Shopping Bags
Bring your own bags and prepare to sack your own groceries. Again, I actually prefer this to the bagging at the popular chain stores as my groceries have never been bagged as I have liked, even after giving specific instructions to the baggers. If you do forget your own bags, you are welcome to take any of the boxes sitting around the store or you may purchase bags at check out.

Shopping at Aldi

In general, I save anywhere from $.25 – $2.00+ on most items! It’s really shocking how the savings can add up. On my last Aldi bill, I purchased 66 items for $144.56. That’s about $2.20 per item! That included snacks, fresh produce, frozen meat, dairy, even some organic items.

Generally speaking, Aldi has its own line of products, so you will not necessarily see brands that you are used to buying (however, they will often offer some known brands at discounts). Their line of products, though, are just as good (if not preferred by my family) as the popular brands. They also offer a double guarantee on most items in their store. If you don’t like the product, they will both replace it and refund your money!


My last @Aldiusa shopping trip, I got 66 items for $144.56; about $2.20 per item! @writingmomof3
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My Favorite Items to Buy at Aldi

  • Snacks – You can’t beat Aldi’s prices on chips, crackers, cereal bars (no high fructose corn syrup), applesauce cups (no sugar added), and yogurt tubes. Aldi also offers organic and gluten-free versions of most of these items, which are a great savings over the national brands.
  • Cheese – Shredded, sliced, string – great prices on all of these! I also love their Feta crumbles and goat cheese logs. They have a wide variety of gourmet flavors, again at amazing prices.
  • Produce – Bagged salads, potatoes, baby carrots, fruit. All of their fresh produce is excellent and at significantly reduced prices. Gala apples (3 lb. bag) are $2.89. Bananas are $.44/pound. I have never been disappointed with any produce I purchased at Aldi.
  • Canned goods – You just can’t beat canned veggies for $.50 a piece. Enough said.
  • Frozen fruits and veggies – I love the frozen fruits for smoothies and the frozen veggies in the steamable bags are so handy (broccoli florets are $1.19 a bag).
  • Organic whatever – Aldi increases its organic offerings every week, it seems. They now have organic dairy, produce, coconut oil, quinoa, frozen and canned items. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to eat organic because of the lower prices at Aldi.

So, if I must grocery shop (which I must!), I’ll be at Aldi as often as possible. I love saving money and getting great quality. Aldi is a little bit out of the way for me, but it’s close to my church. So, I try to go shopping at Aldi every Wednesday when I leave Bible study. If I can shop at Aldi once/week each month, I usually save us $200-$300/month on groceries. That’s a big deal for us.

If you’ve not tried shopping at Aldi, I’d encourage you to do so. And if you already shop at Aldi, let me know your favorite products to purchase there.

(Oh, and I have not been compensated by Aldi at all for this post. I just love shopping there and want to help others learn how to shop there and save money for their families, too.)

Helpful links:


I’m so excited! The 2015 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle launches April 20 and features an awesome Aldi meal planner and cookbook (among numerous other resources).

It’s 25 Meals for Under $150 at Aldi by Lauren Greutman. Bonus: These meals are gluten-free.

You can’t get it until April 20 when the Bundle goes on sale. But if you want to be reminded about the sale and/or want more info about the entire bundle, click here === >>> 2015 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Info.


Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

Best Tips for Shopping at Aldi is a post from: Mary Bernard

    

4 Simple Steps to Stress-free Homemaking

stress-free homemaking

I’m constantly looking for new ideas to improve my homemaking skills. I’m not very good at homemaking, I must confess.

Laundry? Ugh. I’m always behind.

Cleaning the bathrooms? They are usually a mess.

Organization, time management, budgeting? Oh, man. I struggle with all of these.

So, when I discovered this mini-ecourse, I was thrilled! I thought you may find it helpful, too. It’s free! Plus you’ll get a free downloadable PDF with each lesson to help you implement in real life what you’ve learned.

4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking

In these four videos, you’ll learn:

  • How to overcome laundry overwhelm and stay on top of laundry for good
  • How to conquer a messy kitchen and a sink full of dirty dishes
  • The 3 daily “must-do” tasks, which will keep your home on track
  • The key to making it all work well with your family

Just click the picture and get instant access now. Make sure you leave me a comment and let me know how you’ll make changes in your own homemaking routines.

stress-free homemaking

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

4 Simple Steps to Stress-free Homemaking is a post from: Mary Bernard

    

What I Learned Through Fasting

Fasting - What I Learned Through Fasting

Fasting from food is a common spiritual practice found in Scripture. Time and again, believers “fast and pray” as they worship and seek the Lord. Jesus himself goes into the wilderness and fasts  for 40 days and 40 nights.

So, what about fasting for us as modern-day believers? What’s it like to deprive oneself of food for a set period of time in order to seek God, to petition him, and to become more like Christ?

I remember as a young woman when a friend told me that she routinely fasted when she was struggling with something difficult. I remember she said something along the lines of “I get answers really quickly.”

Fast forward a few years and our entire (small) church committed to fasting for a church member who was awaiting a medical diagnosis. (All turned out well.)

Since then, I have, on occasion, fasted in order to pray and focus on a specific matter or concern among family and friends. I feel rather ill-equipped at doing so, though, because it’s just not something that comes up often at church. I mean, there’s not a Sunday school class on how to do it or anything.

Still, I want to press into the practice. I believe there’s a certain benefit in self-denial. I believe there are a lot of connections between fasting and deepening our faith.


Until I am filled with Jesus and only Jesus, I will always be hungry. #fasting @writingmomof3
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So, as our family is praying through some tough vocational issues right now (and waiting on the Lord’s answers), I decided I would fast one day recently from two meals: breakfast and lunch. And I must confess, that going into this day of fasting, I did so with an unspoken (and somewhat subconscious) assumption that to fast meant to “pull out the big guns”—as if doing a fast would signal to God just how serious I really was about my prayers and my belief. Sadly, I sort of looked at it as a “magic bullet” type last-ditch attempt at coaxing God to my favor. If I’m being totally honest about my motivation to fast, I’d confess that I approached it with an attitude of, “Well if I’m really serious about petitioning God, then I’ll fast.”

But as the Lord often does, he took my sinful, self-centered attempts at piety and revealed to me more of himself, giving the entire experience greater meaning and deeper insight into my broken humanness and his glorious and gracious all-encompassing provision.

What the Lord Taught Me While Fasting

»Fasting is a tangible reminder of my frailty and dependence.
I like to think I’m so independent. And smart. And self-sufficient. Yet, a rumbly tummy is a constant reminder that I am but a meal away from unraveling. Something as basic as food—the need to feed—can have that much power over me? Truly, we are dependent upon our every breath, every heartbeat, every morsel from God.

»The physical hunger I have is but a shadow of the true hunger of my soul—to be fed and sustained by the Bread of Life.
That dull ache in the pit of my stomach would be temporarily relieved with a cheeseburger, but the hunger returns in a few hours. Jesus is the only thing that satisfies my deepest need. Until I am filled with him and only him, I will always be hungry.

»Temptation is greater when I am vulnerable, but Jesus’ power to overcome temptation is made perfect in my weakness.
I was working in the office at my part-time job as I did this last fast. The smell of Chinese take-out teased me from the breakroom. When you’re hungry and you’re purposely avoiding food, the temptation is far greater. It was easy to either berate or applaud myself for avoiding food that day (“just be done with it already; you’re hungry, what’s the big deal?” or “you are so awesome because you can smell all that food and you’re so strong; you don’t have to eat”). But even the enticing aromas of others’ lunches sent me back to Jesus. “What did he go through in the wilderness?,” I wondered. He had not missed 1 meal; he had missed 40 days’ worth! Because Jesus was tempted as we are tempted and overcame those temptations, we are able to overcome temptation. We have the power because we are hidden in him.

»When we (enabled and empowered by Jesus) push through suffering, we find indescribable strength on the other side of our pain.
Confronting the pain of hunger is but a glimpse of the pain Jesus endured so that I don’t have to. Jesus endured and persevered perfectly. Again, in him, we have access to his power. Even confronting a “light and momentary” pain as hunger makes the prospect of greater suffering less scary and less intimidating. “Practicing” the lesser pain of suffering in hunger not only makes us more like Christ, but also equips us for inevitable future trials.

»Fasting, very personally, relates to my sin struggles with emotional eating.
Even if you don’t struggle with food idolatry, my guess is that fasting somehow will make a personal connection for you and your sin (the Holy Spirit is just a great teacher like that—to connect the dots for us in ways that we least expect). For me, fasting from food breaks “the spell” of my sin. When I fast and feel the hunger and recognize the emotional connection food has on me, I see how I idolize it and put it in God’s place. Turning from food for a set period of time shows me that I do not have to be enslaved to my sin. I am a conqueror through Christ.

»Fasting puts me in constant communication with God.
When you’ve missed a meal, you know your stomach doesn’t quickly allow you to forget. A growling tummy, sharp stomach pains, a dull headache. Your body is screaming, “Feed me!” That’s why a fast is the perfect vehicle for becoming closer to God. With every growl, pain, and ache, I turn to God. When you are fasting from food, it’s—dare I say, “easy?”—to “pray without ceasing.”

We are still waiting on some answers and direction from the Lord on the topics about which I was praying and fasting. But as a result, I wait with deeper faith and greater hope because of having partaken in this spiritual discipline.


Have you ever fasted from food? I’d love to hear about your experiences and insights. How did God work in your heart and life during and after the fast?


How Is Your Quiet Time With God???

Click here to download a free report with practical tips and ideas for more consistent and meaningful quiet times.


Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

What I Learned Through Fasting is a post from: Mary Bernard

    

Good Friday

Good Friday

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

Good Friday is a post from: Mary Bernard

    

Thieves Essential Oil Better Than Bleach And Lysol

Thieves Essential Oil Beats Clorox Bleach and Lysol in Cleaning BathroomsI love school. I do. I always have. I’d be in school right now, getting another degree in something if time and money would allow.

But I must say that RE-living school through my children’s projects borders on torture. I straddle that line of trying to be helpful and guide them so they will develop excellent study skills and here-let-me-do-that-so-we-can-just-get-it-done-already.

The latest project in the parade of projects, however, was for the sixth grade science fair. And after the late nights and head scratching and double-sided tape fiascos, it actually proved interesting.

While some kids were sticking wires in potatoes and such, my 11-year-old wanted to focus on germs in dirty bathrooms. Specifically, she wanted to test my beloved essential oils against chemical household cleaners. Yes! I was hooked. I wanted to know, too, just how well Young Living’s Thieves essential oil blend performed when placed side by side against Clorox Bleach and Lysol bathroom cleaner.

We partnered with my daughter’s best friend and her mom (another essential oils user and comrade). So, we found an experiment kit online that was specifically made for growing bacteria and then testing different cleaners to see which was most effective at either killing the bacteria or at least stopping its growth (we weren’t really sure what we would discover).

The Science Experiment: Thieves Essential Oil Blend vs. Bleach and Lysol

Now, please keep in mind that we are working on a sixth grade level here! I am an artistic, English person; you’re not going to find much math or science going on in my brain. :) Stacy—my daughter’s best friend’s mom—was a science major and is far more advanced than I in these areas, though she spends most of her days now taking care of her kids and selling real estate.

My point is, is that I’m sure our scientific method would not hold up to the scrutiny of professionals. But for sixth grade, general common sense, and anecdotal evidence, we think we proved some interesting points.

So, the girls’ hypothesis was that Thieves essential oil blend would best inhibit bathroom bacterial growth. Of course, Stacy and I wanted this to be the case. I wasn’t so sure. I honestly thought the bleach would simply obliterate everything in its path, marking it a clear winner.

Stacy made the petri dishes for us by heating and then pouring agar into the dishes. She then allowed them to set up. To further prove my novice status, I will tell you that I didn’t even know what agar was until about a month ago. That’s right. If I ever used it in school, I had no idea what it was called.

Next, the girls took sterilized swabs and rubbed them over several bathroom surfaces—sink, counter, floor. They then rubbed them in a zigzag pattern into four separate petri dishes. They labeled one “Control” and did nothing more to it. Then, they took four separate squares of blotter paper. They saturated one with Clorox bleach, one with Lysol bathroom cleaner, and one with Thieves essential oil blend. They put one square into each of the remaining petri dishes and labeled them accordingly.

The girls put the petri dishes into an insulated, zippered lunch bag and put it into a dark closet to grow. We checked it every few days and charted the bacterial growth.

The hardest part of the entire experiment was figuring out exactly how to measure our observations. We finally decided we would measure in inches the distance between the outer edge of the treated blotter paper and the innermost edge of the bacterial growth.

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So the early leader was the Clorox bleach. The first four days, we noticed no growth in its petri dish. The Thieves was a close second with a defined edge around the blotter paper. The Lysol did not seem effective much at all. We noticed growth in its petri dish closer in to the blotter paper.

And then something sort of unexpected happened. On the fifth day, we checked the dishes again. More bacterial growth appeared in the Clorox and Lysol dishes, but there was no change in the Thieves dish at all! Thieves was holding back the growth—keeping it at bay. (The girls posted the chart below on their science board. It shows the different measurements on the different days.)

Thieves Essential Oil Is Better Cleaner Than Clorox Bleach and Lysol

The Conclusion: Thieves Wins!

We concluded, actually, that the hypothesis was correct. Thieves essential oil blend is the best at inhibiting bathroom bacterial growth.

Here’s what the girls posted on their board and in their log books:

My hypothesis was correct. On Day 5, Thieves essential oil blend cleared 5/8 inch diameter around the treated blotter paper. Lysol cleared 2/8 inch diameter around the treated blotter paper. Clorox cleared ½ inch diameter around the treated blotter paper. No new bacterial colonies grew in the dish with Thieves. The Lysol dish had some more bacterial colonies grown but not within the cleared perimeter. The Clorox dish had many new bacterial colonies to grow over night. We proved that Thieves essential oil blend best inhibited bacterial growth on a bathroom surface.

In my own words, I’d put it this way: Clorox bleach is probably best at suppressing bathroom bacterial growth on contact, but it doesn’t necessarily keep working. Thieves does keep the bacteria from growing and/or encroaching into treated territory on a longer-term basis. And Lysol? It’s pretty much useless.

Oh, and we the girls won 2nd place in the science fair! :-)

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

Thieves Essential Oil Better Than Bleach And Lysol is a post from: Mary Bernard

    

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