Saturday, January 18, 2014

ALDI. Our budget.... and the screaming Banshee.

I keep meaning to write this blog post, but life has been getting in the way. I'm working on two new products for Merri Babies and it's taking up a lot of time. One requires a lot of research, and the other just requires a lot of new fabrics and a lot of time spent sewing. I am SUPER excited about both of these products however.

Alrighty, onto this blog post! Here is the run down of our grocery budget.

I try and keep groceries and household items, such as toilet paper, dish soap, body wash all to $320 a month.

That's about $160 for two weeks. Now this does NOT include our main meat such ground beef, and chicken breast. Those I buy every few months with money I've saved. I buy Zaycon Food's 40lbs of all natural chicken every season, and then about 25lbs if we can afford it, of ground beef from US Wellness Meats.
This does however, include organic whole chickens I buy from Costco, and uncured bacon I buy from either Aldi or Publix.

I'm hoping to make these post a series because there's SO much material to cover, and let's be honest, The Magic School Bus episodes only last 22 minutes y'all.

I originally would plan out our menu on a two week plan. Because I go BIG grocery shopping at Costco only once a month, but I go smaller grocery shopping every two weeks. I started to realize once a month menus work best for me. Also, I do not plan my meals for every single day. It's too much pressure for this lady. I go a little nutty if things are too organized, i'll be honest. Instead I go through our pantry and fridge, and then make out a list of meals I could make with what is on hand, and then I also make another list of what I'll need to buy if we don't have a few items in a recipe I'm making. Does that make sense? Then I just pick the meals I'd like to do based on what's going on during the week.

Here is what a basic monthly menu looks like for the Merrifield Family:

Meals for January:
Bacon and eggs
Granola and scrambled eggs
Nutella toast with raisins
Eggs over spinach with toast
Pumpkin muffins with bacon and eggs
Cinnamon Rolls
Potato and cheese skillet with eggs
Home made Graham crackers with peanut butter and dried fruit
Baked oatmeal with scrambled eggs
Mexican baked eggs

Hot dogs and chips and dried fruit
Granola and bacon with organic string cheese
Peanut butter and honey sandwiches with fried potatoes
Annie's Bunnies and cheese
Left overs
Bean and cheese burritos
Dried fruit with organic beef jerky and raw milk
Grilled chicken in rice with green veggies

Baked chicken and spinach flautas Loaded twice baked potatoes
Veggie fried rice Meatballs and potatoes
Oven baked chimichangas Korean Beef over rice
Black bean burgers Burrito rice bowls
Overnight chicken Home made Chicken nuggets
Garlic Chicken over Fried rice and egg drop soup
BBQ and chicken and avocado quesadillas
Ground beef crescents
Grilled chicken with rice and veggies

Now that is a lot of info! Most of the stuff is pretty simple, and I'm telling you now it's not all healthy! but for whatever I need recipes for I make a pinterest board for recipes for each months menus. Here is my January board:

I made a big trip to Costco earlier in the month to by in bulk my basics. I thought I had saved my receipt but now I can't find it. Darn it :( But I'm going to try and give you a list of what I bought, just not the exact prices like I'll be doing with my Aldi trip. I do know that my total at Costco was $120 however.

Costco Trip:
Hebrew national hot dogs
organic peanut butter (smoothies, sandwiches)
Organic sugar
Organic Maple Syrup
Organic frozen blueberries and strawberries (these are for smoothies)
Annie's bunny and cheese (healthier version of kraft mac n cheese)
4 dozen organic cage free eggs (We go through about 2-3 dozen, a week)
Kerrygold Cheese (I think it's about 2-3 lbs of cheese. It's a lot!)
Organic spinach, for smoothies, cooking etc
10lbs sack of potatoes
4 pack of their all natural pizza crust
1 large bag of organic corn chips
1 big bag of kirklands all natural fair trade chocolate chips (cookies for the boys, add to baked oatmeal)
Large tub or organic coconut oil

I ended up spending another $20 at ALDI that following week on some staples I needed to stock up on such as rice, butter, organic fruit, and tortillas for tacos.

So far the only thing I've gotten low on from my Costco trip is eggs, cheese, and spinach. I'll be picking those up at Sam's sometime next week since Sam's is a smidge closer and offers the same options.

I was thrown a curve ball over the past week in that our oven is broken. Which means, no pizza, No oven baked chimichangas, no home made bread for sandwiches and toast, no home made graham crackers, no chicken nuggets, no baked chicken and spinach flautas..Well I could go on and on but you get the picture! So I re-arranged some of of meals and then added some creative options as well, such as crockpot cinnamon rolls. Holy cinnamon y'all. Those little guys are a DELIGHT in the crock pot. Yummy in my tummy.

Since the oven went out, I was desperate to make an Aldi trip today with the little men today. So desperate I totally forgot Christopher Robin acts like a screaming banshee the moment you sit him in the cart. Yippee. I got lots of fun looks while throwing packages of bacon into my cart while Tiny Dancer yelled his lungs out and Ben kept asking "Momma. can we go home?! And play blocks? Baby is hollarin!" . What is it about Aldi and older people giving me judgey looks? I'm sure they think I should take that screaming curly headed child out to the wood shed. But we don't have a wood shed. So....There's that.

Anyway, enough dawdling: Here is my Aldi spread that will continue me onto my January Menu:
Organic animal crackers (we usually don't buy snacks, but since the oven is out...) 2.49
2 packs of small tortillas 1.99 each (for tacos, burritos and quesadillas)
Asparagus 2.29 (for the chicken and rice bowls I'm making up for Chris's lunches for work)
Frozen peas 1.09 (for fried rice)
Broccoli 1.09 (For fried rice)
2 packages of crescents 1.39 each(my splurge! We love ground beef crescents)
Two packages of blue organic GMO free corn chips 1.69 Each (snacks, nachos with taco meat, etc)
Dried berries 2.49 (CR is obsessed with dried fruit. Will not eat fresh fruit. He's an odd one!)
2 packages Organic String Cheese 2.99 each (snacks, lunches, etc)
3 lbs of bananas 1.33 (bananas bread, smoothies, snacks)
Organic apples 4.39 (Home made apple juice, snacks)
2 packages Organic carrots 1.49 each(snacks, lunches, juicing)
Pinto beans dried 1.79 (I NEVER buy canned beans. Too expensive. I soak them in my crockpot on low over night covered in at least 2 inches of water. Use them for burritos, soups, tacos, etc)
Black beans 2.39 (Same as above)
Frozen organic blueberries 2.99 (These will either be for smoothies or the filling for my next batch of sweet rolls)
4 packages (10 slices each) of all natural uncured bacon 3.89 each (breakfast, added to salad, lunches)
2 Pineapples 1.19 each (for juicing)
Winking Owl Merlot 2.89!!!!! Tried it tonight. Love it! I'm picky about my red wine, but this one I love.
1 red and 1 orange red pepper 2.29 (sliced for a snack or to add to stir fry)
Frozen raspberries and strawberries 2.29 (for smoothies)
Onion powder .99 (Chris hates onions! And I love them. Compromise is onion powder. Welcome to marriage :)
2 packages of butter (sadly they were out of organic) 2.39 each (baking, cooking eggs, veggies, etc)

And my grand total was: 72.66


Also, you may be wondering why I din't buy everything that is in these recipes on my board. That's because I buy a little extra of staples in the pantry or fridge every time Aldi has stuff I used often, on sale. Also, I make a lot of basics from scratch. I make my own chicken broth. I make my own bread and hamburger buns. I don't usually buy snacks for the boys. I make them, or pop them pop corn on the stove with coconut oil and 1/2 cup of my 50lb bag of popcorn :) I'm so cool.

After Aldi I made a quick trip to Whole Foods. Yikes! If you were looking for someone today, they were probably at Whole Foods. Everybody and their Mama was there today.
I picked up two half gallons of grass milk at 4.99 each, one container of whole milk organic yogurt 3.50 (This will be my starter for yogurt in my crockpot) and some organic black strap molasses for cookies and for the boys. I add it to their raw milk (When we're not out!) for a little extra iron. My total was around $20.

Here is my grand-ish total for the month of January:

$120 Costco
$20 Aldi
$72.66 Aldi again
$20 Whole Foods
Total: 232.66

Stay tuned :) I'll keep you updated on my next wildly exciting shopping excursion with Pete and Re-Pete Merrifield!


  1. Great post! Aldi is also a great store for conservatives because according to 2nd Vote they remain neutral on political issues. You can see their entire score on the issues here:

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