A Peek Into a Dietitian’s Grocery Cart (+ ALDI giveaway!)

  Mar 24, 2016  |  #Charlotte
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Hi, friends! If you like shopping for nutritious foods while saving money, then this post is for you. 

I spend alot of time thinking about food (obviously). With that, comes planning my groceries. To plan my meals, however, I first have to make a grocery list so I don’t veer off course. I try and make my grocery trips as efficient and timely as possible, which is why I do most of my shopping at Aldi! Thanks, Amanda, for hosting Thinking Out Loud and Jill for Fitness, Health and Happiness

I’ve written about the wonders and greatness of ALDI before, and as I’ve explained, I do the majority of my grocery shopping there. Not only do they always offer fresh produce and foods at amazingly low prices, but they also have weekly specials with extra extra deals too!

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If you’re not familiar with ALDI, they are a German grocery chain but they are now present in 32 states, and they have more expansion plans in the works! They are a low cost grocery store with a very efficient business model. I say efficient because to use a grocery cart, you donate a quarter (which you get back when you return it), you bring your own grocery bags, and rather than put their products out on shelves, they stay out in boxes in aisles.

inside aisles

And until recently, they didn’t take credit cards. All of this saves them money on the back end and paying staff so they can offer customers the LOWEST prices. Price checks have even found that ALDI products are 30% cheaper than Walmart!

aldi

I also have so much respect for ALDI because they hire dietitians, have a RD advisory council and really look to RD’s for recipe development, nutrition advice and product offerings.  So, YOU can feel good about the nutrition of the groceries you’re buying!            

When the opportunity arose to partner with ALDI for a post on what a Registered Dietitian shops for at the grocery store, I was very excited. Obviously, I’m a huge supporter of ALDI, and I’m very enthusiastic about their product offerings. While I’m not gluten-free, I appreciate that they offer many gluten-free products (live Gfree brand), and their Fit & Active store brand matches up with many name brand alternatives (rice, cereals, dressings, granola bars, etc), but just costs much less. You can learn more about their store brands here.

cereal_aldi

And what’s better? They’re expanding their lines of organic and gluten free products, and plan to offer cage-free eggs by the end of 2016. And they are already working to remove synthetic colors, added MSG and partially hydrogenated oils, which is all the more impressive considering they mostly sell their own brands. They are even initiating Healthier Check out lanes, where there will be HEALTHY snack options like trail mix, nuts, and dried friut, rather than candy bars and other sugar and fat-laden options.

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granola_aldi

My first tip of advice when navigating the grocery store would be to always have a list. When I go grocery shopping, I like to plan out what recipes I want to make that week, check what ingredients I already have and base what I need off of that – otherwise, it’s a free for all in my grocery cart, and I’ll have foods that I may not use. Food waste is a big no no in our house. If you’re buying it, buy with a purpose and plan to use it!

grocery cart_Aldi

Here’s my list, and what I purchased this week. 

Produce:
Apples

Canned artichokes (for salad toppers)
Bananas
Strawberries
Frozen blueberries and strawberries (post workout smoothies)
Spinach
Greens – I tried this new “Greens Trio” with collards, mustard and turnip greens, and TONS of Vitamins A and C!
Beets (for all of these yummy recipes)
Mushrooms
Avocado
Sweet Potatoes (for stuffed sweet potatoes)
Onions (good for immunity!)
Baby Carrots
Frozen broccoli (for easy microwavable sides)

produce_aldi

Other typical produce items I might buy are grape tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers, but we already had some on hand! And I’ll usually just bake or saute them all together to have for sides and throw on salads throughout the week. 

Grains + snacks:
Whole grain flatbread wraps (love these for breakfast or as a pizza base!)

Sandwich flatbreads
Oats (for my daily overnight oats)
Gnocci (for this one-pan gnocci dish)
Quinoa
Chocolate granola
Garlic and hummus tortilla chips and my favorite peach salsa!
Multiseed crackers
Peanuts
Graham crackers (for ice cream/smoothie toppings)
Rosemary Olive Oil Thin Wheat Crackers

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grains

I go through rice cakes like crazy. They are the best vehicle for really anything you want!

rice cake snack rice cakes guac

Meat/Proteins:
Ground Turkey (for this thai turkey stirfry)

Wild caught salmon (I make this recipe all the time; it’s hard to mess up!)
Chicken sausage (for stuffed sweet potatoes and for flatbread pizzas!)
Tuna (for tuna sliders and tuna salad)
Black beans
Garbanzo beans (Make your own hummus tutorial!) 

proteins

Dairy and other Refrigerated items:
Almond milk

1/2 Gallon of Milk 
Plain Greek Yogurt
Plain Cottage Cheese (for these pancakes)
2 cartons of Eggs ($1.00 for a dozen!)
String cheese (a favorite on-the-go snack)
Shredded cheese
Honey Goat Cheese, my FAVORITE cheese ever! And I also use it for my stuffed sweet potatoes recipe. 
Hummus (Black Bean and Edamame hummus!) – I put hummus on my salads, thin it out for dressings, use it on sandwiches, and as a snack with chips and vegetables. We go through alot of hummus!

[easy-image-collage id=3143]

dairy_aldi

It is also common for us to buy ice cream – yes, ice cream! Lately, though, I’ve been blending frozen bananas with plain greek yogurt, and adding peanut butter, cinnamon, and chocolate chips for a homemade frozen yogurt concoction. It’s delicious!

Other:
Parsley

Pure maple syrup (for these and these)
Minced garlic – I use this ALL the time for cooking when I’m lazy

other_Aldi

The total for all of this was just under $100.00, and many of these staples will last us a while!

Aldi groceries

receipt

aldi receipt

Now, here’s the fun part! ALDI is offering one lucky BLT reader a $50 gift certificate, so you guys can experience ALDI’s greatness! The winner will be randomly chosen in 1 week. Good luck! Make sure to check out ALDI on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ALDI. I was compensated for my grocery shopping for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own.

What are the must have’s on your grocery list?

How long do your groceries last?

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131 responses to “A Peek Into a Dietitian’s Grocery Cart (+ ALDI giveaway!)

  1. must haves for me are almond milk and bananas! peanut butter and gf wraps are always staples i keep stocked too

  2. Some of the must haves on my grocery list include lemons, avocados, organic cream cheese, organic cheddar and almondmilk.

  3. I hear ALDI is coming to my town. Say WHAT?! As a fellow dietitian I am beyond excited for the offerings they have. I’m curious where they hire dietitians though? Corporate? Or do they have them on staff in the stores like, say, a Hyvee?

  4. LOTS of fruits and veggies, greek yogurt, beets (love them!), rice cakes, nut butter, almond milk, and I always try to find something new to excite my tastebuds!

  5. Some of ours are fresh fruits and vegetables…bell peppers are a must…our little one loves them after we starting growing them in our garden two years ago. Also milk, cereal, bread, poptarts, fun fruits, ketchup, gluten free foods, and chicken!

  6. We love shopping at Aldi’s! Our favorite products are those whole grain wraps you bought and their hummus. Hummus goes on just about anything and everything in this home, and the Aldi’s brand is our favorite. While their take and bake pizzas are not the healthiest option, they’re delicious for a cheap weekend indulgence. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Must have from aldi: almond and cashew milk, salsa, shredded wheat, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, guacamole, wraps, and their milk chocolate chips!

  8. i am starting to really like aldis! my parents used to shop there when i was younger, but we’ve drifted away from it . i went back a few weeks ago to check it out because i heard they stepped up their natural/organics game and loved it! the gift card would be put to very good use here 🙂 *college budget* lol

  9. My must buys are Cheerios, yogurt, canned pumpkin (I put that sh*t in everything!), PB2, and bacon!
    I’ve been lovin ALDI for a while, even stopped in one while I was in Germany for work!

  10. Man, shopping at Aldi is my jam. I’m stoked that they are expanding their payment options. My favorite stuff to get there includes organic milk, eggs and produce. They always have tomatoes and carrots for way cheaper than other stores.

  11. Carrots are my favorite snack so that’s a must-have for me. Also, we buy a lot of eggs, milk, and yogurt.

  12. I have been dying to take a trip to the Aldi that is about a half hour south of me. This post makes me want to go right now! Must haves on my grocery list: veggies, fruit, Greek yogurt, sweet potatoes, grilled chicken, eggs and milk. Then the dinner plan changes each week!

  13. Fresh produce (mostly veggies and 1 or 2 varieties of in-season fruit), HUMMUS (why is this not a main food group?), greek yogurt or cottage cheese, salsa, and a whole grain flat bread or rice cakes.

  14. I love shopping at Aldi for produce and canned goods! I love their weekly sales on produce and the Fit and Active products!

  15. I loooooove Aldi!!! I love how much organic food they have. Their cheese selection is on point too. I need to go to Aldi tomorrow, and I plan on picking up some veggies, fruit, grains, and spices!

  16. My grocery list must-haves are greek yogurt, eggs, kale/leafy greens, brown rice, peppers, butternut squash or sweet potatoes, and almond milk! Love ALDI!

  17. every week we get greek yogurt, lettuce, broccoli, milk and cashew milk, plantains, bananas, blueberries, and an assortment of fish and meats

  18. There are a lot of must haves on my list and greens are at the top. Arugula, spring mix, spinach and kale. Weekly!

    I have looked everywhere for a gf wrap. I need to try the Live G Free!

  19. My grocery list musts are fresh fruit, veggies, almond/soy milk, oats, and usually a species cheese. 🙂 I’m in grad school and my husband and I do mostly 80% of our grocery shopping there. We <3 Aldi's!

  20. Oh man, I love Aldi! Go there every week and save a bundle! My must haves are: milk, eggs, bread (I love the Fit & Active 45 calorie wheat at Aldi), greek yogurt, fresh veggies and fruit, chicken breasts, fish of some kind, bagged spinach, nuts, etc.. etc. Thank you for the chance!

  21. a list is key!! there have been times i have gone grocery shopping and thought i could quickly wing it without a list…
    nine hours later, i’m still staring down the International aisle. SUCH A NIGHTMARE! Great post

  22. I just started shopping at aldi this year. I love it!! Such good quality and prices. I always get the big bag of sweet potatoes and at least 2 dozen eggs.

  23. We’ve been shopping at Aldi’s as our primary store for years! I’d say 90% of our groceries come from there; the rest is Kroger for things not found at Kroger or quick stops.

  24. Wait, does Aldi exist in Canada? I’ve never heard of this store, it’s actually so awesome!! It also seems a little more environmentally friendly to not have to buy,shelves and all that. I love this concept, would love to visit one of these grocery stores!

  25. My grocery must haves are milk, eggs, wheat bread and white, banana’s, apples, carrots, celery and green peppers

  26. I go to the grocery store way too often, but I don’t care because I love getting all the fruits and veggies! I also run through tons of almond milk between adding it to coffee, making smoothies, and overnight oats! Staple groceries are always and forever bananas, greens, avocado, and almond milk!

  27. Yogurt, eggs, peanut butter and salad mix. Oh and lots of cheese, I hit up target or ALDI about once per week!

  28. This is awesome because Aldi is my favorite! Ever since I have discovered them I have been hooked. My essentials are nuts, fruits, veggies and household necessities like sugar, milk, eggs, and bread!

  29. My staple groceries are: carrots, chicken breasts, milk, yogurt, apples, oranges, grapes, pistachios, spinach, black beans, and Werthers 🙂

  30. I love, love, love Aldi! I never feel guilty shopping there and tossing a few unique items in my cart that weren’t on my list since its so well priced!

  31. I have been shopping at Aldi’s ever since I moved out on my own. My mom shopped there and I see no reason to pay more at other stores. I also love that you have to bring your own bags. Ecofriendly before it was cool 🙂 Plus, paying for a cart? GENIUS! That way people return them!

  32. As someone who is OBSESSED with food, I really love these kind of posts! I love being able to take a peek into other people’s carts 🙂
    And Aldi sounds like Gluten-free heaven! I’m fairly certain they don’t have one in my area, because I would for sure know about it already. I am ALL about eating healthy on a budget. So many people don’t realize that it’s possible when it is, and it’s actually pretty easy, especially with stores like this around!

  33. Aldi is great although mine is behind on their new products. So it’s good to hear they’re doing new things by the end of 2016! Must haves on my list: eggs, bananas, spinach.

  34. The bread and milkjare the cheapest in town, so I buy those exclusively at Aldi. We also can’t leave without snack cakes for the lunchboxes.

  35. I always have to get peanut butter – my son and I go through a lot of it. I just shopped at Aldi’s for the first time last week and am excited to go back!

  36. YUM! Look like such great, healthy eats! And oh my gosh, I LOVE Aldi! I shop there all the time! Last summer I would make a trip from this resort where I worked the closest Aldi, about 1 hour away, and LOAD up on cantaloupes! I’d go EVERY week on my day off and buy like 7 or 8 then eat one each day!!
    xoxo Cailee!

  37. They just built a new Aldi’s by my house and I can not wait to get there! When I go grocery shopping my cart is mostly filled with veggies! Veggies galor! There are other staples such as yogurt and hummus. Thanks for the great giveaway : )

  38. Milk, cheese sticks, berries, oatmeal, tuna pouches, ground turkey, instant coffee, etc — all of which are available at Aldi! So glad they finally take Visa cards, too — as much shopping as I do there, it’s great to be able to get the credit card reward points now.

  39. Never heard of Aldi, but I am going to campaign to get them up here in the Northeast! Impressive job shopping, Sarah…

  40. I. love. Aldi’s! Ahh it’s the best place ever. I love how cheap all their produce, meat, and seafood are. Shrimp is like half the price there than at Hy-Vee. My must haves on my grocery list are sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, chicken breast, and zucchini. Also- I love the idea of healthy check out aisles. Hopefully that catches on everywhere!

  41. I’ve been telling everyone about Aldi’s. It’s amazing how much I save on my weekly grocer shopping. They have great produce (hello sweet potatoes!) and cheese.

  42. I have been meaning to try Aldi’s because I’ve heard such good things!! This weekend seems like a good time… Thanks for the post!

  43. As a college, student, Aldi’s affordable prices allow me to buy more produce like spinach, celery, carrots, apples, and grapefruit rather than resort to processed foods aka Ramen and pizza rolls.

  44. Hello! I’m brand new to your blog thanks to Peanut Butter Runner and I’m already a fan. I follow you now on Bloglovin as well. Yay! I’m super excited to read your weekly/daily posts.

    Aldi is my favorite store. its always my first stop when I go grocery shopping . Staples and must have are eggs, egg whites, unsalted raw nuts, dark chocolate super berries, all fruit and veggies and greens, cheese and dog treats. It would be a blessing to win. My fingers are crossed.?

  45. I LOVE Aldi! Buying produce from Kroger just makes me sad. My must haves when I shop there are zucchini, grapes, peppers, and salad greens!

  46. i love aldi! i don’t make it there every week since it’s a little far, but their greens mix and gluten free wraps are my favorites. plus i love that i can go wild on produce and have my grocery bill be half of what it’d be at the regular grocery store.

  47. I just discovered ALDI and love it. I can’t wait to try the peach salsa. Their Kalamata olives are great!

  48. I’ve tried shopping at Aldi but didn’t care for it. I think I was just doing it wrong! It was a little overwhelming not knowing where anything was. I’d love to try again because your haul here is awesome. Things I buy constantly (just to name a few): almond milk, oats, bananas, apples, olives, rice cakes, hummus!

  49. Wow, you have so much variety. It’s WONDERFUL! Some of our must-haves on our grocery list would be yogurt, lettuce, eggs, some veggies, PEANUT butter (although I’ve been making it lately), and usually some sort of meat. I’m thankful that God has created so much variety for our diets.

  50. I’ve heard so many amazing things about Aldi but never shopped there. I just looked up the location closest to my house and can’t wait to go explore! Grocery cart must haves for me include almond milk, fruit, and lots of veggies!

  51. There isn’t an Aldi too close to me, but I do enjoy going when I visit my family Their selection is getting better and better.. My must haves for groceries include fresh fruit, baby spinach, ground turkey, salmon and chicken!

  52. I love Aldi!! My must haves are fresh produce, chicken, ground turkey, natural peanut butter, and sweet potatoes!

  53. Love Aldi. I do 99% of my grocery shopping there & head to Giant Eagles if I need something Aldi doesn’t carry. Their honey goat cheese is my favorite. I always have some Aldi produce in my car, and their plain greek yogurt is a must buy too. Their salsa & guac are great if I am too rushed to make my own. & I love how cheaply I can put together a delicious veggie tray or cheese plate if I’m having friends over.

    Glad to see that even though I’m not a dietitian, my cart tends to look a lot like yours!

  54. Wow. So when I come visit you one day… can you take me? Grocery shopping date?
    I seriously cannot believe you got all of this for under $100. That is absolutely insane.
    Pricing aside, it sounds like Aldi really is doing some wonderful things for both efficiency and health – both checks in my book.

    (PS I’ve got to say – your blog is looking absolutely fabulous and you are making some pretty impressive strides with the RD and blog business. Awesome job Sarah – you should be feeling proud).

    1. Cora, I would LOVE to have you come visit an we can definitely go on a grocery shopping trip! And get foamy Americanos and yummy pastries and hang in coffee shops. And thanks for your kind words – those really mean a lot. You are too sweet

  55. I basically only shop at Aldi. I will pick up a thing or two at other places if I am there, but otherwise I only go to Aldi. You just can’t beat those prices! They are best!
    I always buy milk for T and almond milk for me, eggs, ground turkey, spinach. Several other staples but those are every week ones! I adore that chicken sausage.
    Also, so cool of an opportunity!

  56. I recently switched to 90% of our groceries coming from Aldi’s….HELLO!?!? WHY HADN’T I DONE THIS SOONER? I love the store, I get out faster, I bag them the way I want them organized 🙂 , and save so much money!

    Must haves for me – FRUIT, VEGGIES, ALMOND MILK

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