What I Do to Stay on Budget for Groceries

March 18, 2024

What I Do to Stay on Budget for Groceries

Last summer, I found myself continually going over my budget for groceries. I hadn’t changed anything; the cost of food had gone up. Typically, a person would adjust their budget, but there was nowhere to cut back. Life with a disability is expensive. So, something had to change. (Did I mention I don’t like change?)

My friend Marcy raved about Aldi. In June, I tagged along with her to explore the wonders of this mysterious grocery store. When I returned home, I looked at Aldi’s online shopping cart. Convinced it was worth a try, I started placing my orders online for curbside pickup. Since an Aldi isn’t near me, I placed orders on Sunday afternoons so I could pick up my groceries after church—which is just 2 miles away from an Aldi.

I had a learning curve on what products I liked and which items I would return to Kroger for. But, overall, it was an easy process. And most importantly, I stay on budget.

The Great:

1. I cut my grocery bill by 55%. Yes, you read that correctly.

2. The quality of the food is better. Aldi has organic options that often cost the same or less than non-organic options at Kroger. The produce is fresher. The one time I received berries with some mold, I reported it via the app and received a credit. Kroger requires you to take the product back to the store to receive a refund.  

3. The online orders are often ready before my allotted time—and they notify me via text—which I love for flexibility to my schedule.

The Not-so-Great:

My only complaint is the paper bags they use for pickup orders. The paper handles tear every single time. I often end up unpacking a bag onto my lap and making multiple runs into the house.

Aldi vs. Kroger

Below is a side-by-side comparison of staples I typically have in my kitchen. You can see how the savings adds up.

My Conclusion

If you are struggling to stay on budget with food, Aldi is worth a try. I pay a $1.99 fee for online orders, but the savings is worth that $2. They offer delivery through Instacart, but with the delivery fee and tip, I won’t do it unless I can’t leave the house for some reason.

If you need to save money on your groceries, don’t be afraid to try something new. Staying on budget for groceries might be less difficult than you imagined.


A gifted athlete. An unthinkable accident. Will a wheelchair crush her adventurous spirit?

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Jenny Smith

After a spinal cord injury at 16, I discovered that a wheelchair could take me places I never dared to imagined.

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