This is my €50 Aldi meal plan and shopping list from my no spend year, for a family of 3,when I paid off €10,000 in debt on a single income.
This is my €50 Aldi meal plan and shopping list from my no spend year.Shopping in Aldi saved me half on my grocery bill during my no spend year. I had been spending a €100 a week, not including takeaways, for my family of 3. After halving my grocery bill, I paid the savings of €2600 towards my debt. That was over a quarter of my goal for my no spend year.
I will tell you how to cut your grocery spending to save money, pay off debt and reduce food waste. Let me show you exactly how to do that in this post.
Notes on shopping in Aldi
How to prepare your €50 Aldi meal plan
How to prepare your Aldi shopping list
Best foods to buy on a tight budget
No Spend Year €50 Aldi Grocery Shopping Method Real Life Example
So lets get into the Aldi meal plan and shopping list to help save money, pay off debt and reduce food waste.
Notes On Shopping In Aldi For Your €50 Meal Plan
- Leave any feelings about branded foods at the door. Aldi has its own brands which will save you a fortune.
- See what days your local Aldi stocks up and do your grocery shopping on that day. Aldi stores are busy and their shelves empty as soon as they fill.
- Sign up to their special offers newsletter online or grab one in store.
- Aldi Stores look utilitarian. This has no bearing on the quality of the food.
- Stay away from the middle aisles. They are filled with great quality products that will blow your tiny 50 quid grocery budget!
- Bring your own bags as you will be charged for bags in Aldi.
- Bring a coin for the trolley.
How To Prepare Your €50 Aldi Meal Plan
1. Take Inventory First
Take inventory of your food supplies before you write your meal plan It is so easy to go over budget by picking up a few extra things that you aren’t sure if you have or not at home. Example of this are condiments. You can print out your free inventory chart by clicking this link.
2. Then It’s Time To Meal Plan
Once you know what food supplies you have, start to write your meal plan. Form meals with the food items you have in your kitchen first. Print out a free meal planner by clicking the link below
Handy meal plan tips
- Ask everyone what their favourite meals are. Sometimes we are making it more complicated than it needs to be.
- Think about how you can cook once and eat twice. I cook a whole chicken every couple of weeks and that gives us several meals in that meal plan cycle.
- Think back to your childhood. One of our favourite dinners is fishfingers, mashed potato and peas. This is a simple, nutritious, tasty and super cheap dinner.
- Have your calendar to hand and plan leftovers or quick meals for busier days.
All of the links to free pintable’s in this post are my own designs and are all within my own website!
How To Prepare Your Aldi Shopping List
Fill In The Gaps
You should have your inventory complete and your have your meal plan started at this stage. Now its time to write your shopping list. This is about filling in the gaps. If you have some things at home for certain meals just buy what you need to fill out those specific meals.
For example: you may have rice, chilli powder and kidney beans on your inventory chart and all you need for a chill con carne is minced beef. So minced beef is all that needs to go on you list for Aldi.
Price Before You Go
Aldi has introduced click and collect in many places. You can browse the app or website to see what products they have. This makes writing your shopping list for Aldi so simple! You will know the price of your shopping before you leave your house.
Once you have priced your essential food items, allocate your extra money to either cleaning products, toiletries or store cupboard ingredients.
If you don’t have access to Aldi prices online, start gathering your receipts from your very first Aldi shopping trip.
Best Aldi Budget Foods To Include In Your Shopping List
This list is based on our own preferences but you may find it useful. I try to buy the most natural food and seasonal food that I can afford. These cheap and nutritious food are available in our area in large quantities on a regular basis.
- Minced beef
- Whole chicken
- Butter and margarine
- Various Flours
Along with basic store cupboard ingredients, many tasty meals can be made from these foods. They are probably the things I buy most often. They are versatile, affordable and healthy.
- Stick to your list.
- Remember why you did a meal plan and inventory. It was to save you money in store. Don’t put all that work to waste and go off plan.
- Condiments. If it’s not on your list, you don’t need it this week.
- Eat before you go and bring a drink in the car. If you are really tempted to have a snack on the way home, grab an apple out of your groceries and drive!!
- Don’t go when you are really tired, stressed, hungry or rushed and if at all possible shop without the kids.
- Have planned leftovers or a super quick dinner for the day you go grocery shopping. That leaves you without the temptation of grabbing a quick (expensive) convenience food option.
No Spend Year €50 Aldi Grocery Shopping Method Real Life Example
*These prices are accurate as of April 2021*
Please download the printable to see the shopping list, meal plan and notes. This post will only be of value to you by reading the printouts.
Plan your meals long term
The shopping list is lean. There is no room for going off list or off budget. This is an example of ONE week in the no spend year but not an example of EVERY week. Some items bought this week will last more than one week, allowing the store cupboard to be stocked with the basics all year round.
You will notice that you do not have enough for all of your meals this week in the plan. That is deliberate. Each week the shopping list and meal plan is constructed from the items that are already in the house.
On a week where we have pizza, there may already be frozen pizza sauce stored in the freezer. In the example meal plan given, I don’t need to use the tins of tomatoes for the pizza sauce on this weeks meal plan. This related post will explain more on how to have a frozen pizza kit at the ready at all times!
Plan for upcoming events
Whenever there is an underspend on your grocery budget, roll that over to the next week. Utilise that cash for upcoming celebrations where you might like to bake something special. You could use that rolled over cash to pick up birthday candles or cute cake decorations at a discount months in a advance, if you plan really well.
Stock up on essentials
In the shopping list above, there is approximately €5 worth of ingredients that I always have in my kitchen for baking.
- Plain flour 99c
- Caster sugar 99c
- Strong flour 99c
- Dried yeast €1
- 18 eggs €2.85 (if less than half are used for baking approx. =€1 worth)
I wont need to buy any of these ingredients for next week except egg.
Next week that €5 can be used cleaning products, herbs and spices or toiletries ( this is €5 from within the €50 budget)
Remember, every item bought has a specific purpose. Think of your kitchen like a store room you need to restock with a set list of items each week.
Recipes you will need.
If you wanted to try out this meal you will need these recipes, which are within my own website.
This €50 Aldi meal plan is not the easiest way to feed your family. It will be time consuming, but it will also help you to keep your grocery bill low. A lot of the foods are natural foods so it is definitely healthy, if a little boring at times.
You need to be a long term planner to get into the spirit of this method of saving money on your groceries. It can take time to establish.
If you are using this method of keeping your food costs, low I suggest you have a firm measurable goal in mind and an end date. This was one of the way in which I paid off €10,000 in debts in one year on a single income as a single parent with two children.