I sort of ran out of time in January.

For some silly reason, I thought I could cram my Whole Foods in the Fast Lane series into one measly week.  Well, I’m not that fast!


So let’s keep talking about whole foods, real life, budgets, and busy motherhood, okay?  And this time I’m not putting a time frame on this series.  We’ll quit when we’re done!  😉


For a few weeks (or however long it takes), I want to talk about where I buy whole foods.  I’m also going to share a menu plan with each “where I buy whole foods” post so you can see it all in action.


You’ll notice two things as I share my grocery shopping trips with you over the next few weeks: 


1. I am not a food purist.  We eat as healthy as we can, but it’s not all organic or even 100% whole foods. 

2. I am frugal but I don’t stress over price-matching and couponing.  If a have a coupon for something I need, I use it.  If I land a bargain, I stock up.

Plain and simple, I don’t have time to fuss or stress about food or money!  I make do with what I have of both.


Okay, on to where I buy whole foods and how I create a healthy menu plan for my family.




What usually comes to mind when someone mentions shopping for health foods?    Trader Joe’s?  Sprouts?  Whole Foods?

How about Aldi and Wal-mart? 



Shopping for Whole Foods at Aldi and Wal-mart



Yes, it’s true: I buy a lot of whole foods at Aldi and Wal-mart, and I save a lot of money in the process.  


I’m certainly not the first blogger to buy whole foods at Aldi (Erin at The Humbled Homemaker has blogged a lot on this topic), but I can’t resist chiming in with my own experience.  Aldi is such a huge resouce for budget-friendly, healthy foods for our family, and I’ll show you why.


Here’s my stash from a recent grocery shopping trip (last Friday, in fact) at Aldi.


Shopping at Aldi for Healthy, Whole Foods


Here’s a breakdown of what I bought and how much I spent saved.


  • frozen, organic blueberries ($2.99) 
  • Stevia (1.99) 
  • wild caught tuna, 8 cans ($.69 each)
  • raisins  ($2.89) 
  • bananas, about 3 lbs ($.44 per pound) 
  • organic baby carrots ($1.29) 
  • russet potatoes, 10 lbs ($2.99)
  • turkey pepperonis ($2.79) 
  • organic grape tomatoes ($2.99) 
  • extra virgin olive oil, 2 canisters ($2.99 each) 


I also purchased a few household goods for our family, including paper plates, tissues, toilet paper, etc, which brought this week’s Aldi trip to $53.35. 



Shopping for Healthy, Whole Foods at Wal-mart


Earlier in the week, I make a quick run by our local Wal-mart for a few things.  Here’s a break-down of that trip: 


  • Gluten-free Chex cereal ($3.12) 
  • Gluten-free pop tarts ($2.50 with coupon) 
  • Ghirardelli chocolate chips, 2 bags ($2.64 each) 
  • sliced mushrooms, 1 jar ($1.98) 
  • 1/2 gallon whole organic milk ($3.52) 
  • large tub natural peanut butter ($5.92)


Wal-mart grocery run: $22.29


So last week, I spent $75.64 on groceries for our family of eight (three adults, four children and a baby).  Not bad!

What about the meat?

If you noticed I didn’t purchase any meat (except tuna!), you may be wondering if we’re vegetarian.  The answer is no.

My husband is a hunter, and we’re really blessed to have a freezer full of fresh venison and wild pork.  I also have a bag of hormone-free chicken and wild caught fish in the freezer from a previous shopping trip, so I didn’t need any meat from the super market for this week.

I also have plenty of rolled oats, organic carrots, celery,  organic apples, organic peas and green beans, organic tomato sauce, Silk coconut milk, organic jelly, raw cheese, organic brown rice, and Shoshanna’s Gluten-free Flour Mix in my fridge, freezer, and pantry.


Images from The Cottage Mama Plans Her Fall and Winter Menu eBook


Now let’s see how this works into a do-able menu plan for our family:


  •  gluten-free Chex cereal
  • gluten-free pop tarts 
  • homemade granola (I made a double batch on Saturday) 
  • oatmeal 
  • fruit 
  • Blueberry Oat Muffins
  • coconut milk and organic cow’s milk 



  • homemade venison chili (Sunday dinner) 
  • tuna sandwiches (with super easy homemade gluten-free bread
  • Mexican meatloaf cups (with venison) 
  • Slow Cooker Tomato Bisque 
  • peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with fresh veggie sticks 
  • Home-style Shepherd’s Pie (made with left-over tomato soup) 
  •  potato soup







Many of these recipes are included in The Cottage Mama Plans Her Fall and Winter Menu Plan.  You can check out our seasonal menu planning ebook bundle for more help with whole food menu plans, or take a peek at my 90 healthy menu plan ideas for busy moms.


Menu Planning Bundle
Menu Planning Bundle
This bundle includes all FOUR of our seasonal menu planning ebooks and features over 120 whole food recipes for the frugal family! Recipes are gluten-free or include gluten-free variations. Bundle includes: The Cottage Mama's Spring, Summer, Homeschool, and Fall & Winter Menu Plan ebooks. Over 200 pages collectively.
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Where do you shop for whole foods?

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11 thoughts on “Buying Whole Foods at Aldi and Walmart

  1. I hear SO much about Aldis! Unfortunately the Aldis at our town does not seem to live up to the expectations 🙁 Maybe I need to visit twice/thrice to get to know the store better.

    Posted on October 13, 2014 at 3:44 pm
  2. We do love and shop Aldi though and I agree it is terrific.

    Posted on February 12, 2014 at 11:22 am
  3. Just VERY curious how on earth such a small amount can feed so many. For example, we can easily go through 9 lbs of apples in 2 weeks (I try to mainly shop once every pay day) and I have a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 very hungry children).

    Posted on February 12, 2014 at 11:21 am
  4. We have lots in common, my name is Krissy, I am a Pastors wife, we have five kids and I also exclusively shop at Aldi and Walmart. My preference is Aldi however I can’t always get everything there I need. Thank you for your post. I don’t do any coupon clipping, so saving by shopping at budget friendly stores is a must. I wish more people would realize how many great products they can find at Aldi now. Can’t beat it in a lot of ways!

    Posted on February 6, 2014 at 7:58 pm
  5. We absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome blog!

    Posted on February 3, 2014 at 5:04 pm
  6. Just ANOTHER thing we have in common. 😉

    Posted on February 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm
    1. We have A LOT in common, Jill! 🙂

      Posted on February 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm
  7. Wal-Mart and Aldi are the 2 places I shop too! 🙂

    Posted on February 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm
  8. I love this! We have two Aldi’s in our city and I went to one recently. I don’t like how hit-and-miss they are, as they don’t always have the same items. But – if I just shop there first, it is fine because then I can fill in the gap later at the other grocery store. I never thought to check in the freezer area for frozen veggies & fruits. I’ll have to check that out! Thanks Kristy!

    Posted on February 3, 2014 at 2:52 pm
  9. Me too, Anna! It’s amazing how much our family saves on groceries by shopping frequently at Aldi. I’m really happy that they are including more and more organic foods!

    Posted on February 3, 2014 at 2:10 pm
  10. I love to shop at Aldi and Wal-Mart for whole foods too!

    There are things I buy elsewhere but the money save from buying the bulk of our foods at Aldi is wonderful….I sometimes take it for granted until I have to make a quick trip elsewhere and have sticker shock! 🙂

    Posted on February 3, 2014 at 11:24 am