money saving tips

50+ Best Products to Always Buy at Aldi

Aldi is my go to store for weekly grocery hauls.   I knew there was a loyal following and I have to say I have joined the fold.  It turns out the hype is real, Aldi has some pretty delicious foods for a fraction of the price.

So, what do I always buy at Aldi?

best products to buy at aldi grocery haul

50+ Products to Always Buy at Aldi

Fresh Flowers

We are going to work our way around the store so let’s start at the beginning.  When you walk in the door, there are often fresh flowers or plants for a fraction of the cost.   Usually, you can get a nice bouquet of flowers for under $4!

However, if you see something that’s seasonal and you want it, grab it.  They may not get another shipment in again!

Fresh Produce

Aldi’s has both organic and non-organic selections for pennies on the dollar compared to other grocery stores.  Shop in season produce for the best prices.

Bagged salad kits are at least $1.25 cheaper.  We love the Caesar salad kit for pasta night and the southwest salad kit to top our tacos and fajitas.

Grab the guacamole, it comes in a 2-pack and is excellent.

buy at aldi marinades

Condiments Area

Adjacent to the produce section, they have a good condiment section.  We get all of our condiments there including peanut butter, mayonnaise, pickles, salad dressing mixes, ketchup and marinades.

Aldi also has some great slow cooker sauces (Chicken Marsala and Pub Pot Roast) and Indian marinades that whip up a quick meal.  Tikki Masala and Butter Chicken are our favorites.

snacks to buy at aldi

Bread, Chips & Snacks

Right after you leave the produce section, you’ll head for the bread section.  We love getting their Hawaiian rolls, pitas, naan bread, 100% whole wheat bread, bagels and their triple chocolate bundt cake is moist and delicious for a quick and simple dessert.

Chips are always a fraction of the cost and are crisp and full of flavor.  We especially love the sour cream & cheddar ripple chips and tortilla chips.  They also have a variety pack of individual chips that are great for picnics and school lunches.

Last but not least in this section, is their crackers, snacks and desserts.  We always buy the rosemary & olive oil crackers, chocolate bears, chocolate peanut butter wafer bars (Nutty Bars) and rice crispy squares.  

Gourmet Cheeses & Meat Section

Aldi has the best selection of gourmet cheeses at an affordable price.  My husband is a cheese connoisseur and they all pass his taste test.  Some of our favorites include the Havarti ($2.99), aged white cheddar ($2.49) and garlic & herb spreadable cheese (similar to Boursin).  

Seasonally, they also have  fondue ($5.49 a package) and raclette cheese.

We always stock up on deli meat, sliced cheese and shredded cheese as well.

If you need a good dip, the 7 layer Mexican dip is excellent.

best aldi products baking supplies

Baking Supplies

Stock up on sugars, flour, chocolate chips, cooking spray and oil.  Not to mention, organic and specialty sugars for a fraction of the price.

Note, they do have some spices but the selection isn’t great so don’t plan on stocking your spice cabinet there beyond the basics.

best foods to buy at aldi pasta

Canned Goods, Pasta and Mexican Section

After the baking section, it’s all the canned vegetables, fruit, condensed soups, beans, pasta and Mexican fixings.

They don’t always have pizza supplies but you can find just about everything else you need to whip up a pasta from pesto to marinara sauce.   The shells & cheese kit makes a quick meal on a busy night and is always a pantry staple.

We always get flour tortillas, taco seasoning, and refried beans for taco night.  They also have soft & hard corn tortilla shells.

Don’t forget the rice section as you head around the corner.  We get Basmati rice to pair with our Indian marinades along with Jambalaya rice mix, and the 4-cheese risotto ( we always buy 2 packets for a meal).

best snack foods to buy at aldi

Breakfast Section

Everything from pastry crisps (my kids especially love the strawberry ones), to granola bars and protein bars (chocolate peanut butter is my favorite).  We get them all at Aldi.   Plus, off-brand cereal, oatmeal and pancake syrup.

best meats to buy at aldi

Fresh Meat Section

The marinated meats like Carnitas and BBQ pork are excellent in the slow cooker.  The marinated teriyaki pork tenderloin is another family favorite.  We often get chuck roast for the slow cooker along with a large package of chicken breast.

Dairy Aisle

Eggs, butter and milk are notoriously inexpensive at Aldi.   We also always pick up sour cream, cream cheese, bacon, yogurt, and almond milk too.

We also love the flavored sparkling waters that are in the same vicinity.  Lime is my favorite.

best frozen foods to buy at aldi

Frozen Food Section

We get everything from chicken nuggets, frozen chicken cordon bleu, frozen shrimp, taquitos, bagel pizzas, breakfast sausage links, frozen pizzas, orange juice, frozen vegetables, frozen fruit, ice cream (especially fudge tracks), and  cheesecake slices (the turtle ones are amazing).


The only drink we have found worth buying besides milk and orange juice concentrate is their sparkling water.  The lime flavor is great and a fraction of the cost.

Household Staples

While I don’t buy any of the cleaning products at Aldi, I do buy the paper towels, disposable tableware including napkins, plates and silverware along with tin foil, plastic wrap and plastic bags.

A Few Other Favorites Worth Noting…

Now, that we have traversed all the main food aisles of Aldi, there are a few more favorites you might like too!

Holiday Themed Foods

No matter the season, Aldi has the cutest holiday-themed food items.  For Christmas, I picked up some red and green tortilla chips  and the cutest little snowman graham cracker snack bags .

Diapers & Wipes

We are past this stage now but Aldi was my go-to for diapers and wipes.  It’s actually how I got hooked on Aldi.  Even when we didn’t have one close, I would go and stock up on diapers and wipes.  A 100 pack of size 3 diapers cost me $10.99 and the quality is great.

Seasonal Section

Now, you don’t go to Aldi for this section but this is the section that gets you every time.  The section includes home decor, seasonal candles, kitchen accessories, and toys to name a few.  It’s always changing and the items are great quality and a steal of a deal.  If you want to save money, avoid this aisle.  Don’t say I didn’t tell you so!


Looking for a little something to put with a gift card or take as a hostess gift?  Check out Aldi’s selections of candies from the salted chocolate covered caramels to peanut butter cups, and cocoa truffles.  Need I say more?  Read more about how I used them for a simple gift here.

Allergy-Friendly Foods

Several people in our online community mentioned Aldi having the largest variety in nut-free, dairy-free and gluten-free products.  We love their almond milk and simply balanced applesauce pouches.

A Few Helpful Tips…

Did you know Aldi is also owned by Trader Joe’s?  Aldi is all about great quality, private label products with low overhead so there aren’t a lot of frills but they pass that savings on to you, the customer.

Don’t forget your quarter to “rent” your cart and your own bags (you can buy a bag at the checkout for 10 cents).

After you check out, there’s a bagging area where you can bag your own groceries.  I usually take a laundry basket for quick loading/unloading.

50+ Best Products to Buy at Aldi Free Printable

Get Your Best Aldi Products Checklist…

Get instant access to this printable and many others in our free printable library. Sign-up here today and get your free printable NOW.

Do you need a grocery list and meal planner?

Check out the meal grocery list and meal planner here.

You might also like –

7 Simple Aldi Meal Ideas

Aldi 7 Day Simple Meal Plan 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest


**This post contains affiliate links**

15 Back to School Money Saving Tips

Growing up my mom used to say that August was the most expensive month besides Christmas. Back to school shopping can be expensive.  However, there are ways to be purposeful with your shopping that will save your wallet big time and your sanity too!  I have rounded up my 15 best back to school money saving tips for today’s post because who doesn’t love to save money?


15 Back to School Money Saving Tips

1 – Buy high-quality & Reuse.

We love Pottery Barn and Herschel for backpacks.  Did you know you can wash your backpack in the washing machine?  Empty the backpack inside and out, spot treat with a stain treater and then place on a gentle, cold cycle in the washer.  Hang dry!  We had my son’s backpack for 5 years and the only reason we replaced it was because he needed a bigger bag!  

We love Lands End and North Face for winter gear.  Last year, I went cheap and I ended up spending what I would have on one coat on two and both were broke by the end of the year.  I usually get 2 years and can pass it on with a higher quality coat.  

Buy gender neutral boot and snow pants so you can pass them down to other children.  Grey, navy or black show less dirt and are great for both girls or boys!

2 – Take inventory of your closet first. 

Check out your kids’ closets and make a list of what your kids actually need for the upcoming season and next year so you can stay focused and save money while shopping.  Your kids might not need new shoes, don’t buy them if they don’t need them!

3 – Shop sales.  

Most sites like Pottery Barn and Lands End have sales.  Don’t pay full price, they will have a sale.  Temporarily join the store’s email list or check their website often.  Generally, they have sales over the weekends so check back on Friday!

4- Always buy a size up!  

When shopping for winter gear, I always size up.  If my kid is currently wearing a size 2 shoe, I buy a size 3.  If they are currently a size 10 shirt, I buy a size 12 coat.  Lands End coats have built-in sleeve extenders that help you maximize the life of your coat.

5 – Avoid personalization and monograms.  

It’s easy to resell or pass on if it’s not personalized.  It’s also safer to not have your child’s name printed on their backpack.

6 – Shop ahead for next season.  

Take advantage of the end of season sales and stock up for next season.  The steepest discounts happen at the end of the season both at major retailers and consignments stores.

7 – Take advantage of tax-free weekend.  

Most states offer a tax-free weekend on school supplies and apparel right before school starts.  In Iowa, ours is the first full weekend in August!  

8 – Use Coupons & Price-matching.

Before you buy, scan the item to make sure you are getting the best deal.  Sites like Amazon have a barcode reader and will pull up the item.  If it’s cheaper, take that to the store’s register and ask for a price match.  If they can’t do it at the register, they should be able to at customer service.  Most stores will honor their competitor’s coupons.  It’s always worth asking!

9 – Inventory school supplies before shopping.   

What items are still in working condition?  Use what you have first.  Cross it off the list so you don’t accidentally buy it again.  If that white binder looks a little beat-up from last year, scrub it clean with a Mr. eraser and it will be good as new.  Wash the pencil box with a little soap and water and it will be sparkly clean.

Stock up during sales on school supplies for the year or for your kids’ classroom!

10 – Shop discount stores & Consignment Stores.   

Places like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are a great place to get name brand clothing for less.  Consignment stores are another great place to shop.  Take your old clothes in to consign and use the money you earned to buy this year’s wardrobe.

11 – Make a list and stick to it.

This seems simple enough but how often do you throw something extra in?  All those extras add up!

12 – Before you shop, make a game plan.  

When making your list, write down the store names and under each store write the item you are going to purchase there.  Check the weekly ads for the best deals to know what to get where! Remember, the more places you shop, the more likely you are going to find extras (or is that just me?) so be purposeful about sticking to your list!

13 – Do not wait until the last minute.  

Take it from me, I did that my first year and it was a nightmare.  The plastic primary colored pocket folders I needed were sold out so I paid way more.  Shop early!

14 – Shop online and use pick-up options.  

Walmart and Target both offer it and it’s a great way to stay on budget and not get sidetracked by the awesome items, not on your list.  Target will even populate your school list online and you can pick up!  How cool is that?

15 – Make a budget and keep track of what you spend.  

Sometimes, it’s more cost-effective to buy the school supply pack from the school.  This year, we used what we had and then purchased about $50 worth of school supplies for two kids which is less than what I would have paid for the supplies.


What back to school money saving tips do you have?  It can be an expensive time of year but it can totally be done on a budget.  It’s hard to believe school is almost back in session, summer sure has flown by in a hurry!  Our supply shopping is done so now we will celebrate with sleeping in and spending our days at the pool!  Below, I am sharing a few of our favorite back to school essentials!

Check Out These Other Back to School Resources…

Best Back to School Books for Kids

Best Back to School Tips so You Are Ready to Go

5 Ways to Beat the Back to School Jitters

Establish an After School Routine

Create A School Supply Drawer



Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

This post contains affiliate links.

15 ways to save money on school supplies

10 Ways to Stretch Meat & Save Money

Across the United States, grocery stores are starting to limit the amount of meat you can buy.  It can be A LOT to disconcerting especially when you have a growing family as I do.  So, what are some ways you can stretch your meat and get creative with your meal plan this week?  


So, how can you stretch meat and save money?


Check out this delicious and simple egg bake recipe!

Skip the Meat

I know that sounds crazy, that the number one tip when it comes to stretching meat is to skip it but there are a lot of delicious recipes you might make with meat that if you took the meat out, you might not miss it at all.  For example, soups, salads, pasta dishes, pizza, quesadillas, and sandwiches.

Check out this breakfast pizza recipe, quiche recipe, and egg bake recipe.  Just skip the breakfast meat in each of the recipes!  

50 easy meatless meals ideas

Download your free copy of 50 meatless meal ideas printable by signing up here.



Swap Out the Meat

You might be used to fresh chicken breast for your favorite dish but in this season tried canned chicken instead.  This chicken pot pie recipe and chicken salad recipe work great with canned chicken.  Lunchmeat is a great alternative as well.  Instead, of using a roast for french dip sandwiches, consider using lunchmeat instead.  I love to make chicken parmesan with chicken nuggets. 


Check out this delicious and simple corn bean salsa recipe!


Sub Out the Meat

Instead of swapping or skipping the meat, how about sub it in for another protein.  Think eggs, lentils, beans, and nut butter.  


Thin Out the Meat

If you don’t want to get rid of the meat altogether, try stretching it with a filler.  I like to stretch ground beef by adding  1 12 oz can of black beans to make 2 lbs of a meat mix.  I will also add in canned carrots for nearly no added taste and extra vegetables.  This is a great option for Mexican dishes.


Don’t Make Meat the Star

Instead of a traditional meat and side meal.  Consider, stretching that meat by making dishes that you add meat to. Dishes like pasta, Mexican, and oriental dishes. When it isn’t the star and just the supporting actor, we can stretch meat a little bit further.


Think Outside the Meat Box

When it comes to meals, we usually have a meat-heavy hitter that goes with that meal.  Tacos = ground beef but what if you did shrimp tacos or pulled pork tacos.  If you make meat for one dish, how can you reimagine that meat for another dish later in the week or freeze it and save it for another time?


Simple Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe


Add More Sides

To stretch your meat even further, consider adding a few additional sides like fruits and vegetables so tummies are still filled but with more variety and you can stretch that meat even further.

Speaking of fruits and veggies, buy fruits and veggies with a variety of shelf lives. My kids love strawberries but they don’t last long so then I buy apples, bananas, grapes, and applesauce for later in the week. That way I don’t waste food and we still get a variety into our diet.

Don’t be afraid of canned and frozen fruits and vegetables as well so you can stretch the time between your grocery shopping sessions.


Make 1 Meal Per Seating

I know this has nothing to do with meat but many of you might feel like a short-order cook. Now’s the time to communicate with your family that you are making 1 meal. Kids will eat when they are hungry and serve some sides you know they will like to help them get excited about mealtime.  Want more help with picky eaters?  Check out this post with 15 tips to get your picky eater to eat.


Meal Planning Journal sample weekly meal plan

Grab your meal planner here!


Meal Plan

Making a weekly meal plan helps you reduce food waste and stretch your meat and your grocery budget. I record what we need at home before I go throughout the week in my  Meal plan journal.

Then, I look for simple meals we love and make my meal plan while I shop. You can download a free printable with 50 meal ideas to help you get started by signing up here.


Keep Meals Simple

We are not getting awards for how fancy or complicated are meals are right now. The other night we had grilled cheese, we have had to build your own cheese pizzas this week and everyone has never eaten better.  Snack tray suppers are another fan favorite and perfect for a night you don’t feel like cooking. 


Just Remember…

Don’t stress if you can’t find enough meat at the store, there are a lot of meatless options or meals that don’t require a lot of meat.  If you need more ideas, you can signup here and download your copy of over 50 meatless meal ideas to get you started. 


You might like these posts – 

15 Simple Ways To Save Money on Groceries

12 Items We Stopped Buying at the Grocery Store to Save Money

10 Simple Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

25 Simple Family Meals


Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.



Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest



15 Simple Ways To Save Money on Groceries

Have you ever gotten to the cash register at the grocery store and gone bug-eyed at the amount of money you just spent?  Do you just wish you could save money on your groceries?

Since we have been saving for the adoption one of the biggest ways we have curbed our spending is by eating out less and sticking to our grocery budget.

I have learned a few simple tips along the way that have helped me save money on groceries, I thought I would share them with you.  Sharing is caring after all!


15 Ways to Save Money on Groceries –

1. Set a Budget

First things first, you have to know how much you want to spend so that you have a target to shoot for.  On average, your food bill including eating out and groceries should be 11% of your monthly salary (source).  Take into consideration the diet you have and location you live as those factor into the total cost.

When you start making a food budget, look back over the last 2 months and get a baseline of what you have spent.  You might be surprised.

2. Don’t Go To The Store Hungry

Seriously, this is so simple but have you ever gone to the store hungry?  Suddenly everything looks really good.  Grab a quick snack or a big glass of water before you go so that your stomach doesn’t tempt you into spending more.

3.  Stop Going to the Grocery Store So Often

The more often you go to the grocery store, the higher the chance of buying more items you don’t need.  Meal plan weekly, make a grocery list that matches and only go to the store once per week.  If something comes up and you find you need an item, put it on the grocery list for next week.


4. Make a Meal Plan

Avoid the urge to make an aspirational meal plan.  It might look good in print but it might not fit your budget, match your food preferences or your schedule.  Read more about how to successfully meal plan here.

5. Stick to Your Grocery List

After you make a meal plan, create a grocery list that matches it.  Not only will you save money by sticking to a list, but you will also waste less food.

6. Buy Frozen Fruits & Vegetables

Frozen fruits and vegetables are a fraction of the cost and they last a whole lot longer.  Did you know on average 50% produce is thrown away in the United States which amounts to $160 billion dollars of money wasted annually? (source)



7. Shop at an Actual Grocery Store

I love places like Target and Wal-mart but I have blown my budget because I am tempted by a pair of cute shoes or a new fun nail color and they hop into my cart.  If you struggle with adding things to your cart, forego these types of stores in favor of places like Aldi and local grocery stores.

8. Try Online Ordering

If you have a budget in mind and you want to make sure you only spend so much but struggle to do that, try online grocery shopping.  Places like Wal-mart offer it. The app totals your groceries as you go so you can stay on budget.

9. Shop the Bottom Shelf & Buy Generic

I have my favorite name-brand items but by and large, we buy generic brand for many items from cereal to canned soups and frozen produce.  Most of the time grocery stores place more expensive name brand items at eye level so shop the bottom shelf for generic brands and items that cost less.

10.  Shop Alone

We used to shop after church on Sunday, not only were we hungry which I already told you was a no, no but I brought the whole family.  Even if every person picks one thing that’s not on the list, it can add up in a hurry.

Instead of inviting your family along which can be stressful in and of itself, ask them if there’s anything they would like from the store before you go!

11. Calculate the Cost As You Go

If you don’t want to online shop, take a calculator with you and keep a tally of how much you are spending as you shop.  Knowing how much you are spending will keep you accountable for what you are putting in your cart.  It’s always fun to see how close you were when you get to the cash register!

12. Buy In-Season & Sale Produce

Out of season produce is not only expensive but also not as tasty.  Save the berries for berry season and peaches for peach season.  Bananas, apples, and grapes are always good options year round but check the local store ads and buy produce that’s on special. This way you get more variety in your diet too!

13.  Use Coupons

They don’t just to be the kind your mom cut out of the newspaper.  Many stores now have apps that you can pick coupons that work for you and then scan at the end!  Just take a few minutes after your list is made to see if there are any coupons.  A few dollars here and there really adds up!


14. Skip Pre-packaged Snacks.

Instead of the pre-packaged Goldfish crackers, I buy a big container for 7.99 and can get more servings and make the servings be what I want.  Get in the habit of packing up snacks after you go to the store or have your kids help you.

15.  Shop Your Pantry & Freezer

I’ll add an item to my grocery list and then open my pantry only to realize I already have it on hand.  You can save yourself lots of money by checking your pantry and freezer to see what you already have on hand.

You can even start there and make your meal plan around what you already have and save even more money!

You Can Save Money at the Grocery Store

Buying groceries is a fact of life for most of us but there are ways to save your hard-earned money!  Apply these simple tips and save yourself hundreds of dollars at the store.  I don’t know about you but there are always things we are saving for and every dollar saved adds up!

How do you save money at the grocery store?

You might also like…
12 Items I Stopped Buying at the Grocery Store
7 Steps to Create a Weekly Meal Plan
Aldi 7-Day Meal Plan + Grocery List
Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
Let’s Connect | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook  | Email Subscription


This post contains affiliate links.

Aldi Shopping List + Weekly Meal Plan

Aldi has always been my go-to for inexpensive diapers, wipes and guacamole (how about that combo ;)!  I always drove a half hour to stock up.  Now, Aldi has finally opened up a store just 5 minutes from my home and I did a happy dance.  

Now, 3 out of 4 weeks a month I go to Aldi for my weekly groceries (the 4th week I still do a Wal-mart pickup)!  I thought I would take you along this week and show you what I got, how much I spent and the 7 meals I plan to make as a result!  Did I mention all 7 meals cost less than $50?

A Few Quick Aldi Tips

Don’t forget your quarter.  One of the ways Aldi keeps their prices low is by having you rent a cart for 25 cents.  You put in a quarter to unlock your quarter and you get the quarterback when you return it.  If you are feeling generous, you could leave your quarter behind and make someone’s day!

Bring your own shopping bags.  Just like Sam’s Club and Costco, Aldi does not provide shopping bags.  The cashier will load all your groceries back into a cart and you bag all your groceries.   The good news is you can sort groceries based on where they go if you want!  Pantry staples in one bag, frozen in another and so on!

Aldi sells mostly off-brand merchandise.  This means that you won’t find too many name brand items but not to fear, the quality is still amazing.  Aldi’s is owned by the same parent company as Trader Joe’s!

Check the specials aisle.  Or don’t ;)!  If you are trying to stay on budget, steer clear of the specials aisle that is full of seasonal items.  I got my kid’s bike helmets at Aldi!  If you see something you like, grab it.  It’s often limited stock so it might not be there when you come back!


Get your meal planner here.

Aldi Grocery List and Meal Plan

You know every Friday I love to finish off the week prepping for next week so I can enjoy the weekend with my family knowing I am all ready to go.  You can read more about how I meal plan in this post.

The most important step for meal planning for me is looking at our week first and then planning meals that work with our schedule.  There’s nothing worse than planning a yummy meal and not eating it because you have to eat at the baseball field!

So, after I scheduled our week out, I planned 7 meals and then made my grocery list to match.  Of course, besides the 7 dinners I planned, I also wrote down breakfast, lunch and snack supplies too.


Aldi Grocery Haul

My daughter and I took our quarter and reusable grocery bags to Aldi and got all our groceries for the week.  We got frozen waffles, English muffins and rice squares cereal for breakfast.  Bread, applesauce pouches, Goldfish and chocolate chip cookies for lunches and found granola bars and peanut butter crackers for snacks.  As well as some other staples like milk, eggs, butter, and garbage bags.

I also love to grab a few extra quick meals to have on hand just in case our schedule changes.  So, I picked up some frozen mini corndogs and a box of macaroni and cheese.

All total I spent $123.10 and our weekly grocery budget is $125. Wahoo!


Weekly Menu Meal Plan

Dinner #1 – Cheese Ravioli with Vodka Sauce

A perfect meal for Meatless Monday.   All you need is a jar of vodka sauce and ravioli.  Each ravioli package has 2.5 servings so I got 2 packages for our family of 5 and we had leftovers.  I paired this simple dish with a french baguette, a salad, and fruit.  It took about 15 minutes to make and serve!

Pasta sauce $2.89

Ravioli $2.98 *1.49 each

French bread $1.69

Salad and fruit on hand

Total for the meal – $6.56


Dinner #2 Pot Roast with Steamed Broccoli

Another perfect meal for a busy night.  Throw the pot roast and sauce packet in the slow cooker in the morning.  Then, right before you serve it steam up some broccoli and slice up some leftover french bread.

Pot roast sauce $2.49

Pot Roast $11.61

French bread (leftover from the night before)

Broccoli $1.19

Total for the meal – $15.29

Dinner #3 Sandwiches & Chips

If you are anything like us, generally there’s one night that constitutes fast food.  However, fast food doesn’t have to mean eating out.  I like to plan for sandwiches and this week we will be eating them at the baseball diamond.  The Aldi “pringle-like” chip is perfect because they don’t get crushed while being transported.

Lunchmeat $2.49

Sliced Cheese $1.99

100% Whole Wheat bread $1.49

Chips $0.99

Condiments on hand and served with veggies & fruit

Total for the meal – $6.96


Dinner #4 Jambalaya and Corn Bread

A friend made us this meal once and it was so easy, I love it for busy weeknights.  Follow the directions on the Jambalaya package and add in a drained can of kidney beans and sliced up kielbasa sausage.  Serve it with cornbread, fruit and raw veggies!

Jambalaya $1.19

Kidney Beans $0.69

Kielbasa Sausage $2.29

Cornbread $0.47

Total for the meal – $4.64


Dinner #5 Make and Take Pizza & Breadsticks

By Friday night we are ready for pizza and a movie.  Aldi’s take and bake pizzas are extra-large and add in some breadsticks and you have enough for your whole family without breaking the bank.

Pizza $5.99

Breadsticks $3.79

Total for the meal – $9.78


Dinner #6 Breakfast For Dinner

Breakfast for dinner is always a fan favorite and there are so many variations of eggs and meats not to mention sides like hashbrowns or sweet rolls.  This week I had supplies to make Resurrection rolls (recipe here) and I just learned you can bake bacon in the oven on a foil-covered cookie sheet for 20 minutes and then broil for last 2 minutes to crisp!  s

Bacon $3.49

Dozen eggs $1.08

Crescent rolls $1.49

Sometimes, I will add a fruit smoothie with spinach!  Find my smoothie recipes here.

Total for the meal – $6.06


Dinner #7 Snacktray Supper

By, Sunday night mom is ready for a break from the kitchen so we gather up all the leftovers and place them on a snack tray and enjoy a family room picnic for dinner.  It’s the whole family’s favorite meal of the week.

Total for the meal – $0

Total spent on 7 meals – $49.29


Do you need help organizing your meal plan?

Check out the meal grocery list and meal planner here.

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.


Why I love Meal Planning & Shopping at Aldi

7 meals for under $50!  Now, I know that doesn’t include the staples, fruits and raw veggies I use as sides but when we go out as a family of 5 we easily spend that much on one meal.  Meal planning and eating at home really does help save you money and stay on budget.  Check out my meal planner and meal planning course if you want help getting started!

Do you meal plan or shop at Aldi?  What are your favorite Aldi products?  Sound off in the comments, I love a good recommendation!

You might also like –
10 Items to Buy at Aldi
7 More Aldi  Meal Plan Ideas 
7 Steps to Meal Planning 
12 Things I Stopped Buying at the Grocery Store
25 Simple Dinner Ideas
10 Kids Lunch Ideas

Want more family meal ideas for your meal plan?





Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
Let’s Connect | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook


**This post contains affiliate links**

10 Items to Always Buy at TJ Maxx + TJ Maxx Shopping Hacks

Have you ever been on a treasure hunt?  You just know there is some buried treasure to be found and it might just be your lucky day.  That’s the exact feeling I have when I walk into stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Homegoods.  You never know when you walk in what buried treasure you might find!

TJ Maxx is Always My First Stop

When I am in the market for something, TJ Maxx and the like are my first stop (even before Amazon, gasp I know).  The reason is that places like TJ Maxx by overstock from companies at a fraction of the cost and pass on the savings to their customers.

For example, I always buy my phone cases at TJ Maxx.  When I got my iPhone X I stopped in and found a Kate Spade phone case for $15 that retailed at the phone store for over $50.  Most likely, what happened was that Kate Spade made a certain number of phone cases of that style, retailers bought a certain amount and TJ Maxx bought the remainder of unsold items at a steep discount.

Don’t be Intimidated

So, if you are new to shopping at TJ Maxx, it’s easy to be intimidated.  So, I thought I would share with you my favorite items to buy at TJ Maxx and then some helpful shopping hints.  Make sure to sound off in the comments any helpful hints you have too!

What are the best items to buy at TJ Maxx?

Tech Accessories

I already told you that as soon as I bought my new phone, my next stop was TJ Maxx to pick up a phone case.  Usually, the tech accessories are housed by the checkout line.  You can find screen protectors, extra cables, cases, headphones and more.  All name brand items for a fraction of the cost.

Home Decor Items

I love having plants in my home but I have a brown thumb so fake greenery is my sweet spot.  TJ Maxx and Homegoods have an incredible selection of potted greenery all year long.  Not only that they have an amazing selection on photo frames, pillows, curtains, bedding, accent furniture, artwork, and rugs.

lazy susan organization tool

Home Organization Items

Recently, I reorganized my pantry and before I ordered my organization supplies I needed online I stopped into TJ Maxx and found 2 lazy susans and some tiered risers for canned goods.  TJ Maxx also has a great selection of baskets and plastic organizational supplies.

Women’s Shoes

My go-to for shoes is often Target but everyone ends up with the same shoes as me.  TJ Maxx has some of my favorite brands like Lucky Brand, Franco Sarto, Adidas, and Sam Edelman just to name a few at a fraction of the cost.

Unique Women’s Clothing

I have already professed my love for all things Target but I love TJ Maxx clothing because not everyone will have the same exact shirt.  I can often times sweaters, layering pieces, and even athletic gear.  They have dressing rooms so you can try on everything before you buy.

They have three sections of women’s clothing – juniors, misses and plus size. In addition, they have a separate section for seasonal items like outerwear and another section for dresses and athletic wear.

Under Armor boys socks


I know this is kind of a silly one but I buy all of our family’s socks at TJ Maxx.  Everything from dress socks to athletic socks.  We just picked up my husband several pairs of Happy Socks (that retail for $8-10 at Nordstrom) for $3.99.  We also just got my son 3 pairs of UA basketball socks for $5 (normally retail for ($16).

Black Jordan athletic shorts with TJ Maxx tag

Name Brand Sports Apparel

My son loves to wear athletic gear every day.  He literally only owns one pair of jeans and promptly changes back into athletic gear when we get home from church.  It can get expensive even at stores like Target so I love to stock up on brand-name apparel like Under Armor, Nike, and Adidas at TJ Maxx.

The trick is to shop early in the season.  It’s February and I just picked up some new shorts for my son before everyone else thinks about it and inventory is depleted.


Once again, you can find awesome name-brand sunglasses for as little as $9.99.  This is the perfect price point for a pair of pool or beach sunglasses.  They house their sunglasses by the checkout so while you wait to check out, you can try on sunglasses!

Toys & Board Books

TJ Maxx usually has an awesome selection of unique toys and always have a great selection of Melissa and Doug items.  One of our family’s favorite brands!  They also have great prices on board books which make great gifts for your kids and others.  I love to shop year round my kids for birthdays and Christmas.

Psst…If you like saving money, then  check out the 12 things we stopped buying at the grocery store.


TJ Maxx Sign

A Few TJ Maxx Hacks…

If you see it, buy it.  TJ Maxx has limited inventory since they buy overstock they won’t necessarily get that exact item again.  If I see something for a gift, I get it and store it away.

Shop often.  TJ Maxx usually gets a new truck full of inventory several times a week so the inventory is always turning over.

Shop during the week.  TJ Maxx like any other store is busier on the weekend and you do need to take a little time to look through the racks and aisles.  Most markdowns occur on Wednesday’s before opening.

Shopping Clearance.  First, understand how the price tag works.  White tags are the usual everyday low price.  Red tags are the sale price and the yellow tag indicates the final, lowest clearance price.  Sale home decor items are usually found on endcaps at the back of the store, clearance shoes are usually in the last shoe row and clearance clothing is generally on separate rounder rack.

Compare the price.  Generally, you can find good if not better deals at TJ Maxx but just to be sure I use the Amazon app to scan the item and compare the price.  TJ Maxx places a “compared to” price on each of their items and those are not always accurate.  Do your own research.

Return policy.  Items can be returned within 30 days with receipt. Returns without a receipt or outside of the return window will be issued store credit.

TJ Maxx purchases

So, do you shop at TJ Maxx?

When I am in need of something I always go there first.  It doesn’t always work out.  Just last week I was looking for a laptop sleeve and came up short.  However, this week I found the socks I was after.  It’s worth a look and you never know what hidden treasure you might find!

Do you shop at TJ Maxx?  What TJ Maxx do you have?  What items do you like to buy there?  They also have an online store now too but I have to admit, it’s not as fun as hunting in the store ;)!

You Might Also Like These Posts –

10 Helpful Sephora Insider Secret Tips

12 Items we Stopped Buying at the Store to Save Money

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple, purposeful life. 

Let’s Connect | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook  | Email Subscription

10 Helpful Sephora Tips

I am going to tell you a little secret.  I am 35 years old and I just stepped into Sephora a few weeks ago.  I can hear the collective gasp across cyberspace.  Can I tell you why?  I was intimidated.  A whole store of beauty products and I am a novice when it comes to beauty products and how to properly apply them.  I once had a bad encounter with a beauty consultant at an NYC department store and ever since then, I have been a bit embarrassed and intimidated about buying and applying makeup!

However, over the last year, I have adopted the mantra of “why not?”  Why not learn how to apply makeup, why not go into a store and learn, why not?  So, I knew just the person to ask and hold my hand during my first Sephora shopping adventure — my sister.  Not only, was my first experience amazing, it won’t be my last visit.   My sister taught me so many insider secrets and tips that I knew I had to share them all with you.  So, today I am sharing you 10 of her best Sephora tips!  After this post, you are going to want to go shopping there too.

10 Sephora Insider Tips

1 – Do not be intimidated

Sephora is full of brand-name beauty products and is very similar to the beauty counter area of a department store.  They also carry skin care and their own line of beauty accessories.  Just walk in and take a tour for yourself.

2- Ask for help

Sephora has many helpful employees who are experts in their field.  The best way to learn is to ask for their wisdom and help.  From color-matching to helping you find the perfect product for your price-point, they are there to help.  I recently started using glow-tion after it was recommended to me and it’s now my favorite product I use.

3 – Ask for a sample in a product you want to try

They will give you a sample to take home.  If they don’t have a pre-packaged one, you can try it on right there or they can make you a little sample to go.  If you aren’t sure which foundation you like best, ask for a couple of samples to try before you commit to buy!

4 – Ask for a sample at checkout

If your cashier doesn’t put samples in your bag, ask for them.  They always have some. If you shop online, they always give you 4 samples with your order. Samples are great to take on overnight trips or put in your purse or gym bag and a great way to test new-to-you products.

5 – Check out the Travel-size version

I wanted to try the two-faced waterproof mascara and they had a travel-size version.  They carry several products in the travel-size, not only are they more compact, you can try and decide if you like a product without such a large investment.  Travel-size options might be next to the regular size product as well as by the check-out, there is a large display of travel-size options.  I got a travel-size dry shampoo because you still need that on vacation ;)!

6 – Sephora’s Picks are on the End Caps

Sephora highlights their favorite picks for all categories of makeup from foundation to eye line to blush on their end caps.

7 – Check out the Seasonal Box Sets

The box sets are a perfect way to get more bang for your buck and try out new products.  They also make awesome gifts for your friends and family.  They have a variety of themes from skincare to eye make-up.

8 – Sign up for the Insiders Club

You will earn points every time you shop as well as a birthday bonus gift.  They also share great tips, deals and FREE classes they offer at your local Sephora.

9 – Sephora has 2-day shipping

You will love that Sephora offers their own 2-day “flash shipping” for online orders.  Plus, remember they send you samples :).

10 – Look for Value Sets

I love carrying roller ball perfumes with me in my purse and gym bag.  I bought a value box of perfume samples for $35 and got a $30 voucher for a roller ball of my choice.  So, basically, I walked away with free samples and a $5 discount on the roller ball I wanted.  Ask a Sephora employee for other value set options!


I went from intimidated to infatuated after one trip with my sister.  Tell me, have you been to Sephora?  If you have tips, please share in the comments so we can all learn. Do you have any favorite beauty products?  Now, we can also shop with purpose on our next visit.


Want to know 12 things we stopped buying at the grocery store?  Read more here.


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Email Subscription


12 Items We Stopped Buying at the Grocery Store to Save Money

We have a growing family and each member seems to have a growing belly so I am constantly on the hunt to find ways to save money at the grocery store. I barely ever actually grocery shop and most of the time prefer online grocery shopping in my PJs while watching Friends.  Not only are Ross and Rachel better grocery shopping partners, it also saves money, time and my sanity.

There are a few things no longer on my grocery list and I thought I would share what we have opted to stop buying in an effort to save money.  What do you forego to stay on budget?  So, let me share with you some items to skip when trying to save money at the grocery store.

12 Items to Stop Buying at the Grocery Store to Save Money

1 – Name Brand

There are very few products I have to have the name brand for, if there is an off-brand equivalent I will buy it.  Often times, it can save a substantial amount of money.  Everything from canned soups, baking supplies, cereal to lunch meat.  I buy generic.  If you are an Aldi shopper, you know generic doesn’t mean poor quality!

2 – Kleenex

I know this might be weird but we just use toilet paper.  Right now, there is a box of tissues on our guest toilet because my mom came to visit and brought a box with her.  Is it weird we don’t buy kleenex?

3 – Pre-made baked goods

I still occasionally buy the break and bake refrigerated cookies to bake for an event but I love to buy the muffin box mix and whip those up.  Brownies are my go-to for a frugal but delicious dessert treat for a crowd.  A boxed mix is just a dollar or two at most grocery stores.

4 – Pre-made frozen meals

When I worked full time they were my go-to for lunches and a quick dinner but I just make extra of the meal I make for dinner to have as leftover or as my grandmother calls them planned-overs.

5 – Margarine & Butter Spreads

We just buy butter sticks.  We keep one stick in a covered butter dish in a kitchen cabinet so it’s soft for spreading on toast and bagels.

6 – Out of Season Fruit

We eat berries of all types in the summer, apples in large amounts in the fall and then choose more seasonal fruit varieties in the winter.  Not only is out of season fruit extremely expensive, it also doesn’t taste as good when it has to be shipped halfway around the world.  Frozen fruits are a great alternative in the winter months along with unsweetened jarred fruit.

7 – Bottled Water

We have plenty of reusable water bottles for the whole family and most of my kids are old enough to independently fill their own water bottles.  When we head out somewhere, they all grab a water bottle to go!

8 – Dryer Sheets

We stopped using these when our oldest child was born and had some skin sensitivity.  I got out of the habit and although I miss the scent, I just use dryer balls instead and the wrinkle release cycle on the dryer to help with static and wrinkles.

9 – Multiple Types of Shampoo

We buy baby shampoo for Lucy and the rest of all use the same kind of shampoo and conditioner.  Right now I am buying Panter Pro-V because it makes my hair extra soft.

10 – Decorative Napkins

Just like my fine china is white, I buy white napkins.  White goes with everything and is nice and classic.  There are always exceptions to this rule like kid birthdays but whenever we entertain, I just buy white.

11 – Candy

I am the queen of chocolate (I never was until I had children) and not buying it not only saves money but it saves my waistline.  I have a hard time saying no!  The great thing about online grocery shopping is I don’t even see it :).

12 – Bottled Juice

This is all my husband, he was raised on juice concentrate so we made the switch when we first got married.


So, there you have it 12 items we don’t buy at the grocery store to save money and stay on budget with our grocery bill.  We budget $125 a week for a family of 5 for groceries. Don’t forget to share what you skip at the store in an effort to save money in the comments!  Soda is on my list to go but I haven’t kicked that habit yet! Someone tell me I can do it!

stacked coins budget basics online course

Speaking of budgets, I am going to be sharing more about how we got purposeful with our finances and formulated a realistic budget for our one income family.  You can learn more about the class here.


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Email Subscription


PS – Blogging friends Monday is our monthly 10 on the 10th link-up, this month we will be sharing 10 favorite places to travel, can’t wait to read all your ideas :)!

Linking up with Andrea and Becky – check out their blogs for more fun!

Copyright © 2021 · Theme by 17th Avenue