It has been awhile! I wasn’t sure how interested people would be in my hauls during the pandemic but I got a few messages asking if I’d do one again.
Until August I was shopping about every 3-4 weeks at Aldi, getting my longtime produce delivery and filling in with some delivery from a regular supermarket for specific products I don’t get at Aldi like mayo.
In August and September I went a little more frequently due to the virus level being low here and having to be out more to deal with family matters.
Now I’m trying to get back to the every 3-4 weeks at Aldi. I’m concerned the virus count is going up and we did a run to H Mart and a visit to Trader Joe’s and a few other places to get ingredients (condiments, sauces etc) we’d need over the next few months.
My biggest recommendation is to go the first day of the sale. That is when expiration dates are the best (I’ve found anyway, your store might be different) and they normally have all of the Aldi Finds in stock. Now, I have been there early on the last two trips and they have not had one or two of the things I wanted from the ad. But they were still stocking and perhaps if I was there a little later they would have had it.
From the meat I bought yesterday, the closest expiration date is 10/28, a full week away! The rest of the dates range from then to 11/14 for beef country ribs.
I am not being particularly price conscious when I’m shopping; I’m looking for variety and good expiration dates so I’ve been spending more on meat, especially beef, than I normally would. We are not going to eat in restaurants and haven’t done take out so we are eating (and making!) all meals at home. It is still much cheaper to do this even with the more expensive meats.
- Brioche hamburger roll 6 packs are back! They are slightly smaller I think than the 4 pack but they are about the same price and big enough for a burger or some “Aldi red bag chicken” (which we just tried this month) for fake, non-homophobic Chik-fil-A. The bags of broiche hot dog and dinner rolls are back too. I’m not sure why this is a seasonal item.
- Coho salmon for $9.99/lb. The vacuum sealed like packaging is, I suppose, the reason why the expiration date for fresh fish is 10/31 but I plan to eat it well before then.
- Beef country ribs have been new to our meal rotation. I’ve been basically seasoning them like galbi (Korean style short ribs) but they are boneless.
- Fondue mix cheese! I wanted raclette but fondue was all they had left. It had an expiration date of 8/30/21(!!!) and was $5.99. I’m not sure if this is a seasonal item or was an Aldi Find for a week I didn’t shop.
- Reusable face masks 3 for $3.99. They seem a little thin maybe? I bought them to keep as back ups. Twice we’ve been out and had a strap on our mask snap!
- Our produce delivery wasn’t very interesting this week so I skipped it and got more vegetables than usual. The eggplant was gorgeous so I bought three.
- The “Asian” salad mix is pretty tasty and good for busy days. Might I suggest adding the Trader Joe’s sesame sticks to it?
- Pressure cooker inserts were a Aldi Find! $4.99 for a silicone rack, egg bite mold or sling. I have an underused Instant Pot so I picked up the rack and the sling. I’ve seen these go for a lot more (even as a set at Costco) so I felt like it was a good deal.
- Corn syrup is back ($2.99) for the season as was cornstarch (something I feel they should carry year round!) and a few other holiday baking supplies.
- They still had some oven liners left from when it had been a Find a couple of weeks ago! $4.99.
- Snap lock containers for 2/$4.99. I use ones I bought last time they were on sale for cornmeal and confectioners sugar so I thought they might come in handy.
- A succulent that supposedly glows. $5.99. I have gone a little plant happy the last six months or so.
- Trying the sourdough. I wanted a take and bake loaf but oddly they didn’t seem to have one.
- Little jarred cheesecakes for $1.99.
So I spent $252.26 for 85 items. That’s about $2.90 per item. Slightly higher than average but I bought a ton of meat and nothing cheap like canned goods.
I wanted the grey felt totes and the antipasto kit that were in the ad. I might try to swing by another Aldi and look for them this week. Normally I wouldn’t do that but I’m not sure if we might really start being confined at home again and I also realized we are low on milk. I don’t like to order perishables for delivery so that’s something I’d have to go to the store for anyway.
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Thanks! I have been missing the haul posts, too.
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I’ll have to keep them up then!
It’s actually quite a relief for me to read about the changes you’ve made during the pandemic–I’m the only person I know who is being as cautious as you, and it’s not easy to stand firm. No take-out or restaurant food for us, either, and I’m only going to one grocery store every couple of weeks, with Aldi about one in every three trips. Planning for and making 3 meals a day, 7 days a week is exhausting, but it’s totally worth it, as far as minimizing the risk. And yes, I’m with you about not being price conscious, too; I have to get what I need when I’m at the store, regardless of whether it’s on sale. Scary times, for sure, but it was fun to read your “what’s in my cart” today. Thanks, and good luck!
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I’m glad I posted then! You are not alone! Since we are in a situation where we can work from home and have the time (and the ability) to make all of our meals and chose to shop less frequently it really is the easiest way to reduce risk for both me and the employees I have to encounter.
I’m with you on being exhausted by meal planning! We’ve added in a lot more “convenience” type foods over the last few months–Aldi’s surprisingly good wild-caught fish sticks and the wild rice pilafs have been real lifesavers. The red bag chicken is a new addition but it is very good. Also buying the coleslaw mix is a good trick, we can make tiny batches of coleslaw out of it or just toss it in soups or noodles because it’s just prepped cabbage and carrots.