My husband and I both received life-changing gifts for Christmas. Both of us received a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. Considering we are in our 40’s and feeling healthy and spry, this was rather a surprising bout of news. We’d both need to change our diets and habits since we both were setting retirement goals that involved living. Welcome to middle age!
Healthy foods are expensive, and not as exciting as the fabulously fatty goodies. Kale or eclair? Hmmmm. Suddenly choosing what to eat is not all that fantastic. My trip to the Kroger organic section netted me a $290 grocery cart, for two, for the week. No can do! I needed less expensive healthy alternatives. I turned to shopping at Aldi’s.
If you have an Aldi’s grocery store near you, you are one of the lucky ones. Aldi’s rivals Whole Foods in healthy and organic selections, except Aldi’s is at rock bottom prices. A grocery cart full at Aldi’s is $80. I got Elevation protein powder chocolate drink mix for $15.99. This makes a low carb, 30 gram of protein drink for well under a $1 per serving that is equivalent in nutrition to the very expensive Ensure nutrition drink at about $2.50 per serving. The least expensive source of protein are eggs! About a dollar to two dollars a dozen – hard boil them – and have them for snacks or meals. Aldi’s has a smorgasbord of fresh vegetables and fruits, with organic choices as well, for prices that rival any local farmers’ market. Aldi’s has meal replacement bars, high protein, low carb foods and better selections than my local Kroger did for a fraction of the cost. Bottom line is shop at Aldi’s for fresh produce and any staples for the pantry. Bring your own shopping bags or buy them there for 6-cents each. Just reuse your old bags for free and save the planet.
Aldi’s is great for curbing the temptation to over spend on items you do not need. It is a store of mainly just the basics, with aisles set up more like warehouse shopping that a store with fancy end-cap displays to grab your attention. There are only four rows in an Aldi’s store, thus eliminating the ability to stray in to junk-food heaven aisles where trespassing is a no-no for the waistline. Having fewer rows of food items means you can more easily stick to the grocery list and not be tempted to purchase items not on the list.
If you can grow a garden, by all means, do so. Even a small elevated bed or patio pots for fresh vegetables is less expensive (and organic) than the grocery store. However, some of us do not have the weather or space to adequately grow a garden. I will post much more on gardening later!
WalMart is a Wonderland! If you download the WalMart app on your phone, then whatever you purchase at WalMart will be saved as an electronic receipt to your app. No only do you never have to worry about losing a receipt again, the BEST THING is that the WalMart app offers price matching and automatically scans your WalMart purchase on the receipt. For example, if there is a sale at Aldi’s for head lettuce that week for 50-cents, and WalMart’s head lettuce that you just bought is 89-cents, you will automatically get the difference in the form of a WalMart credit! So, it is always safe to shop at WalMart for the best prices, IF YOU USE THE WALMART APP. If you have questions about this, go to the customer service desk in WalMart and ask the clerk to show you about it. This is an extraordinary way to shop for groceries and know that you are getting the best possible prices on the items in your cart.
I will post much more on healthy, inexpensive eating on a budget (and living with diabetes) in future posts!
Happy, healthy shopping!