What $100 at Aldi's Can Buy for 2 People Who Cook From Scratch.

The last time I went grocery shopping was nearly 3 weeks ago - the last week in October, to be exact. I spent just under $100, and was able to cook for my husband and I nearly every night, as well as have a few friends over on two occasions, and bring a dish to our weekly potluck-style family dinner.

We didn't starve. We didn't eat rice and beans every night. We were happy and satisfied.

Don't believe me? My meals plans from the last three weeks can be found HERE, and HERE, and HERE.

How did we do it? Careful, meticulous planning and accountability.

First, I make a meal plan every Sunday and publish it on Mostly Homemade Mondays. I also write it down on the weekly dry erase calendar in our kitchen. I prep anything I can ahead of time, and make it a point to check the board daily to see if I need to do any special prep work or take something out of the freezer to thaw. As the week progresses, I erase meals off the board.

Second, my friend Kara and I text each other Every.Single.Day. to share what we ate that day. Not only does it hold me accountable for eating healthy, but I get to see what she's cooking for her family (hello, inspiration!). If I planned to make slow cooker chili for dinner, and didn't, Kara will call me out on it.

Praise her soul.

It's also important to realize that I freeze and can a lot of the produce I grow in my garden, and we get all of our pork and beef from my parents, who are farmers. The ONLY meat we purchase from the store or someone outside my family is chicken. I am able to stretch $100 a lot further since I don't purchase beef or pork AND I make good use of my home canned goods. I make our own bread (most of the time), salad dressings and marinades, cookies and desserts, and main dishes.

I realize many of you don't have the time or resources to do some of these things. Perhaps this can be a bit of inspiration and encouragement for you? If you compared my cooking habits from 3 years ago to today, we would both be shocked. Trust me: Small steps toward cooking from scratch, meal planning, and eliminating processed foods is all it takes.

Let's actually see what was on my receipt for this $100 grocery trip, shall we? 

Bread products:

Mini bagels
Sandwich 'skinny buns'
English muffins
Hot hog buns


Brie cheese round
Parmigiano Reggiano x2
Sliced turkey breast x2
Swiss and Colby Jack cheese slices
String cheese x2
Ricotta cheese
Organic fat free milk x2
Cottage cheese
Light sour cream
Unsalted butter
Salted butter x2


Iceberg Lettuce
Organic Spring Lettuce Mix
Yellow onions


Pita Crackers
Gallon freezer baggies
Sandwich baggies
White vinegar x2
Black olives x2


All purpose flour
Organic coconut oil

Grand total, with tax: $95.84

This grocery trip, combined with the beef, pork, and chicken we already have in the deep freezer and the garden produce we preserve each year, will typically last us at least 3 weeks. Probably 4 weeks. We have a good supply of pasta and other baking supplies, as well as ingredients to make all of our favorite dishes from scratch.

By the end of the 3rd or 4th week, we are nearly out of produce, except onions and potatoes. Our dairy is running low, and we are relying on some of those 'staple' meals like soups or casseroles. But, do we eat mostly preservative-free meals?


You didn't see too many convenience items on our receipt, did you? We cook from scratch! This, my friends, was the key to for us to save a bit of cash at the store and reclaim our health.

What does your grocery list look like? What could $100 buy your family? 

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  1. I used to be the type of person that loaded up on processed food and ate out a lot. A $100 of processed food does not buy a lot. Fast forward a few years and a big lifestyle change and a $100 can buy a lot because I'm cooking from scratch. Even though I work a full-time job, I cook mostly from scratch. Cooking from scratch is cheaper on money, but more expensive on time. But with practice it gets faster and tastes so much better.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! I bet you could give me a run for my money, though :)

  3. I have a monthly budget of $160 for all of our household goods including cleaning products and toilet paper. I make all of our bread and desserts too. My mother in law asked me if I did it to save money. I told her it was healthier and cheaper and I didn't have to run to t the store to get bread. What isn't to love? I love meal planning and putting down all the things that we are going to have during the month so that I know what I am going to use. I use the items that I have on hand in the freezer and pantry so that I can use the money to get fresh items and stock up on things at the lowest prices for the coming months. It is a great way to plan. I use a calendar which I keep in our drawer so that anyone can look to see what we are having. I checked out your menu and it looks a lot like ours :) We try to do one breakfast for dinner, one pasta, one chicken, and then I make the rest up from there to have a variety. There is a lot you can do with a small budget!! Glad you make the most of yours!

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