January is such a weird month for me. It’s gray and cold in my neck of the woods, and we’re coming off of the spend-all months surrounding Christmas. We aren’t getting out as much, and this month I’m trying not to spend a lot of money, especially when it comes to eating out. So I’m meal planning like mad and I’m actually taking the Mealplan Rockstar class through 4 Hats and Frugal.
I shopped at Aldi a week ago (before I was hit hard by a cold), and I have a video coming hopefully very soon of my Aldi grocery haul for the beginning of January. I managed to keep our total grocery bill under $100, which I’m pretty proud of. Now to get it even lower!
I bought: apples, 2 blocks of cheddar cheese, spinach, raspberries, turkey bacon, whole chicken, yogurt, pepperoni, 3 pounds of organic ground beef (a family pack), carrots, celery, onions, hummus, sandwich flats, ham, feta cheese, hot dogs and 5 packets for various meals (chili, beef stew and pot roast). The chicken and beef were about $22 of my total bill, but the beef will be used for multiple meals. Missing from my photo is a jar of pickles. My total Aldi purchase was just under $78.
Last week’s menu was:
- Slow cooker beef stew
- Macaroni and cheese
- Burrito bowls
- Slow cooker rotisserie chicken
- Penne pasta with pesto and chicken
- Spinach and apple salad
The tacos were a last minute addition (we had guacamole packets we didn’t want to go bad), but I was happy to have more meals planned than we actually needed – and still stay under budget. I shopped at my local Aldi on a Friday night, and they were out of milk and eggs (I like to buy the organic eggs and milk) so I picked those up at another store. But I was able to buy almost everything else I needed at Aldi! Since we alternate shopping weeks, I’m probably going to go to Aldi again this coming weekend – maybe even Friday night since we have a busy Saturday planned.
(The rest of this post does need a disclosure. I did receive products, but I wasn’t asked to review them on my site. I am, though, and opinions are my own.) 🙂
Now for something a little cool and a lot of fun. A few months ago, I received a set of the Lotus Trolley Bags to try out. I wanted to see how I would use them and if I found them useful before I mentioned too much about them. I did post about them on Instagram, but because I don’t do our grocery shopping every week (I alternate week with my husband), I didn’t have every opportunity to use the bags as often as I would have liked.
I really like this set for big grocery trips! I’ve had reusable bags for years – I even remember my mom using them when I was a kid. And all of the bags can be a hassle. Who doesn’t own a hundred random reusable bags? The Lotus Trolley Bags velcro together, and can help keep your grocery items organized. I shop a lot at Aldi and Sam’s Club – places that don’t provide bags for free – and this set of bags is so helpful. The bags are deep, so not quite as useful for me to use while I’m actually shopping at Sam’s Club (because the carts are really short), but when I’m checking out, I can bag items easily instead of having to load un-bagged items into my car.
One of the bags is a cooler/insulated bag. And other features include an egg and wine bottle fitting pockets. The rods are removable and the bags are detachable. So when I’m doing my multi-store shopping, I can take two or three bags if the fourth is already filled. Best of all, the company is family-owned, and the bags ship from California!
Then last month, the company reached out about their produce bags, which are SO AMAZING. The Lotus Produce Bags come in a set of 9 and they offer 3 sizes. (They’re actually on sale right now, so if you don’t want to wait until the giveaway ends, head over and grab a set for under $20!) I hate using the plastic produce bags because there’s not much you can do to reuse them. I often just try to avoid the bags at the store, but sometimes they could be handy. We have a co-op in town that sells bulk items, and these bags are going to be great for using at that store. I’ve used them with some produce already and I think they’re awesome.
I’m giving away a set of the Lotus Trolley Bags and Lotus Produce Bags to one lucky person! Just enter through the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway will be open for two weeks, and I’ll contact a winner around January 28. Hopefully you can kick off the new year with your new bags!