Baby Step 1.2: Embracing the Generic

This weekend, I finally stopped resisting and embraced the inevitable: I am becoming my parents.

(Thanks, Dave Ramsey.)

More specifically, I am becoming my dad and adopting his complete color-blindness when it comes to grocery shopping name-brand vs. generic. The man only sees prices, and he goes for the deal every time. (Unless it’s Blue Bell, because he learned his lesson the hard way on that after the Bravenec girls revolt of… whenever it was. The sooner forgotten, the better.)

So, last Sunday afternoon, my husband and I did all our grocery shopping at Aldi.

I have to admit, once you relinquish your brand loyalties (something that’s VERY hard for me to do as a marketing person), the shopping experience is actual rather pleasant. Oh, you need shredded cheddar? Here it is. There is one choice and only one choice for each product. It makes shopping simple. And quick.

One of my issues I held on to briefly before this conversion was the fact that I often compare nutrition facts on labels in an attempt to make healthier choices. It makes me shudder that the only spaghetti sauce Aldi offered had a whopping 480 mg of sodium. But the solution is something I’ve needed to do for a while: turn away from packaged goods! If I just stayed with fresh ingredients I wouldn’t have to compare incremental differences in preservatives and saturated fat, I could eliminate them altogether.

Meanwhile: A cup of low-fat yogurt for 26 cents? I think I can handle the fact that it’s not Chobani.

By the end of it, we had bought EVERYTHING we needed for a week (probably more) of meals, including snacks for the baby, produce, raw chicken, deli meat, at least 4 boxes of cereal, and some other splurges like seasoned mozzarella, brie, sweet potato chips and English toffee – 66 items in total – all for $120.

Note my glamorous bruschetta snack made entirely from Aldi products:

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I think there are still some things we will have to go to Walmart for, like the hypoallergenic laundry detergent we use, our favorite brand of toilet paper, and a few other toiletries, but after this experience, I am a total convert.

It may be a while before I conquer Baby Step #1, but I am certainly feeling a little more peaceful about my finances already.

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