March 26, 2022

My partner and I spend $20 a week at Aldi. Here are 14 things we love to buy and how we use them.


  • My girlfriend and I spend $20 a week at Aldi and plan all of our meals on a budget.
  • We stock up on pantry staples like rice, peanut butter, and black beans for quick meals. 
  • We also like to pick up the store’s affordable kielbasa, eggs, sauerkraut, and cheese. 

Our shopping list usually comes out to about $20 a week for the two of us.

full shopping cart of aldi products
It comes out to around $10 a person. 

My girlfriend and I are frugal, and Aldi is the crème de la crème for foodies on a budget. 

Here’s a glimpse of what we get for under $20 a week:

  • Little Salad Bar garden-salad mix: $1.59
  • Deutsche Küche German-style sauerkraut: $1.69
  • Dakota’s Pride black beans: $0.55
  • Peanut Delight creamy peanut butter: $1.29
  • Friendly Farms 1% low-fat milk: $1.60
  • L’oven Fresh white bread: $0.79
  • Goldhen large eggs: $0.80
  • Season’s Choice Asian-seasoned vegetable medley: $1.59
  • Parkview Polska kielbasa: $2.55
  • Bake House Creations pie crust: $1.55
  • Pueblo Lindo burrito tortillas: $1.29
  • Tanimura & Antle green onions: $0.65
  • Earthly Grains long-grain white rice: $1.85
  • Happy Farms sharp cheddar cheese: $1.85

Total: $19.64

With these ingredients (plus pantry staples), we’ve created go-to meals that got us through college and continue to satisfy our needs as 20-something adults.

Black-bean burritos are quick, easy, and filling.

triple side by side of black beans, flour tortillas, and cheddar cheese one the shelves at aldi
Black-bean burritos are one of our quickest meals. 

Burnt out from a long day of work? Hungry after a run in the heat? Black-bean burritos are the answer.

They’re delicious, cheap, and take less than five minutes to make.

Ingredients from shopping list:

  • Black beans
  • Burrito tortillas
  • Cheddar cheese


  1. Drain black beans and wash in a strainer.
  2. Sprinkle beans with cumin, salt, and pepper to taste.
  3. Thinly slice cheese and place inside a fresh tortilla.
  4. Place the desired amount of beans on the cheesy tortilla, fold, and microwave for one minute — or brown each side on a skillet if you’re feeling fancy. 
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and your favorite hot sauce or salsa.

Taco salad feels fancier than the effort it takes to make it.

triple side by side of salad mix, black beans, and cheddar cheese on the shelves at aldi
The salad is elevated by the addition of homemade tortilla chips. 

When we can afford a more formal dinner and our minimalist burritos won’t cut it, we make taco salad.

Same essence, fancier meal.

Ingredients from shopping list:

  • Garden-salad mix
  • Burrito tortillas
  • Black beans


  1. To make the dressing: combine 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, a splash of water, 2 teaspoons of cumin, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, and salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (to taste) in a mixing bowl.
  2. Cut tortillas into chip-sized triangles and shallow fry in a pan with vegetable oil.
  3. Toss salad mix in dressing, add a few black beans on top, and arrange fried tortillas around the edges.

I go back to my Polish roots with our simple kielbasa dish.

side by side of kielbasa sausage and sauerkraut on the shelves at aldi
The Polish-inspired sausage dish takes a bit of time but it’s so easy. 

Despite being a few generations removed, I can’t shake my Polish palate.

Our cheap, easy sausage dish is delicious, and it kept my ancestors alive for centuries.

Ingredients from shopping list:

  • Kielbasa
  • Sauerkraut


  1. Cut kielbasa into thin slices. Sauté until golden brown on each side. Set aside.
  2. Add fully-drained sauerkraut to a large dutch oven and add enough water to cover. Boil for one hour. 
  3. Add 1/4 cup of sugar to cooked sauerkraut.
  4. Add kielbasa and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.

Stir-fry with peanut sauce is so easy to throw together.

triple side by side of peanut butter, frozen mixed veggies, and white rice on the shelves at aldi
I love any excuse to use peanut butter in a recipe. 

Peanut butter is my personal muse — I eat it as often as possible. 

Stir-fry satisfies my peanut cravings, but with more elegance.

Ingredients from shopping list:


  1. Cook 3 cups of rice as directed.
  2. Sauté frozen vegetables until fully cooked, adding salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. To make the sauce, combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sweet-chili sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil in a medium saucepan.
  4. Serve the vegetables and sauce over the rice.

Quiche is easy and hearty any time of day.

triple side by side of premade pie crust, eggs, and green onions on the shelves at aldi
You can throw whatever extra ingredients you want into the quiche. 

We eat plenty of eggs — they’re cheap, hearty, and healthy.

But when a scrambled egg isn’t good enough, quiche is a delicious alternative.

Ingredients from shopping list:


  1. Unroll pie crust over a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. 
  2. In a bowl, combine 8 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Whisk until fluffy.
  3. Chop green onions and add to egg mixture with 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese.
  4. Cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until the eggs are firm.

In between meals, we’ve also come up with some quick and filling snacks.

side by side of loves of white bread and jars of peanut butter on the shelves at aldi
I’m a fan of a classic peanut-butter sandwich. 

The rest of our grocery list is up for interpretation.

We freestyle new meals all the time, but there are a few go-to snacks we make with these ingredients, including peanut-butter sandwiches, fried eggs, white rice and soy sauce, and Caesar salads.

By Joe Opaleski 

Leave a Reply