Sustainable Groceries on a Budget

In 2012, Americans spent an average of $151 on food per week. Even more extreme, one in 10 Americans said they spent more than $300 or more.

In a perfect world, it would be cheap to obtain food that was good for you AND the environment. (Also, in my perfect world, cheese, carbs, and sugar would be as nutritious as vegetables.)

How do you afford to eat healthy and sustainably without breaking the bank?



The German discount grocery store has been around in the United States since the 1970s. Today, it boasts nearly 1600 stores in more than 30 states. Since it’s smaller-scale than most large grocery chains, you can get healthy (and junk) foods for miraculously low prices with a smaller environmental footprint.

“That must be a scam,” you say. “Walmart has low prices but is an absolute bulldozer to the environment and the economy!”

Here’s the thing — Aldi sells less products than large box stores, therefore operating in smaller quarters with smaller building costs (hint hint… less heating and electricity = less carbon emissions).

The store keeps their prices lower than name brands by sticking to generic products. Same quality with different labels at a cheaper price? Good enough for me.

Yet Aldi goes even further! They’re able to lower their prices even more by eliminating the cost of extra employees. Those cart patrollers who round up carts in parking lots? No need for them — shoppers put a 25 cent deposit down to obtain a cart from the neatly locked cart corral. Once you’re done shopping, you simply return your cart and get your quarter back.

Aldi even streamlines the shopping process by allowing shoppers to bag their own groceries, paying extra for paper bags if they choose not to bring reusable, and even more for plastic.  


So yeah, the store structure already tops large grocery stores by being environmentally “friendlier.” But what about the actual food?

Aldi offers large variety of organic produce and products at an affordable price. Committed to sustainability, the company values environmental standards on the foods they produce, such as seafood and coffee. Furthermore, they emphasize their stance on natural issues, making sure their goods comply with issues such as animal welfare and deforestation.


While your produce may not be locally grown, the environmental cost of shopping at Aldi beats out big name grocery stores— all at an affordable price. It’s a great place to start!

If you frequent large grocery stores, try visiting Aldi to reduce your impact and your grocery bill.

Where do you do your grocery shopping?



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