Basics that many people rely on such as milk, eggs, and chicken have been hit particularly hard.
We visited Aldi store in the US and the UK to see how many basic groceries we could purchase for $25 in each country.
Aldi has more than 2,000 US stores in 36 states, and is known for being a budget grocer with affordable private label brands.
I set out to get as much from my list as I could, though I knew I’d probably have to make some cuts.
Strawberries were appealing, but they didn’t end up fitting the budget so I left them on the shelf.
It would have been cheaper to buy a gallon of milk, but I live in a two person household and know it would go to waste, so I went with a half gallon instead, which was still well priced compared to other stores in my area.
I don’t usually buy organic greens, but that’s all Aldi had when I shopped, so I spent a bit more here than I’d anticipated.
Aldi meat is generally cheaper than other grocery stores in my area, but the large quantities of chicken breasts and thighs would still have blown my budget.
I was able to get two bags of groceries and a case of Aldi private label brand seltzer for just under $25.
It was certainly not a massive haul, but it aligned with most of the basics I’d typically buy.
I ended up with ground turkey, because I couldn’t find ground beef and chicken came in quantities too large for my budget.
I was able to get a box of pasta and a jar of pasta sauce for just under $3 all up.
I think the ground turkey, plus pasta and sauce could make a few hearty meals with a meat sauce or meatballs.
It wasn’t an absolute necessity, but I love to have cans of seltzer to drink when I’m working. They were $3.79 compared with almost $5 for La Croix.
I spent $1.99 on pretzels for something to snack on.
All together, this is what $25 can buy at Aldi in the Rochester, New York area.
It’s definitely enough food to make multiple meals, but that’s only possible because I already have spices, cooking oils, cheese and other basics at home.
We went to an Aldi Local near Insider’s London office at Old Street, not too far from Kings Cross.
Aldi has close to 1,000 UK stores. As a student, I used to shop at a much bigger store than this one, which is the company’s smaller convenience-focused store format.
As I knew I had $25 (£20.60) to spend, I had to be smart about what I would pick.
I wanted some fresh produce. There wasn’t much left when I visited at about 5pm, so I bought some tomatoes, mushrooms, and mixed peppers.
I normally opt for frozen chicken breasts they are cheaper, but this store only carried fresh options.
They were on special, albeit only 16 pence cheaper than normal, so into my basket they went.
I searched for an alternative to milk as I’m intolerant to dairy products, but it didn’t have any plant-based options.
I am not a big fan of mince, but I thought I could make a nice bolognese, so I bought a 250 gram pack that only had 5% fat and cost £1.89 ($2.30).
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I decided to get some plain salted potato chips. A pack of six small bags cost 79 pence, or about $1.
The lack of plant-based milk alternative meant I had enough for a “treat” in the form of a frozen Margherita pizza. However, this was £1.09 ($1.30) and I had previously found pizza costing as little as 49 pence (60 cents) in other Aldi stores.
I grabbed a 2-liter bottle of Aldi lemonade, which cost 43 pence, or about 50 cents. I then headed to the checkout.
I had kept track of the cost on my phone to avoid going over my budget. The bill £20.30, so I had a few pence to spare.
This is what $25 (£20.60) buys at Aldi in Old Street, London.
Overall, I don’t think this was near enough and certainly not what I would normally spend. I usually allow myself £100 (£120) a month for groceries excluding ad-hoc trips for cravings.
In both countries, Aldi remains a good choice for budget essentials, even if they’re more expensive now than a few months ago.