Archive for the ‘Aldi’ Category

45 Easy Recipes Using Pantry Ingredients

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Are you looking for quick and easy pantry recipes that your whole family will love? Check out these simple meals to incorporate your canned & dry goods into your recipes. Feel free to pin and bookmark this post to make the most of your budget.

Here is some honest truth, I have never been good about tracking what I have stocked in my pantry. Just like most moms, I am often in survival mode and am just proud if I get our grocery shopping and menu planning done for the week.

With this unique experience of being home more, I have been taking stock of what we have and how we can make the most of it in these upcoming days.

I loved these printable kitchen inventory sheets for helping figure out our meals, as our grocery stores struggle to keep so many items stocked.

Free Spice Label Printables

We also have free printable labels to organize your spice rack. I plan to revisit my spice cabinet this month too!

This is a great time to take inventory of all those items that we seem to forget to purchase (or have multiple items if you are anything like me!). Jot down all those spices, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, salad dressings, and all those other condiments that you might forget to track.

I also am trying to stock items like bottled lemon juice and lime juice, in case we don’t have access to citrus fruit. These can really add another great layer to your recipes.

I wanted to offer some new ways to use those pantry ingredients today so I reached out to my blogging friends to create this fun list of recipes to try.

Click on the image or header to access these incredible recipes!

45 Easy Recipes Using Pantry Ingredients

Pasta Recipes

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Pesto Chicken Pasta from The Toasty Kitchen

Pesto Chicken pasta is an easy, 20 minute meal that’s made with just five shelf-stable ingredients. Bow tie pasta and chicken are coated in a rich and flavorful pesto sauce.

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com One Skillet Baked Ziti from Good Life Eats

One skillet baked ziti with meat sauce is the perfect, easy comforting pasta dish. Baking it in a single skillet makes for quick preparation and very minimal clean up. Perfect for a weeknight dinner!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Almond Butter Red Curry Noodles from Fried Dandelions

Almond butter red curry noodles come together with pantry staples! The noodles are packed with flavor, and have a gorgeous orange color!  Perfect for an easy weeknight meal.

 

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Spinach and White Bean Pasta from Rachael Hartley Nutrition

This garlicky white bean and spinach pasta using a surprise pantry ingredient for a flavor booster!

 

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Easy Parmesan Pasta from Neighbor Food

This easy parmesan pasta can be pulled together with whatever canned vegetables you have on hand. Add chicken sausage or make it meatless!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Instant Pot Taco Pasta from Shweta in the Kitchen

Taco pasta is a delicious one-pot meal made using Italian pasta and Mexican flavors. It is a nutritious, delicious crowd pleasing recipe that is perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Easy Tuna Casserole with Egg Noodles from Unsophisticook

This easy tuna casserole with egg noodles is a definite go-to recipe; it is quick to prep, tasty, and versatile!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Instant Pot Goulash from Posh Journal

This American goulash is delicious, filling, nutritious and very inexpensive to make.

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice Gluten-Free Macaroni & Cheese from MomAdvice

I am SO EXCITED to share that we finally mastered an incredible one pot gluten-free macaroni and cheese recipe after MUCH trial and error in my kitchen. If you are looking for easy, affordable, minimal dishes, and a recipe that yields a lot than I have an incredible recipe for you!

Soups & Stews

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Instant Pot Lentil Soup from Urban Bliss Life

Make a healthy, hearty meal using common pantry ingredients! Instant pot lentil soup is a fast, easy, oh-so delicious vegan dish that will keep you warm and toasty.

Pantry Recipe / MomAdvice Hazelnut Soup from MomAdvice

This is a rustic hazelnut soup made with parsnips and roasted hazelnuts. It is a quick weeknight soup and the recipe can easily be made vegetarian. 

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup from Simple Bites

Slow-cooker coconut curry lentil soup is an easily adaptable pantry recipe, designed to get a hearty, nourishing meal on the table with minimal effort.

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Gluten Free Instant Pot Taco Soup from Seasonal Cravings

This gluten-free instant pot taco soup is packed with kidney beans, corn, and fire-roasted tomatoes. Make a double batch and have soup to fill your belly all week!

Pantry Recipe / MomAdvice.com Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili from MomAdvice

Once you try this chili, you will never make any other type of chili again. Pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice are the secret ingredients that make this chili a standout recipe!

 

Pantry Staples

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Best Black Bean Burgers from Eat Plant-Based

This black bean burger vegan recipe makes firm patties and can even be cooked on the grill with our falling through!

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers from MomAdvice.com Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers from MomAdvice

Looking for an easy recipe that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan? Look no further than these Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers for a fun weeknight meal. You will love these bell peppers for a meatless dish that is packed with protein and very filling with just the right balance of sweetness, from the peppers, and spice from the enchilada sauce.

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Homemade Tuna Sushi Bowl from Run Eat Travel

If you are looking for a hearty, easy, and budget friendly sushi inspired meal, this is the one for you! This healthy homemade tuna sushi bowl is med with canned tuna and the most cooking you’ll do is the rice!

Indian Vegetable Rice Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice from MomAdvice

This gluten-free side is so easy to create and happens to be easy on the wallet too! If you prefer your dish spicier, add an additional teaspoon of curry to bring on the heat!

 

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Roasted Garlic Hummus from MomAdvice

Once you try homemade hummus, you will never go back. Make this easy dish with canned chickpeas.

How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker from MomAdvice.com Quinoa in the Rice Cooker from MomAdvice

You will never have to babysit a pot again if you use this simple technique for cooking quinoa in your rice cooker. This set-it-and-forget-it recipe is the most pinned item on our site and we can see why. Not only am I sharing this easy rice cooker technique, but I’m also sharing loads of recipes- from quinoa main dishes to quinoa salads. 

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com High Protein Spicy Chickpea Bowl from All Nutritious

This spicy chickpea meal prep is loaded with protein and fats! Full of flavors and will last in the fridge for days.

How to Make Perfect Brown Rice in Your Rice Cooker from MomAdvice.com Perfect Brown Rice in the Rice Cooker from MomAdvice

Brown rice is something I really rely upon to round out my meals because I am gluten-free.  I use it to make taco bowls. In lieu of making gluten-free pastas, and I toss veggies and meat with it to make hearty bowls for filling lunches. Try this super simple cooking method for perfect rice every time!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Gluten-Free Meatloaf from MomAdvice

A perfectly light meatloaf with the most surprising binding agent! Try substituting the sweet sauce with tomato sauce for an Italian kick!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Instant Pot Rice & Beans from The Belly Rules

Loaded with bold flavor os salsa and spices, this hearty dish is a delicious addition to taco night. This Mexican instant pot rice and beans recipe would also be the perfect base for a burrito or burrito bowl.

 

 

slow_cooker_black_beans Slow-Cooker Mexican Black Beans from MomAdvice

Beans in the slow cooker though are surprisingly easy and frugal to create in large batches for your family.Here’s a foolproof and delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans. This cooking tutorial is going to take you through the in’s and out’s of how to cook beans and how to freeze them. 

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step-by-Step Best Instant Pot Risotto from MomAdvice

Risotto can be a very labor-intensive dish, but it doesn’t have to be with a pressure cooker. Here is my step-by-step tutorial for creamy gluten-free risotto, made in your Instant Pot. Ditch the boxed mac and cheese for this easy weeknight dish.

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix Poured On Cookie Sheet Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix from MomAdvice

Need a snack with lots of protein? You can make this sugar & spice candied nut mix to satisfy both your sweet and savory snack cravings.

Breakfast

Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal With Sliced Apples On Top Slow-Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal from MomAdvice

Try this slow-cooked apple oatmeal that you are going to love for a warm and satisfying breakfast on a cozy morning. The best part about this is my incredible tip for getting creamy oats that won’t burn or stick to your slow-cooker!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Gluten-Free Orange Creamsicle Pancakes from MomAdvice

A delicious gluten-free Orange Creamsicle Pancake recipe for a fun breakfast treat! What makes these special is that we are replacing the milk in these with Florida Orange Juice. I love how small switches like these can yield a completely different pancake flavor, don’t you?

 

 

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Gluten-Free Overnight Waffles from MomAdvice

A light, fluffy, and super delicious overnight waffle recipe that is also gluten-free!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com No-Bake Gluten-Free Granola Bars from MomAdvice

An easy no-bake gluten-free treat that makes the perfect snack. Full of oats, peanut butter and chocolate chips!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice

Fuel your brain with these delicious energy bites that provide vital nutrients and vitamins. Packed with quinoa, these gluten-free treats are satisfying and filling!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Slow Cooker Creamy Coconut Oatmeal from MomAdvice

Dairy-free? No problem! This easy slow cooker oatmeal is made with canned pumpkin milk!

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte Pumpkin Spiced Latte from MomAdvice

It is so easy to make your pumpkin spice lattes at home. Today’s coffee drink is made with real pumpkin purée, your favorite milk, with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, and coffee. You won’t believe how easy it is to diy this expensive treat at home. Pumpkin spice lattes aren’t just for October anymore!

homemade vanilla chai mix recipe Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix from MomAdvice

Mixing up a batch of this DIY Vanilla Chai mix for yourself can help to keep your pockets nice and warm with a little extra money. Most of the spices, dry creamer, and dry milk are already stocked in your pantry.

Bread

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com 5-Ingredient Gluten-Free Pizza Crust from MomAdvice

I am SO excited to share with you a foolproof gluten-free pizza crust recipe that is as easy to put together as your standard crust. These results for the perfect airy crust rival any pizzeria you have been to.

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Dutch Oven No Knead Bread from Joy Food Sunshine

Easy Dutch oven no-knead bread recipe is made with only 4 ingredients and takes 5 minutes of prep time! If you want to make delicious homemade bread that looks and tastes like it came from a fancy bakery, but actually takes very little effort, this Dutch oven bread recipe is for you!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Buttery Dinner Rolls from MomAdvice

You won’t believe how easy it is to make these buttery rolls in your bread machine. This is our favorite roll, served up with melted butter and garnished with dried herbs. 

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Homemade Bagels in 5 Steps from Spices N Flavors

The only 5 simple steps you need to know to make the best homemade bagel recipe that is dense, soft, and chewy on the inside and crusty on the top. Make in the comfort of your kitchen in just one hour.

 

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread from MomAdvice

Did you find a can of pumpkin in your pantry? It’s not just for Fall!  Add this yummy spiced pumpkin bread to your agenda today! 

 

Desserts & Sweets

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Chocolate Hummus from Joy Food Sunshine

This healthy chocolate hummus recipe is easy to make and ready in 5 minutes! It is a nutritious dip, appetizer, dessert, snack, or spread that everyone will love.  This dessert hummus recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, has no refined sugar, and is vegan!

Gluten-Free Cake Mix Sugar Cookies Recipe from MomAdvice.com Gluten-Free Cake Mix Sugar Cookie Recipe from MomAdvice

This Gluten-Free Cake Mix Sugar Cookie recipe can be made into beautiful sugar cookie rolls with just a few simple ingredients. This easy freezer recipe for gluten-free cookies is such a great item to keep stocked in your fridge or freezer!

 

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Microwave Molten Chocolate Cake in a Mug from Cupcake Project

These mug cakes taste like the best molten chocolate cake that you would get at a restaurant, but you can make them at home in minutes using your microwave! This mug cake recipe uses both melted chocolate and cocoa powder so it is extra chocolatey!

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Cake Without Eggs from Dessert for Two

Out of eggs, but still want cake? Check out this cake without eggs recipe collection including chocolate and vanilla cakes, brownies, and cupcakes all made egg-free!

 

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice.com Chocolate Wacky Cake from The Good Hearted Woman

Chocolate wacky cake is the easiest scratch cake you will ever make! No eggs, no milk, no butter and no clean-up. Made exclusively with pantry staples, this surprisingly moist, delicious snack cake mixes up in a jiffy, right in the pan!

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Here are some other great recipes from MomAdvice.com:

A Lentil Stew - Anyway You Want It | momadvice.com Lentil Stew

 

Presto Pasta Presto Pesto Pasta Con Pollo

Slow Cooker Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Slow Cooker Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Honey Sweetened, Applesauce Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins #recipe via momadvice.com Honey Sweetened, Applesauce Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins

Happy cooking!

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Grocery Shopping Tips at ALDI

Monday, February 24th, 2020

Grocery Shopping Tips At ALDI Header

Take a behind-the-scenes look at ALDI supermarket. Discover how they make their store brands, learn more about shopping the store, have ALDI groceries delivered, and learn what products I love from this budget-friendly store.

Have you ever wondered how products are made at ALDI and how this grocery chain is able to keep their prices so low?

I have the inside scoop thanks to an exciting grocery store tour I got to do at the store. I also have had the privilege of working with them at blog conferences and to help facilitate their store tours for other customers.

Longtime readers know that I have been an early minister on spreading the ALDI truth.

Amy Allen Clark- The ALDI Queen

In fact, for many years I ran a blog called, The ALDI Queen.

You could say that for many years, I made shopping at ALDI my job and my mission to get families to shop there.

The items, at the time, were difficult to create menu plans around because of their limited product choices.

That isn’t the case now AT ALL.

I do almost 100% of my shopping, at their store.

I remember as a child going to ALDI Supermarket with my mother to get our groceries

If you have been an ALDI shopper, for as many years as I have, you may remember the price sheets that ALDI would print.

It was a black-and-white newspaper ad that would tell you all of the price deals for every single week.

The sheet was alphabetized and you would have to find each of the current prices within their handy flier.

I remember being in charge of holding the sheet and plugging the figures into our calculator.

Ah, the days before the digital fliers and phone calculators.

Am I showing my age?

ALDI Supermarket provided some relief to our family’s grocery budget and it now provides relief to my own family’s tight budget as well.

If you are thinking this store is only worth the trip for the bakery staples, you would be wrong.

Thanks to their ever expanding product lines, ALDI now carries many of the specialty products that you would purchase at your local Whole Foods, as well as loads of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free products.

As a longtime fan of the grocery retailer, I could not wait to see how this company operated and, frankly, how in the world they can offer food for such a low price.

This grocery store tour allowed us to learn more about how their stores were set up and I even got to participate in a blind taste-testing of the products to see how they compared with other national brands. 

There was truly not a single element of this trip that I was not fascinated with.

I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned over the years.

Grocery Shopping Tips At ALDI

Grocery Shopping Tips at ALDI

(this clip explains the history of ALDI from ALDI)

Where did ALDI originate?

Despite the growing amount of ALDI Supermarkets all over the United States , ALDI actually originated in Germany and is known as the German Walmart.

The history of ALDI is as intriguing as their deals that they offer.

The frugal ways of ALDI actually came out of its post World War II beginnings, in 1948, when customers at its first store in Essen Germany wanted only the lowest priced staples.

These stores were started by two brothers, Theo & Karl Albrecht, and they named the store Albrecht Discount.

Albrecht Discount is now known as ALDI (for short).

Grocery Aisles at ALDI Tour

How does ALDI keep their prices so low?

This is an answer that we were told would take years to explain, but the main points all pointed to simple cost-cutting measures, employee training that goes beyond other grocery stores, a limited selection of items, smart store design, and in-house private labels.

Some of the ways they save is by having baking items on pallets and dairy items on rolling carts so the employees don’t need to stock individual items on shelves.

The savings are also reflected in the smaller things like the quarter deposit for your cart and bagging those groceries yourself.

Honestly, I am able buy double the items for our family just by shopping their store.

Seeing is believing so make a plan to visit your local store soon.

How do I find out if I have a store nearby and what are the store hours?

ALDI is expanding and has been remodeling many of its stores. To find out if you have a store near you, you can locate your local store by searching with your zip code. This will also tell you your store hours so you can plan your shopping trip.

How many employees work in an ALDI store?

The typical ALDI store only has between 6-8 employees and it is common for their employees to celebrate 15, 20, or 25 years of service.

They pay their employees significantly higher than the national average and with 20 hours a week, they give their employees full health insurance benefits.

Employees go through extensive training and they do everything from putting out the new pallets of food to ringing up the customers to tidying the store.

It is this efficiency and the smaller pay rolls that translate into big savings for their customers.

Looking for a job with ALDI? Check their current listings here!

What is the difference between ALDI and other grocery stores?

ALDI is a very normal store, although it lacks many of the frills of the traditional supermarkets.

They offers a “strictly no frills” approach to their store which means that they do not decorate their aisles or fill shelves.

Items are placed on pallets, similar to your shopping experience at warehouse clubs, and customers pick items off of the pallets.

Upon a pallet being emptied, the employees bring out another pallet to be bought from, eliminating the need for someone to sort shelves.

Keep in mind, you will not be receiving any free bags (scroll down for more information on that and purchasing a cart), or a personal greeter, stores.

Most ALDI’s do not offer a deli, a butcher shop, a bakery.

In fact, it is hard to find even a listed phone number.

You see, if they had a phone number, then they would have to have someone answer the phone.

That one extra “frill” would cost ALDI time & money and this is how they keep their costs low.

What is the ALDI AOS and what will I find there?

While ALDI does keep to many grocery basics, the trap is found in the middle section of their store.

This is the, special purchases or ALDI Finds aisle that bring in superior discounts on random household items each week.

These can include kitchen gadgets, electric appliances, furniture, patio items, toys, exercise equipment, home decor, and even computers.

If you see chats that talk about the AOS, you may be wondering what is going on.

It’s the AISLE OF SHAME.

Hahahaha!

Basically, it is the middle spot in the store that you might get sucked into.

I have often come home with random things like fabric steam cleaners, an exercise weight set, a foldable buffet table, or even clothing items.

It’s the Wild West of aisle and always yields incredible surprises.

It is a bit like shopping a Big Lots or TJ Maxx and is referred to, by enthusiasts as, the AOS.

What does ALDI mean when they say you will, “shop different,” at their stores?

In the ALDI mission statement, you will discover these promises that share why they consider their grocery store to be such a unique experience.

  • Twice as Nice Guarantee- If you are unhappy with an item, not only will they refund your money, but they will also give you a replacement item for free. Read about their refund policy here. This guarantee does not mean a guarantee on being the lowest priced though. They always do their best to be the lowest price, but there may be times (in the seasonal and special purchases aisles especially) where you might be able to get the item for less at another store or with a coupon.
  • They Meet or Exceed Competitor Brands- They aim to make a product that is better than their competitors and many products are award-winning because of it. In 2019, they taste-tested over 30,000 products just to make sure that you have the best tasting product on the shelf. Read more about their good quality food and policies.
  • They Say NO to Synthetic- Every ALDI exclusive is completely free of certified synthetic color, added MSG and partially hydrogenated oils. You can read more about this commitment here.
  • They Carry Organic Products- ALDI has daily delivery of produce, fresh meats and fish, and carry an extensive line of organics, gluten-free and vegan foods.
  • They Have Many Award-Winning Wines- Forget that two buck chuck business and acquaint yourself with the ALDI aisle. The wines are incredibly affordable and you can find new offers every week. They also do a few monthly wine features that they don’t typically cary.
  • They Have the Best Prices. Seriously.– Check out this comparison on the pricing at ALDI, Kroger, & Walmart.

Who Has a Lower Price- ALDI or Trader Joe’s?

I loved the results of this price comparison on ALDI vs Trader Joe’s.

As you can see, ALDI offers pricing even lower than most Trader Joe’s products.

What is the Best Day to Shop?

Wednesday is the the BEST day to shop ALDI.

This is the day when the ALDI Finds get freshened up and you can find, typically, between 40-50 new items at the store. 

See you in the AOS! 

What do I need to know for my first trip to ALDI?

Download the ALDI App For Your Visit

If you are trying to locate the current price sheet and weekly flier, downloading the app is highly recommended.

Not only will this tell you the current store price, it also has a place for you to jot down your shopping list and the ability to search the QR codes on any product.

Don’t Bring Your Coupons

No coupon clipping is needed for your ALDI shopping experience.

ALDI sells, primarily, only store brand merchandise saving you some time on coupon cutting.

Typically, they only carry one or two brands for each product you are hunting for. Just because these products are considered “off-brand”, in actuality, many of the private label products are made by well-known brand manufacturers and are simply shipped in different packaging to their stores.

Bring the Right Type of Payment With You

Currently the store accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, most debit cards, the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), Link cards, SNAP and contactless pay such as Apple Pay And Google Pay.

At this time they do not accept checks or the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC)

buy a quarter keeper for ALDI buy this quarter keeper so you won’t forget OR shop all the fun quarter keepers

Bring a Quarter for Your Cart

The store offers a shopping cart rental program which can be confusing the first time you shop the store. I highly recommend purchasing one of these quarter holders for your keychain so you don’t forget.

The carts are linked together, you slide the quarter in (the quarter spot is located near the handle on the right), and this releases your cart.

Once you are done with your cart, simply bring it back to the linked carts, link it to the cart in front, and take your quarter back.

Quarter for ALDI Carts

This simple solution saves on hiring people to scavenger hunt for carts.

If you forget your quarter, go to the cashier and have them make change for you.

Feeling generous?

Leave the cart unhooked to save someone a quarter.

Collapsible Reusable Bags for ALDI buy these collapsible reusable bags or find your favorite reusable grocery bags here

Bring Your Own Grocery Bags (Or Pay a Small Fee for Theirs)

It is green to bring a reusable bag (another cost-cutting method by the store) and you can bring your favorite set (I HIGHLY recommend these) or you can purchase reusable bags from the store.

If you don’t need another reusable bag, you can purchase plastic or paper bags for a small fee.

Also keep your eyes out for empty boxes because these are perfect for storing groceries in your car and make carrying your groceries easier.


Be Ready for the Cashiers, and I MEAN READY!

If you have ever stood in a line at ALDI, one thing you will see is that these cashiers work at lightning speed and can wait on customers quicker than any other store I have ever been to.

As a customer, you load your items on the conveyor belt and then bring your cart to set up next to the cashier. The cashier will scan the items and place them in the cart for you.

Once you are done, you relocate to bag your groceries.

If you want a hilarious example of the speed, you will love this. Follow me on Instagram for more fun every dang week.

Get Bagging

Instead of having someone bag for you, you will be the bagger! I find it helpful to organize my bags by categories.

I keep a bag for freezer foods, meat, canned items (break these up so they aren’t heavy), fresh produce, soft items (like bread and eggs) dairy, and pantry items (like peanut butter, jelly, sugar, flour, macaroni, rice, pasta, etc..)

Grocery Cart for Chronic Illness this is what I use when I do any curbside pickup- highly recommend if you have a chronic illness too to save trips!

Need Someone to Help You Bag? Introducing ALDI Delivery!

ALDI now offers curbside pickup and grocery delivery. Our store is not participating just yet, but this service is offered by Instacart.

For 2020, you can use coupon code SHOPALDI20, for new Instacart members, which should give you free pick-up on your first three orders.

We use the grocery delivery service, at our house, and it has been a Godsend for our family.

As someone who has health problems and chronic joint pain issues, this has been so helpful for our family.

ALDI offers this through the Instacart platform.

To be an Instacart member, you pay $99 for the year and this pays for unlimited visits (similar to being an Amazon Prime member).

Keep in mind, you may notice an additional mark-up on the pricing (it isn’t significant, but worth nothing) and there are additional fees that apply to online orders.

I think of this pricing system as the purchase is made including a bit of a buffer for paying the employees to shop for me.

For example, tipping your shopper will be an additional expense.

Grocery Shopping Tips At ALDI visit my passive income for busy moms series for new ways to save BIG for your family!

Get Cash Back on Your Purchases

Although ALDI doesn’t take coupons, be sure to scan in your receipts into Ibotta for potential cash back rewards!

Looking for more ways to save big? Be sure to follow my passive income series now.

What I Learned From My Behind the Scenes ALDI Trip

For seasoned ALDI shoppers, what I’m sharing might not be new, but maybe this information is?

Blind Taste Test At ALDI

They Are Serious About Beating Their Competitors on Taste

I am a longtime customer and super fan of the products that ALDI offers, but the blind taste test that I participated in surprised even a super fan like me. 

We sampled many items from their holiday line and compared them to the national brands.

Blind Taste Testing at ALDI Headquarters

ALDI ham review

 

Blind Taste Testing of Cheese At ALDI

Even though I love ALDI, I can be a bit of a food snob when it comes to certain foods like high quality cheeses and meats.

When we taste tested Tyson chicken versus ALDI chicken, I truly loved their brand better.

I knew the meat that I had tasted must have been the Tyson meat, but I was dead wrong.

It goes to show that sometimes we are just conditioned to believe one brand is better than the other.

Belmont Pies Review

Belmont Pies Review

Another surprise was the difference between Mrs. Smith’s apple pie versus the ALDI Belmont Deep Dish Apple Pie. 

The ALDI pie crust (pictured on the right) cooked and browned more evenly. 

The difference in the taste was significant and the price was 28% lower.

Even being the ALDI fan girl that I am, I came away feeling validated that the choice that I had made to shop at the store, out of necessity due to the financial strain we had been under, for our family was a good one. 

The cost-cutting measures of the store do not cost-cut on the bottom line of the quality of the items in the store.

In fact, the company does their best to offer a better product that the name brand. 

After doing this blind taste-testing, I believe they have (FOR SURE) exceeded the standard.

ALDI & Trader Joe’s Are Not Owned By the Same Company

A common misconception is that this store is owned by the same parent company.

The relationship though is…confusing.

ALDI Nord owns Trader Joe’s in the States, but the ALDI stores that you see in the States are run by ALDI Süd, which is separate from Trader Joe’s.

To quote The Kitchn, “The chains are kind of like estranged cousins. Step-brothers? In-laws? We don’t know! But it doesn’t matter because the stores are run entirely independently with no joint ownership.”

They Have a Tracking System to Pull Products Quickly

ALDI does their best to work with local farmers to get fresh produce on their shelves.

The transparency on this will be on the pricing label and say that it is, “locally grown.”

Each of their produce items are tracked so that they are able to pull specific numbers off of the shelves if there are any food safety issues with the products.

This means any time a purchase is made, you know it is held to food safety standards AND you are also backed by their twice back guarantee.

Barcodes of ALDI products

Multiple Barcodes on ALDI products

Barcodes on ALDI products

multiple barcodes on ALDI products

There Are Multiple Barcodes On Every Product

This is one of those things that I would have never noticed and now I can’t believe I didn’t see this before.

You may not know it, but ALDI offers smart packaging that can speed up your wait time at their store.

In this picture is a single bag of chips, simply held at all different angles.

Practically every corner of their bags and boxes have a UPC code that can make scanning your items that much faster. 

Go ahead and take a peek in your pantry at your ALDI items and you will see it too. It is one of those things that you may have never noticed, but translates into saving time for you.

I hope you enjoyed these fun ALDI facts! 

Scroll down for some of my FAVORITE recipes made from ALDI ingredients!!

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Affiliate links help support our site. Thank you for supporting a small business owner!

Looking for ways to prepare dishes with ALDI ingredients? Here are my favorite recipes for you!

3 Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen Header learn how I prep ALDI’s frozen chicken for a busy week

DIY Cold Brew Coffee from ALDI Ground Coffee learn how to make cold brew coffee from ALDI ground coffee or beans

10 Minute Fish Tacos Recipe header make these 10-minute tacos with ALDI frozen (or fresh) tilapia

Shrimp Boil from ALDI Shrimp put ALDI frozen shrimp & smoked sausage to work in this easy shrimp boil

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs Recipe from MomAdvice.com make these 3-ingredient ribs with ALDI ribs & Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

5-ingredient salmon sheet pan meal from MomAdvice.com get my 5-ingredient salmon sheet pan meal make with ALDI ingredients

How to Cook Quinoa in the Rice Cooker from MomAdvice.com I even bought a rice cooker from ALDI and prepare their quinoa with this easy method

Pumpkin Chili Recipe from MomAdvice.com grab pumpkin in the baking aisle and warm up with my ALDI pumpkin chili recipe

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com have a pressure cooker? this italian beef roast is how I prepare an ALDI chuck roast. It’s to die for!

once you try this ALDI ground beef taco filling, you’ll never prepare it any other way again!

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com leftover rice from ALDI can be made into this EASY fried rice with a few items from their freezer section

gluten-free meatloaf recipe the binding agent in this gluten-free meatloaf is potato flakes from ALDI.  say what?

chicken pesto frittata ALDI’s prepared pesto and diced chicken make the perfect filling for a hearty frittata

sheet pan ranch pork chops this sheet pan pork chop meal is all made from ALDI ingredients and a weeknight winner

lemon paprika chicken thighs once you try this method for cooking ALDI chicken thighs, you’ll rely on it again and again

Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal from MomAdvice.com learn how I turn my slow cooker into a double boiler to make creamy overnight apple oatmeal with ALDI steel cut oats

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com make your own mcmuffins with this freezer-friendly ALDI recipe

 

 

Do you love ALDI as much as me? I’d love to hear what you think of this discount grocer!

3 Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

3 Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen Header

Looking for a fast way to cook frozen chicken? Today I’m sharing my foolproof recipe to bake chicken. No need to thaw chicken for this recipe. Learn how to safely oven bake chicken, cook frozen chicken in your slow cooker, and tips for cooking frozen chicken in your pressure cooker.

If I had to point a finger at where I began to realize the beauty in make-ahead meals, I would point it to my bag of chicken I cook each week for our family. 

This easy cooking tutorial takes just a few moments of effort to have a container full of prepared meat for sandwiches, wraps, or to be eaten on it’s own with veggies and fruit.

The best part is that with my easy technique, you can prepare chicken in bulk for your week right from it’s frozen state.

3 Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen

For our family of four, I prepare three pounds of chicken each week (one frozen bag of chicken breasts from ALDI, to be exact!) and we usually plow through these three pounds by Wednesday or Thursday of the week.

I never have any leftover because it is my go-to for making wraps for my husband to take for his lunch and it is the go-to for my kid’s busy activity nights.

I started making a habit of taking the chicken out first when I brought in my groceries and getting it roasting as I put the rest of the food away.

For five minutes of prep work, it has saved us at least a hundred bucks a month. Just think how much I am saving by eating at home instead of a Panera visit!

Before we begin, here are a few commonly asked questions about cooking frozen chicken!

What are the guidelines for safely cooking frozen chicken?

It is important to follow the USDA guidelines when preparing poultry. The USDA, specifically states, “Do not cook frozen chicken in a slow cooker or in the microwave; thaw it before cooking.”

Chicken can be cooked though from the frozen state in the oven or on the stove. Expect that your cooking time will be about 50% longer, if you do not thaw your chicken first.

Can you put frozen chicken in your crockpot?

No, the USDA advises NOT to put frozen chicken in your slow cooker because the internal temperature does not rise fast enough to meet food safety standards.

How long is frozen chicken good for?

A bag of frozen chicken, from your supermarket, should last approximately 9 months, according to the USDA.

Prepared cooked chicken though should be used within three months of freezing.

What is the safe internal temperature of chicken?

The safe internal temperature for cooked chicken is 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius). A meat or instant-read thermometer is always your best guide. This is my favorite meat thermometer.

How long can you keep cooked chicken in the refrigerator?

Properly stored, cooked chicken will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Glass containers, with airtight lids, are my favorite for storing. When taking to potlucks, I rely on these inexpensive plastic containers for transporting.
3 Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen

3 Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen

Here are 3 techniques to cook frozen chicken breasts!

3 Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen Seasoned On Cookie Sheet Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Seasoning Frozen Chicken in the Oven Baked Frozen Chicken Baked Frozen Chicken

How to Bake Frozen Chicken

I have had people ask me at potlucks and gatherings how I bake my frozen chicken. After testing different temperatures of cooking frozen chicken and spice combinations, I am thrilled to share my favorite recipe.

This is the recipe I rely upon for topping salads, making chicken wraps, or as an accompaniment to a brown rice bowl.

Spread your frozen chicken breasts on two cookie sheets.

Don’t love the clean-up?

Consider lining the cookie sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick heavy duty aluminum foil.

Personally, I love these parchment squares because they make the whole clean-up process a little easier..

Brush or drizzle your chicken breasts with olive oil, salt generously, and finish with your favorite seasoning.

Frozen Chicken Breast Baked and Sliced

My secret ingredient (and this is no endorsement- just a HUGE fan!) is this Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic seasoning mix.

I found it in the spice aisle and it makes such a fantastic dry rub on the chicken that it tastes as good as anything you would get in a restaurant.

Since it is salt-free, I layer on the salt just the way I like and this helps to enhance the flavor of the chicken.

Baking frozen chicken is safe, according to the USDA.

How to Boil Frozen Chicken

Boiling chicken is another safe and effective way to prepare shredded chicken for your recipes. In a large pot, add a cup of chicken stock (or broth) and 4-5 frozen chicken breasts.

Bring this all to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until you have reached 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius).

Remember, if you are unsure if your chicken is done that a meat thermometer is a cook’s best friend.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

 

How to Pressure Cook Frozen Chicken

You may recall my tutorial for preparing frozen chicken in your pressure cooker. My Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe is one of our most popular and is my favorite meal prep technique.

You can read a full tutorial on pressure cooking frozen chicken (or fresh chicken) in this post.

This recipe calls for 1 cup chicken broth on the bottom and resting seasoned frozen chicken on top.

Once again, cooking time on frozen chicken varies, based on the size of the breast.

If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of cooking time at high pressure works great.

Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes.

Large pieces are best at 16 minutes.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

click on pictures or click here for tutorial

Be sure to visit the entire tutorial to learn more.

Once the Instant Pot beeps, make sure your pressure cooker turns off (and doesn’t start the, “keep warm,” setting. Allow it to release naturally for ten minutes.

Once the ten minutes of pressure release are done, you can open the pot and shred your chicken.

I like to pour a bit of the chicken broth (or stock) on top to help the meat retain its moisture.


Bake Chicken Breasts From Frozen
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
An easy way to prepare frozen chicken in bulk for salads, wraps, and as the main attraction for your family's week.
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds frozen boneless chicken breasts
  • Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Seasoning
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven for 375 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Spread the frozen chicken breasts out over one or two cookie sheets.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken breasts and then sprinkle liberally with the seasoning mix, kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Allow the chicken to rest ten to fifteen minutes (to allow the juices to redistribute within the meat). Dice or shred for your recipes for the week.

 

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Looking for recipes that use shredded chicken? Check out these ideas!

Use shredded chicken for enchiladas use shredded chicken in enchiladas

chicken pesto frittata use shredded chicken in a chicken pesto frittata

chicken caesar pasta salad use roasted or shredded chicken in a chicken caesar pasta salad

Happy cooking!

3 Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen Header

5-Ingredient Salmon Sheet Pan Meal

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

With just 5 ingredients, you have all you need to make this easy sheet pan meal. This recipe takes under 15 minutes to make and you will love these ideas for spice combos to completely change those flavors.

I am at a stage in life where I appreciate simple and straightforward food that doesn’t take a lot of time out of my day to prepare. That is why I have been relying heavily upon this 5-ingredient sheet pan salmon recipe to get us through all of these crazy nights where none of us arrive at the dinner table together.

I thought I’d give you the scoop today on my workhorse recipe that has been saving me a ridiculous amount of cash that would have been spent on takeout instead.

Salmon and asparagus go together like peas and carrots, don’t they?  I buy the whole side of salmon at our local ALDI and love the price for this fresh and not frozen fish. ALDI has partnered with Instacart (here’s ten bucks towards your order if you have never tried out this incredible invention!) and I have a note in our shopping list that instructs the shopper to buy enough salmon for a family of four.

Pictured here is what they typically bring and this is usually enough for six to seven meals, depending on our portion sizes.

For a long time I was intimidated by the idea of preparing a big giant piece of salmon like this. I would tell my scared self though that preparing this is incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that I think even someone who has never cooked before could pull it off.

Here’s one quick tip that I would share with you about preparing fish that I didn’t realize in those beginning preparation days…

If you want your fish to have a beautiful golden exterior, you must use a paper towel and blot the fish well to remove the excess moisture.

It will make ALL the difference in the world when you broil it.

I season our fish with a simple shake of Old Bay Seasoning (you can usually find it over by the fish display at your market) and kosher salt.  The first night we eat this, we keep it with this basic set-up and it is delicious.

When I reheat the fish later in the week though, I love to use different spices in my spice cabinet (be sure to snag our FREE printable labels) to make the flavor profile different each day.

Everything Bagel mix, lemon pepper seasoning, and a Sicilian bread dipping mix are three that I rotate pretty regularly with a little squeeze of lemon.

The beauty in leaving your canvas blank is that you have the opportunity to switch things up over the course of the week.

Are you drooling too?

I love how beautifully this all broils up together.

My trick for keeping the asparagus looking great is to not broil it at the tip top of the oven rack, like you usually would. I give it one step down to allow the top of the salmon to still get that golden top, but also allowing enough space to not burn that asparagus.

This is 9 minutes in our oven.  Sometimes, with thicker cuts, I have needed 11 minutes, but I prefer to keep it closer to the 9 minute timeline to keep the fish flavorful and not dry.

How pretty is that?

I hope you can add this recipe to your arsenal and that it helps you succeed at saving money on takeout nights too.

5-Ingredient Salmon Sheet Pan Meal
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-7 servings
 
You only need 5 ingredients to make this salmon sheet pan meal in under 15 minutes. After you try this impressive dish, I bet this recipe will be in constant rotation at your house too. See the post for fun spice combination ideas you can add to your fish to change the flavor profile.
Ingredients
  • Side of Salmon
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 pound asparagus
Instructions
  1. Line your sheet pan with nonstick aluminum foil.
  2. Using a paper towel, blot up any excess moisture on your fish.
  3. Brush your salmon top with olive oil and add a generous amount of kosher salt and Old Bay Seasoning to the top.
  4. Trim the asparagus ends. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and season with kosher salt. Arrange the asparagus around the salmon.
  5. Move your oven rack to the second row from the top. Turn your broiler on HIGH and broil the salmon and veggies for 9-11 minutes.

Want more recipes?

Scroll down for some of my favorite dinner ideas!

an easy shrimp boil dinner

roasted salmon with pistachio gremolata

CLassic Shrimp and Grits #recipe via MomAdvice.com nearly classic shrimp & grits

gluten-free pad thai with shrimp

10 minute fish tacos

gluten-free shrimp scampi

shrimp fried rice

Tried the recipe? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links

 

I’m Heading to Savvy Blogging Summit With ALDI

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

amy_clark

I’m so excited to be heading to the Savvy Blogging Summit again this year! I am very excited to be speaking and teaching a class on How to Grow Your Blog One Pin At a Time, sharing in a hands-on session assisting people with getting great pictures for their food photography,  and also working this year as a spokesperson for ALDI and assisting them with their Snack Cart during the session breaks this year.

aldi_supermarket_1

As I am sure you know, I have been a longtime supporter and super fan of ALDI. I had the unique opportunity to get a behind–the-scenes tour of ALDI and learn more about the unique offerings the store has available as well as to sample their products.  I have been shopping at their store for many years, first out of necessity due to our family’s financial situation, and now because I am truly addicted to their products and love the savings that our family experiences by shopping there. I am excited to be sharing more about my own personal experience at the conference and excited to be working with ALDI again to share about the great value that they offer to their customers.

If you happen to be attending the conference, please be sure to stop by the Snack Cart to say hello! I would love to meet you and answer any questions you might have about the store and their offerings. I would like to thank ALDI for sponsoring me for this conference and giving me the chance to learn more about how I can take my own business to the next level at the amazing Savvy Blogging Summit!

This is a sponsored post. ALDI will be covering my travel expenses for the Savvy Blogging Summit.  My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

 

Eating Healthy at Aldi Supermarket? Yes, You Can!

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Eating healthy is a hot topic in America right now and of great concern for so many parents. With the growing epidemic of diabetes and obesity that our children now are facing, what is a parent to do?

The common thread that I see  with families is that they want to eat healthy, but they just don’t feel like they can afford to. It often feels like the fast food choices and convenience foods are a better deal than the fresh produce and good-for-us foods that are available in the supermarket.

There is also a common misconception that shopping at lower priced grocery stores means that you eat food that is bad for you. In fact, I refused to shop at Aldi because of what I remembered about the store from when I was a child. All I remembered was a sea of junk food and soda.  What a surprise to later discover in my life that healthy foods abound at the store and that I am still able to maintain a healthy diet on a budget. In reality, I just needed to maintain an open mind and learn to navigate the store better!

The truth is, you can eat unhealthy in any supermarket in the nation. All stores contain processed convenience foods that don’t do your body justice and that can be potential spending traps in your grocery budget.  Navigating the outskirts of the store and venturing into fresh produce, low-fat dairy, and the frozen sections for out-of-season veggies, fruits, & fish, and delicious whole grains are what will keep your grocery budget and diet on track.

Here is my deep and dark secret as a frugal gal. I love to stay under budget on my grocery shopping, but I am a horrible coupon cutter. For me, coupon cutting equals spending more money  and I usually end up buying things I don’t really need or eat. Call it lack of discipline or call it pure laziness, but I will take bagging my own groceries over coupon cutting any day of the week.  I am still frugal and thoughtful with planning, list-making, and making affordable meals, but I am just not a fan of coupon cutting for groceries. Between the store being much smaller than the superstore (which equals less opportunity to stray away from my list) and the fact that I don’t have a to clip a single coupon, I remain loyal to Aldi!

I hit Aldi last week and thought I would share with you the prices on some of those foods that I buy and the prices here. Dairy, sales, produce, and prices can vary between stores, but it showcases how well you can eat while keeping your budget low.

1 Gallon Skim Milk- $2.19
Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt (32 ounces)- $1.59
Celery- $1.39
Carrots (32 oz)- $.99
Lemons (4 ct)- $1.49
Navel Oranges (large bag)- $1.39
Russet Potatoes (10 pounds)- $1.99
Bananas (per pound)- $.37
Bagged Flat Leaf Spinach (9 ounces)- $1.69
Mushrooms- $.99
Broccoli- $1.49
Grape Tomatoes- $1.89
Brown Rice (2 pounds)- $1.29
12 Whole Grain Bread Loaves- $1.69
Wild Caught Salmon (Frozen- 1 pound)- $3.99
Tilapia (Frozen- 1.5 pounds)- $3.99
Boneless Chicken Breasts (Frozen- 3 pounds)- $6.29
E-Z Peel Shrimp (Frozen/Medium 300 Count)- $3.99
Hand Selected Jarred Fruit- $1.99
Frozen Green Beans- $1.49
Frozen Blueberries- $2.69

This is just a handful of the items that I purchased, but showcases the healthy options that are available and the affordable prices that can be found.

Whatever store you choose, here are some important tips for staying under on your grocery budget!

Good Research Goes Far

Keeping track of prices is the best way to insure that you get the best deals on the items you buy regularly. I know that this seems like a time consuming process, but it is definitely worth your time if you are trying to stay on budget. Start tracking the prices on the items that you buy regularly and keep this information in a little price book that you can take with you to the supermarket.

Don’t forget to include prices from your wholesale club. For Sam’s Club, for example, you can look online and check the pricing on the items that you buy regularly on their site as well. Armed with this information, you will be able to see if those bigger boxes really pack a better punch or if they actually are costing your family more money and more space.

When you see the prices dip, stock up and up and up on the items you use regularly. If you are a coupon cutter, couple this with your coupons and you will have some killer deals to help to keep your pantry stocked when the deals are leaner. As a side note though, Aldi does not accept coupons so their current prices are their “bottom line” pricing.

Crush the Condiments

Condiments can be a huge drain to the grocery budget and don’t add any real benefits to your diet. Skip the condiment aisle altogether and learn how to make some simple dressings, homemade meat marinades, barbeque sauce, croutons, and even your own special ice cream sauce for a fraction of the cost. A quick search on the internet should yield some great results for making all of these yummy additions for pennies versus dollars. Not only will you be helping your grocery budget, but you will also have control over the quality of the ingredients and the amount of sugar and salt you put in them. It is a win-win situation!

Hold the Meat

Plan one or two days each week to skip the meat or at least focus a little less on meat in your entrees. We try to plan one night where we do breakfast for dinner and have waffles or pancakes instead of our usual meat and potatoes type of meal. If your family is not open to going meatless one night, try finding dishes that take the focus off of the meat. Pasta dishes or casseroles might have meat in them, but one pound of meat will stretch a lot further than one pound would as a main dish. Stretching or eliminating meat can have a truly positive effect on your grocery budget and you might be surprised that with a little creativity, you won’t miss it at all!

Grow Your Veggies

Gardening season is just around the corner and in some parts of the country, it has begun! I am a novice gardener and began gardening last summer. I had low expectations for what I would be able to grow, but my garden did surprisingly well for a black thumb like myself.

Growing your own herbs and vegetables will save you a ton of money at the supermarket. If you are just beginning gardening, like me, start with a small garden or even just a container garden before making a large investment. Check out books from the library and spend your winter researching ways that you can improve your garden each year. Involve your children in the whole process, as it can be an invaluable teaching tool for them, and make your gardening a family event. It is amazing how much you can the save and learn from just a few plants.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Research proves that we lean towards buying the brands and products that we have grown up with. It is also known that we tend to gravitate towards stores that are the easiest or most familiar for us because we think it saves us time. Are we really saving any money though when we just pick the most convenient or buy the brand that we have always bought? Probably not! With the grocery prices going up, now is a great time to begin exploring other stores in your neighborhood and trying generic or cheaper brands on the products that you buy. You just might find a new favorite store or brand- you only need to be open to trying it.

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Don’t forget that if you need a little Aldi inspiration you can get inspired through our site. Here are a few of my favorite spots on the site to help with your planning and shopping at the store:

Aldi Supermarket 101

The Aldi Queen Blog

Aldi Menu Planner

35 Ways to Reduce That Grocery Budget

How do you eat healthy and stay under budget on your groceries? Please share your tips, techniques, and strategies for eating the best you can on your budget!

Pot Roast Italiano

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Pot Roast Italiano

3 pounds beef chuck roast
1 can diced tomatoes – drained
1 can tomato sauce – 12 oz
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 medium onions- sliced (I omitted these because of personal taste)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon basil
6 oz. can tomato paste
Grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Place sliced onions on bottom of crock pot. Place roast in crock pot. Season with salt and pepper. Pour diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, vinegar, and spices over roast. Cook on high for 1 hour, and then low for 8 hours. Transfer meat to cutting board and cut into chunks. Meanwhile, whisk tomato paste into the gravy in the pot roast and add parmesan cheese to taste. Gravy will get thicker after a minute or two. Add meat back to gravy and serve.

Leftover Tip- If you have any meat leftover (which will be highly unlikely), shred it for sandwiches. Serve the shredded meat on hoagie rolls with chips and fresh veggies. Yum!

Deliciously Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Deliciously Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. In a second bowl, add eggs, sugar, pumpkin, milk, and butter; beat well. Gently fold in the flour mixture. Spoon in about 3/4 cup of batter into the waffle iron. Cook each waffle for 4-5 minutes. This recipe makes approximately 5 waffles on my waffle iron.

Additional Notes- I double this recipe to make an extra batch to freeze or when entertaining. Make sure to spray your waffle iron well with nonstick spray or these will stick to the waffle iron and make a big mess. Also, be sure to leave these on at least four to five minutes. If you try to take them off sooner than that, they will not taste as good or set up as nicely.

Banana Cream Pie Smoothies

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie (Courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine, makes 2 servings or 4 smaller servings)

1 cup sliced ripe banana (about 1 large)
1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons whole wheat graham cracker crumbs (about 1/2 cookie sheet- we have been omitting this ingredient)
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ice cubes (about 1/4 cup)
Graham cracker crumbs (optional)

Arrange banana slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze until firm (about 1 hour). Place frozen banana and remaining ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Serve immediately.

Sinfully Sweet Cornbread

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Sinfully Sweet Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal (they have white at Aldi and I have used that!)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or lightly grease a nine inch round cake pan. In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk, and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.