Saturday, August 11, 2018

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - My Favorite Aldi Products


I will be back with a post on Saturday when there is something to write about.  My ability to do life as normal is still very limited but my eyesight is slowly improving.  I will find out on Wednesday if my specialist thinks I need surgery.

In the meantime, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite Aldi products.  I stock up once a month with most groceries so last week was a good time to take some photos of my purchases.  There are some items I purchase every month while others are items I'm trying for the first time.

Two items I purchase every month is their Organic Mild Salsa and the Tikka Masala sauce.  The price of both is very reasonable and I can't find salsa anywhere else that is mild enough for my husband's taste while still adding just a hint of heat.  I use it in a lot of dishes so I buy at least four a month.

I love Indian food but my husband hates it so it is of no use for me to make a complete main dish.  However, I've found with the Tikka Masala sauce I can make chicken with a side of brown rice for both of us, and add the sauce just to mine to make a delicious and easy Indian meal.  (The unused sauce keeps well in the refrigerator.)

Sometimes I will brown chicken thighs in a skillet, pour the Tikka Masala in the bottom of a casserole dish, place the chicken thighs on top of the sauce (to keep the skin of the chicken crisp)... and bake about forty-five minutes or more if needed. There are many ways to get my Indian food fix with this sauce.

I have to keep granola bars in my purse and in my cupboard because they are my go to low blood sugar fix.  I've tended to have terrible low blood sugar at times when I am running errands (if I don't stop and eat somewhere) so there are always two or three granola bars in my purse.  These are tasty and inexpensive enough to keep me stocked.


I took a separate photo of these two items since they kept frosting over (they were taken out of the freezer) in the first photograph.  Aldi's Grass Fed Organic Ground Beef is THE REASON I buy ground beef only at Aldi's.  It puts organic ground beef within my budget (although I still have to use it sparingly).

I purchase four packages a month on my regular budget.  If I can spend a little more, I buy extra.  All of them are kept in the freezer and defrosted one at a time as needed.  Yes, it means I normally only have ground beef four times a month.

Should I choose to make something like a meatloaf, I use a good quality ground beef from the grocery store.  Currently my budget does not contain enough funds for a meatloaf containing only organic ground beef!

What can I say about Kerrygold butter?  I adore it.  It reminds me of the butter I remember from my childhood.  Aldi's has the cheapest price for Kerrygold butter of all the stores I go to, I'm talking at least a dollar less (and much cheaper than one of the grocery stores).

I buy four a month and freeze three since usually one is needed immediately.  This is my "sit on the counter" butter so I only buy salted (which is all they carry).  I cut the big block (horizontally) into two blocks, one block fits my vintage Pyrex butter holder just fine and the other block waits patiently in the butter section of the refrigerator.  It freezes beautifully.

I use regular store brand butter for baking.  Even as inexpensive as it is at Aldi's, using it for baking would be too expensive and you wouldn't really notice the difference in the final product.  (Although I have used it in the making of butter cream frosting.)


There are some items I purchase rarely or for the first time at Aldi's.  For instance,  I've been looking for extra virgin olive oil with chilies since I saw on a cooking show that this kind of oil was the secret to a recipe people loved.  The cook drizzled a bit of it over the spaghetti and sauce before serving.  It was too expensive elsewhere for something that may not work out so I was thrilled to find it at Aldi's at a great price.  (I haven't tried it, yet.  Soon!)

The Tajin seasoning is a Mexican product made up of lime, mild chili peppers, and sea salt.  I had a sample bottle of it before and loved it but it was when Nigella was showing favorite purchases on her latest show that I recognized the familiar bottle, even though she didn't share the brand name.  She stated the contents and sure enough, it was the Tajin!

I had seen it before at Aldi's and decided this month to make the purchase, it is not expensive there.  Nigella had suggested using it on watermelon.  So I did.  Yum.

Aldi's has a limited selection of organic herbs and spices.  Italian Seasoning is one I prefer organic and it is very inexpensive there.  I get very annoyed at people saying spices do not have a long shelf life because they do!  However, herbs and herb blends really do lose flavor within a year.  This is inexpensive enough you will not mind replacing it (if you do not use it all up first).

Items Not Shown That I Buy Regularly

Image from Aldi's website
Chocolate
Okay, if you do not shop at Aldi's for any other reason then you must go for their chocolate.  I'm not surprised that it is often the favorite purchase of many articles I have read.

For you see, you can buy European chocolate at grocery store prices at Aldi and it is... delicious.  I have two favorites, their Choceur Milk Chocolate mini bars (sold four or five to a package) are melt in your mouth creamy yummy goodness.  I do not buy them every time because I have no self control.

I do purchase one package a month of the Moser Roth Dark Chili chocolate bars.  I'm not a big fan of dark chocolate even though it is suppose to be good for you (in moderation) but I do enjoy these with either chili, orange, or mint.

I purchase the dark chocolate with the chili the most as the slight heat it gives (not a lot) makes one small bar just right to enjoy at one time.  Unlike the Choceur Milk Chocolate bars, I can half self control with these.  They do sell very, very dark chocolate.

Aldi's has beautiful Easter and Christmas candy options.  Their foil wrapped Christmas chocolate have an Old World look.  I purchase a small bag of them just to display on the breakfront but they are perfect for Christmas stockings.

Cheese
I have found all their Happy Farms brand of cheese to be good.  I always buy a package of the Havarti cheese (plain).  At these prices, you could serve a good size cheese tray at a party for a lot less than it would cost elsewhere... and the cheese is delicious.  They sell other items that can be served with the cheese.

Sometimes they have the Kerrygold cheese that I like but they haven't carried it for a year or so.  I'm hoping it returns soon.

Fish
My very favorite frozen tilapia is the Sea Queen brand at Aldi's.  I buy the 2 pound bag and it provides two meals for us (probably one meal for a family of four).  I cut the tilapia in half horizontally at the natural line between the thicker side and the thinner side of the fillet.  I very lightly bread it and fry the thicker sides first, then the thinner sides.  I have found separating them like this keeps the thinner side from overcooking.

I have purchased their frozen salmon fillets, too.  They were quite good but we actually prefer my recipe for salmon patties to fresh salmon (it is probably our Midwestern land bound roots?).

Bread and Crackers
Aldi's carries a lot of various crackers, although I normally just purchase their version of Ritz crackers called Savoritz Original Buttery Round Crackers. These are just as good as Ritz (my husband likes them better).

Aldi's carries a large selection of breads, some are everyday breads but others are special. For instance, their Brioche Loaf is a delicious, rich flavored bread.  We like the chocolate chip version and freeze most of it when I return home from shopping.  I keep four or five slices unfrozen at a time for snacks.  It is so rich that just one slice makes me feel I've had dessert at far less carbs.

Nonfood Items
Aldi's carries the usual kinds of paper goods.  One item I always buy at Aldi's is their Boulder brand Large Trash bags with Four Flaps.  I use them as large kitchen trash bags and the way you can tie off the flaps makes them sturdy.  I've used these for years and since they come in a 40 count box of bags, they last awhile in our home.

Obviously there are other products we use but this is long enough already.  My husband likes their selection of frozen fruit while I especially like their frozen green beans (and I'm not a fan of frozen green beans).

Their canned tomatoes, fruit, beans, etc. have always been good.  I find their canned pumpkin to be lighter on flavor than my usual brand but it does work great in pumpkin bread (I still prefer Libbys for pumpkin pies).

I often buy eggs there, as well as half and half.  They have a good selection of meat (including a special sale meat each week) and fresh produce.

If you have an Aldi's near you and you have not shopped there yet, do try it out.  It certainly helps my budget.  If you have a favorite Aldi's product that I haven't listed, I would love to hear about it in Comments.

Note:  Please forgive typos and such.  I still do not see clearly.  Thank you.

10 comments:

Sherry said...

you're a wise woman to stock on things you use most and squirrel away $ on the things you look forward to as a treat. this month i'm concentrating on using up most everything in our freezer and only buying what's absolutely necessary to go along. my quick inventory of the freezer offered ***plenty***of simple meals for the 2 of us!

continuing in prayer for your eye/vision. ♥

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I buy everything In your photo but Tajin, which I’d never heard of. If my Aldi has it this week I’ll get some and try it!

Aldi is the best! Such good products for amazing prices, we’ve never been unhappy with the food purchased there!

Anonymous said...

Didn't see any typos but so glad you were able to write a nice long post today with vision improving. We have an Aldi's site opening soon about an hour and a half from us. But we go pass it when going to our son's home, so I am looking forward to shopping there. Will be looking for some of the items you suggested. Blessings, Sharon D.

mdoe37 said...

I stopped at Aldi today. I was there at 9 a.m. when they opened and there was already 12 cars in the parking lot. This has been the case since they remodeled the old store....it now is big enough for all the extra goodies they did not carry before. Around here, I think its losing the stigma of being an "off brand store" of less quality. They are always packed now.

I've not tried that butter. I've wanted to but can't go that price in the regular store. I'll remember next time I get there to try it. And the chocolate. Your post reminded that I had forgotten to grab my bag out of the car in 85 degree heat.....salted caramels in the clamshell boxes. Oh my. They were fine and they are not cooling off a bit. Had they melted I'd just have to get a spoon....

The produce is much better grade since they remodeled. Fresher, more selection. Today I grabbed a couple pints of blueberries at 99 cents each.

I grabbed some Knoppers too....its a five pack for not much money. A five layer wafer bar with hazelnut chocolate...you get the picture. German.

I really should do a bit more shopping at Aldi. For heaven sake, its in the same parking lot almost with Walmart. Everything is always a few dimes cheaper.

You turned me on to the trash bags a while ago. They are good quality. I've never done the math comparing them. I trust you enough after all these years to KNOW you have done the math and they are a good value for the quality, if they are not the cheapest.

I stop in Monday....They have a nice drying rack that I think might be a good addition. I'll take a peak at that hamburg too.

Thanks for all you do Brenda! Keeping you in my thoughts with the eye problem. (My recent MRI came back stable.)

mdoe37 said...

I stopped at Aldi today. I was there at 9 a.m. when they opened and there was already 12 cars in the parking lot. This has been the case since they remodeled the old store....it now is big enough for all the extra goodies they did not carry before. Around here, I think its losing the stigma of being an "off brand store" of less quality. They are always packed now.

I've not tried that butter. I've wanted to but can't go that price in the regular store. I'll remember next time I get there to try it. And the chocolate. Your post reminded that I had forgotten to grab my bag out of the car in 85 degree heat.....salted caramels in the clamshell boxes. Oh my. They were fine and they are not cooling off a bit. Had they melted I'd just have to get a spoon....

The produce is much better grade since they remodeled. Fresher, more selection. Today I grabbed a couple pints of blueberries at 99 cents each.

I grabbed some Knoppers too....its a five pack for not much money. A five layer wafer bar with hazelnut chocolate...you get the picture. German.

I really should do a bit more shopping at Aldi. For heaven sake, its in the same parking lot almost with Walmart. Everything is always a few dimes cheaper.

You turned me on to the trash bags a while ago. They are good quality. I've never done the math comparing them. I trust you enough after all these years to KNOW you have done the math and they are a good value for the quality, if they are not the cheapest.

I stop in Monday....They have a nice drying rack that I think might be a good addition. I'll take a peak at that hamburg too.

Thanks for all you do Brenda! Keeping you in my thoughts with the eye problem. (My recent MRI came back stable.)

Anonymous said...

Their pickled beets are very good.

oursearskithome.blogspot.com said...

Aldi is terrific. I like all the things you listed, but here the produce is great too. The Tandil laundry detergent is very good as is the Willow facial and bath tissue.

Vee said...

Alas, no Aldi’s here, but your post makes me wish there were one close by.

Anonymous said...

I like the German cookies that are really soft, chocolate covered with either raspberry or orange jellies in the center. I do not remember the name of the cookie.

Aldi's has MnM bags avaliable I've found the bag is always more expensive there than at the regular box store.
It always seems that their canned beans have more sauce than the regualar box store brand of beans. Although I know it is cheaper to buy dried beans, I like to have a few cans of canned beans in the pantry. Have you noticed this?
Lorinda

Anonymous said...

We always get some chocolate and other snacks...they have some ok gluten free things too...in NC at least when we go to visit kin. SO FAR...none out here...but we can hope. I read today that they are expanding what they will carry...so that is good news!!
Elizabeth