|Thursday, October 30th, 2008|
Went to Aldis for Halloween candy. Though they had a few great deals...I think in general the specials that the "big box" stores run will save more money in the long run.
I've been using my Zojirushi Rice cooker on the porridge setting to make some awesome morning breakfast cereal. In most Asian countries...rice porridge is a common breakfast food...and a common "chicken soup" sort of remedy for colds and not feeling well.
For pennies of rice and oatmeal and some of the dried Aldis cranberries...I can eat pretty well in the morning.
Of course...the Zojirushi Rice Cooker was kind of an expensive investment...but considering rice in a pot is one of the things that I'm absolutely lousy at cooking...a rice cooker is kind of like running water around my house. And this one is absolutely foolproof.
If you have a fancy rice cooker. 1 "rice" cup of rice...and 1/2 rice cup of oatmeal and one rice cup of dried fruit will make a wonderful hot breakfast. Fill to the 1.5 cup porridge line on the inside of the cooker and set the timer for first thing in the morning...and you can wake up to hot cereal.http://www.zojirushi.com/ourproducts/ricecookers/ricecookers.html
I say rice cup...because the cooker comes with its own measuring cup.
I own the Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer model. I managed to find mine used...but I'd pay full price for it I find it that useful. Perfect rice...and it makes boxed rice dishes perfectly...you just put in whatever the box says and use the "mixed rice" setting...so Spanish Rice...all that sort of stuff is a no brainer. Also cooks grains like quinoa and barley and wheat berries. And it's nice to be able to set my rice to cook...and then turn to stir-frying my Aldis veggies and some chicken without worrying about a burnt pan of rice!
Price List (Chicago Area)
Produce Mushrooms - Container 0.99
Peppers - Multi 3ea 2.49
Onions (Vidalia) - 3lb Bag 1.59
Broccoli Crowns 2 1.29
Garlic (3 bulbs) 0.69
Baby Carrots 0.99
Gala Apples 2.99
Salad Greens 1.89
Roma Tomatoes 1.49
Summer Squash 1.99
Sweet Potatoes (bag) 2.29
Bagged Sauerkraut 0.99
Dairy Soymilk (Organic Quart) 1.29
Skim Milk (gallon) 2.28
1% Cottage Cheese 2.29
Egg Sub. 1.89
Ricotta Cheese 1.59
Neufachatel Cheese 0.99
Meat Pork - Count Sty Rib 2.69
Cornish Hens 1.99
Salmon Burgers 2.99
Chicken Burgers 3.99
Cheddar Brats 1.99
Imitation Crab 1.99
Beef Stew Meat 3.84
Polska Kielbasa 2.29
Turkey Lunchmeat 2.49
Frozen Peas 0.85
Boca Burgers 2.49
Frozen Green Beans 1.39
Frozen Chicken Breasts 5.99
Turkey Mingon 4.99
Breakfast Harvest 1.99
Berry Rite 2.29
Shredded Wheat 1.69
Crispy Oats 1.39
Quick Oats (Large Can) 1.79
Party Cups 0.99
Paper Plates 70ct 0.89
Kitchen Bags (56) 5.99
Toilet Tissue 4-roll 0.79
Paper Towels 0.79
Crushed Pineapple 16oz 0.69
Pinto Beans 0.69
Mustard 14 oz 0.59
Brown Mustard 0.99
Baked Beans 0.49
Cooking Spray 1.29
Pork and Beans 0.39
Peanut Butter 1.29
Kidney Beans 0.39
Lemon Juice 1.19
Marinara Sause 1.79
Coconut Milk 0.99
12 Grain 1.49
Hot Dog Buns 0.65
Hamburger Buns 0.65
Whole Wheat Pasta 0.99
Mac and Cheese 0.35
Ramen Noodles (pak) 1.76
Sugar Free Gum (3 pack) 1.19
Sara Lee Pound Cake 1.99
Angel Food Cake 1.29
Sugar Free Popcicles 1.79
Ice Cream Topping 1.89
Yogurt Raisins 1.49
Granola Bars (Lowfat) 1.69
Snack Chips -Blue 1.49
Mama Cosi Pizza 1.99
Specialty Salsa 1.49
100 Calorie Packs 1.99
Nuts and Dried Fruit Almonds 3.49
Dried Fruit 1.49
Propel Fitness Water 2.95
Tea Bags 1.19
Diet Cola 2.29
Omega-3 Tablets 3.99
Body Wash 2.69
Dish Soap 1.29
Dog Biscuits 0.99
Soft Dog Treats 0.99
Chicken Treats 1.99
|Wednesday, March 19th, 2008|
The Aldi Queen's menu planner
The Aldi Queen has posted a few menu planners on the momsadvice website: http://www.momadvice.com/aldi/index.php/meal-planners/.
Basically her plan includes a bi-weekly family menu, complete with shopping list and recipes. I tried it once (winter planner) and was pleased. I hadn't been back to the site in a while, though, and saw that she has put up a couple more menus since I last visited.
Check it out - I highly recommend it!
|Thursday, February 14th, 2008|
I think I'm turning Japanese...
Last trip to Aldi's was rather produce heavy. I was amazed to find SNOW PEAS!! I had a wonderful stir-fry of snow peas, onions and tofu...purchased at the regular supermarket...with one of the Aldis Asian Sauces. And rice. With a side of pickles. (Below.) It really was wonderful.
I've been reading up on ethinic food...especially Japanese because I love making bento lunches. I bought a book on tsukemono...or Japanese pickles. I made a light "pickle salad" of Aldi cucumbers...lemon slices...garlic...white vinegar...and a bit of sugar and salt. Here's the general directions...though it's very much "to taste."
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (or Splenda)
2 tblsp salt (they are pickles after all)
2 cloves garlic
One lemon, washed...thinly sliced...and then the slices cut into quarters.
Two cucumbers sliced into 1/2" thick rounds, halved.
I have a pickle press...which is an odd Japanese kitchen gadget that can be simulated with a bowl...plate...and a couple of heavy cans. Heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and lemon in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Pour the warm mixture over the cucumbers. Toss the cucumbers. Put a plate that fits inside the bowl on top of the mixture...and weigh down with cans. Let it rest for an hour...then put the whole thing in a container in the fridge. Traditionally, they're eaten as a side dish with rice in Japan. (Which I've never been to...I'm no expert.) I like them as a small side dish...or in my lunchbox in place of regular salad...which wilts. :-( I'm weird...and like eating the lemon slices...but you can pick them out. It's VERY zesty.
I bought one of the water kettles that was on Aldis special purchase...and I'm so happy with it! It works great! I'd be excited to hear anyone else's reviews of Aldi's appliances...and how they cook with them.
|Monday, February 11th, 2008|
Well...this is my current favorite snackum. Aldi's carries chick peas whenever they're doing their "Tex-Mex" specials...and I stock up because it's usually cheaper than Goya.
16oz of canned chick peas (garbanzo beans) drained. Save 1 cup of bean water. (Two smaller cans are fine...we're making dip not rocket fuel.)
1 cup of reserved bean water.
1/3 cup of Tahini* or for the Aldi's purist...two tablespoons smooth Aldi peanut butter.**
4-6 Cloves Garlic
Juice of one lemon.
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste.
Olive oil and paprika to garnish.
Put all ingrediants except for oil and paprika in blender/food processor. Blend until smooth. You may have to stir things up a few times to get it to puree. Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle on a little paprika for color.
Serve with carrots and celery sticks...and pepper strips. Mmmm...healthy Aldi's snackum...costs about $1 to make enough for a party.
*Tahini will need to be purchased at the Whole Foods...or you can make your own. Toast bulk sesame seeds in the oven or in a pan over low heat until they're golden. Only takes five minutes. Put in food processor or blender. Tahini is approx 1:5 oil to roasted sesame seeds...though if you're going to eat it within a few days...you can make 50% of that oil water. Drizzle oil or oil/water into blender/processor while pulsing. Process until a thick paste is made. Use water...not oil to thin sauce...even if you're using all oil. I buy a jar at the Whole Foods...and one $4 jar lasts me for about eight batches of Hummus.
**Yes...peanut butter hummus is good. But because the flavor is stronger...use less peanut butter than you would hummus. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil to the mix if you have it handy...it will get the flavor closer to that of tahini. But peanut butter hummus has a taste all its own...and maybe will be a little better for kids...especially when paired with celery...and the classic...raisins...for a low-cal version of "Ants on a Log."
|Friday, September 21st, 2007|
whole wheat pasta
Aldi now sells whole wheat spaghetti noodles. 12 oz. for 89 cents. (Fit & Active brand) I tried it and found it to be tasty.
|Monday, August 27th, 2007|
One pound box of pasta $0.49
One container of mushrooms $0.99
One three pack of tri-colored bell peppers $2.69
One large onion 3lb bag/$1.59
Garlic 3 bulbs/$0.69
Kidney beans, $0.39 a can.
One hell of a large pot of really tasty pasta.
I set a pot of water to boil...and while it's boiling...I cut up my veggies and mince the garlic. People like their veggies any which way...but I tend to make them "stir-fry" size. I also use an entire bulb of garlic...because I'm whack that way.
Cook the pasta al dente. While pasta is cooking. Stir fry veggies until "just" cooked. In my case...I kind of scare the veggies a little. I like them crunchy.
Right before draining the cooked pasta...I open the can of kidney beans...and dump them in with the hot pasta and water. Then I drain the pasta with the kidney beans. Heats them up a little...and you don't have to drain and rinse them seperately. Then I toss the pasta with the veggies. Salt, pepper, oregano, add a little parmasean cheese and maybe a drizzle of olive oil...and you'd never know it all came from Aldi's.
If I have fresh basil or a jar of pesto...more's the better.
Great as cold pasta salad for lunch the next day too.
Weekly Aldi Update
Well...I bought a case of Fuze at Aldi's last week. I have to day...the entire case for $11 has really saved me some cash. Pop out of our machines at work is .80 a can. One of these things lasts me all day...and I have the bottles to put Kombucha in. Mmmm...
I also bought a bunch of dust rags and such at their $2.99 sale a couple of weeks back...and they've proved to be an incredibly good buy. Next week...they have gasoline powered generators on sale for around $200.
As for food...I'm in love with their organic soymilk. Yay! But I've noticed the sugar in some of their breakfast cereals is off the chart. Yikes! As I'm planning on heading off of my Medifast diet back onto WW...that won't work. Ah well.
So far...I have yet to crack open any of the Asian Sauces...but one of the Asian Salad Dressings...the ginger whatever dressing...is very good. Kind of thin...so more of a "tossed" salad dressing.
Their frozen hot wings...are HOT btw. FYI.
I've been using their version of Gardnier Fructis hair shampoo and conditioner for several weeks now...and also proclaim it a good buy. Considering I usually buy Aveda shampoo...or Jason Botanicals from Whole Foods...$1.99 for nice smelling shampoo that works vs. $7.99 is a pretty good buy.
I bought their chicken burgers...and declare them tasty. I'm thinking of trying their salmon burgers this week...and will let everyone know how they are. Also...they're supposed to have some Boca items on a special purchase. I haven't gone to see if that's true. I'm contemplating making swedish-ish meatballs for Saturday...I have a couple of packages of meatless meatballs...and making up a quick mushroom gravy for them is a no brainer. Then all I need are noogles.
I'm looking for somewhere to post my price list. Currently it's on an excel spreadsheet...but if anyone is interested...I might make it a wiki somewhere. For now...if you'd like a copy...send me an e-mail.
|Monday, August 13th, 2007|
Well...I went to the Aldi Foods on Montrose and Lincoln in Chicago. They have a small liquor section. Thumbs up to whatever their weird German beer is...Wernesgruner. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernesgr%C3%BCner
At $4.99 for a six pack...it's miles beyone Bud...and about the same price. The Diamante Malbec blend was tasty...much smoother than a Shiraz...but similar in punch and fruit. I picked up a bottle of Irish Cream for $7.99. Bought a couple of other wines I haven't dived into yet.
But the new "Asian Selections" special purchase rocks. I have tons of Asian noodles and sauces...and add a few veggies and they're really tasty.
Also the bottles of marinade and stir-fry sauce...if you read the fine print...they're all manufactured in Germany. So I'm expecting the food quality to be pretty decent.
My last shopping trip also included their Fit and Active blue corn chips...and Salsa. Their black bean/corn salsa is VERY good.
And diging through their dog biscuits...most of their Shep brand is made in Australia. Which is encouraging...because I don't think they were included in the tainted Chinese wheat gluten problem. So I bought Rerun biscuits and chews. The biscuits were 99cents a box. Can't beat that at Petco. The rawhide bag...was 3.99. That would get me ONE chew at Petco...this was a WHOLE BAG of them. Nice.
I'm almost done with my price list. When I am...I'll post it online. What's a price list? I made a list of all the common items I buy at Aldi...and the price. Then when I go to Jewel...I take the list with and compare. If it's cheaper at Aldi's...it doesn't go into my cart. If it's a better deal...I stock up.
|Tuesday, August 7th, 2007|
My favorite cheapo dishes...use your broiler.
I figure I started it...I'll start the posting. I've rediscovered my broiler. You know...that hard to clean drawer at the bottom of your oven.
Aldi's cornish hens. $1.99.
So...I split the hens...baste on a little teriyaki sauce...and 6-8 minutes on each side and I HAVE LIFTOFF!
That's 165 degrees on a meat thermometer FYI.
Also...their country pork ribs. Chunk them up and you have great stir fry pork. For like $2 a container. Or...you can put them on skewers...baste them with teriyaki sauce and BROIL THEM. Three to five minutes...each side...until no pink.
My broiler pan fits in the dishwasher. The "under" catch pan? A little aluminum foil...those new "sheets" work great...and voila! BBQ taste without all the boy scout pee.