A few years ago I attended the grand opening of a new ALDI location here in the Bronx. I had never been to an ALDI before and did not know what to expect. The layout was not like that of an ordinary supermarket and the selection seemed a lot more limited, but I immediately noticed the prices. Made up of their own brands, the layout of ALDI takes you aisle by aisle of the basic necessities, with a few surprises in between. As someone who already goes by the rule of thumb of shopping mostly the perimeter of a supermarket and avoiding processed foods, I loved that ALDI made it easier to do this. We were given a bag of various items to take home, and I was excited to see how their brands compared to the ones already in my kitchen. Let’s just say I’ve been hooked ever since.
Over the last few years of being a loyal ALDI customer, I’ve had fun sharing my monthly shopping hauls with friends and family. After seeing how I’ve budgeted for a family of four for around $250 a month, I’ve definitely converted some friends to become ALDI regulars also. I always tell them to go in with an open mind, and not expect to find every single thing they would in their normal grocery store. While I do the base of my shopping each month at ALDI, there are always a few specialty items that I do need to step foot in an overpriced supermarket for. I also do still enjoy a few bulk items from my favorite clubhouse store here and there, but once you’ve experienced the savings at ALDI, it’s hard to go anywhere else.
So, I’m excited that I recently partnered up with ALDI to share what I was able to purchase for my family of four with $100 and a few recipe ideas also. The thing that I love most about ALDI is that it’s totally possible to eat clean and buy healthy ingredients for a family on a budget. Their organic lines, Simply Nature and Never Any! are also constantly being expanded upon, but at more affordable prices for the average family.
What I Got:
Jumbo Shrimp $5.49
Stew Meat $4.68
Thin Cut Chicken Breast $4.68
Chicken Thighs $3.70
Ground Beef $4.83
Organic Apple Juice $2.79
Bagged Broccoli $1.99
Bag of limes $1.29
Bag of lemons $2.99
Diced Tomatoes $0.65
2Pack Green Peppers $1.69
Bag of Yellow Onions $0.79
Pack of 3 Peppers/Multi Color $1.99
Organic Tomato Paste $0.69 x 2
Orange Juice $1.79
1% Milk $1.99
Organic Mac & Cheese $1.39 x 2
Grape Tomatoes $1.49
Fresh Mozzarella $2.69 x 2
Large Eggs $1.55
Lemon Pepper Seasoning $1.79
Italian Seasoning $1.09
Roma Tomatoes pack $1.69
Avacados $0.89 x 4
Organic Pasta Sauce $1.99
Baby Lettuce $1.49
Pretzel Tub $3.59
Baby Carrots $0.69
Mixed Squash $1.99
Bag of Naval Oranges $1.79
Bag of Yellow Potatoes $2.49
Organic Bananas $1.38
Crunchy Granola Raisin Bran Cereal $2.09
Chicken Tenderloins $3.88
Chicken Drumsticks $2.82
Black Bean & Corn Salsa $1.99
With $100 I was able to get eight different proteins for dinners. Usually for $100 more, I am able to buy enough chicken, beef, and fish for the entire month, with some meatless meals in between. My goal is to spend $5 or less on each meat, chicken, or fish and then stick to recipes and meals that call for a lot of the same ingredients but used in different ways. I love pinning recipes on Pinterest, but I avoid recipes that call for ingredients I don’t already have or won’t use again.
Lately, to keep the food exciting so that I don’t get bored and just order out, I have been creating a new board on Pinterest each week with inspiration for each night’s dinner. It doesn’t have to be exactly what the recipe calls for, but I use them to get ideas. Here’s an example of some of my Pins for the most recent week:
What I Made
For the Mini Meatloaf Pepper Rings, I followed the recipe pretty closely and just made a simple salad and steamed asparagus on the side. The pack of three tri-color peppers was perfect for this recipe, and I used sliced tomato topped with the fresh mozzarella to melt over each one.
- 4 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef
- 1½ tsp creole seasoning
- ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan
- A pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- Prepare peppers by slicing off a little of the top and bottom of each pepper. Do not discard these. Cut out ribs and seeds. Slice into 3 thick rings and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment for easy clean up. Dice up remaining parts of peppers to use in meat mixture.
- Prepare meatloaf mix: Mix ground beef with seasoning, bread crumbs, egg, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, garlic, and remaining diced peppers until combined.
- Stuff each pepper with meat mixture leaving a dome of the mixture on top of each pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe pot over medium-high heat. (If you do not have an oven-safe pot, you will just transfer them into a casserole dish to bake later).
- Brown each stuffed pepper ring for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. You may need to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your pot.
- Once, browned on each side, pour crushed tomatoes over the stuffed pepper rings. (Transfer to casserole dish before topping with crushed tomatoes if you do not have an oven-safe pot.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Top with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes. Top with fresh parsley and serve.
Recipe from: www.diaryofarecipecollector.com
For the Avocado Caprese Skillet Chicken, I also stayed close to the recipe. Again, using ingredients that can get used again throughout the week- the tomato, avocado, and mozzarella cheese.
- 2 (10 – 11 oz each) boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and halved
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 slices
- 4 avocado slices (from a firm but ripe large avocado)
- 2 medium vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
- 3 Tbsp balsamic glaze (I used Bertolli)
- 1/3 cup chopped basil ribbons
- In a bowl mix together garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Sprinkle mixture evenly over both sides of each chicken cutlet. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken (cover pan with a splatter screen if you have one) and cook until golden brown on bottom, about 4 – 6 minutes. Rotate and cook opposite side until chicken has nearly cooked though, reducing burner temperature just slightly if needed, about 4 – 5 minutes (it should be nearly 160 in center on an instant read thermometer) then add two slices of mozzarella to the top each cutlet, followed by one avocado slice, and 1 – 2 tomato slices. Cover pan with lid, return to heat and allow to cook 1 – 2 minutes longer until cheese has melted and chicken registers 165 in center.
- Sprinkle chicken with pepper, drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve warm.
Recipe from www.cookingclassy.com
Lastly, for the Cilantro Lime Chicken Sliders with Tomato Guacamole I created my own similar version. I still used chicken thighs, and then my husband made a guacamole sauce to pour over the chicken. We did need to go to a local produce stand for the jalapenos and cilantro, but everything else was from ALDI. He doesn’t use tomatoes in his guacamole, so I diced some along with a red onion to throw on top of the sauce. I then garnished with cilantro and served with the same salad from the first night.
Share the Love
It’s been such a fun challenge each time I go to ALDI to get our monthly food cost down and still be sure to include lots of greens and other healthy foods in our family’s diet. Being Italian and Irish and my husband Dominican, it’s easy for us to indulge on pastas, potatoes, and rice. But, I’m really making it a point to eat cleaner and ALDI has made it easy to do this without breaking the bank. So, I’m excited to be able to share my love for ALDI with our readers. To do this, we are giving away $50 in ALDI gift certificates to one lucky Bronxmama reader. To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below.
Currently there are three Bronx locations:
- 1750 E Gun Hill Rd
- 3006 3rd Avenue
- 5532 Broadway
Know Before You Go
- ALDI takes a quarter deposit in their shopping carts which you get back once you return your cart. So have your quarter ready!
- Bring tote bags or be prepared to pay for bags. There are also boxes that shoppers can use to carry their items home also.
- ALDI has some awesome seasonal products and household items that come and go. If you see something you like, grab it! It most likely won’t still be around when you return.
For more information, recipes, locations, and more: visit www.aldi.us
We were provided with a gift certificate to facilitate this post. As always, all opinions are our own.