Aldi is my jam!

I’m starting a new hashtag movement! #AldiIsMyJam

I shared this post on Facebook several weeks back, but I feel it bears repeating! I started shopping at Aldi a little over a year ago. I had just become a stay at home mom, was trying to revolutionize our budget while also revolutionize our eating. Something had to give. Trying to eat “fresh”, “clean”, “healthy”, “organic” – were sending my Kroger trips into the $300’s for two weeks for a family of 3! No Bueno.

I had tried Aldi a few times for a few things in the past and was turned off. Most everything is generic, there are few aisles, and the produce (now my FAV section) seemed questionable. I had heard other people rave about this place, but at first I was not terribly impressed. A girl at work used to always say “Labels are for clothes…”

I decided to really give Aldi a good try when I committed to clean eating with the 21 Day Fix. I knew my budget couldn’t handle triple the produce from Kroger – so I went there in search of some deals.

The things you need to know abou Aldi are:

  1. You most likely won’t fulfill 100% of your grocery shopping there. (I get about 85% of mine there and pick up the rest at target or Kroger).
  2. It’s trial and error. Somethings will be awesome, some will be awful, and some will be so-so. You won’t know what’s what to you until you try. Good news is, if you don’t like something you try, chances are it wasn’t that expensive to begin with πŸ˜‰
  3. The produce is hit and miss. Sometimes there are packages of moldy strawberries. (Yuck!) – but I move those out of the way and “dig” for my good ones. We’re talking $1.29 per package sometimes! Almost $2 less than Kroger! Sometimes there are flies (although I’ve seen those in most major retailers too). My point is sometimes the certain packages of produce may be sub par- just move along and find the other delicious ones waiting for you!
  4. Meat. This one is tricky. I’m already picky about my meats. Don’t serve me the Hercules of chickens and tell me it’s “natural”. That goes for any grocery retailer. So same goes for Aldi fresh chicken.**  I buy the frozen chicken at Aldi and I’ve noticed its water content is slightly higher. I buy the frozen ground turkey (but I’ve also bough fresh). I buy their steak. I’ve have bought their chicken legs (I got a 12 pack for like $2.69). I’m allergic to pork- so I can’t help you there. But I do buy their turkey bacon! My point is, just like the produce, just do some quality checks and you’ll be good!
  5. Bring your own bags! Yes, you can buy some or use their empty boxes- but it’s a whole lot easier to bag your own Groceries if you have bags.
  6. Don’t forget your quarter! You need a quarter to “rent” a buggy. You get it back when the buggy is returned β˜ΊοΈπŸ‘πŸ»

So here’s my original post from Facebook- this is my “Haul”- two weeks worth of groceries for my whole family for LESS than $200!

And this folks is why Aldi has saved my grocery budget over the last few years… $170 for TWO weeks worth of groceries for my FAMILY. (Yes I meal plan and grocery shop two weeks at a time… It’s easier for me that way) πŸ‘πŸ»β˜ΊοΈ 

Do you like fresh produce? Can’t beat their prices!! SEE how much I got? Need me to list it so you have a better idea? 

I in no way have been paid or asked to advertise/endorse this LOL! I just like saving money and thought my friends might too πŸ˜‰

  • 2 Heads of Cabbage
  • 3 Heads of Cauliflower 
  • 2 Heads of Broccoli
  • 2 Bags Baby Carrots
  • 3 Green Bell Peppers
  • 3 Tri-Colored Bell Peppers
  • 1 Bag of Sweet Mini Peppers
  • 2 Bags Sweet Onions
  • 6 Roma Tomatoes
  • 2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes 
  • 4 Yellow Squash
  • 5 Zucchini
  • 2 Bags Spinach
  • 2 Bags Butter Lettuce
  • 2 Packages of Strawberries
  • 4 Pints of Blueberries
  • 2 Bunches of Bananas
  • 1 Bag Gala Apples
  • 1 Bag of Grapes
  • 2 Top Sirloin Steaks
  • 2 Bags Frozen Chicken
  • 4 Lbs Ground Turkey
  • 1 Package of Turkey Bacon
  • 1 Lb Smoked Ham Lunch Meat
  • Package of Sliced Provolone Cheese
  • Large Bag of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Blocks of Colby Jack Cheese
  • Kraft Sliced American Cheese
  • 2 Loaves of Bread
  • 2 Large Bags of Almonds
  • 1 Package of Tortilla Shells
  • 3 Bags of Kettle Chips
  • Large Box of Mixed Oatmeal
  • 12 Applesauce Pouches
  • 8 Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches
  • 2 Bags of Goldfish
  • 2 Packets of Taco Seasoning
  • 2 Boxes of Protein Granola Bars
  • 1 Package Flour Tortilla Shells
  • 1 Package of Pasta
  • 1 Box Honey Nut Cheerios
  • 1 Jar Pasta Sauce
  • 1 Jar Pesto
  • 1 Jar Minced Garlic
  • 2 Cans Mandarin Oranges
  • 2 Cans Sliced Peaches
  • 1 Can of Corn
  • 1 Can of Black Beans
  • 1 Large Can of Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 Rolls Paper Towels
  • 1 Bottle of White Wine
  • 1 Box Sandwich Bags


** EDIT: my last trip to Aldi I noticed they added organic hormone free fresh chicken breasts to their meat section. And these were appropriately sized I might add. I will be trying those this week and will let you know! πŸ™‚

They are adding new things each week! They have an extensive gluten free line. They just expanded their baby product selection. I’m telling you- TRY-IT-OUT!

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

I love food. Food doesn’t always love me. Ha. I also like keeping my budget in order, and cooking things that are fast so I can keep up with the toddler destroying my house and terrorizing our 16 year old cat. I’m always looking for healthy, fast, easy, cheap recipes to make for the family- and every now and then I hit the jackpot.

This meal takes 30 minutes, feeds 4-6 people, and (if you shop at Aldi πŸ˜‰) costs less that $7 TOTAL to make. My two year old whines because I can not shovel the bites into her mouth fast enough. My husband loves it, and I like it because it’s “healthy” without tasting like grass or cardboard.

Have I convinced you yet?!

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls (21 DF Approved)

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 onion
  • 1-1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 C water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Rice or potatoes (optional)

Brown your ground turkey meat with your onion diced in a large pan. While the meat is browning, remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and then cut the head into chunks. (I usually cut it into quarters and then cut each quarter into thirds).

Spread the cabange chunks in the sauce pan over the browned meat. Pour both cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce over the cabbage. Salt and pepper to taste. (I usually throw some garlic powder in there too and maybe some intalian seasoning). Add about a 1/4 cup of water around the edges of the pan.

Turn heat on high and cook for about 2 minutes – once water begins to boil, reduce heat to medium/low and cover. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Serve over rice or potatoes. (I like jasmine sticky rice steamed in my rice cooker- it absorbs the juice and flavor of the tomatoes on top!)

ENJOY!!

(If you make this, let me know how it turns out and how you like it β˜ΊοΈπŸ‘πŸ»)


21 Day Fix-ers: Portion 6 servings, each serving: 1 Green, 1 Red, 1/2 Purple (add yellow if applicable).

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole (21 DF Approved)

Everyone loves the goodness of a loaded baked potato! Smooth soft potato, gooey cheese, crumbly bacon, creamy sour cream and chives on top… YUM!! 

Not everyone loves the calories and starches that come along with it.

Cauliflower has been my “magic” fix for carbs for a while. Cauliflower purΓ©e instead of mashed potatoes, cauliflower pizza crust, roasted cauliflower… Endless possibilities and super cheap!

So the other night when my husband was grilling us some steak I really wanted a nice loaded potato with it. I found a few recipes online and decided to try one and make it a little more 21 Day Fix Friendly.

LOADED CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE 


Ingredients:

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • 1 Package of Turkey Bacon
  • 1.5 C Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 C Green Onions Chopped
  • Approx. 1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 t Olive Oil
  • 2 t Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Rinse the head of cauliflower and cut into florets. Place in a steamer basket and steam fro about 6-7 minutes until just tender.


While the cauliflower is steaming, cook the package of turkey bacon until crispy in the olive oil. Once crooked, crumble it in a food processor. (I used my ninja chop).

Drain the cauliflower a put in a large bowl. Combine the greek yogurt, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and stir until the cauliflower is well coated. Pour mixture into a glass baking dish. (I used an 11×7). Top with cheese, crumbled bacon, and chopped green onions.


Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving is 1 Green, 1 Red, 1/2 Blue, and 1 t.


So yummy, and hard to believe it was NO YELLOW – NO CARB! 


Let me know how it turns out for you ❀️

-The Handy Housewife

.

(Adapted from: http://www.everydaydiabeticrecipes.com/Casseroles/Loaded-Cauliflower-Casserole)

Marriage

A wedding is a celebration, a gathering, a party. And while I had a beautiful, fun wedding, a wedding is never what I was after. A marriage is a promise. A covenant. A lifelong journey and commitment. It’s knowing that life won’t always be easy, or happy, or perfect together, but that as long as you’re together, you’ll be okay. Many people want the wedding, the good times, the laughter, the fun, and they want to quit when those things don’t always flow as freely. Many people focus on the wedding and not the marriage. But through God, marriage is a beautiful display of what real love is. Love is messy. But God’s love for us and through us is patient, kind, unenvious, unboastful, honorable, selfless, slow to anger, not holding onto wrong doing, dismissing evil, and rejoicing in truth. God’s love always protects, trusts, hopes. God’s love never fails. With God in your marriage, it’s not that you are promised never to face hardship, it’s knowing that if and when you do, that you’ll have a love to cover and see you through. A wedding is one day, a marriage is a lifetime. And not a -second- has gone by that I have not been thankful and blessed that I married you Christopher Jackson, 4 years ago today. I loved you then, I love you still, I always have, I always will. Happy anniversary. ❀️

Filing Cabinet Makeover

  
So as my husband and I are navigating through adulthood, we realized we needed a better way to keep important documents and files organized. We’ve had this dirty, dusty, old filing cabinet in the basement since we got married and I’ve always wanted to clean it up and put it to use. But then I started thinking… Why does a filing cabinet have to be boring, standard, and ugly? Dun dun dun nah… *Enter* design ideas! You ever have a project that you’ve been meaning to get to for months and it just keeps getting pushed off? Well we finally did this one πŸ™‚

It started out needing a little TLC- so we wiped it down, sanded it and taped it down to get ready to be primed.

   
   
Next came two to three coats of primer. We went with Rustoleum spray paint aluminum primer. The dogs were very interested in what we were doing. And frankly we were happy to be outside with them enjoying the beautiful day of 60+ degree weather in January! (Might I mention that we had snow just a week earlier? – oh Georgia…)

    
 
Once it was primed we moved onto paint! I wanted a fun pop of color and I’m really digging the aqua/mint trend right now! I LOVE to chalk paint things- it’s super easy- super cheap and I love the finish it has! If you’re buying chalk paint pre-made, you’re paying too much! There are many awesome tutorials and recipes out there for chalk paint- I myself like the plaster of Paris method best! 1C paint, 1/3C plaster, 1-2T water. I would suggest stirring the water and plaster first into a paste it should be a little more playable than toothpaste but slightly thicker than paint. Then add it to your paint. You can get an 8oz paint sample at Home Depot for about 3 bucks; once you mix it,you’ll have tons of chalk paint left over- a little goes a long way! 

We painted about 2 coats and let it dry.

   
 
Then we sanded it, and added a layer of wax. I use minwax in the yellow can. You need to let the wax cure for about 15-20 minutes, then buff it off with a microfiber rag. After it was painted I wanted to still have a more refined look- so my hubby picked up these great brushed brass pull handles and we just glued them on with gorilla glue above the drawer pulls.

  

I  love how this turned out, and I love that I now have a chic and purposeful piece of furniture to add a pop of color in our office! Let me know what you think in the comments below πŸ™‚

— Lauren

“The Handy Housewife”

Valentine’s Giveaway

Hi friends! I’ve got a sweet little giveaway going on for Valentine’s Day, including: 

  • Pink Loofa
  • Body Wash
  • Shimmer Body Spray
  • Candle
  • Lavender Infused Soothing Hot/Cool Eye Mask
  • Hand Crafted Artisan Heart Shaped Soap
  • Miniature Pedicure Kit
  • Nail Polish
  • Miniature Love Pillow
  • Notepad
  • Love Embroidered Hoop
  • Basket

 

Head on over to Instagram and check out the post for entry details @handyhousewifedesign

Happy entering!! ❀️