I’ve chatted with y’all about our Aldi grocery store before, but I made a recent stop and wanted to say that I just LOVE the place!
I haven’t been shopping there regularly, for various reasons. I was lucky enough to get a coupon for $10 off $40 spent, and with two different food drives going on at school (one for vets, another for families in need), it was more than worth a trip to see what I could pick up.
Since I last checked in with you about Aldi, they have begun carrying a handful of organic products. Sure, they’re only packaged items (no fruits or veggies), and they only pop up from time to time, but it’s better than nothin’. The occasional half gallon of milk, spaghetti sauce, or what have you. It particularly excites me because the Aldi in our area is utilized by many lower income families and elderly (and is often the only grocery store they’re able to visit), so the fact that there’s ANY availability to healthier* options gives me hope.
So, here’s what I found for my donating purposes on this particular day. When I buy for a donation, I do a weird thing (I think?) and imagine that I’m buying for one individual. Yes, yes, I know the stuff gets divied up, but that’s just how my brain works. This is for “the veteran”…
I like to buy the stuff for a turkey dinner in case they’re able to get a turkey, so I sent along stuffing and potato mixes, two canned veggies, cranberry sauce, and fruit cocktail (for snack or dessert). For a normal day, I sent a couple of cans of soup, 100% juice, granola bars, cereal, and some mini Snickers. I recently heard that veterans appreciate candy bars when overseas; not sure if it applies here, but I thought I’d try it. I know it’s not healthy, but we all deserve a treat. Besides, the fruit cocktail (in juice, not syrup), cranberry sauce (no corn syrup), veggies, juice, and Raisin Bran were all relatively healthy.
Here’s the stuff for “a family” (again, I purchased as if one family would get it all…I know they won’t, but play along, won’t you?)…
Again, I like to put a holiday meal together, again with veggies, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and, in this case, the makings of a chocolate pie (just add milk, which they’ll hopefully have). They also got fruit cocktail, 100% juice, two cans of soup, but also a couple of extra meals: buttermilk pancake mix with pure maple syrup (which will actually provide far more than one meal, woohoo!) and whole grain spaghetti with sauce. Additionally, I threw in some snacks: cheese and breadsticks (there was a time I would’ve been all over those), raisins, and graham crackers.
This was my first taste of the holiday giving season, and I’m feeling peaceful yet ecstatic to be able to give anything.
Oh, and of course I couldn’t leave without SOMETHING for myself. 😉
A few cans of insanely inexpensive organic diced tomatoes (the huge the big 28 oz cans) and organic spring mix, plus some non-organic asparagus (it’s on the clean list, and since I can never find it organic, I just go with it — I like roasted asparagus too much not to get it from time to time ;-)). Not bad for less than $40 (after the coupon).
As a side note, on this particular shopping day, I had to grab a couple of items at Hannaford, as well, to round out a fun “breakfast for dinner” meal I was making for my sister and her daughter that evening. Here were what I thought of as the GOOD and the BAD of the shopping trip…
Heavy cream? Bad. Horrible. Naughty. Baking powder? Great! Awesome. Nice.
The fact that the baking powder was not only aluminum-free but non-GMO made my day. Generally, baking powder contains corn starch, which I tend to avoid BIG-TIME in my food. If I’m going out of my way to cut out the consumption of pesticides, GMOs, and the like, why on earth should I eat products laden with corn bi-products (some of the most highly contaminated crops we produce)? This is the reason that I (and many others) am so anti-corn syrup. So, here’s a HUGE win for me with this powder, considering I’ll be using it for many months to come.
So, how have you been with your food shopping lately? Or have you made any donations, small or large, lately? Give us the chance to pat you on the back for making a difference! 🙂
And how did your Thanksgiving festivities go? I can’t believe I haven’t shared any recipes for the holiday, but we have a tradition of going to one of our parents’ homes. Hoping to have my own mini-celebration soon, so keep an eye out.
*When I say “healthier,” I don’t mean it in the traditional sense. Some say that organic foods are not any different, nutritionally, from mainstream foods, but in the long-term and medical senses (not the forever-obsessed-about “Nutritional Facts” printed on the packaging), I disagree. What’s less healthy than eating a food that is known to cause chronic issues or serious diseases?*