What’s Good About Aldi

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.ย 

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

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…

ย Heavy cream? Bad. Horrible. Naughty. Baking powder? Great! Awesome. Nice.

See what frustrates me? The cream was full of carrageenan (a known cancer-causer…and not Narraganset, as my spell checker insists) and several other hard-to-pronounce ingredients. What’s even more upsetting is that this is the only option I could find at the store; no organic heavy cream to be found. Wop, wop. How’s a girl gonna make homemade whipped cream for her hot chocolate and holiday desserts??

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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?*

5 thoughts on “What’s Good About Aldi”

  1. Just a thought about the corn-products. My sister & brother both have celiac disease, so for them, seeing modified corn starch instead of modified food strach (made with wheat) means the item is on the 'OK' list. Not saying you don't have a point about corn syrup (I don't think anyone wants that), but other corn substitutes definitely help make many more foods that might normally be on the 'No' list for those with celiac disease move to the 'OK' list.

  2. I'm glad that that method works for your sister and brother (I can't imagine having celiac; we're so lucky in that respect, since much of our diet is carb- and, honestly, wheat-based) and others who must deal with this disease. Our priorities for eating don't involve lessening our gluten intake, but rather ensuring that what goes into our bodies is as close to what nature intended as possible. There are so many diets floating around these days that contradict one another, but we try not to go by a “diet” plan, per se, but by eating what we consider to be “real” and whole foods. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Oh, I also don't intend to imply that their celiac disease is a diet fad thing. Those who cut gluten out of their diets for non-medical reasons is the “diet” I'm alluding to. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Everyone has to make the choices that work for them, and we're lucky that we're not forced to make choices like your sis and bro.

  4. If you are looking for organic whipping cream get in touch with Cat Macera. We order through Regional Access and they have fresh, organic whipping cream from Evan's Farmhouse Creamery (as well as half and half and milk). If you don't mind a drive to Westmoreland once a month or so, you can join Three Goat's Farm Wholeshare group, which is a buying club that is also through Regional Access but you also have the ability to order things from Shaw's Maple, Three Goat, Kriemhild Dairy and other local producers. Large volumes of items can be split with other group members to help with costs as well. It's an excellent value and all the food is excellent quality.

    Here is the link: http://www.wholeshare.com/join/1185

  5. Thanks, Tina! I'm aware of Wholeshare and love Cat! I think my issue is that I often don't plan my menus until the week-of (or, egad, the day before!). I'll have to consider a monthly trip to Westmoreland. ๐Ÿ™‚

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