These 5 ALDI favorites will stretch your Empty Nest grocery budget and make cooking for two fun again! Print these delicious recipes and look like a chef.
My mom was never happier than when she was feeding a crowd. As our family grew, so did her heaping portions. Black-speckeled pans heavy with baked potatoes, cast iron batches of cornbread, and baked apples cascading with brown sugar and streams of butter were the simple fare she prepared in large amounts.
Before we left for church most Sundays, she’d place a roast with all the fixings in the oven on low heat. We never knew who’d be coming home with us that afternoon. As we grew older there were boyfriends, Sunday School teachers and strangers around our table to share our modest feast.
Empty Nest Struggles
As her nest emptied, Mom struggled to pare back on food stores. When she entered hospice, my sisters and I had the daunting task of finding homes for her stockpile of ingredients. Canned goods and pasta jars filled every nook and cranny of her tiny apartment.
I judged her at the time, but now I understand a bit better. Cutting back on my shopping list underscores the reality that my kids are no longer eating around my table.
A good friend who just started the Empty Nest process told me she started crying in the grocery aisle last week. For her, the reality of her transition to Empty Nest mom meant she wouldn’t be cooking her son’s special favorites.
If you’re struggling with how to grocery shop and cook for a much smaller crowd-here’s help.
Amazing ALDI Ingredients
If you have never heard of ALDI grocery stores, you have a big treat in store. Although some areas of the country don’t yet have ALDI, their reach is growing. There may be an ALDI in your town soon, if not already.
Learn more about ALDI grocery stores here:
ALDI… operates more than 1,900 stores in 36 states. We take a simple, cost-effective approach to grocery shopping that saves shoppers on their grocery bills. More than 40 million customers each month benefit from the ALDI streamlined approach, bringing shoppers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices every day.About ALDI
Even if you’re a seasoned ALDI shopper, there are probably deals you haven’t noticed. These 5 ALDI favorites are categories I rely on week after week for Empty Nest meals on a budget.
Print the 3 recipes I’m sharing for a cost effective and delicious appetizer, main dish, and dessert.
For us, a shrinking grocery list means we can sometimes splurge on quality items we wouldn’t have considered when our kids were home and clearing the pantry like a swarm of locusts.
Meat and Seafood
One great example of quality over quantity is protein. When our kids were home, we were very creative with ground beef and chicken recipes. Those were the ingredients that stretched our dollar farthest and kept tummies happy.
For a deliciously simple salmon recipe, click here.
But now that it’s just the two of us, we’re treating ourselves to fresh salmon, lox, and scallops from ALDI. College expenses and retirement planning require we stick to a budget-that’s where ALDI comes in.
If you’re under the impression that discount prices mean inferior quality, think again. Just this year, ALDI won the Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem for it’s grass fed beef, along with many other items.
Chocolate and Seasonal Items
ALDI began as a family-owned German grocery and its European roots come through in high standards for chocolate. Don’t let the off brand labeling throw you.
Looking for a simple, chocolate snack? Click here for the recipe.
Whether you savor chocolate as a treat or use it for cooking, you can buy bars and morsels of all flavors. You’ll be wowed at the tiny price and great taste. Don’t miss out on seasonal items like chocolate seashells, Easter goodies, and chocolate covered fruit.
Wine and Spirits
ALDI carries a respectible collection of table wines, seasonal flavors, and kraft beer. If you are a connoisseur, you may be disappointed. However, if you’ve wanted to explore the world of wine pairings without forking over your life savings, you’ve come to the right place.
I keep a bottle or two on hand for cooking (and sipping) and have never been dissapointed. This summer, I made a refreshing pitcher of sangria with some diced fruit and an inexpensive red. No one was the wiser!
Sometimes the simplest ingredients add the greatest flavor. If you’re trying to up your fiber intake but worry about fresh veggies going bad, ALDI’s selection of frozen vegetables are your answer.
Click here for a no-fail asparagus appetizer that will have your friends raving.
These aren’t run of the mill choices. The broccoli florets and asparagus spears rival those I’ve eaten at expensive restaurants. If you’re opting for a lower carb substitute for rice or pasta, the riced cauliflower is a tasty option.
Again (and I really can’t say this enough), don’t be turned away by the unfamiliar packaging. ALDI offers value by keeping things very basic.
Grapeseed, olive, coconut, canola-ALDI has them all. Today’s dietary fads are making us oil and fat connoisseurs. Since I have gluten and dairy intolerances, oil has become a big vehicle for flavor in my meals.
Keto and Paleo diets cook with ghee, a type of clarified butter, which can be extremely pricey. Last time I checked, ALDI’s ghee cost about $6.50/jar, which lasts me about 2 months.
Take some time this week to rethink your grocery habits. If you’re having trouble pairing back on portions or just feeling sad about your transition to Empty Nest cooking, give ALDI a try.
Don’t be afraid to donate items you no longer need or use and make room on your pantry shelves for new taste treats! Who knows, you may even win your kids over with a new flavor when they return home.