Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ghetto to Gangnam

A new Aldi opened next to my CVS yesterday. If you know me, the significance of this is too great to put into words.

I've been shopping at an Aldi in a VERY BAD AREA for a few years now, so my first trip to the new Aldi was pretty exciting, knowing that I didn't have to fear for my life. Instead, I encountered one confused-irritated person after another leaving the new store empty handed. This is called First Trip to Aldi Syndrome.

Everyone who isn't wondering where their next package of Ramen is coming from will probably suffer from FTTAS, but it is highly curable.

The food at Aldi is the identical food you buy at any other grocer. It tastes the same, it is the same. The difference is that it probably costs 30-50% less at Aldi and you won't see a logo you are familiar with. If you don't like something, for whatever reason (such as the corn flakes taste like Kellogg's and not Post, or the cheese crackers taste like Sunshine and not Nabisco), then you bring your item back to the store and Aldi will return your money, plus give you a replacement product. That's a pretty bold guarantee.

If you're new to Aldi, start simple and buy some fresh produce, condiments and dairy items.  The next time you go, add a few more items, such as a box of cereal and something frozen that looks good. It won't take long to win you over.

My husband and I went on a 7 day Caribbean cruise with the savings from shopping at Aldi in one year's time. I like labels and logos as much as the next person, but I like white sand beaches and someone else cooking me elegant dinners a whole lot more.

Zucchini Sausage Bake
  • 2 zucchini, sliced (3 for $1.29-$1.69)
  • 1 pkg. smoked brats, sliced ($2.49)
  • 3 tbsp. butter (1 lb. $2.29)
  • 1 pkg. (brick) cream cheese ($1.19)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic in olive oil 
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/3 pkg. garden vegetable crackers, crumbled ($1.49) (these are identical to Carr's Gourmet)
Sauté sliced brats, zucchini and minced garlic on medium-low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Add butter and continue to sauté until butter is melted. Add cream cheese, cut up into sections, and stir until melted. Add black pepper to taste.

Transfer mixture to a baking dish. Crumble crackers over top and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
Less than $1 per serving.

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