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Feeding My Family of Six on a Budget

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A few months ago while looking over posts in one of my favorite Facebook groups (one for moms of large families) I stopped on a post about grocery shopping. Budgeting to feed a large group of people is always a concern when you have a number of children and a fellow mom had asked for tips on eating healthy on a tight budget. That’s when someone else mentioned ALDI and my ears perked up. A new ALDI was recently built in our town but, up to that point, I hadn’t tried shopping there. As I listened to this other mom talk about how much money she’d been saving by shopping at ALDI, while still being able to purchase healthy, wholesome foods for her family, I knew I had to check it out.

On my first visit to ALDI, I learned about the power of a quarter at ALDI. You see, at ALDI you’ll deposit a quarter to obtain a shopping cart and then get it back on your way out. By doing this, the parking lot stays clear and there is no need for extra employees to gather carts. This saves ALDI money and they pass those savings back to you. You also bring your own shopping bags (or can purchase them there for a very small fee) and bag your groceries yourself. All of these little things mean more money stays in your bank account!

I was amazed by all of the great items I found on my first trip to ALDI. So many items were the healthy ones I was looking for for our family but at a fraction of the cost I’ve found them at other stores. In fact, I learned that by purchasing ALDI exclusive brands, I could save up to 50% on my grocery bill! That’s huge for a family of 6!

Since my first shopping trip to ALDI I’ve been back weekly, and I calculate I’ve saved hundreds of dollars already. My kids love to go with me and help to bag up our groceries at the end. I was so excited to find out they had recently introduced a new ALDI exclusive line of baby products, called Little Journey. You might remember that I wrote about them a few days ago, but if you missed that post, click HERE to read it now.

Today I wanted to share 2 awesome recipes I recently made for our family, using ingredients you can find at ALDI. Not only did these recipes taste delicious, the meals are extremely affordable!

Creamy Pasta with Broccoli and Chick Peas

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound Priano Short Cut Pasta
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt, divided
  • 1 pound broccoli crowns, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 tablespoons Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Crushed Red Pepper, plus additional to taste
  • 15/5 ounces Dakota’s Pride Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)
  • 1/2 cup Happy Farms Preferred Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Priano Shredded Parmesan Cheese,  plus additional to taste
  • Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, adding 1 tablespoon of salt to boiling water. During the last 2 minutes of cook time, add the broccoli. Before draining, remove 1 cup of cooking water, reserve. Drain pasta and broccoli.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and crushed red pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chick peas and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the ricotta and parmesan cheese with 3 tablespoons of reserved cooking water. Add more water by the tablespoon, as necessary, to create a creamy sauce.
  4. Return the skillet with chick peas to the stove over medium heat. Add the pasta and broccoli. Fold in the cheese mixture, stirring gently. Add more reserved water to loosen the mixture, as needed. Serve with additional parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper and black pepper, to taste.

This recipe serves 4 and costs just $1.70 per serving! 

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This recipe was easy to make and enjoyed by all. I would have never thought to add in chick peas for protein but it was a great addition to the dish!

Quick and Easy Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients

  • Carlini Cooking Spray
  • 1 1/2 cups of Kirkwood Grilled Chicken Strips, chopped
  • (2) 10.5 ounce cans Fit & Active Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 14.5 ounces Happy Harvest Cut Green Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 ounces Happy Harvest Sliced Carrots, drained and rinsed
  • 15.25 ounces Happy Harvest Whole Kernel Corn, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 ounces Happy Harvest Whole Potatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper
  • 16 ounces Bake House Creations Jumbo Flaky Biscuits

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, mushroom soup, green beans, carrots, corn, potatoes and pepper.
  3. Cut biscuits into quarters.
  4. Pour mushroom soup mixture into prepared pan, and top with cut biscuits.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with foil, return to oven for an additional 13 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chicken and dumplings is one of my favorite meals, but it’s so labor intensive. Not this recipe! It was so easy to fix and absolutely delicious! This meal serves 12 and costs a mere $.67 per serving!

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If you’ve never made a visit to ALDI, you’re truly missing out! You’ll find great foods at amazing prices. Head into your local ALDI store this week and pick up the ingredients for these easy recipes. Your family and your bank account will thank you!

For more information about all the great products you can find at ALDI, including their brand new Little Journey line, visit ALDI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest or the ALDI website.

 

Disclosures: The Creamy Pasta with Broccoli and Chick Peas recipe was created by Alicia Sokol from Weekly Greens. The Quick and Easy Chicken and Dumplings recipe was created by Chef Scott, ALDI test kitchen. Cost per serving based on prices on 8/31/16. Compensation was provided by ALDI.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of ALDI.

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