The Aldi 25 Experiment – Day One

Update: Dishin’ with Dixie has moved to dishinwithdixie.blogspot.com

The Aldi 25 from Dishin' with Dixie

Can you make 25 meals for less than $150?  Maybe.  Can you make 25 meals for less than $175?  Definitely.

So, yeah.  I kinda blew my $150 budget.  But only by a little.  Oh well, move on!

Lauren over at iamthatlady.com has come up with a meal plan that can be purchased from Aldi for around $150.  My guy and I were discussing it and decided to give it a try since we’d like to save some money for xmas (which is fast approaching).  I realize we could eat beans and hot dogs everyday and save a ton of money that way but pinching pennies doesn’t have to mean eating a diet fit for skid row.  The goal is to keep it nutritious (relatively) and as fresh as possible.

This was a HUGE undertaking.  I painstakingly meal plan every week.  I try to be as frugal as I can while still preparing delicious and nutritious food for my family.  I’m beginning to get a little burned out in the meal planning department which is another reason I wanted to give this a try.  Planning for over 4 weeks of dinners and one huge shopping trip was nothing short of a nightmare.  I feel as though I rose to the challenge even though I overshot my budget, slightly.

My first hurdle was the same one I always run into when I use a pre-made meal plan.  Either I or someone at my table won’t eat at least a third of those meals.  Let the swapping begin.

I began by coming up with affordable substitutes for 5 of the dishes on Lauren’s original list which needed to be removed for various reasons.  A family member has a sensitivity to eggs so both Frittatas were out, Tilapia was a no-go since I had canned salmon in my pantry already (and the teen is iffy about Tilapia), I can’t in good conscience serve Mac and Cheese as a main course so that was a no, the Roasted Pepper Chicken would have gone over like a lead balloon at my table and the same goes for the Pepper Kielbasa Pasta.  I substituted with Tuna Casserole (twice), Salmon Patties, Taco Pasta (twice), Skillet Cassoulet and Sausage Penne Alfredo (recipes coming in future posts).  I figured sticking with smoked sausage would keep my meat costs down.  I also swapped the ground turkey for ground beef, which I’m actually kind of regretting in a couple instances.

In the coming weeks I will be posting a weekly rundown of what we ate along with the recipes and what I paid for them at Aldi.  I will also be posting my meal plans and other tools I used to make this happen.

Things I’ve already learned from this experience are: 1) preparing the master shopping list takes more than one afternoon especially an afternoon spent soothing a fussy baby.  Give yourself plenty of time to prepare, it will save you stress in the end.  2) Take into consideration that Aldi might be out of an item that you need.  Have a backup plan, even if that means shopping more than once.  3) These meals are pretty strictly portioned.  We have some big eaters around our table so I’m supplementing several of the meals with a large salad.  I’ll dish up each person’s plate with the proper serving size.  If that isn’t enough food to fill them up there will be a big bowl of salad on the table.  There will also likely be dessert a couple times a week.

To kick things off here is my calendar for the upcoming month of meals.  Several days have “Do Ahead” tasks that will save me time in the future.  I also get to start using my new (well, not new but new to me) deep freeze!  I’m actually kind of excited about that.  I’m a simple gal 🙂

Click HERE to take a peek at my calendar for the next 4+ weeks.

Dixie's Seal of Approval

Update: Dishin’ with Dixie has moved to dishinwithdixie.blogspot.com

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16 thoughts on “The Aldi 25 Experiment – Day One

  1. Pingback: Roasted Chicken & Vegetables with Herb Dressing | Dishin' with Dixie

  2. Pingback: Spaghetti & Meatballs with Yeast Rolls and Salad | Dishin' with Dixie

  3. Pingback: Taco Pasta | Dishin' with Dixie

  4. Pingback: Skillet Cassoulet | Dishin' with Dixie

  5. Pingback: BBQ Chicken Sammies | Dishin' with Dixie

  6. Pingback: Chicken Noodle Soup | Dishin' with Dixie

  7. Pingback: Chicken & Biscuits | Dishin' with Dixie

  8. Pingback: Salmon Patties | Dishin' with Dixie

  9. Pingback: Meal #10 – Tuna Casserole | Dishin' with Dixie

  10. Pingback: Meal #9 – Souvlaki | Dishin' with Dixie

  11. Pingback: Meal #11 – Chili | Dishin' with Dixie

  12. Pingback: Meal #12 – Spaghetti and Meatballs (Again) | Dishin' with Dixie

  13. Pingback: Meal #13 – Grilled Chicken Sammies | Dishin' with Dixie

  14. Pingback: The Aldi 25 Experiment – Halfway Point Recap | Dishin' with Dixie

  15. Pingback: Meal #14 – Sausage Penne Alfredo | Dishin' with Dixie

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