Thursday, July 3, 2014

I love Aldi and the Easiest Recipe Ever

      My Aldi shopping experience was the exact opposite of my Save-A-Lot shopping experience of a few weeks ago.  Everyone was friendly and polite and even asked if I needed help when I looked a little lost. I *almost* didn't need my headphones while doing this week's grocery shopping. Granted I didn't need much this week.  The deals on produce are outstanding.  Let's get specific. I went to Publix right after I went to Aldi.  I needed two items that Aldi didn't have cilantro and ginger. While in the Publix produce aisle I discovered the exact same head of butter lettuce I had just purchased at Aldi for $1.49.

      That's right it was $2.00 cheaper, two whole dollars! What can I do with $2.00, well I can make the southwestern style bean salad I'll give you the recipe for at the end of this. How does Aldi match up against Walmart? Well I've got last week's Walmart receipt in front of me. Bananas at Walmart were $.56lb and at Aldi today they were $.44. Then we've got last week's grape tomatoes which were $2.49. This week I only paid $1.49. How do they do it? Well for starters, make sure you have a quarter with you if you go to Aldi. You are going to have to put down a deposit for your shopping cart. You get it back when you turn it in, so no one is out there collecting shopping carts. Second, bring your own bags, Aldi doesn't provide them for free, but you can buy reusable ones there if you forget yours. Don't even think about buying name brands, you aren't likely to find any. Plus you know how you find four different brands of kidney beans in the canned veggie section at Walmart, you'll only find one brand at Aldi, but it's only going to cost you $.59, which is $.10 cheaper than the Great Value brand at Walmart. Last, don't plan on paying with a credit card, they don't take them. Your debit card, however, will work just fine.

      Will I stop shopping at Walmart? No, the Walmart is closer and it's open twenty-four hours a day. Sometimes I do my grocery shopping at 5:45am on Thursdays. Aldi doesn't open until 9am (10am on Sundays.) Look HERE to see where the nearest Aldi to your house is! However, I don't think going five extra miles once a week is a problem, especially since I've been eating lots of fruits and veggies, which are significantly less expensive at Aldi.

      On to the food. This is hands down the easiest recipe ever, because it involves absolutely no cooking.  You can open a can right?


1 can of black beans
1 can of corn
1 can of kidney beans
handful of cilantro
handful of grape or cherry tomatoes
3 T white wine vinegar
1 T olive oil
southwestern seasoning
salt and pepper

Dump all three cans into a colander. (I'm not going to lie, it took me three tries to spell colander correctly.) Rinse everything really well! Then pour the mixture into a plastic container with a lid. Cut the tomatoes in half and add them. Chop the cilantro and add it.

To make the dressing add the rest of the ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk. Use as much or as little southwest seasoning as you like--careful, it's hot! (If you need to make your own seasoning try a blend of chili powder, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder.) You can leave out the mustard if you like, I put some kind of mustard in most of my dressings.

Add the dressing to your salad, put the top on and shake to distribute the dressing evenly over everything.

Here's my lunch for tomorrow!

I lined the bowl with the butter lettuce, added the bean salad, and topped it with already grilled southwestern style chicken. (Yup, I did zero cooking. I was feeling tired so I bought the prefab chicken.)

How easy was that? Now . . . What did it cost? The bean salad, by itself . . . oh about $2.00 for about four servings. So my lunch tomorrow when you add in the lettuce and the chicken comes to $1.75. You can definitely just have the bean salad as a meal!  

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