Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Clean Eating with ALDI ... And How Much I've Lost While Doing It!

We're back for another week of money saving, waist trimming, family friendly meal planning ideas with ALDI! I've had a lot of fun talking to everyone about trying their own local ALDI stores and checking out the fresh produce, great meat selections, and other fabulous deals you can find. I personally love their cheese. So do my hips, but that's not helping me win my Biggest Loser Challenge in my Zumba® fitness group either. Luckily all of these clean eating posts have pushed me into some awesome results so far! Since January 1, 2016, I have lost only two pounds. But I have lost 2 inches in my bust area, 2.5 inches in my waist, 3/4 inch in my abdomen, 3 inches in my hips, 2 inches in my thigh area, 1/2 inch in my calf area, and 1 inch in each arm. 11.75 inches total. That's actually a lot of progress because I did not have a lot to lose! I am working out twice a week and eating real, nutritious food. I'm not losing a ton of weight, but I am toning. That's because I am making better food choices. You can do this yourself on a budget with ALDI. So, let's jump in! I spent a total of $60.22 before tax at ALDI on breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week. 

Monday: Hot Wings with a Salad ($2.99) 

I use my pressure cooker for my hot wings, but you can simply bake these in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. I turned to my fully stocked pantry for the ALDI hot wing sauce. It has chili peppers, vinegar and salt. I coat my chicken wings in the sauce and cook them. I serve this with a salad and my guys love it! It doesn't feel like a "healthy" meal and I am still sticking to my clean eating. I do eat the skin, because I like it. I believe it's okay in moderation. Obviously I'm not eating it every single day. 

Tuesday: Blackened Chicken with Mango Salsa ($6.80)

This recipe is a little more involved, but it is so worth the effort! Your family will absolutely love it! You can save the extra spices to use on fish or more chicken later on. This will be a repeat. 

2 fresh mangoes (diced) ($1.98)
1/4 cup diced pineapple ($.99)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 clove garlic minced
2  limes (you're going to squeeze them!!!) ($.29 each)
salt and pepper ( to taste)

3 boneless chicken breasts ($3.25)
• Sprinkle spices (below) over chicken to cover both sides.
• Heat about a tablespoon of butter in a cast iron skillet (on low heat until melted, then turn it up)
• Place chicken in hot pan and cook till dark in color (about 4 minutes per side or until juices are clear)
• Allow to rest a couple minutes on a warm plate
• Spoon some mango salsa on top (Your mango salsa is your first 8 ingredients mixed together!)

• Mix the seven spices & save for future use in a spice shaker:
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
Wednesday: Cajun Quinoa ($3.29)
I love quinoa! It's a super grain, but it's also packed with protein. I chose the organic Simple Nature quinoa from ALDI for my Cajun Quinoa. I was craving something spicy for dinner and this was so good. I cooked my ground turkey ($3.29) , with diced red onion, one diced bell pepper (leftover from last week), a cup of diced celery (leftover from last week), and added some garlic to taste. I added just a little bit of dash of red pepper flakes and then added my organic chicken broth and quinoa. I let the quinoa cook according to the package directions and it was amazing! 

Thursday: Spaghetti ($6.39) 

I love spaghetti! My husband is part Italian and I think that's rubbed off on me. It's also an awesome opportunity to sneak in some nutrition. Red sauce covers up everything, y'all. Want to blend up carrots, cucumbers, and spinach? Throw it in red sauce. Kids will NEVER know. Add a little more oregano and garlic and no one will know you snuck in the extras. I have been doing this for years to my family. I put lots of meat in my sauce and it's nice and chunky.

I always begin with an organic sauce ($1.89) from ALDI. I can read the simple ingredients and build from there. Brown your meat. I sometimes use ground turkey, deer meat, or just regular beef ($4.50). If the fat content is high, I simply drain my meat and rinse it before we continue with the cooking.

I always let my sauce simmer in the crockpot all day. All of the flavors mesh together and it is amazing. Then you can take it two directions. If you aren't going all out clean eating, serve it over healthier pasta options from ALDI. You can use their gluten free line (which is awesome....but cook it longer than package me), or you can use brown rice instead. It's still good that way. Or you can break out the veggie spiralizer and make your own zoodles. Simply spiral your noodles, saute them and pour that amazing sauce over them. I use zucchini zoodles and they are so good! 

Friday: Lettuce Tacos ($7.28)

When I cooked the ground beef ($4.50) for my spaghetti sauce, I also had enough for tacos the next night. I just saved half. You can make your own taco seasoning mix to have on hand. I keep it in my pantry for taco nights and it doesn't have harmful junk added in! I add it to taste and then start making our lettuce tacos. Just tear off a leaf of lettuce ($.89), fill it with some taco seasoning, add your favorite taco toppings (cheese - $1.89) and enjoy!
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper (optional)

Saturday: Salmon and Squash ($6.49)

This is a quick and easy meal. I had leftover salmon ($3.50) from our meal plan last time. I baked our salmon in the oven at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. I then boiled diced squash ($2.99) on the stove. I serve with a salad and it was an easy meal.

Sunday: Chicken Salad ($4.63)

I had some leftover baked chicken from our lunches. I bake all my chicken at the beginning of the week so we can grab and go. It's just so much easier for us. I diced the chicken (one and a half cups), one red onion, an avocado ($.89), and a cucumber ($.49) and mixed it together. I added salt, pepper and some olive oil to the mixture. I served this with a side salad and it was delicious! It will be a great meal on a warmer day. 

All of our salad stuff for the week costs $17.89. You can sub in any fresh veggie of your choosing. Make it what you and your family enjoy and will eat. This is simply a guide. We spent $3.18 on eggs and $1.28 on bananas. 

Our breakfasts are usually quick and easy. We scramble eggs or eat fruit. Sometimes both. It doesn't bother us one bit to eat the same thing every day. The old fashioned oatmeal is also a good choice with fruit. Lunch is leftovers! We had a lot of leftovers this week. Our meals seemed to stretch a whole lot farther and I was really pleased with it! 

You can click on your grocery list {HERE}! 

I keep a fully stocked pantry of spices. I don't normally have to buy these items at the store and it saves me so much money! ALDI is also a great place to find some of them as well. 

If you want to follow ALDI also for great deals, recipes, and ideas, you can find them here:

ALDI Website:
Pinterest (for GREAT recipes):

They have some great buys right before Easter! I have noticed some awesome things you should stock up on now if you plan to host Easter lunch or dinner with your families.

I really hope this blog post gave you some fresh new ideas this week for quick, easy dinner ideas!

I does take a lot of time to create these and I love you guys. I want to see you succeed. I want to help you take care of your families and yourselves. If you want to help me back and share the love, please take a moment to share this post on social media with your friends and family. Not only does it share my little blog and help my family, but it also helps your people too! We all win and I keep posting away!

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  1. Awesome post!! We just got an Aldi in my town, but I have yet to check it out. I think I will this weekend. How do you cook your meat for your sauce?

    1. I just brown my meat, drain the grease and rinse it, and then season with garlic sometimes.

      You will absolutely love your ALDI! The produce is amazing!

  2. Thank you for posting this. I feel like I am much more likely to use Aldi now that they accept credit cards, which is my primary form of payment (we pay them off at the end of the month, but I just prefer them)!! This came at a perfect time!!



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