Reviewed by Lucy Gwilliam
Since becoming a parent nearly 6 years ago, I have tried my best to cook from scratch. I think it is extremely important to encourage children from a young age to eat healthily. I can remember doing a fad diet of drinking only milkshakes, when my daughter was around 18 months old. This had a detrimental effect on her eating, she didn’t see me eating anything, so there was no positive role model for her to be influenced by to try new things. Needless to say, I realised I was promoting an unhealthy lifestyle to my daughter, so I vowed never to try a fad diet again. Instead I would cook fresh foods and exercise as much as I could.
My husband is a personal trainer, so has always nagged at me that I need to eat healthily to ensure that my body lasts for old age. When we first met I was 17 and worked evenings while studying, I therefore used to just eat junk food as I didn’t have time to cook. Working nights didn’t help as my body clock was all over the place. Once I had had my daughter though I gave up the nights and decided to focus on my diet as a whole.
I lived in a flat at the time and my closest supermarket was Aldi in Swinton, Manchester. This was where I first became a huge Aldi fan, I loved the fact that you could get amazing quality food on a great budget and the Specialbuys and super six make it even better.
I am currently on my 4th month of the Feed Your Family on a Budget Challenge (£70 per week) and I have to say I thoroughly enjoying it. I now do my weekly shop at the local Aldi in Eccles, Manchester where the staff are always very helpful and the shelves stocked with a great selection of fresh produce. I try to make different meals each month to ensure there is some variety, but I do find myself going back to old favourites, like my chicken enchilada style lasagne. It is so easy to make, you make your sauce with chicken, tinned tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and Cajun spice then layer it up with the lasagne sheets and top with cheese. The whole meal is from Aldi and cost under £5 to feed the whole family.
This month I took my husband and both of my children Heidi, 5 and Oliver, 2 to do then shop with me. I usually leave them at home so I can stick to budget and not buy loads of junk food. To be fair we did come home with plenty of healthy food, but they were such a distraction, sneaking stuff in and my son even managed to slide a toy in the trolley, that we came in way over budget at £90! However, the shop did last us 9 days and we still have some of the frozen stuff leftover. I’m quite rigid when I go alone and add the shop up in my head, so I know exactly what I will be spending.
Here is what I got this month:
My husband has been reading up on the negative effects of eating red meat so this month we thought we would try and leave it out of our shopping. I absolutely love kofta kebabs and was craving some, so Instead of buying my usual 5% mince I went for Turkey mince and served with spicy chips, salad and a wholemeal pitta. I have to admit it was delicious and I will be making it again soon. We also bought a whole chicken, 2kg chicken breast, a bag of Quorn mince and some turkey breast to form our main meals. As you can see we love meat in our family and it does appear in the majority of our evening meals.
With the dark night’s drawing in and Christmas approaching, my favourite meals tend to be roast dinners so I made 2 chicken dinners this week. One was with the whole chicken and the other with the chicken breasts. My children would eat a roast everyday so when I am tired after works don’t want a battle with them, this is my go to meal.
Some other meals I have made this week are a turkey curry, which I didn’t hold too many expectations for, however it turned out to be lovely and really warming. I also made another of my go to meals, a keema, which I made with Quorn mince instead of beef mince again. I added quite a lot of veg to bulk it up and it made a massive pot which lasted a couple of days.
For breakfast we usually have toast, yoghurt or cereal as we don’t have much time in the mornings. At weekends if we do have time, I do love scrambled eggs on toast, as do my husband and children. Lunch generally consists of homemade soups in the colder weather, which I have been making from butternut squash, carrots, potatoes and onion or a lentil and chickpea Dahl which is my father’s secret recipe.
As a family we love Aldi and don’t shop anywhere else anymore. Aldi has become so much more accessible and the choice more appealing that it was when I first started shopping there. I don’t really need to go anywhere else nowadays, I can get my nappies (which are better than any other supermarket’s), my food and even toys for my children. What more could you want?
I would rate Aldi 5/5 and will continue to do my weekly shop there.
Why not visit your local Aldi this week and see if you can feed your family for £70 without comprimising on quality. To find your nearest Aldi store visit www.aldi.co.uk.