Reviewed by Lucy Knight
Feeding a family of 4 during school holidays can be quite a costly affair, especially when you have to factor days out and a very hungry partner into the equation. I was delighted to be set the challenge of feeding a family of 4 for a week at Aldi for £70. As a regular Aldi shopper I knew that it was great value for money, but I do shop at another local store in addition to my weekly Aldi shop (only out of convenience, as it’s closer).
My weekly shop usually comes to around £100 for the 4 of us and consists mainly of fresh fruit and veg and meat. I am on a healthy eating plan and my partner is a health freak so all our meals are freshly prepared so we find Aldi the best place to shop, due to a great variety of fresh produce. We do get some frozen bits for the children if we are making something they won’t eat.
When my vouchers arrived for the challenge I was extremely excited and headed down to the nominated Aldi store in Urmston, Manchester. I hadn’t made a list as I generally buy the same things and be spontaneous when cooking, I will always pop out to buy anything else if I don’t have it in the house. I hadn’t been to this store before, but I really liked it. The layout was similar to my local Aldi so I could find all of my items with ease. I filled my trolley, adding up in my head as I went around the store. When I got to the till I was served a very helpful young girl and my bill came to £70.53, so slightly over target, but I was hugely impressed as I had literally filled the trolley.
Here is the contents of my trolley.
I had bought enough food to last a week and actually found we had stuff left over (we didn’t really use the frozen food, so this will carry over for the following week). All of the food went down well with the whole family, here is our menu for the week;
Day 1: We had been shopping in the afternoon so we had a picnic lunch consisting of ham sandwiches, yogurts, cheese and grapes. I had promised my children Heidi (5) and Oliver (22 months) that we would go to the park for a picnic but it was raining so we had a picnic inside on our blanket watching TV.
For tea I made a speedy chicken curry, which consisted of chicken, peppers, onion, tinned tomatoes and loads of spices from my cupboard, served with rice and spicy potatoes. It was delicious and everyone cleared their plates.
Day 2: For breakfast we all had Weetabix with banana and strawberries. For lunch I took a chicken salad to work and for tea I made a Caribbean pepper-pot stew, this was made from diced beef, peppers, sweet potato, green beans, passage and jerk spice, served with boiled rice.
Day 3: Breakfast was bacon, eggs and tinned tomatoes on toast. Lunch chicken salad and tea was a full roast dinner made with a whole roast chicken, green beans, broccoli, peas, sweetcorn, roast potatoes and mini Yorkshire puddings.
Day 4: Weetabix with strawberries, blueberries and bananas for the adults and chocolate hoops for the littles ones for breakfast. Lunch was ham sandwiches for the children and bacon and tomato on bread rolls for the adults. For tea I made my favourite southern fried style chicken made from chicken dipped in an egg and stock mixture and rolled in breadcrumbs, mixed spice, herbs and black pepper served with air fried chips and salad. This is one of my favourite recipes and is a huge hit with the whole family.
Day 5: Bacon and egg sandwiches and melon for breakfast for adults and Weetabix for the children.
For lunch we had sweet potato fries and salad. Tea was a simple grilled Cajun chicken jacket potato with cheese and salad.
Day 6: For breakfast we all had Weetabix, banana, apple and blueberries. For lunch it was tuna, hassle back potatoes and salad. Tea was a naughty tea of pizza and air fried chips, and supper was popcorn and a movie.
Day 7: Boiled egg on toast for breakfast for everyone. For lunch we had cheesy jacket potatoes with broccoli and carrots. Tea was lemon and herb spiced chicken, air fried chips (sprinkled with garlic and chilli salt) served with carrots and green beans.
For snacks throughout the week we had ice lollies, grapes, apples, crumpets, cream crackers, popcorn, crisps, cheese sticks, drinks and much more. We didn’t run out of things to eat and the children never went hungry. We had many planned days out but tried to eat at home as much as possible, taking snacks out with us to save on money. We even made Olaf from Frozen cookies, my daughter Heidi loved these and they were really simple to make with minimal extra ingredients to be added. We have kept the Olaf cookie cutter for future baking projects.
One of my main goals for the weeks was to lose weight on the challenge, and I was so pleased to find I had lost 3lbs from all of the healthy meals that I cooked from the Aldi food items we had chosen. I am getting married in a few weeks, so shopping at Aldi, saving money and losing weight at the same time, is a real deal sealer.
I found that spending that extra bit at Aldi this week has tied us over and we didn’t need to go out to top up our cupboards. We have plenty of frozen food left over for emergencies (like when I can’t be bothered to prepare a meal) and for when my partner watches the kids (he’s not a great cook).
The food overall, stayed fresh throughout the week and was really good quality, I could not fault anything at all, we enjoyed every single meal.
I am really impressed with Aldi range and will continue to do my shopping here exclusively. It works out at such a better value for money than other supermarkets. In addition, I’m not tempted to buy things that I don’t need, because they are on a buy one get one free offer. I love that with Aldi, what you see is what you get, there are no misleading gimmicks, pricing is clear and there are always fully stocked shelves. They have offers such as Aldi super 6 fruit and veg offer, where 6 selected fruits and veg are on offer for 69p each. They also have meat offers each week. This is an amazing idea as it allows people to eat healthy on a budget. I often hear people complaining that they can’t afford to eat healthy, well I turn around and tell them “you can at Aldi”.
Thanks Aldi, keep up the good work!
To find your nearest Aldi store and see how little you can feed your family for visit www.aldi.co.uk.