5 on Friday: More Aldi Finds

Last week I shared some of my favorite Aldi finds. This week I thought I would share five more things to check out at Aldi. Aldi has so many great products I want to tell you about – I couldn’t limit myself to one post.

Half & Half ($1.99)

20180503_162516892617623.jpgI take my coffee with cream. I drink a lot of coffee. This is a great price on an item I use daily.

 

 

 

 

 

Costal Cove Sauvignon Blanc ($6.99)

20180503_161950137089954.jpgSummer is white wine time in my house. It’s great for drinking on the patio. Most of the time I tell myself I’m going to drink a bottle over the course of the week, but I only have two glasses and the I pour the rest down the drain later that week.  At $6.99 this wine tastes like a $12 bottle (that is high praise in my book). I still feel bad pouring out wine that has gone bad, but when the whole bottle costs less than a glass when we go out to dinner it doesn’t sting as much.

 

Pane Turano Italian Bread ($3.69)

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Honestly, this bread alone is worth a trip to Aldi. My parents go to Aldi just for his bread. They are the ones that introduced me to this bread, which is why my kids call it crunchy Grandma Runchey bread. The bread is crunchy and makes the best toast I have ever had. It is a huge loaf. We usually freeze half of it. You can toast the frozen bread straight from the freezer. This bread also makes amazing grilled cheese and egg in the hole.

Fancy Cherry Tomatoes ($3.69)

20180503_1624592030155897.jpgI could not buy all of my produce at Aldi. The selection changes constantly and they never have all of the produce I am looking for. One thing that is consistently available and always good quality is their cherry tomatoes. I love cherry tomatoes. They are a great snack off the vine, and they are good sliced and added to sandwiches. My favorite way to eat them is to sautee them in some truffle oil with a handful of spinach, then scramble some eggs in with them and top that scramble with goat cheese.

 

Stir in Pastes (2.49 each)

20180503_1617181403889719.jpgI cook with ginger and garlic a lot. I usually use whole garlic cloves and grate my own ginger. There are times when I don’t have those on hand and I am not able to cook what I want to cook. It’s at those times that I reach for paste. Once opened, they keep for four weeks in your refrigerator. I don’t think these are going to replace fresh ingredients in my kitchen, but they are great to keep on hand for ingredient emergencies.

 

I get so excited talking about my love for Aldi. Do you have any stores that you get excited to talk about?

Five on Friday: Aldi Finds

It has been ages since my last Five on Friday post. I thought I would bring it back to share some of the great things I’ve been getting at Aldi.

I love shopping at Aldi. They have carts that fit two kids. They have unbelievably cheap produce. They have great snacks. They have random crap that I just can’t live without (kids Wonder Woman long underwear, folding step stools, Mickey Mouse watches, lawn furniture, etc.)

Five of the things I’ve been picking up lately are:

Take and bake pizza ($5.49)

20180503_1614301197948704.jpgThese pizzas are huge. I have a full size oven, and the pizza barely fits. I like it as much as any other take and bake pizza I’ve tried, for much less money. I usually pick one up when we shop at Aldi and have it for dinner that night.

 

 

Pretzel Twists ($1.49)

20180503_1615421987949007.jpgJohn and I both have strong opinions on snack food. We rarely see eye to eye. These pretzels are the exception. They are somehow extra crunchy than most pretzels. We both love them. I usually buy two bags at a time, as we have developed a bit of an addiction.

 

 

 

 

Salt & Pepper Pistachios ($5.49)

20180503_161633889645573.jpgI wish I could explain how good these pistachios are. Some things are too good for adjectives. They are delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

Chickpea Snacks ($2.89)

20180503_1617541249868941.jpgHave you ever had roasted chickpeas? They are crunchy. They are tasty. They are one of my favorite snacks.

I often roast my own chickpeas, but for this price I am spending more money making my own. These are consistently crunchy, whereas the ones I make my own are not. I will probably continue to make my own occasionally, but not until the winter when I’m happy to have my oven on for an hour.

 

 

Spanish Cheese Sampler ($4.29)

20180503_1618291027379010.jpgThis is just the right amount of cheese for when you are throwing a cheese plate together for a group of 2-4. It’s an instant cocktail party – just add some grapes, some nuts, and some wine. I love that the cheese comes sliced, which makes it easy for serving.

 

 

 

Do you shop at Aldi? What are some of your favorite Aldi finds?

Fiberpalooza Recap

Today was Fiberpalooza day. The gym of the elementary school in Winterset (about 30 minutes from Des Moines) is taken over by yarn and notions vendors. It is a fabulous market, and I look forward to it every year.

I loved looking at all the vendors had to offer. There was some beautiful yarn. There were dyers that I have knit with in the past, and knew I loved. There were new fibers and colors to explore. In the end I stuck with my yarn diet. I was shocked. I assumed that I would go over my earned amount.

I almost did. I was standing in line at the Fiber Cuiro and Sundries booth with some Bluefaced Leicester Silk blend in a stunning green when it occurred to me that maybe I shouldn’t buy a skein of that yarn until I knit a pair of socks with the skein of Fiber Curio and Sundries yarn I already own. Just because yarn is beautiful it doesn’t mean I need to buy it. I haven’t knit with the skein I own in a year, I can wait until next year to get a new skein.

Keeping myself to two skeins meant making darn sure that the two skeins I picked were worth it. Putting that much thought into buying single skeins is something I’ve never done in the past, and I am amazed at how much it changed my approach to picking out the yarn. It had to be perfect. I found two skeins that were just what I was looking for.20180317_110745389728761.jpg

I picked up a skein of South Dakota Yarn Co. Sport Weight yarn that was dyed with spinach and copper. It is a lovely shade of green, and is destined to be a hat on my head before next winter. I was tempted by her sock yarn, but went with the sport weight because it is some of the yarn she recently started carrying from a sheep farm in Lonsdale, MN that uses sustainable farming practices. I love the wool is produced in MN, dyed in SD, and is destined to be knit in IA. The hat will be a completely Midwestern product.

The second skein I picked up was Yarn Geek Fibers in Ada Lovelace. This skein is destined to be socks for John. The colors are great, and having socks named after a computer programmer is perfect for my programming husband.

After looking around the market we headed to the town square to check out some of the shops. We wandered into the yarn store. They have a wonderful selection, and I almost always leave with something I didn’t know I needed. This time I wasn’t tempted by the yarns. I explored the notions, something I usually don’t do. I found replacement buttons for Elliot’s cardigan. They are the same color and style, just a quarter-inch bigger than the ones that are already on his cardigan. I picked up four extra, anticipating that I would probably make that sweater again. I also picked up a new row counter. I usually use the County app to keep track of rows, but I’m trying to use my phone less. This counter is awesome. I love how it just stays on my finger and is always at the ready.

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A lot of the vendors we talked to are also going to the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival in June. I’m looking forward to checking that out in a few months. With any luck I will have earned a few skeins. Even if I haven’t, I think I will enjoy looking at the sheep and talking to the producers.

Do you have any markets you love to visit?

Consignment Shopping

Consignment stores can be really crappy – they can be disorganized and the clothes can be dirty. I know. I’ve been to a lot of bad ones. After shopping around I have found an amazing consignment store. It is the only one I go to now. Most of Audrey’s clothes are from the store.

Normally for a Christmas dress I go to Gymboree or Baby Gap instead of the consignment shop. I like to splurge on special occasions. This year I skipped the splurge because I was shopping with a cranky three-year old. I didn’t want to be stuck at the mall with a three year old on the verge of a temper tantrum.

I’m glad I skipped the mall. I spent $45 and brought home a lot of great stuff.

I found Audrey a Christmas dress. It’s a navy sweater dress from Gymboree. It looks comfortable. It was probably worn once by the prior owner. I am thrilled that I was able to get her a dress for much less than I was planning to pay at the mall.
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I found a Christmas skirt. Audrey loves skirts, so this holiday number will be worn a lot this month. She’ll be able to wear this for a couple of years. 20171202_160420.jpg

Audrey loves giraffes. She sleeps with three stuffed giraffes every night. She saw this shirt in the store and told me “Auddie needs a giraffe shirt”. She took it and carried it around the store please as punch that she was going to bring it home. 20171202_160504.jpg

One of the best things about the Christmas skirt and giraffe t-shirt is that they can be worn together. They look stunning when you add in Cubs sweatpants and a hot pink Adidas jacket.

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I found Toms in a popsicle print. She just moved into this size of shoe, so she should be able to wear them for a long time. These are super cute, and something I would never pay full price for. Shoes are one of my favorite things to buy used. I buy Keens and dress shoes in every size I find. I just pull out the next size as she grows into them. 20171202_160522.jpg

Speaking of buying things when you find them. I found this gorgeous Janie and Jack dress in a size 5. I bought it and put it in the closet. I really hope we have a summer wedding or fancy party to go to in 2 years when it will fit her. I think it is so pretty I don’t even care that I’m going to have to iron it.
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As adorable as the dress is, my favorite thing I found was for Elliot. This guy gets so many hand me downs I rarely buy him clothes, but when I found this Dude sweater I had to buy it. Could he be any cuter?
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As you can see, your money goes far at a consignment shop. If you find the right one the clothes are as good as new. It’s one of my favorite ways to save money.

Do you ever shop at consignment shops? What are your favorite ways to save money?