A couple of years ago we got a new grocery store in Dalton. It was unlike any store we had ever heard of around these parts and was the hot topic for quite some time. I mean really, who had ever heard of a store that doesn’t have bags, doesn’t bag your groceries and you have to put a quarter in the cart in order to use it?? Seriously now, those kind of things are unheard of around here.
The first time I decided to venture into the new ALDI store I was prepared to not like the store at all. I only carried one bag because I just knew I wouldn’t buy much. I had my quarter in hand and mind made up. WOW, was I ever surprised. I ended up totally loving the store. We get great deals on milk, eggs, produce, etc on a regular basis. And the day I went in and got center cut bacon for .99 a pack you would have thought I had won the lottery. I bought all they had…Hehehe.
So anyway, I am now a regular at the ALDI. And when I was getting all of my ingredients together for the mass amount of candy making I do this time of year you can bet that is where I went.You just can’t beat the prices. Marshmallow Creme…for .79, SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!! Yeah, I bought a lot. We use it for a lot of different recipes and well heck, the cheapest I found it anywhere else was $1.00. Their Baker’s Corner brand is great!!
Some of the other things I stocked up on: Butter, sugar, cream cheese, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, corn syrup, peanuts, pecans, coconut flakes and the list goes on and on and on. Their butter…REAL butter was $1.99! I bought a lot of that too.
Then, I had to go back and restock on a few things I didn’t get enough of on the first trip.
AND, as is typical for me, I forgot my bags. That is my biggest downfall when I shop there, I am always forgetting my bags. What do you do when you forget your bags? Well, you grab an empty box of course.
This is one of my favorite cashiers, she is always so friendly and always has a smile on her face.
As soon as I got home and got my treasures unloaded I quickly got to work on my newest addiction, PayDay Bar Bites. I can’t ever seem to make enough to satisfy us all. Good thing they are so easy to make! Here, let me show you just how easy:
2-3 cups salted peanuts
2 & 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 cups peanut butter chips
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 (7 oz) jars Marshmallow Creme
Place about 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups peanuts in the bottom of an ungreased 8 X 10 (or something about that size) baking dish. Melt the butter and peanut butter chips in a large saucepan over low heat and stir until it’s all melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in condensed milk and marshmallow creme. Keep stirring until it is mixed well and smooth. Pour the mixture over the peanuts in baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups peanuts over top of the mixture. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Make sure not to use too much, just a little. Place in the refrigerate until chilled then, cut into bite size pieces.
WARNING!!! They are addictive!!!
Before you even ask…Yes, you can leave the salt out. But if you are here because you had them at my house and loved them…well, those I make always have salt on them. And it is always Kosher salt. And this is for that one person who is going to whine about having to go buy Kosher salt, just for this recipe…(yes, I know and you know who you are) Just buy the stuff. It isn’t expensive and it is worth it. Seriously. And you will love cooking with it. And you will love it as a table salt. It is a great all-around salt and what I buy almost exclusively. It makes a difference. Seriously. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s see what tips ALDI has to help save us time and money.
Holiday Entertaining Tips
The following tips were developed by food stylist, Janice Stahl, on behalf of ALDI.
Keep it Simple. When planning your holiday party or family dinner, don’t overthink it. Remember, “Less is More” when designing your menu and décor. If you try to do too much, you’ll end up unable to enjoy the event you’ve worked so hard to put together. Keep your shopping experience simple and stress free by shopping at ALDI. From award-winning wines and holiday baking essentials to gifts and all the trimmings for your holiday dinner, ALDI has everything you need at prices up to 50 percent* less than traditional grocers.
Somewhat Homemade. Combine traditional homemade recipes with pre-made items for a holiday spread that is sure to please. Dress up your Appleton Farms Spiral Sliced ½ Ham from ALDI with an apple cider and balsamic glaze. Or, place bite size portions of L’oven Fresh Dutch Apple and Pecan Pies and Belmont Cheesecake Samplers into mini martini glasses for a chic dessert table display.
The Perfect Table. Let the food be the star by using white or clear plates, bowls and serving dishes. Use napkins or table runners with seasonal colors and designs to add to the holiday mood. Seasonal flowers or plants such as poinsettias from ALDI can add a pop of color to your table as well. Consider renting linens rather than purchasing if you don’t think you’ll use them often. Rentals are typically inexpensive and there’s no cleaning or ironing involved! Pre-set your dining room table a few days in advance so you know you’ll have everything you need on the day of your event.
Don’t Forget the Kids. If you’re expecting children at your event, prepare a couple child-friendly dishes that adults will enjoy too such as the Mini Thanksgiving Bites w/ Cranberry Glaze recipe from ALDI. They pack a great flavor in a bite-size (and kid-friendly) serving. Or, if there are picky eaters on your guest list, set up a separate table for the kids, so you don’t have to display their kid foods right next to your gourmet recipes.
Small Bites. A hot trend this entertaining season is to serve small “bites” at your party. Serve homemade appetizers alongside gourmet and artisan cheeses such as the Specially Selected Brie and Specially Selected Havarti cheeses available at ALDI this holiday season.
The New Potluck Party. Hoping to get the neighborhood together this holiday? Instead of the typical potluck, get everyone involved in a neighborhood progressive dinner. Assign each neighbor a specific course – appetizers, salad, entrée, dessert – and a serving time. Then, walk from house to house and enjoy each course of your progressive dinner. Whatever course you are assigned, ALDI is a great place to pick up what you need. ALDI sells 1,400 of the most commonly purchased high-quality grocery items, including fresh produce and fresh meats, plus an additional selection of winter seasonal items.
Festive Flights. For a fun twist on holiday wines, offer guests a rage of flights. For example, line up a few different types of red wine in small, single-serving glasses and encourage everyone to share what they like about each sampling. Most of the award-winning wines at ALDI are priced at $6.99 or less, making it easy to entertain with a wide selection of high quality wines from Landshut Riesling and Sunshine Bay Sauvignon Blanc to Viña Decana Tempranillo and Toca Diamonte Malbec.
Spreading Holiday Cheer. Looking for the perfect party favor or hostess gift? Layer the ingredients for your favorite family cookie recipes – like Baker’s Corner Baking Sprinkles, Coconut Flakes or Baking Cocoa from ALDI – in mason jars to make “cookies in a jar.” Or, make mini loaves of the Baker’s Corner Pumpkin Quick Bread Mix and wrap them each in a small clear bag tied with a seasonal ribbon. Another easy way to extend holiday cheer is to pack up leftovers for your guests to enjoy the next day.
Plan ahead. This seems simple, but we all know how time gets away from us during the busy holiday season. Map out your menu, table settings and décor needs in advance so you know your shopping list is complete. Also remember to check out the ALDI Holiday Catalog online at www.aldi.us. It’s a great resource for holiday entertaining and includes turkey carving and planning tips, seasonal essentials such as Baker’s Corner Canned Pumpkin, Kirkwood
Boneless Turkey Breast and Happy Harvest Candied Sweet Potatoes, and all the trimmings for the ultimate holiday spread.
Unexpected Centerpieces. To update the typical floral centerpiece on the table this year, fill a large glass vase or a few small vases with ornaments, seasonal produce or holiday candies such as the Choceur Imported Chocolate Figurines or Choceur Peppermint Sticks available at ALDI. For holiday seasonal produce, cranberries or layered red and green apples work well. ALDI carries approximately 60 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables at the lowest prices, so you can fill even your biggest vases without overspending.
*Based upon a price comparison of comparable products sold at leading national retail grocery stores.
If you have an ALDI store near you, check them out. They have some great ready made trays, candies, baked goods, cheeses and wines to help make your table festive and delicious! And they also make great hostess gifts if you are dropping in on a party somewhere and need a little something last minute to take. And your budget will love the prices!!
“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for ALDI. I received a gift certificate to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.”