Food Shopping for a Week for 6, Meal Plan & Festive Treats

*Post Sponsored by ALDI.*

As a student, I would go to ALDI every week. It was close to one of my conference venues and right next to our bus stop: ideal! I have not been in years, simply because food shopping is my nemesis. Hubby enjoys it, so he is in charge, although he never pays attention to my lists. I go to small shops for top-ups and occasionally do a big food shop online, but I have not ventured in a large supermarket more than two or three times in the past year.

I have to admit I was dubious when I was sent on a mission to ALDI to source fine desserts and treats for Christmas. ALDI was a shop I associated with good value items at unbeatable prices, not decadent treats.

When my youngest two and I set off last Wednesday, I have to say I was not looking forward to a food shop in the slightest. I had brought a shopping list but did not expect to find more than half of what I needed. I had a knot in my stomach. I really, really have a strong aversion for food shopping…

On top of a bit of a food shop, I was hoping to get decent presents for the children’s teachers. I had a very long list of things I wanted to get and when I got near my closest ALDI, my heart sank. The store was in the middle of a town. I had anticipated a huge standalone shop, but it looked more like a small inner town shop where you get a few bits and bobs rather than your weekly shop.

I did not expect to find any branded items, ‘free from’ food or anything resembling a luxury range. Despite its size, I was surprised to see the range available in the shop, from cheap and cheerful to top notch. The only two items I could not find were beetroot and filo pastry.

Oh wow, ALDI has changed since my student days! Their Christmas and New Year range, had it not been for the unusually low prices, could have been mistaken for Waitrose or M&S’ festive selections (seriously!).

I was reassured by the ‘100% British Farmed’ and ‘Red Tractor’ logos on the meat I bought. The latter shows those products meet strict farming standards, from farm to pack. There were also quite a few ‘free from’ items as well as brands.

I also found myself drawn to the ‘Specially Selected’ range, which is hand-picked for exceptional quality, taste and outstanding value. For those after the finest items, an even higher tier of the range was available, ‘Specially Selected Exquisite.’

The chocolate aisle was impressive indeed. First, I found some delicious-looking Belgian Chocolate canapés. These look like mini versions of individual deserts. The salted caramel truffles with a hint of sea salt just looked right up my street as well. As for the Premium Fudge Tasting Box, it is made by Cornwall’s best crafts confectioners in the traditional way and it looks quite simply divine. I wish I was keeping it all for myself! The squiffy truffles were by far the prettiest. These artisan truffles with hand piped decorations are made with cream and fine spirits (Rum, Champagne, Cognac and Whisky).

All the chocolates I opted for were ‘UTZ Certified,’ which means the chocolate with which they are made contains sustainably farmed cocoa sourced in a way that is fair to farmers. The children’s teachers would be spoilt!

In the frozen aisle, I picked up a couple of ‘Specially Selected’ desserts.

The 12 macarons I went for were our after dinner treat on Wednesday and let me tell you something: they did not last very long!

My favourite of them all was the raspberry one: an absolute delight!

My second option was a real showstopper.

The croquembouche was a hit at home and it was really quick to put together.

Crevette and I had it all ready to eat in 10 minutes and we served it at the end of a play date on Thursday.

The children loved dipping their choux in caramel or chocolate sauce.

So, I spent £94.93 and I got: 7 dinners for 6 including dessert, lunch boxes, after school snacks and 6 Christmas presents for teachers.

Our dinners:

– Chicken Korma
– Sausages and mash
– Pesto pasta
– Chicken and mushroom risotto
Carrot & parsnip soup with homemade bread
Chorizo pasta
Kalettes with goat’s cheese and beetroot with wholemeal bread
– fry up

Desserts:

– Apple cobblers
– Baklava
– Lemon drizzle cake
– ‘Free from’ lemon cake
– Croquembouche
– Macarons
Apple cake

Enough treats for 2 ‘cinema parties’

Teachers’ Presents:

– Belgian chocolate canapés
– Luxury Italian chocolate box
– Salted caramel truffles
– Fudge tasting box
– 2x Squiffy truffles

Check this little video to see exactly what I bought and hear my thoughts:

Has this shopping trip cured my aversion for food shopping? Not quite.

Will I go back to ALDI? Yes!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ALDI but all photos and opinions are my own. 

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Comments

  1. I don’t think Aldi themselves could have made that food shop look any more appealing!

  2. Happy New Year!!! I am so with you on the food shopping aversion! I haven’t done a full food shop in a supermarket for about 8 years. I am so in love with supermarket delivery services – I love being able to shop from the comfort of my home and have it all appear as if by magic the next day. Having said that sounds like you had a great experience with Aldi. Haven’t been in an Aldi in yonks – must pop in one day as it has clearly changed since the last time I was in one!! Eb x

    • Happy New Year to you too lovely! It sounds like you’re just like me. I received an email from Ocado wishing me a happy 8th birthday with them, he he! It really wasn’t bad at all shopping in Aldi. It was a small shop though, but one of my friends is a firm convert and I’ll be going with her to one of the huge shops. She always has quirky new things in her house (lamps, plates, cheese boards) and they all come from ALDI. I’ll probably spend a fortune when I go though. Oh well, it’s not as if I was addicted to going to supermarkets. It will probably happen once and I won’t go again for years so a bit of a spree is allowed, right? xx

  3. I wish there was an Aldi closer to me – it’s such good value. Under £100 for all of that food is brilliant. Love that you can get macarons though – how fab! x

    • It really was worth the trip. The shop I went to was a small one but a friend and I are going to go on an expedition to a huge one. It’s 30 minutes away from home, but we’ll just take one car and go together so it shouldn’t be too much of a pain, ha ha!

  4. I LOVE Aldi!! They are our go to shop. I never saw all those beautiful treats though – the truffles and macrons look so good!x

    • The macarons were gorgeous. I’m definitely getting them again when I next go to ALDI. They were in the frozen section and if I remember well, they were £3 or less!

  5. Cass@FrugalFamily says:

    Those macarons looks AMAZING!

    I’ve had carrot and parsnip soup today and it was the nicest soup I’ve made in a while!

  6. mrsmagovern says:

    You can’t beat Aldi! We have one fairly local to us but it gets so busy it puts me off going, however, after reading this I might have to make a special visit x

    • I’m not a fan of supermarkets on a good day, so a busy day would make me run in the other direction! Luckily, it was fairly quiet when I went, probably because it was a small one.

  7. Wow, the desserts look amazing. I wish we had an Aldi near by, Chloe #freefromfridays

    • I don’t really have one close to me either, but it was worth the trip really. I might even go again later this month.

  8. I think it’s brilliant how much food you can get in Lidl and Aldi for so little money. I think Tesco is way overpriced.

  9. We went to ALDI for the first time last week, I was really impressed! I am really fussy with my sausages, but spotted the ones you got and they are really good and 97% meat!

    • I know, I’m the same! I was so impressed. I honestly thought I was only going to get a few bits (no meat!) and ended up with a week’s worth for all of us, he he!

  10. I truly hope Aldi makes its way across the water and into Northern Ireland soon, we have Lidl and I love it but I’d love to be able to shop in Aldi as well, especially after reading your blog post!

Thanks for taking the time to write a little message. Comments always make me smile! x Mel