*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.
– 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
– Apple cobblers
– Lemon drizzle cake
– ‘Free from’ lemon cake
– Apple cake
Enough treats for 2 ‘cinema parties’
– 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.