If you haven’t figured out by now (or don’t know because you’re new to my blog), I like to save money on food every chance I get. And I’m not talking about cheaply made food. I’m talking about quality.
On that note, I’ve yet to find a grocery store that is cheaper than Aldi. (I’ve written about this before in my post “Homemade Nutty and Sweet Granola: A Crunchy, Munchy Breakfast or Snack”.) Those “discount grocery stores” may be cheaper, yes…but at least Aldi doesn’t carry expired products!
As you may know, Aldi’s low prices come with an extra type of expense for their customers. This is so Aldi doesn’t have to pay its employees for mundane tasks that customers can do themselves; or for extra building space, and the like. Aldi implements these costs with…
1) The Returning Cart Incentive – Want a cart? You gotta pay for it. But don’t worry, you’ll get your quarter back in exchange for returning your cart. This way we don’t have to pay our employees to herd the ones you might leave in the parking lot.
2) BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag. We won’t provide any of those plastic ones for you. Just the returnable ones. But you can use our empty boxes if you wish.
3) Limited selection – Looking for produce in every color of the rainbow, and aisles and aisles of variety? Well you’re at the wrong place. However, we will give you one or two choices for everything. Great for those wanting to make a quick run to the grocery store.
This is just a snapshot of Aldi’s goals for low prices.
While Aldi is low-priced, it often has sales on certain items. Sometimes the sales are worth it, sometimes they’re not (often they’ll drop the price on junk food or items that I never buy anyway).
But last week they had a sale on carrots: 2 lbs bags for 50 cents each! I was so excited I grabbed 3 bags. :)
The great thing about carrots is they last a long time in the fridge and don’t really need refrigeration. Also, they’re quite a versatile vegetable. Great in stir fry, salad, soups…juiced (I’ve yet to try this actually)…as a side for packed lunches or afternoon snacks…and added in breads/cakes.
This week I decided to make carrot muffins. I was inspired to make them from a morning glory muffins recipe I’ve wanted to make for a long time. Despite not having coconut, I decided to make them anyway. Below is my rendition of the recipe from my cookbook at home:
Marvelous Morning Muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
- 1/4 cups apple butter (instead of softened butter)
- less than 1/2 cup honey (instead of brown sugar)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup low-fat sour cream (instead of regular sour cream)
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (instead of all-purpose)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon (instead of only 1 tsp…I like cinnamon!)
- A handful of chopped prunes (instead of raisins…I needed to use the prunes for something)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large 12-muffin pan, or fill with paper muffin cups.
- In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients (first 5 ingredients).
- In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients (ingredients 6-8).
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix partially, then add prunes. Don’t overmix or the batter will become tough. It is OKAY if some flour isn’t mixed and if the batter is lumpy! :)
- Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop batter into each muffin cup. If all 12 are filled and some batter remains, continue to fill cups til batter is used up (only 8 of mine filled up so you might not get 12 anyway).
- Cook in oven 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
- Serve muffins warm or cold with butter, jam, peanut butter…or just by themselves (the muffins have a lot of flavor already!!).
I couldn’t resist eating some of the muffins while taking pictures! :)