My Thoughts on Aldi

My Thoughts on Aldi

I’ve shared in the past some great ways to save money on healthy food – and I still do most of those things weekly.  Lately I’d been hearing about how Aldi now has a line of organic food.  Of course I had to check it out. For those of you unfamiliar with Aldi, it is a grocery store chain (owned the same company who owns Trader Joe’s) that carries a small selection of products.  Most of the food Aldi sells is it’s own brand label.  Just like Trader Joe’s, if you want ketchup, you have one choice, not the twenty you’ll find in a typical grocery store.  At Aldi, you also bag your own groceries using your own bags – this helps keep the costs quite low. I’ve often run into Aldi to check out their produce or pick up some staple like dried beans that I know I can purchase inexpensively, but I’ve never done a full out shopping trip there. This week I decided to go in specifically to check out this new organic line.  I have to say, I was quite impressed!  Most categories (dry goods, snacks, dairy, frozen, even meat) carried at least a few organic items.  And at excellent prices!  Check out what I purchased (note the seeds weren’t organic, they were just a really good deal, and I used them for a big batch of trail mix!): A few examples of what I found: Organic Vegetable and Chicken Broth -$1.79 Organic Coconut Oil – $4.99 Organic Spices – $1.99 Gluten Free Bread – $3.99 Based on my experience, I will definitely be adding...

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

Don’t you wish you had affordable short-cuts to make healthy living easier? Are you tired of trying to make a Whole Foods lifestyle work on a Trader Joe’s budget? I get it. You want the best for your family. You want to raise healthy kids, have strong immune systems, be more fit and energetic, and be intentional about creating a natural home, but sometimes it just feels so hard. There’s a lot to learn and the internet can be more than a little overwhelming at times. I know what it’s like to feel that healthy living shouldn’t be this difficult, and it shouldn’t have to cost so much, either! Don’t you ever wish someone would just tell you exactly what you need to know and how to make these changes for less? When you have the right info and tools at your fingertips, it all comes together so much more easily. You know what to cook for your family. You’re more confident in choosing natural alternatives. You can easily replace store-bought products with DIY options that really work. You feel better (and even look better, too). Healthy living becomes less stressful and more enjoyable. That’s why Stephanie and her team have put together the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle for the fourth year in a row. Each year, they’re amazed at how many families are saying “yes!” to their health and taking them up on this super short opportunity to get a complete collection of natural-living resources for a crazy low price. You sort of need to see it to believe it, but the package includes over 90 digital products...
Enjoy Fall to the Fullest!

Enjoy Fall to the Fullest!

We are well into September so I think we can consider Summer officially over.  Most kids have gone back to school (mine have been in school for over a month now) and the weather is finally getting a bit cooler. Early Fall is one of my all-time favorite times of the year.  It seems like there is so much going on and the weather is often beautiful enough to fully enjoy it.  Make a commitment now – while you still can – to enjoy this Fall to the Fullest!  Here are my favorite ways – and what I plan to make sure we do before the cold weather hits! Apple picking.  I love going to the apple orchard each year.  We load up on crisp, fresh apples, check out the farm store and enjoy time in the warm sun.  Once we get home we can use all those apples to create more memories – making apple pie, packing them for picnics, etc.  Good times for sure! Hiking.  With a new puppy, hiking is high on our list of priorities this Fall.  He’s a hairy dog, so the hot summer sun is a bit rough on him.  A cooler autumn breeze is perfect for him to enjoy long hikes with us.  We’ve been checking out nearby parks the last few weeks and enjoying them all! Last time for outdoor activities.  We’ll hit the pool one last time on the next really warm day.  We’ll definitely play a game or two of putt-putt, and we’ll take a bike ride or two while we still can. S’mores by the campfire.  Last month...
End Summer Vacation with a Blast!

End Summer Vacation with a Blast!

How has your summer been?  Have you accomplished all the fun things you wanted to?  Or has it just gone by in a big blur and you really don’t know what happened?  Regardless, it’s not too late to end summer with a blast!  Even if your kids are back to school (or going soon), you can still enjoy the last month of typically hot summer weather.   For many kids, even though summer is shorter and school starting earlier (August 3rd anyone?), many of the sports and other extra-curricular activities haven’t started or at least haven’t reached their zenith of time consumption.  That makes August a great month to sneak in a little extra fun in the evenings and on weekends.  So, why not go out this year with a bang?  Make it an August to remember! What exactly can you still do?  It may be too late for a summer vacation, but I bet there are still some things you’d like to do left on your “bucket list.”  Or maybe there is something you have always wanted to do but never found the time or energy to get it together.  Have your kids been asking to do anything repeatedly?  Make a list of all the potential ideas and then survey your family – let them each pick out one they’d love to do the most.  If you have time, schedule them all, if not, write them down, put them in a jar and draw one.  Create a plan RIGHT away as to when you will do it.  If you can, draw again next week.  There are four full weeks...
Yes, you CAN eat healthy at Disney World!

Yes, you CAN eat healthy at Disney World!

Whew!  We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Disney World.  It was the shortest trip there we’ve ever taken – so short we flew and didn’t rent a car.  Which means we were totally dependent upon “The World” for all our food.  For a family that eats pretty well and mostly at home, that was a bit daunting. In particular, I was concerned about how we could possibly eat enough fruits and veggies and ignore fried food as much as possible.  Aside from a few exceptions, overall I think we did great.  Knowing so many of you want to hit Disney at some point with your kids, I’ll share what we learned: 1. Drink water.  Maybe this goes without saying but staying hydrated will make you feel better, you’ll be less likely to eat junk just because you think you are hungry and you’ll save a ton of money too!  Just walk up to any location in the parks that serve fountain drinks and ask for a cup of ice water.  They will happily give it to you for free – no need to lug bottled water around all day. 2.  Eat fruit and veggies every chance you get.  I was very impressed with how easy it was to get fresh fruit at all the Disney Parks.  Here is a perfect example:  The first morning we were at Animal Kingdom, and mid-morning my son was starting to drag.  I asked him if he wanted a snack, and he said yes, he would like strawberries.  REALLY? I figured there was no way – maybe I could find a fruit cup...
No need to be a hippy to make your own deodorant!

No need to be a hippy to make your own deodorant!

Making your own deodorant?  Pretty crunchy, right?  I thought so too, but actually it is pretty simple and a great way to reduce the chemicals you put on your skin.   As the largest organ, anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body.  Kinda scary when you stop to think about it.  I typically use Tom’s Deodorant – and probably will continue to in the summer, but this five-minute project is a great way to save some money (that stuff is EXPENSIVE) and will take care of your stinky needs most of the year. As I mentioned yesterday, Bergamot is a natural deodorant (among its many other terrific properties).  And it smells so good, I had to give this a try – I’ve had a recipe for homemade deodorant I found several years ago on Passionate Homemaking, but never got around to actually making it.  But adding Bergamot?  I’m in!  I tweaked the recipe a little and here is what I came up with: Homemade Bergamot Deodorant 6 T coconut oil 1/4 cup baking soda 1/4 cup arrowroot (or 12 – 16 drops Bergamot Essential Oil Step one:  Mix the baking soda, arrowroot and Bergamot into the coconut oil until well blended.   It should have the consistency of solid deodorant, and thanks to the Bergamot will smell delicious! Step two:  Scoop into a jar – I used a small jelly type jar with a wide mouth. Step three:  Dip your fingers into the jar and apply deodorant. Simple right?  But, does it work?  That’s the big question.  I wouldn’t share this recipe without actually testing...

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