Let the Kids Make their Own Healthy School Lunches!

I’ve already seen the back to school pictures all over facebook, so I know healthy school lunches are on the minds of parents everywhere. Let your kids make their own lunches this year with this list of affordable and healthy organic and/or non-gmo items from Aldi USA! Many thanks to Aldi USA for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine.Healthy Back to School Lunches your kids can make themselves!

Let the Kids Make their Own Healthy School Lunches 

Back to school Healthy Lunch cart DIY

DIY Lunch Station

I shared a couple weeks ago that my four kids (who have previously been homeschooled) are heading off to school this year. This is a first for me and I would be lying if I said I’m not nervous about the transition already. I’m totally anxious and worried about a lot of things, one being how to prepare healthy lunches for four kids every day!

To make the process easier, we created a DIY lunch station using my lovely IKEA cart and a dedicated lunch bin in the fridge as well! This station will let my kids help pack their own lunches. Some things will still require a little help from me, but it will be pretty easy for the kids to grab and go from the lunch cart and fridge bin. I picked up all the goodies for this lunch cart recently at Aldi. If you guys follow me on this blog, you know I love Aldi and their ever growing selection of organic and non-gmo food items.

Let the Kids Make their Own Healthy School Lunches!

Healthy School Lunches with Items from Aldi

I prefer organic and non-gmo options so they make up most of this list, but Aldi also has an impressive selection of conventional grocery items as well. I also listed the prices I paid, but do keep in mind that they can fluctuate based on location and availability. Also, because we do like occasional sweets (keeping it real!), I also included a few of my favorite sweet items to pack in school lunches too. They aren’t necessarily healthy, but they sure are good and the kids love them!

Fruit / Veggies

  1. Organic strawberries – $2.99 / lb
  2. Organic baby carrots – $1.59 / lb
  3. Organic grapes – $4.89 / 2 lbs
  4. Organic apples – $5.99 / 3 lbs
  5. Mandarins – $2.49 / 3 lbs
  6. Bananas – $0.29 / lb
  7. Organic, unsweetened apple sauce – $1.99 / 24 ounces
  8. Simply Nature Organic frozen berry blend – $2.99 / 12 ounces
  9. Organic spring salad mix – $2.49 / 1 lb clamshell
  10. Simply Nature Organic frozen berry blend – $2.99 / 12 ounces

Dairy / Meat Products

  1. Simply Nature Organic classic hummus – $2.29 / 8 ounces
  2. Simply Nature Organic peppercorn ranch dressing – $1.99 / 12 fluid ounces
  3. Simply Nature Organic salsa – $1.89 / 16 ounces
  4. Never Any! Turkey lunch meat – $3.29 / 7 ounces
  5. Simply Nature Organic white mild cheddar cheese slices – $2.99 / 6 ounces
  6. Mini Babybel cheeses – $2.79 / 4.5 ounces
  7. Simply Nature Organic yogurt – $2.99 / 32 ounces

Breads / Grains / Beans

  1. Organic refried beans – $0.99 / 16 ounce can
  2. Simply Nature Organic corn tortilla chips – $1.99 /11 ounces
  3. Simply Nature Non-gmo verified multigrain crackers – $2.49 /10 ounces
  4. Simply Nature Organic seeded bread – $3.99 / 27 ounces
  5. Simply Nature Organic granola – $2.69 / 11.5 ounces

Pantry Items

  1. Simply Nature Organic peanut butter – $3.89 / 16 ounces
  2. Simply Nature Organic mayonnaise – $2.99 / 15 ounces
  3. Simply Nature Organic peppercorn ranch dressing – $1.99 / 12 fluid ounces
  4. Simply Nature Organic salsa – $1.89 / 16 ounces

Snacky Items

  1. Simply Nature Organic animal fruit snacks – $2.69 / 6 pouches
  2. Simply Nature Organic fruit strips – $4.99 / 21 strips
  3. Simply Nature Organic coconut bars – $3.99 / 4 bars
  4. Simply Nature Organic white cheddar puffs – $1.99 / 4 ounces
  5. Simply Nature Organic squeezable fruit & vegetable blends – $2.29 / 4 pouches
  6. Simply Nature Non-gmo verified fruit &  nut bars – $2.99 / 4 bars
  7. Simply Nature Non-gmo verified no sugar added flavored applesauce – $1.49 / 6 cups
  8. Southern Grove Trail Mix bags – $3.99 / 8 bags
  9. Utz Certified Yogurt filled chocolate bars – $1.99 /
  10. Mamba Candies – $0.69

This is not an exhaustive list of all the organic and non-gmo options Aldi sells, but it should give a you really good idea of what all they have. If you like to eat a healthy diet but haven’t been to Aldi in a while, I hope you check them out! You can connect with Aldi on facebook, twitter, and instagram.

back to school healthy lunch ideas

Ideas for Lunches Using the List Above!

Using the items in the list above, here is a list of “main dish entrees” my kids love in their lunches. In fact, when I put together the lunch for this post, two of my kids said that’s exactly the lunch they want. Every day. LOL!

  • Chips & refried beans & cheese
  • Peanut butter & crackers
  • DIY lunchables with cheese, deli meat & crackers
  • Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
  • Meat & cheese sandwiches
  • Hummus & cracker & carrots
  • Yogurt parfaits using frozen berries & granola
  • Peanut butter & apples & raisins
  • Green salad with trail mix & ranch dressing

Do you pack your kids’ lunches? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks to simplify the process.

How to Turn a Messy Sideboard into a Delicious Spring Centerpiece

Many thanks to ALDI for inspiring me to turn my messy sideboard into a delicious spring centerpiece! While I was compensated to write this post, the opinions are, as always, all mine.

Welcome spring with a delicious spring centerpiece using chocolates, printables, and flowers.

How to Turn a Messy Sideboard into a Delicious Spring Centerpiece

Spring is the perfect time to take a long hard look at your house and jump into cleaning and decluttering. I admit that I sometimes have a problem with piles. Getting to them is always on my list…it’s just never very high up and I can always find an excuse for not tackling my clutter.

Create a fun Easter Display with chocolates, bulbs and printables. How cute is this

Take, for instance, my sideboard. While I don’t have an official sideboard per se, I do have an IKEA cart that I use plan to use as one. Instead of having a cute little sideboard area, thought, my cart is most often just a mess –  piled “important” papers, school book, blogging supplies, and more. I recently cleared off ALL of the clutter and finally turned it into the cute sideboard I had envisioned in my brain! I repurposed items I found around my house and used a free printable picture I found at On Sutton Place, hyacinth bulbs, and ALDI Choceur Easter chocolates.

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I love the ALDI Choceur Easter chocolates, because, in addition to being about the cutest little things I’ve ever seen, they are also made in Germany and are UTZ certified (which means they are made with sustainable cocoa). I really appreciate ALDI’s commitment to environmentally responsible practices.  It makes me a happy ALDI shopper.

For my “sideboard” transformation, I picked up ALDI’s Choceur Premium Chocolate Easter Bunnies for $1.99 each, Choceur Hollow Chocolate Easter Eggs for $2.99 a bag, Choceur Solid Milk Chocolate Eggs for $1.69 a bag, and cute little Choceur hollow bunnies & duckies for $1.99 a bag.

Spring Easter Display Ikea Cart Hack

I was thrilled to use the ALDI Easter chocolates for decor, as I always put them in goodie baskets for Easter. I love them so much and I knew they would be beautiful to add to my spring centerpiece. I’m always thrilled when items have more than one purpose!

 Here’s what I did to transform my messy cart into a delicious spring centerpiece:

IMG_6352

First, I removed everything from my cart and gave most of it a new home. Yes – that is seriously what my cart looked like before. Don’t judge me; I’m just keeping it real here! Then, I went on a shopping trip around my house. I picked up a beverage dispenser and added paper grass filled it with the large hollow chocolate eggs. I turned the beverage dispenser’s spout to face the wall so it looks like a large glass jar instead of a beverage dispenser. I put small solid chocolate eggs and more paper grass in a quart sized Mason jar. After googling free Easter printables, I found a gorgeous “Think Spring” picture at On Sutton Place and printed it out. An old frame that used to house a mirror became the perfect new home.

When I went outside to feed my chickens, I found a lovely piece of wood that I set the chocolate Easter bunnies on. My daughter schlepped that wood home from Missouri last fall and it is absolutely perfect in my Easter centerpiece! Finally, I added a piece of burlap and a few hyacinth bulbs for the final touches! I’m really thrilled with the transformation of my old IKEA cart and love its new, fresh spring look!

Welcome spring with a delicious spring centerpiece using chocolates, printables, and flowers.

So, are you ready to transform a mess into something pretty and delicious? I hope you’re inspired! And seriously, add some of those cute ALDI chocolates to your decor or your kids’ Easter baskets. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂 

 

Ultimate Healthier Game Day Snack Ideas on a Budget

It is possible to feed a crowd healthier party food on a budget! Check out these Game Day Snack Ideas from ingredients purchased at ALDI  that easily feeds healthier appetizers to 12-15 people for under $70. Many thanks to ALDI for sponsoring today’s post.

Ultimate Healtheir Game Day Snack Ideas. Feed 12-15 people real food snacks from @ALDIUSA for around $70. AD

Game Day Snack Ideas

Many people buy unhealthy snacks for football parties because it’s cheap and easy, but cheap and easy is also possible for healthy and tasty too! Even for parties, and even on a budget. I recently went to ALDI to see what healthier options they have for big parties and came back with a cart full of ingredients and enough food for six different snack and appetizer ideas (probably enough to feed 12-15 people) for right around $70.

ADLI haul for healthier Super Bowl Party snacks. Ingredients for 12-15 people for $70.

That’s $4.67 – $5.83 per person for delicious, healthier snacks. Not too shabby in my mind, because honestly, when was the last time you ONLY spent $70 on a party? I know we can spend a heck of a lot more than that without trying hard at all. But at ALDI, I was able to pick up a lot of ingredients for several healthier snack options that yielded much more food than the first picture shows. Here’s what we made.

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The Best Stocking Stuffers are Frugal, Fun, and Edible

This post is sponsored by ALDI. All opinions are mine.

There are all kinds of theories on the best stocking stuffers.  Some people fill stockings with practical items, some with gag gifts, some with little presents, while other people mix and match and fill stockings with a variety, and some people don’t do stockings at all! I really think the best stocking stuffers are frugal, fun, and edible – and this year, I’m going with a breakfast in the stocking theme.

The Best Stocking Stuffers are Frugal, Fun, and Edible - Breakfast in a Stocking from SimplifyLiveLove.com

The Best Stocking Stuffers – Breakfast in a Stocking

Breakfast in a stocking serves two purposes – it keeps the kids fed during the gift opening process, and fills the stocking with items that won’t end up cluttering my house! If you’ve been reading my blog recently you might by familiar with my consumable Christmas gift theme. I’m trying hard to banish the clutter from my home, and giving consumable gifts certainly helps! I headed to ALDI to find the best stocking stuffers for my Breakfast in a Stocking theme, and here’s what I came up with.  [Read more…]