A little bit of this, a little bit of that…

by Kristen on August 12, 2013 · 16 comments

in Miscellany

It’s a day for miscellany.


I’m loving that Aldi has the least-packaged organic bananas I’ve ever come across. Most of the time, organic bananas come in bags (as do Aldi’s non-organic bananas), but these just have some tape around them.

aldi organic bananas

Often, organic produce has more packaging than conventional produce, which is annoying and sort of contradictory. Why use fewer chemicals in growing the food and then put it in packaging that required lots of chemicals to produce?

So. Yay for less-packaged organic produce.


Speaking of Aldi, I’ve found almond butter and organic honey at my store recently.

aldi organics

And I also really like the organic marinara sauce they’ve been carrying of late.

(For the record, I am aware that organic honey is a little bit controversial, and I think the healthiest way to buy honey is from a small, local beekeeper. But I prefer not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and so I’d say that organic commercial honey is probably preferable to conventional commercial honey. Also, I am just generally happy to see more organic items showing up at Aldi.)
I made a batch of chicken tacos the other night, to use up some cilantro.

Cilantro stems have a lot of good cilantro flavor, by the way, and for an application like this, where it’s all getting blended up, it woks great to add them along with the leaves.

cilantro pesto


Speaking of dinner, I also made some fish cakes last week, except we ate them as sandwiches this time around.

fish cake sandwich

Which is not really as healthy as eating them without buns, but it’s nice to do something a little different every now and then.

If you don’t generally like fish, you should really give this recipe a try…I don’t usually like eating fish, but I really honestly do love fish cakes.
On a non-food note: I really, really enjoyed The Winter of Our Disconnect.

the winter of our disconnect

Maushart is hilarious in an understated sort of way, and it was fascinating to read about what it was like for her and her three teenagers to go for six months with no technology at home (no internet, cell phone, TV, Ipod, etc.) The benefits and changes she and her kids experienced were pretty amazing, and the book wasn’t preachy at all.

We’re quite careful about limiting our kids’ screen time here at Chez FG, and reading this book made me feel really confident that we’re making the right choice.

And it inspired me to be more mindful of my own screen time, so I’ve implemented some changes to help me be less wired.

Oh, and this also made me positive (again!) that a smart phone is not for me.

I haven’t spent tons of time on the computer of late, simply because I’ve been bonding with my paintbrushes.

In the kitchen, I’ve been busy painting all of the trim (underneath the cabinets, around the doorways), because once the new white cabinets went in, the trim suddenly looked very dingy.


unpainted trim

The trim is all done now, and the dings and gouges in the kitchen walls have been spackled, so now all that’s left is to paint the kitchen walls. I think I’ll be done within 24 hours. Woo!

I’ve also been working on picking out a color for Lisey’s room. Thank goodness for the teeny cans of paint you can buy…it’s so lovely to be able to try out a color on a wall for only a few dollars.

behr paint sample

Our first try (Behr Prelude) was a little too gray for her taste, so we’re going to give a slightly more blue shade a shot now.

behr prelude on wall

(the paint in this photo is the Prelude shade.)

I’ll be back tomorrow with a giveaway from Third Day Naturals, so don’t forget to stop by.

Have a lovely Monday!
Joshua’s 365 post: Swerve and Skid

Leave a Comment

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tammy August 12, 2013 at 8:16 am

It’s been a while since I’ve stopped in to Aldi. I do like shopping there but my daughter has a short attention span when it comes to shopping, so I try to pick one store and just get my shopping done.

I guess honey could be labeled organic if the bees were kept in a greenhouse? LOL Otherwise, I’ve never seen honey labeled “organic”. I buy my honey through a local food-buying co-op. It’s raw, local honey. I keep it by my stove and it doesn’t crystallize.

Yay for your painting in the kitchen being nearly finished! Such a big project to tackle! The gray for your daughter’s room is pretty!

Have a good Monday. :)


2 Kristen August 12, 2013 at 8:21 am

From what I gather, organic honey has to be produce in an area that’s a couple of miles from where pesticides are being used. But you can’t exactly control where bees go, you know?

Raw, local honey would be my first preference.


3 Frugal Timez August 12, 2013 at 8:17 am

i want less packages over all…
there are so much pagages that is not nessassary!
maybe a blog post about the unnassacary packages??


4 MariaInChicago August 12, 2013 at 8:32 am

That’s funny, I’ve never seen (or noticed, anyway) pre-packaged bananas at my grocery stores. I don’t really see the point, as bananas come in their own natural packaging! There’s no reason to put them in one of those goofy plastic bags in the produce aisle, in my opinion. I guess I primarily see organic bananas at my Whole Foods stores, and they are never prepackaged.

I would be interested in a post on the overabundance of packaging. We have a real problem in the States. I work in Chicago’s Loop, and most people buy their weekday lunches to go while at work and it makes me cringe to think that everyone is given multiple large paper bags (if you go to Panera, they’ll put smaller items from your lunch in bags within the bigger bag–why?!) that just end up in the trash minutes later. And of course, grocery-store packaging is overdone, as you’ve noted. Really, putting bring-your-own-bag restrictions in groceries is the bare minimum we could be doing.


5 Battra92 August 12, 2013 at 8:36 am

My beekeeper friend had a bad year and went from four hives down to one. Luckily when on a business trip I had a nice detour through farm country and stopped at a nice roadside stand and bought some honey.

I don’t want the connectivity of a smart phone but I’ve been eying Republic Wireless simply because it’s cheaper than what I’m paying for two basic cell phones. I use a lot of minutes calling my family and friends so I don’t know that prepaid is right for me, either.

I would love to unplug more. A woman in my house who may or may not be my wife likes to watch TV and play on her laptop at the same time. It boggles my mind how she can do that. @_@


6 Tracy August 12, 2013 at 8:45 am

I shop at Aldis and they are the only store I have ever seen that wraps their bananas. I think it is because they don’t have scales at the registers to weigh the bananas. I wonder if there is a better way perhaps a paper band with the price. Perhaps if a lot of reader wrote to Aldis and suggested they come up with another option beside the wasteful plastic bags.


7 Economies of Kale August 12, 2013 at 8:58 am

I’ve noticed organic produce tends to have more packaging than non-organic here as well. In fact, now that I think about it everything that is organic comes pre-packaged at my supermarket, whereas almost none of the non-organic stuff is. I guess it’s to stop people filling up bags of the (much) more expensive organic stuff and then claiming it is not organic when they get to the register. Surely there must be a better way though…


8 Lesley August 12, 2013 at 9:23 am

Yay for Aldi! Thanks for the heads-up, I’ll be looking for the almond butter.

I love their natural peanut butter. It’s a great price.


9 Kris C. August 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

I’ve recently noticed that the two Aldis near me no longer package their regular bananas. There’s a tape wrapped around each bunch – I guess to prevent people from pulling the bunches apart? But no more bags for them – yay!


10 Kristen August 12, 2013 at 9:28 am

Excellent! My Aldi had bananas like that for a week or two, but then recently they’ve been back to bags. Boo. Hopefully the no-bag thing will become a regular occurrence.


11 Sarah Walker August 12, 2013 at 10:12 am

I have not spotted any organic anything at my Aldi yet :( That said, buying my produce from Aldi has enabled me to increase my produce consumption because the prices are so good. Blueberries that don’t break the bank?? Yes, please!!


12 Andy Mooers August 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

You are so right about over kill packaging and organic food being contradictory. Enjoy your posts and makes me recall the Frugal Zealot news letter . To stretch the dollar to the max.


13 Angeline August 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Really love this post and your blog. I think Aldi is a great shop and its always great value for money. I also like to shop in LIDL and I don’t know why people don’t use these stores more often. I’m going to have a good look around your blog, I’m on maternity leave and I just want to look at ways of saving money and most importantly, being more green!.


14 Amie August 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I haven’t tried my Aldi’s yet(I’ve been meaning to. My grandma said they weren’t that great, but it’s been yrs and a friend of mine swears by them). My schedule is quite hectic at times. The Meijer by me has organic bananas just banded. Kroger’s has a lot of their organic produce loose.


15 Kalyn Brooke | Creative Savings August 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I would love to read/implement that book, but it’s so hard when online work is your full-time job. I’d love to know how you manage to keep a successful blog going, but still find time off-screen as well. :)


16 Kani August 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I loved that book (The Winter of Our Disconnect)! It was fascinating to see how the teens adapted (eventually) to “analog” life. Maushart came home to find her teens playing board games and singing around the piano, when prior to this, they would stay in their rooms texting and on Facebook much of the time.


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