By Mike Thayer
I've stated it before, no bachelor's pantry should be without a box of macaroni & cheese.
I love to cook and making a scratch mac & cheese and baking it in the oven is my preference, but there are those times when you want a quick meal and have a need to satisfy that pasta and cheese craving.
When it comes to meal prep, it doesn't get much easier with the typical boxed Mac-n-Cheese, boil up some water, cook the pasta for about 7 minutes, drain, return the pasta to the pan, then dump in some milk, butter and the packet of cheese powder. Boom, dinner in about 10 minutes. I've sampled all kinds of boxed offerings over the years I've tried Annie's, Banza and a host of the store/discount brands, but in my book nothing is quite as good as Kraft Macaroni & Cheese - Original.
Enter, Cheese Club Macaroni and Cheese dinner.
This is Aldi's version of Kraft Mac & Cheese, original. Note the similar looking box using a blue background. As they say, imitation is a form of flattery and besides, when you're doing a knock-off, it only works if it's a copycat kind of thing.
The ingredients are essentially the same, pasta and a pouch of seasoned cheese powder. The noodles in the Cheese Club offering are smaller though, not a big deal however, you still get the same volume. The important element is that cheese powder and how good it is when combined with the butter and milk turning it into a sauce. Prepared as directed this sauce comes out smooth and creamy, not slightly grainy like I've experienced with other discount brands. The flavor is good, but not quite as bold as Kraft.
Costing me just 43 cents for a 7.25 ounce box, I'm giving the Cheese Club Macaroni and Cheese Dinner 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. That it's VERY reasonably priced is undeniable. Compare the Cheese Club (Aldi) price to the typical $1 you'll pay for Kraft original at a mainstream grocery store. The box sizes are the same, 7.25 ounces. Given the price for the Aldi product - I can get TWO box dinners for less than $1 - it's a repeat buy and has a place in my pantry. But Kraft remains the King of boxed Mac-n-Cheese when it comes to flavor. Moving forward, I'll probably have both brands on hand, but will probably only buy Kraft when it's on sale.
$pend Wisely My Friends...
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