Our at-home kid blind taste-test. Who won?
My bestie and I often have cousin playdates – we’re cousins by marriage, and we have 12 kids between the two of us. Yes, we know we’re crazy with that many kids. No need to digress from the main topic of this blog post.
Anyways, our plan for dinner was a simple one – macaroni and cheese with hotdogs and chili. Our kids eat this stuff up like it’s nothing, which I suppose it’s a good thing. Gotta fill up those tummies! Her and I subjected ourselves to a macaroni and cheese debate. She loved the ALDI brand, while I stayed close to my Kraft preference.
The price became the barrier, with ALDI’s mac and cheese totaling at 33¢ a box, while Kraft single boxes were 98¢. Makes complete sense if you’re looking for ways to save money on a tight budget – and if you have a lot of kids like us, obviously ALDI would be the right choice. When you buy Kraft boxes in bulk (5 packs), you could easily get the price down to 90¢. When coupons come into play, probably around 70¢/box. Still doesn’t compare to the 37¢ difference between the ALDI brand, but if you prefer the name brand products then you’re saving 28¢/box buying in bulk and using a coupon!
With the price difference out there, our other arguments entailed flavor. Obviously! If flavor isn’t there, it won’t be eaten. Period! We wanted to see if our children preferred one brand over another.
We followed the directions of the boxes carefully and prepared them with the right ingredients (amount of water, 2% milk, butter). The only difference in our cooking was the pots we used. I had two different sizes, and I took the smaller. The amounts of water in each pot was the same, but because mine was smaller, it was closer to the top. We both feared that once boiling, the water would overflow. 7-10 minutes was suggested, so we chose 7 minutes. To avoid overflowing, after the initial boiling we both brought the temperature down to medium heat. Once the 7 minutes were up, we both took our cooking macaroni off the stoves to drain the water. She went first to drain, and I quickly followed after.
The noodles looked the same to us, but the Kraft cheese powder was a noticeable darker orange color than the Cheese Club cheese powder. Once the macaroni and cheese was finished, we marked foam plates “1” and “2” and spooned a small amount of each brand in their separate places for the kids to sample. Many of them were excited to see what our taste-testing was about and took their time sampling each of them to determine which one they enjoyed more. I had my handy dandy notebook, ready to write down the results.
We asked them two questions:
- Which macaroni and cheese do you prefer?
- Which brand do you think is which?
Though all 12 kids sampled, 8 of them were able to give their opinions. Here was the result:
We had an overwhelming favoritism to Kraft Macaroni and Cheese over the ALDI brand. The one child who preferred Cheese Club was because it was more chewy than the Kraft mac and cheese. One kid who preferred the Kraft tried one bite of the Cheese Club brand, and then left it alone.
Afterwards, we both made batches of our own mac and cheese. I kept mine plain, while she added hotdogs and chili. At the end of the night, BOTH pots of food were emptied. So, I suppose the kids didn’t mind either brand, at the end of the day. Win-win for everyone! We had a blast experimenting with these two brands and look forward to trying out more taste tests in the future!
As far as price, ALDI’s brand Cheese Club macaroni and cheese wins hands down 3/$1. Each box had their own benefits, such as no synthetic colors, no artificial flavors, or dyes. Our kids, however, chose Kraft over ALDI for taste.
What do you think, parents? What do you prefer when purchasing meals? We want to hear from you!