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Showing posts with the label cereals

Millville Apple Cinnamon Crispy Oats (Aldi)

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Very disappointing. Cereal is one of my all-time favorite foods, because it’s so versatile: its use as a breakfast food, of course, is well-documented, but for me, it can also be a snack, a dessert, or even occasionally dinner.  I also love the stuff because it tends to provide many vitamins and minerals that you can‘t always get with just any food, but also not at the expense of flavor--even the sweetest of cereals still have a lot of health benefits to offer.  They might rot away your teeth, but at least the rest of you will be healthy! Curiously, Millville’s Apple Cinnamon Crispy Oats are available only occasionally as a Special Buy from Aldi stores, along with a “chocolate“ variety.  I add “curiously” because they offer standard and honey nut versions all the time--back when I was a youngster, I always considered apple cinnamon to be a staple offering of the national brand, so I just think it’s a little weird that they don’t offer it all the time along with the other “crisp

Millville Honey Nut Corn Squares Cereal (Aldi)

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This crop-job is very off-center and kind of annoying. As we’ve elaborated upon at least a dozen times (the last time being in the above review), I love cereal.  I also love a good Special Buy cereal, which is to say, for those uninitiated to how Aldi works, products that are only offered for a limited time until they are sold out, at which point they are gone until the next time they are offered.  When I’m not in the mood for one of my usuals (Millville Honey Nut Crispy Oats, regular Crispy Oats, Frosted Flakes, or Cocoa Rice), I like to wander over to the Special Buy section just to see what limited-time breakfast foods they might have. Well, on this particular trip, I discovered Millville’s Honey Nut Corn Squares.  Now, Millville offers their standard Corn and Rice Squares cereals all the time, and now that I think about it, you can add both of those to the above list of my “usuals”.  Either of them are perfect for when I’m in the mood for something a little lighter, and they

Malt o' Meal Fruity Dyno Bites Cereal (Various)

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Malt o' Meal cereal in its rare boxed form. While I was at Kroger (needed a few things Aldi didn‘t have; God I hate that place), I saw a box of Malt o’ Meal’s Fruity Pebbles knockoff.  But what attracted me to it was a banner across the front of the box, declaring that blind taste testers chose Fruity Dyno Bites over the national brand pebble.  This didn’t really catch my attention because I couldn’t believe it and had to try it for myself to see if it was really true; I bought it because I’d always believed Malt o’ Meal was one of, if not the best, cereal company’s out there.  It had been a while since I had Fruity Dyno Bites, and I just wanted to get reacquainted with the taste. I generally like buying MOM cereals (as they are also known, for short) in the large bags, but as much as you get, I can never justify paying over $3 for a bag.  I know, it’s still much cheaper than buying the boxes, but Big Lots seems to get 2 lb. bags about twice per year for under $3 (last year I

Malt o' Meal Cocoa Dyno Bites Cereal (Various)

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"Crazy good deals today"! While most of the other reviews on this blog pertain to store brand products, I have a deep appreciation for the Malt-O-Meal brand, which tend to offer outstanding cereal knock-offs for a pretty deep discount as opposed to the national brands.  So while the focus of this blog is generally store brand or private label items, Malt-O-Meal still fits in with the same philosophy of store brands by providing a high quality product for a great price.  Well now their value has gotten even better, as Big Lots is offering massive 33.8 oz. bonus bags (that’s over two pounds!) of their Cocoa Dyno Bites for just $2 (prices and selection may vary).  Put simply, that’s at least twice the size of typical cereal boxes, and still generally cheaper than said boxes, so this has the makings of a great value.  But how does it taste?  After all, just because something is inexpensive, doesn’t necessarily make it a great deal! The first thing you will notice, be

Millville Honey Nut Crispy Oats Cereal (Aldi)

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All the box is missing is a cartoon bee. There are just some nights when I have to have a bowl of cereal.  But since the name brands are so ridiculously overpriced (really, $4 for a box full of corn and sugar?), I’m always looking for alternate options.  Malt O’ Meal is probably my favorite secondhand cereal company, but Aldi’s own Millville line is a close second, offering knockoffs that are generally very close in quality and flavor to the national brands. Milville’s Honey Nut Crispy Oats are no exception.  Obviously a private label take on Honey Nut Cheerios, Millville’s version offers up a delicious honey kick that is not too sweet, but not too subtle.  For some reason, the taste reminds me of caramel popcorn, but that’s probably just me, so don’t quote me on that.  It has seriously been some years since I’ve last had the name brand, so I can’t really say how it compares to them, but it has an addicting sweetness that has made it one of my main go-to cereals from Aldi.  T

Millville Cocoa Rice Cereal (Aldi)

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BREAKING NEWS: Cocoa Rice is also gluten free! I think I mention this every time I review a cereal from Aldi under the “Millville” moniker, but Millville cereals really are where taste and budget merge together.  Very few of the cereals miss the mark versus the name brands, and even in instances where they might not taste as good, their substantial savings really help to even things out, closing the gap between national brand quality versus price. Millville’s Cocoa Rice is no exception.  As you would expect, these are small, fluffy, chocolate-covered rice bits.  Visually, they look pretty much exact when compared to the national brand, but seeing as how you didn’t buy this stuff just to sit and look at it, I’ll go a little farther.  The smell reeks of straight-up cocoa, which is definitely a little more reassuring. Taste-wise is where I could easily see this cereal dividing consumers.  For me, the cocoa flavor is spot-on, easily making this one of my favorite of Millville’s plen

Millville Cinnamon Crunch Squares Cereal (Aldi)

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The downside of private label recipe tinkering: This once great cereal, reduced to crap. One of the interesting things about dealing with private labels, is sometimes the suppliers change.  And when the suppliers change, so too does the recipe.  Since Aldi is comprised almost entirely of private labels (though more and more national brands keep creeping in, much to my dismay), recipes and formulations seem to be altered almost weekly.  Sometimes, it’s for the better:  Their gelatin fruit cups used to be inedible long ago, but they now just taste like del Monte’s.  Other times, it’s not, and this is sadly one of those cases. If I had been writing this review even three months ago, I would be talking about how the cereal had a perfect amount of cinnamon, while the squares were light and fluffy.  It was definitely one of the best cereal knock-offs in a store full of good ones.  But something changed between now and then, and it has taken a serious nose-dive in quality, to the point t

Millville Blueberry Crunch Squares Cereal (Aldi)

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Perfect for when you want something sweet and breakfast at the same time. I tried Millville’s Blueberry Crunch Squares cereal several years back, one of the many times it has been offered as a special buy in Aldi stores.  I was simply looking for something new besides their typical cereal offerings, and I figured a mix of blueberries and lots of sugar couldn’t be so bad.  After just one taste, it immediately vaulted into my top 10 list of favorite cereals, a spot that it has held through to this day. To be honest, I’m not even sure what product this is knocking off, as I don’t believe I have seen a national brand make a product like this.  Even a quick search on the internet yields nothing.  Yet there are dozens of private labels that offer a cereal like this, ranging from store brands, all the way down to Malt-O-Meal.  Is this one of the very few original private label items that have gained popularity without the benefit of riding on the success of a national brand? Enough q

American Breakfast Fruiti Rings Cereal (Dollar Tree)

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Want something with better flavor? Throw some sand in a bowl and mix it with milk. I am not a picky eater, but I am pretty picky about my cereals, and the brands at Dollar Tree have never really piqued my interest.  Most of the boxes just look rather simple and depressing, following the typical color schemes present in the national brands, but not having enough money to really dress it up any further than that.  But I really wanted to give Dollar Tree’s own cereal brands a fair shake; who knows, maybe it would turn out to be a diamond in the rough.  So even though there were plenty of small bags of Malt-O-Meal for sale (which just may be the best cereal company out there), I decided to go for a box of American Breakfast’s Fruiti Rings cereal. Based on looks, American Breakfast really has this thing down.  The rings are full of color, and just like the national brand, vary slightly in size.  Surprisingly, it’s a very welcome sight.  Even the colors pop like they should, makin

Meijer Toasted Oats Cereal (Meijer)

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Average at best, average at worst. Though I do like the place, I rarely go to Meijer.  And when I do go, it’s even less often about groceries.  But while my wife was on a recent grocery expedition with her parents, I asked them to pick me up a box of Cheerios. What she came back with, was unexpected:  Two dwarfen boxes of Meijer Toasted Oats cereal, which were handed to me along with the information that they were $1 each.  “Not bad,” I initially thought…more on that later. From the moment you pull them out of the box, you can tell that something is not exactly the same.  Whereas Cheerios, and even other private label brands, appear smooth and almost “airy”, Meijer’s Oats look a little rough.  They are also a little darker, as well, which gives them an even more “menacing” vibe, when compared to the light, inviting look of other brands.  Not that you feel like this cereal is going to attack you, but it definitely doesn’t look quite as appetizing. But who cares about looks, right

Malt-o-Meal Honey & Oat Blenders (Various)

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A quiet, unassuming box of Malt-O-Meal's Honey & Oat Blenders Well the purpose of this blog was to focus more on the private label brands within dollar stores and discount grocers.  With that in mind, I’ll admit that I’m bending the rules a little bit, because Malt-O-Meal, while definitely a small-ish brand, is just about everywhere.  It’s in drug stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, dollar stores, and stores that deal in closeouts (Big Lots, I’m lookin’ at you).  It’s also the fifth largest cereal manufacturer in the United States, and was even involved in a movie campaign for The Simpson’s Movie, where they rebranded one of their cereal’s as Krusty-O’s.  So yeah, maybe including this is a bit of a stretch. But let’s not forget that Malt-O-Meal cereals can be a great buy, and in the end that‘s the main thing this blog is about:  value.  In fact, I’ve long held that it was my favorite cereal brand, because of its almost exacting flavors mixed with its low prices.  T