What do you mean, you've never set foot in an Aldi?! Trust us – you really are missing out. But before you race down to your nearest branch, make sure you read our list of Aldi facts. That way you'll know exactly what's in store for you... literally.
1. Aldi has the fastest checkout staff in the known universe
Achievement of the day - went shopping tonight and packed as fast as the Aldi checkout lady scannedOctober 12, 2017
We don't know where they get them from, but Aldi's checkout staff have clearly had to pass some sort of Olympic-standard speed test before being let loose on the tills. On your first visit, you may think you need to pack like a ninja to compensate. But that would be a rookie error. Yes, Janice has hit some sort of transcendental scanning state, but we wouldn't even TRY to bag your shopping as she fires your goods across the checkout. You'll only do yourself a mischief.
Our advice? Dump your scanned shopping back in the trolley, pay, then wheel your cart away to the window near the exit and pack everything at your own leisurely pace.
2. Its cheeky copies of famous brands are HILARIOUS!
Aldi's copycat brand names and packaging are the stuff of legend. So much so, we love to play a game of 'guess the rival product' as we shop. We've got a few favourites – Norpac as an alternative to Lurpac butter, Quixo instead of Bisto gravy granules, Titan chocolate bars that look a lot like Mars bars, and Monster Claws as opposed to Monster Munch. Bravo, Aldi, bravo...
3. And sometimes they're as good – if not better – than the real thing
Aldi has won awards for some of its best-know lookalikes. Mums up and down the country sing the praises of Mamia nappies, and its Magnum dishwasher tablets are a Which? Best Buy.
4. The Specialbuys aisle is the real-life equivalent of Narnia
A photo posted by on
You just never know what you're going to find there. Only in the Specialbuys aisle could you discover a beaded car-seat cover next to a ski jacket, beside a copper table lamp above a Star Wars badminton set. And chances are, all four will make it into your trolley. Who cares if you don't ski? Or have a car?
More Specialbuys: Aldi are already one step ahead on post-Christmas fitness
5. You should always check you have a pound coin before setting out
No pound, no trolley. 'But I can cope with just a basket,' we hear you cry. Then you clearly haven't read point four. You might want to invest in one of those keyrings that has a pound-like token attached. Yes, it's that serious.
6. The pricing displays can catch you out
You'd probably expect the prices of things to be clearly labelled underneath the product on the shelf. And this is true in most cases... just not always. Sometimes the price tag might appear on the shelf above, or dangle unnoticed over your head. Or another shopper might have dumped their unwanted bargains back in the wrong spot. Nightmare!
And then there are the reductions that aren't quite as big as they seem...
To avoid any nasty surprises, you'll need to use all your Miss Marple-style sleuthing powers, and carefully check that price displayed corresponds to the item you're buying. If you're unsure, the item weight and brand name are useful clues. You should also use your common sense – because not even Aldi would sell a bottle of Prosecco, a garden chair or a Lego set for 99p.
7. Watch out Whole Foods – Aldi's got healthy and 'free-from' covered
Gluten–free pasta, maca powder, giant couscous, soya milk – you’ll find it all at Aldi. And for a fraction of the price. So if Veganuary is taking you into the red, we suggest you find your nearest branch, quick!
8. Even Aldi has a basics range
As if its prices weren't cheap enough, Aldi also has its own equivalent to Waitrose's 'essentials' and Asda's Smart Price ranges. It's called Everyday Essentials, and we have it on good authority that the pasta, peanuts, porridge oats and tortilla chips are worth trying.
9. Aldi's bargain booze is legendary
This Christmas, Aldi really excelled itself with a fine selection of craft gins and a jeroboam of Prosecco for under £40... *hiccups*.
10. You should always pay attention as you go in
The Specialbuys aisle isn't the only source of random bargains. As you walk into the store, don't forget to check out the items stacked in the doorway. Shoppers have reported everything from ukuleles to discount Christmas decorations to Aldi's famous Jo Malone-esque candles right at the entrance. So focus, people!
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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