I never used to shop at Aldi, and I now ask myself why. I suppose in a snobbish way I saw it as a ‘budget’ supermarket, or, equally, I was just used to the shiny shelves of Tesco and Asda packed from floor to ceiling with bright colourful things to buy. I began shopping with them when I was working just around the corner from one in Coventry, and soon discovered that as well as offering me a considerably cheaper weekly shop, that the quality of certain items equalled or even surpassed some more expensive brands.
I know some people umm and arr about taking the first step through the doors so let me guide you towards some of my Aldi favourites. The smoked salmon, the one in smallish packs with dressings melts in your mouth and is simply divine and the larger packs, I feel, are better quality than the same priced products in other supermarkets (and I am fussy). The soft cheese tastes just like philadelphia (I have tried other brands of soft cheese before but I loved the philly taste too much to switch. Until now.). The frozen fish is great value and the washing powder/tablets/gels are considerably cheaper than ‘named’ brands, and they still get my mucky toddler clothes clean and fresh. My favourite is the green gel, it smells good and seems to last a long time for the size of bottle. They sell marmite! The sea salt butter is lush and the Edam better than I have tasted in the big supermarkets. The tinned tuna is perfect as is the hummus. The loo roll is soft enough for my discerning bum and the cleaning products work brilliantly too. At the moment (May 1013) they are selling piccolo tomatoes and though more expensive, at £1.49, they are the tastiest tomatoes ever. Strawberries are also currently dead cheap and taste delicious.
If you suffer from allergies, the piriton equivalent in Aldi is something like 75p a pack! The caffeine drinks have half the calories of other brands too. Oh – and how could I forget the lovely Irish Cream drink?
But what I love the most about Aldi, and has been mentioned by people in the press before, is their beauty range.
The Carino Miracle Oil was a special offer, I was told, but will be returning. It is as good as the very expensive Moroccan Oil, and £3.99 (they were being sold on ebay for at least a tenner!). I can’t remember the exact prices of these products, but all are around the £2-4 mark or less (apologies if I am wrong). I love the Carino almond shampoo because as a blonde, I find that many shampoos leave my hair looking dull. This keeps it’s blonde brightness, and at a lot less than the specific ‘blonding’ shampoos you can buy. I tested the efficiency of the Lacura caffeine eye roller by rolling it under one of my eyes ad not the other one, then after an hour or so asking my sister which one I had used the eye roller on. She could definitely identify the tested eye. So from then on I buy this for use in the mornings. At night time I use the restorative eye cream and I noticed an improvement in the skin around my eyes in around a week. I have facial eczema and sensitive skin and the Aqua Complete serum is marvellous for balancing my skin underneath my daily moisturiser. It is light and fresh and totally absorbs with the help of some gentle facial massage. I used to use touche eclat, but I actually prefer Aldi’s under eye concealer. Combined with the caffeine eye roller, it hides a multitude of sins.
There is not much I don’t like really, their bubble bath is a bit synthetic and the mascara is a bit so-so. The doeodorant does not work for me. I have to shop elsewhere for chickpeas, black beans spices, coriander, spices, rice noodles and anything gluten-free and I would love to see these items added to the shelves.
What do you think? Can you add to my Aldi favourites list? I’d welcome extra advice below. I am pescatarian so I can’t comment on the meat (though they advertise their high standards and British meat producers), and I don’t really drink so I’ve not tried the booze, though I am told it is lovely.