A loyal Aldi shopper was taken aback when she visited her local store with just £10 in her pocket.
Amber Louise Large, a reporter for our sister site MyLondon, has been shopping with the budget retailer for years. Very much aware of it being known for bargains, she headed to Aldi and set herself a challenge.
She said: " I'm in need of a bit of magic right now. It is Secret Santa season and I've got £10 to buy the perfect present and no idea where to start looking. So for once in my life I head to the middle aisle with a purpose."
Firstly, she was surprised by the number of candles in the aisle, adding it "may as well be a Yankee store". She said there were "big candles, little candles, candles that smell like stale toothpaste and then some that (luckily) smell remarkably better".
Amber was then happy to find a Jo Malone dupe, one of Aldi's hotel collection range, for just £4.99. She said: "Jo Malone candles start at £55 each. Aldi's Hotel Collection candles start at £4.99 for a set of four mini candles. This set includes Lime, Basil & Mandarin, Pomegranate, Sweet Almond & Macaroon, and Rose Noir. Some of the most popular dupe scents at Aldi."
Amber continued: "I would definitely be happy with this set. I would also be happy with one of the larger wooden wick candles in the Hotel Collection. Just when I think Aldi must have run out of wax I see them: the mammoth candles.
"These are almost twice the size of my head and more than twice my budget. Yet oh, how I am tempted. The Hotel Collection Hurricane candle has four wicks and must take about ten years to burn through.
"Now I might be a tad over-exaggerating there but I doubt you'll find anyone who has ever actually finished one of these. So £24 is a lot, yes, but it might be worth it. Just not today. Today I only have £10. The mini set it is!
"Still with £5 .01, let's not forget that all important penny, to spend I traverse the aisle for something, anything, other than a candle. Someone into games might like the Calm puzzle for £3.99 to go with their candles. Someone into Disney might appreciate the £2.99 Lion King or 101 Dalmatian socks. Someone into chocolate might opt for a £3.49 sharing bag of Quality Street.
"They are all good options and any one would make for a nice stocking filler. Candles, chocolates and socks might seem like basic gifts but the middle aisle does not do boring. The candles are designer dupes, the socks feature childhood favourite characters, and the chocolate... well, it's chocolate. Who would complain about receiving a big bag of chocolate?
"The middle aisle has spoken and I have listened. It would not usually be my go-to for gift giving season but Aldi always seems to have something up its sleeve. My Secret Santa is going to be very happy."
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