Tried and tested: 3 Aldi bargains I now couldn't live without

·5-min read
The Aldi Special Buys that we 10/10 reccommend. (Aldi)
The Aldi Special Buys that we 10/10 reccommend. (Aldi)

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Everyone knows the joy of Aldi - and if they don't, they're missing out. 

The rest of us have long been enthralled by the endless supply of staggeringly affordable, high quality goods, food and household items - along with the Aisles of Wonder, the ever-changing central sections that might sell electric scales one day and ski-wear the next, like a supermarket version of the Magic Faraway Tree. 

It's fair to say I spend a great deal of time there, both online and off, picking out food I can't find anywhere else (jars of cherries, spiced German biscuits, vintage cheddar strong enough to make your hair fall out) handy basics (loo roll, flour, £5 wine that tastes just as good as the £12 kind from other supermarkets) and looking at the home bargains, wondering if I need an extra duvet set or a garden log burner. 

Often though, I limit myself to small treats - and because it's so affordable, I can have more than one. 

Here are three things that have genuinely improved my life this month, for under £20 altogether. 

1. Peony Blush Reed Diffuser

I don't buy scented candles, since my house burned down twelve years ago. It was all due to a candle, and we had to be rescued through the bedroom window by burly firemen, which isn't nearly as exciting as you'd imagine when you're covered in soot and the kitchen's on fire. 

Spoiler: Everyone was safe, including the four cats, but it took months to sort the house out and as a result, I have never lit a candle since, unless you count birthday cakes. And even then, I feel a bit nervous until they're blown out.

I do, however, like the house to smell nice. My two spaniels are capable of making it reek like a medieval dung-pit if they're been enjoying a hefty roll in fox poo, and sometimes, the only solution is a good cover-up till it fades naturally. 'Naturally' is the key word here, as I have a powerful dislike of obviously synthetic smells - they make everything smell like a late-night minicab's Magic Tree. 

That's why diffusers are so good. Little wooden sticks, glass jar, essential oils - it's all eco-friendly, lovely to look at (no plastic plug-ins here) and they scent a room lightly, rather than knocking you out with a chemical punch. 

They last for weeks, too, and while there's a wide selection of scents to choose from, this one is an elegant suggestion of a summer garden. It's gentle, fresh, and never cloying or sickly - most importantly, it's a tenth of the price of comparable products. And it won't burn your house down. 

Buy it: Peony Blush Reed Diffuser | £3.49 from Aldi

2. Addis Spray Mop

When I was out dancing on tables downing flaming Sambuca, I never thought I'd be the sort of woman who raves about a mop, but times change, and here we are. 

I bought this on a whim. I had some friends coming round one evening recently, including my most house-proud pal, who only just stops short of running his finger along the picture rails like The Hotel Inspector. 

Looking through his eyes, I noted that my kitchen lino was more Miss Havisham than Mrs Hinch, with some alarmingly grubby patches and little outbreaks of dust and debris in the corners. 

I needed a quick solution, and spotted this light, neat-looking mop for just £9.99

It's got a lockable spray bottle on the handle, a machine-washable microfibre head that swivels into tricky spots (much like my youngest dog looking for crumbs) and it promises to pick up 50% more dirt and dust than a regular strand mop whilst being 'twice as fast.'

For the price, I was initially a bit skeptical - but colour me amazed, it was like magic. One squeeze of the handle sprays the floor, and the cloth head whips through grime like a meteor through the night sky. 

It's the most satisfying experience I've had in a long time (look, there's been a pandemic on). My floor shone, and my house-proud friend could have eaten his dinner from it.

The only problem is, my Mum has now "borrowed" my magic mop. I may have to buy her one.

Buy it: Addis Spray Mop | £9.99 from Aldi

3. Lacura Hair Mask

I've never been one for spending fortunes on beauty products. Firstly it's disappointing - £80 not to look like J-Lo after a month of careful application - and secondly, I'd rather spend my money on nice food and books. 

But, I do love a beauty bargain, and Lacura, Aldi's beauty label, generally does the job brilliantly.

I always have a scan for new things in the beauty section, both on and offline, and most recently, I was drawn instantly to the matt pink pot labelled 'Lacura hair mask with coconut and fig'. 

It looks like the kind of 'deep repair' mask hair stylists try to flog you for £50, straight after you've paid their mortgage for the next year, but it's the price of two high street coffees for a very generous pot.

Whack it on after shampooing, leave for ten minutes, and it promises shiny, happy hair.

I am generally very suspicious of these sorts of promises as I have hair like wispy baby fuzz, that's either more flyaway than a nervous wren, or weighted down like a cormorant in an oil-slick by heavy product.

Well, not any more. I put on a tablespoon or so. I waited ten - okay, seven - minutes. Ish. And when I rinsed off the very pleasant and expensive-smelling mask and blow-dried it, my hair looked... better. Softer. More manageable. All the things hair products generally promise that don't work for me.

I am absolutely converted - and the pot looks pleasingly glamorous on the bathroom shelf, too.

Buy it: Lacura Hair Mask | £4.99 from Aldi

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