We love our desserts,” Jenny Holden says. “And at Christmas we really push the boat out with amazing puddings, like crème brûlée and chocolate tortes. I also doubt anyone will make it through the door without being offered a gorgeous mince pie or two with a thick dollop of brandy cream on the side.”
Jenny and her husband Adam, a corporate communications director, don’t trouble themselves much with the extra calories or cost of these Christmas treats.
“We’re taking some time off work so we’ll get plenty of lovely long walks in with our boys where we’ll enjoy working off our indulgences,” she says. “And all the food, drinks and luxurious little extras we buy will come from Aldi.”
The couple, both 41 and from Lichfield, became Aldi converts after the birth of their four-year-old twins, James and Edward. “That was when we discovered the store’s own-brand Mamia nappies,” says Jenny, who runs her own business.
“I found them absolutely brilliant. I did my own comparisons with other brands, but I always came back to Aldi because no one could beat them on quality, which is such an important issue with nappies. The fact they were so good made the low price an added bonus.
“From there I quickly discovered that as well as the fantastic baby products – their baby wipes are also second to none – everything else I needed for the family could be bought at Aldi. It really is a one- stop shop, and the products aren’t just great quality, they’re incredibly good value. Aldi ticks every box for us.”
This year, Aldi has been nominated once again for the Mother & Baby Supermarket of the Year award by Mother & Baby magazine, an award it has won for the past two years in a row.
The multi-award-winning Mamia range of nappies, wipes, baby food and bath products has also achieved nominations across various categories at the awards.
If I pick up a small basket of shopping elsewhere, I feel like weeping at the checkout because I could have filled a trolley for the same at Aldi
Jenny buys all her toiletries from the store, and Adam likes its razors and shaving cream. He is also a fan of Aldi’s shower gels.
“I love the liquid hand soaps, which smell amazing,” Jenny says. “Since converting I haven’t struggled to find anything in there that we need. The store- cupboard products are great – we’re always well stocked up on beans, tinned tomatoes, and pasta and stir-fry sauces. And the boys love Aldi’s crisps, so we always get a few packs for a handy snack.
“Breakfast is easy – we all like the porridge, and the children particularly enjoy the brioche rolls. Add in some lovely chopped-up fruit and you’ve made a great start to the day with very little effort.”
And there is another type of grocery that Aldi really excels at: fresh produce. Every week, it reveals a new “Super 6” offer, which places six types of fruit and vegetables at a special price point, making it much easier for shoppers to pick healthy options.
Jenny says the boys love snacking on blueberries, which she hasn’t been able to find tastier, or cheaper, in any other store.
She is eager to add that she doesn’t struggle to get them to eat their five a day with such a wide and delicious range of fresh fruit and vegetables to choose from.
“The bags of frozen fruits are great, too – I use them in puddings and crumbles, which make for a really delicious dessert,” she says.
“Then there are the potato waffles and we all love the petits pois. A big favourite with Adam and me are the frozen slow-cooked lamb shanks with a rosemary and mint sauce. They cook quickly and taste homemade.”
Savings go on family meals out, trips to the cinema and all those pairs of expensive trainers that small boys seem to get through at an alarming rate
Jenny and Adam tend to do a big shop every fortnight, with another smaller visit in between to pick up fresh ingredients. “We spend around £300 a month, which is incredible when you think what goes into our shopping trolley each visit and if you consider that feeds a family of four extremely well.
“I pick up lots of cheese, ham and squeezy yogurts; we love the cereals, the drinks are great and the cleaning and washing products are absolutely brilliant.
“I’d say we’re saving at least the same again each month on what we would pay in other supermarkets. On the odd occasion I do pick up a small basket of shopping elsewhere, I feel like weeping when I get to the checkout, because I know I could have filled a trolley for the same amount in Aldi.
“Those savings go on family meals out, trips to the cinema and all those pairs of expensive trainers and boots that small boys seem to get through at an alarming rate.”
The family also enjoys another aspect of shopping at Aldi – the “Specialbuys” aisle that runs the length of the store, along which a wide range of bargains can be found.
These can be anything from gardening products and DIY tools, to dehumidifiers, pots and pans, and even duvets and footwear. “Adam always buys any tools he needs from Aldi, and the socks are really warm and comfortable. I also like to grab a bunch of flowers – they’re lovely to have in the house but along with everything else are very reasonably priced.”
Jenny and Adam enjoy entertaining at home, and will open their doors to a steady stream of visitors throughout the festive period. They plan to splash out on a full complement of spirits and mixers as well as several bottles of Aldi wines and Veuve Monsigny champagne.
“It’s nice to be able to ask people what they’d like to drink and know you’ve got every option covered,” Jenny says.
“We’re really looking forward to sharing some lovely food this Christmas. We love turkey and really enjoy all the extra side dishes that go with Christmas dinner, such as red cabbage, sprouts, cranberry sauce. Oh, and pigs in blankets always go down well, and are the kind of thing you just wouldn’t go to the trouble of making at any other time of year. But then, isn’t that what Christmas is all about: pushing the boat out and enjoying amazing food with the people you love.”