If you’ve been reading very long, you already know that I really love Aldi. I realized on my most recent shopping trip that the aspect I love most about Aldi is that it encourages seasonal living and discourages lifestyle inflation, at least in the area of grocery shopping
For those unfamiiar with Aldi, the bulk of the store is a fairly traditional stock of
foods that you would need to prepare, and they offer no brand choice. There is a set stock of goods that rarely changes in composition. (Thank goodness! The choice fatigue alone makes me want to flee traditional grocers.)
The last aisle, however, changes every week or two. One side of the aisle is home goods, and the other side is seasonal foods. Since we’re almost upon Christmas, right now it is full of all sorts of Christmas sweets and crackers. Two weeks from now, it will be something completely different. October always has an Oktoberfest theme, other months they’ll spotlight the food of a different country.
I love this feature of Aldi, because I feel like I am setting myself up for success in treating myself appropriately. Our grocery budget allows for treats from time to time, but I’ve talked before about how those treats rapidly become things we take for granted, and, for me, abstinence is better than moderation. Fortunately, Aldi offers enforced moderation. If I buy an item from the last aisle and I love it, I cannot be tempted to buy it forever, because the item will simply be gone. Most of the items are things I shouldn’t buy forever, since they are typically sweets or pre-packaged foods.
Moreover, my treat will be in time with the season. I can celebrate the time of year with a little something, then move on to enjoy the elements of another season at a later time. It’s a great lesson in a country where we are increasingly offered anything we want exactly on demand of when we want it. Moreover, the scarcity helps me to enjoy the treat more while I have it.
Aldi is not devoid of temptations in their permanent stock (I’m side-eyeing you, cocoa-dusted almonds). You also have to be self-aware enough not to “stock up” when items are in the last aisle. Overall, though, enjoying the last aisle at Aldi from time-to-time can help you to keep your treats as, well, treats.
What are some of the ways you try to curb “treat” spending? Also, have you tried out Aldi? What did you think?