Today marks the 15th anniversary of Aldi opening in Australia.
That 15 years has just flown by. I remember watching A Current Affair with great interest, and seeing the opening of the first store in Sydney, hearing what people were saying about the products and more importantly the low, low prices and wishing I was there.
Most Australians were wary of this unknown, privately owned and very secretive German supermarket. But we all like a bargain so on opening day it was almost a stampede as shoppers flocked to be amongst the first to sample unknown products and prices.
I remember being almost green with envy at the prices and just busting to try Aldi out.
I remember being so excited when the Chirnside Park store opened here in Melbourne. It was still a distance to travel, but not so far that it was unreasonable. I didn't go the first day, but I was there the very next.
And I've been an Aldi convert ever since.
Not long after the Ferntree Gully store opened I took my mother for her very first Aldi shopping experience one Friday morning. Hannah still goes into hysterics at Grandma's reaction at the checkout.
"ALL THAT! YOU GOT ALL THAT FOR $86! ALL THAT!"
And yes, she was shouting - she was more excited than I was.
My grocery budget was tight and $86 for a month's worth of basic grocery items (flours, sugar, wheat biscuits, pasta, butter, milk, tinned tomatoes, tuna etc.) meant I had wriggle room in my grocery budget for the first time in over 10 years.
And shopping at Aldi still gives me wriggle room in my budget. Without Aldi's low prices, great range, amazing special buys and incredible 7 Day Deals we wouldn't be able to stick to our super-tight, extra stringent budget this year.
I am asked every week whether or not I really think Aldi saves shoppers money or is good for Australia. The answer is a resounding "YES" to both questions, so much so that I've run workshops based on Aldi shopping lists. I'm running a workshop just on Aldi in Adelaide in February - Aldi will be opening in Adelaide on 3rd February.
I'm a very proud and loyal Aldi shopper and I am so very grateful you came to Australia.
So Aldi, happy anniversary!
I can't wait to see how much I save over the next 15 years.