One of my carers offered to go to ALDI for me. I think she meant for food because she’d been telling me about this cheap thing and that cheap thing, and then apologised when I said “yeah but they don’t deliver”. She still offered to get them for me when she went, but I’m happy enough with Tesco and I don’t like to put people out if I can help it.
And then I saw all those posts of gorgeous ALDI stationery on Facebook. You can guess what happened next.
£40, two carers, and a huge list later:
Yes, it really is as heavy as it looks. I was so excited, though. It’s the first time I’ve felt actively happy in months. It felt like Christmas, only better because it was all for me. It didn’t even matter that I paid for it with my own money. It felt like I hadn’t.
And then I peeked inside and:
The thing is, I’ve been looking online for some good-looking chunky notebooks that wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg for ages. Paperchase is my usual go-to for this sort of thing, but I also looked at W. H. Smith, Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and various other places suggested by other planners/stationery addicts on Facebook. None of them had the kind of notebooks I liked the look of with the page count I wanted at the price I could afford.
I mean, it’s years since I had to buy a notebook so I realised eventually I was being unreasonable to expect a good notebook like that at the same price I paid back then, but ten and twenty pounds just seemed ridiculous — especially because, in most cases, you’re only getting 80-120 pages. That’s not what I’d call “chunky”.
It didn’t help that I’ve been inundated with photos of the Heidi Swapp and MAMBI planners. I’m in love with the black/white and watercolour stripe trends, and the Erin Condren style planners look to be even thicker than I was hoping for. “If only,” said I, “I could get them in notebook format without paying an arm and a leg.”
I quickly gave up on that hope, but ALDI has honestly done one better.
Just look at the gold foiling on those notebooks!
They’re a good size for me: not quite A5, I don’t think, but much larger than A6. The paper inside is good quality and narrow-ruled rather than wide, so I won’t have to stretch to write bigger just so my handwriting doesn’t look tiny and stupid. The covers are gorgeous and right on trend; just looking at them inspires me to open one up and start writing, even though I have no idea what to actually put in them yet. (I’ve been looking for notebooks for so long now that I kind of forgot why I wanted them in the first place.)
And they were only £2.99 each. That’s a bargain if I ever saw one!
Better yet: I’ve been eyeing the American Crafts clipboards (only available to the UK if you import them from supermart USA on Amazon). They’re so cute, and 5″x7″ are small enough to use for notes without having to waft an A4 clipboard around. (I have painful, weak wrists and awkward elbows. A4 is an accident waiting to happen. Probably to someone else.)
Unfortunately, supermart wants £5 each and they’d take at least a month to get here. (I know this because I already ordered a few things from them in January and the estimated arrival date is mid-March.) I don’t really mind waiting, and I don’t even really mind the price — but ALDI is offering them for half that and they come with a thick wad of gorgeous notepaper.
They’re not quite A5 and ballpoint pens are useless to me — but seriously, guys. How can you pass this cutie pie up? I even got a pretty ribbon for my
And you know what else I’ve been looking for?
A weekly organiser pad that I can use to write my meal plans. I have a table in Microsoft Word that I’ve been using because it’s easier to move stuff around and change my mind on the computer, but it means swinging out the monitor and waking said computer (which can take 5-10 minutes these days) to check what I’m supposed to be having for lunch/dinner if I forget (which I frequently do even though I’ve literally just checked the damned thing).
Weekly organisers also tend to cost £10 or more and I’m not paying that for a pad of paper that won’t last even a year, no matter how cute it is. (I could print off my digital versions, I suppose, or design my own. I did at one point, but even the new Epson is costing me a fortune in paper and ink so I’d rather not if I can avoid it.)
So then ALDI offers these:
Weekly organisers that come with sticky notes and an accordion envelope you could use for recipes, or receipts, or folded-up weeks you might want to re-use? Count me in!
I mean, I haven’t counted how many weekly sheets you get, but it looks like a year’s worth to me. Even if it’s not, you can’t argue for £2.99. I’ve paid that much just for sticky notes on eBay!
I’ll be honest, here. I actually got these three as gifts. I know not who they were intended for, but it says right on the front that they’re “gift sets” so, you know.
I’ll be extra honest. There’s no freaking way these are leaving my house. Ever. Except when I use them because they’re too pretty to give away. And I might never use them. I might just get one of those acrylic display things I’ve seen on Instagram that people use to showcase their planners because they’re too beautiful to shove in a box on a shelf somewhere. You know, like this one of hautepinkfluff’s? Yeah.
So. I’m pretty sure at this stage that I’m set for life on notepads and memo pads and even ribbons. (I jest, really. You can never be set for life on notepads or ribbons.)
I’m so freaking excited, though, I can’t figure out which to tap into first!