Aldi's massive snow gear sale: the early bird gets the warm
Australia's budget-savvy snow lovers are planning to take on the crowds this Saturday at Aldi's famed snow gear sale.
The European retailer makes headlines each year with the sale, attracting scores of shoppers determined to stock up on affordable winter gear.
How cheap is it?
A peek at this season's catalogue reveals you can get hold of an adults' waterproof ski jacket ($59.99), pants ($49.99) and gloves ($14.99), along with two-piece thermal underwear ($29.99), goggles ($14.99), and waterproof boots ($29.99) with change from $200.
Shop for similar gear at adventure stores such as Kathmandu and you would be lucky to get hold of much more than a ski jacket for that amount, with the full ensemble coming close to $750.
The Aldi catalogue includes more than 50 items to keep you feeling snug and, at those prices, maybe even a bit smug.
Renata Hay, textiles buying director for Aldi Australia, says this year's sale will be better than ever, with clever pockets for ski lift passes, more products made from Australian Merino wool, and a new range of colours.
"Australians have been in love with Aldi's Snow Gear sale since the very beginning, but that doesn't mean we're content with sitting still," she says.
"We are constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve the range. This involves working closely with our suppliers to research new trends and implement the latest technology in areas like waterproofing, seam taping, breathability, ventilation and more.
"Our objective is to offer Australians access to high quality ski and snowboarding gear that doesn't break the bank.
"Every time you buy a product from our Snow Gear range, you can be confident that you're getting the best value for money."
The sale is famous for attracting thousands of people to Aldi stores.
Comments on the supermarket's Facebook page likened it to "going to war", with shoppers ready to "fight the crowds" and secure a bargain. For some, it "sounds like a nightmare". Others plan to be "at the front door breathing on the glass" before opening time.
Here are five tips to get your hands on a bargain:
Do your research, read the catalogue, check out customer feedback and whether you want to tap into social media on the slopes with $9.99 touchscreen gloves, keep dry with waterproof alternatives ($15.99) or take the luxe road with premium goatskin for $34.99. Know which colours and sizes are available and be ruthless in the centre aisle.
Set an alarm
The best deals are often snapped up early in the day, so there's little point trying to complete your winter wardrobe when tackling the family shop on Saturday arvo. Committed folks start queuing long before doors open at 8.30am. Check your local store times, get there early and bring a thermos.
Divide and conquer
Either take a family member or friend so you can split up and get everything you need, or share your list with someone heading to a different store to improve your chances.
Are you near an Aldi where snow sports are less popular? Or can you travel to a newly-opened store where locals may not be aware of the ski sale bargains?
While Aldi doesn't have an online store, check out eBay or Gumtree next week, where entrepreneurial types will be hoping to flip their purchases for a small profit.