The weird Aldi accessory shoppers love collecting

For many Aldi fans, trips to the store are more along the lines of a hobby, or even an obsession, than a typical mundane grocery run. Aldi ultras eagerly snap up each new addition to the product line, and many boast homes and yards furnished with Aldi Special Buys. Heck, some lucky (and well-heeled) Aldi shoppers may have even had the chance to purchase one of the two Chicagoland properties owned by the supermarket chain.

When it comes to must-have accessories for Aldi shoppers, first on anyone's list has got to be a stash of reusable shopping bags, since the Aldi cashier is never going to ask if you want paper or plastic. You might also want a flexible plastic tub that fits right in your cart, as veteran Aldi-ites say this makes loading and unloading your car a breeze. There's one more accessory you may not have thought to get, though, but once you see how cute and cheap they are, you'll probably want more than one –- an Aldi quarter keeper.

What's a quarter keeper?

As anyone who's ever shopped at Aldi knows, another thing the store does not provide is free use of shopping carts. Well, technically cart use is free, since you do get your money back when you return it, but you'll need to have a quarter — no credit cards accepted! — in order to unlock the cart in the first place. While some renegade shoppers try to work around this requirement, the cart-unlocking hacks they've come up with are too risky for something that isn't even going to save you any money. Instead, your best bet is to make sure you've always got a quarter on hand, and this is where the quarter keeper comes in.

The Aldi quarter keeper is, well, the technical term would be a "doodad," one slightly larger than a 25 cent piece and containing a little slit to hold said coin. These quarter keepers are usually attached to key chains, as well, since the whole point is to keep that quarter close at hand instead of lost in the bottom of your purse. They come in a wide variety of cute shapes – Aisle of Shame mentioned pineapple, avocado, pear, wine glass, ice cream cone, and jelly sandwich quarter keepers, while a number of Redditors gushed over lemon, rainbow, whale, and waffle designs.

Where can you get a quarter keeper?

Well, you can get one at Aldi, of course — but only some of the time. Aisle of Shame notes that Aldi's own quarter keepers, which are priced at just 99 cents apiece, come available as Aldi Finds a couple of times a year. They're usually found with the rest of the Finds items or at the checkout counter. One of the Redditors also mentioned seeing quarter keepers for sale at Target.

There are, of course, numerous variants on the keychain coin holder available from the usual online vendors. eBay's offerings tend to be on the more expensive side. Some of these are actual Aldi Finds quarter keepers sold at a markup to collectors who can't wait until their favorites are back in stock, while others are hand-sewn, embroidered, or even crocheted and priced accordingly (typically around $5 or more). Etsy, however, offers a wide range of handmade quarter keepers at a much lower cost, many selling for under a dollar. Amazon's offerings seem to be the priciest of all, but you've got to admit, getting the convenience of Prime delivery might be worth it.