Unless you’ve been cryogenically preserved or living inside a cave for the last few months, you may have realized that we’re currently in a bit of a crisis here in Argentina. Inflation is soaring, transportation is getting more expensive by the month, and going to a supermarket has become quite the depressing outing. So it is in times like these that creativity and wit are of the essence. Finding low prices, discounts, and 2x1s may turn out to be the decisive factor that helps you make ends meet at the infamous fin de mes. It takes a bit of effort, but I assure you, the possibilities are out there.
Cue the DIA cashier asking you for your discount card, while you’re wearing sweatpants on a Sunday morning.
First of all, let’s get one thing straight, this is not some paid advertisement for DIA supermarkets. I mean, I’m pretty sure they couldn’t really afford it anyway. But let’s be honest, this place is awesome. One of the things that strikes me the most about DIA is how absolutely aware they are about its place in society.
It’s not just their motto: Si pagás más, es porque querés (if you pay more, it’s because you want to). It’s their grimly-lit aisles, their unclean floors, their workers with their “I just woke up an hour ago” faces and their worn-out uniforms… It all just sort of screams DISCOUNT STORE. They have a percentage symbol in their logo, for Christ’s sake. That’s just badass.
One of the greatest things about DIA is that it’s not content on being the cheapest market around. It’s keen on fidelity, rewarding its customers with extra monthly discounts that are actually tailor-made to their needs, according to algorithms that work with every purchase you make with your DIA card. I’ve seen faithful clients receive thousands of coupons every month by cashiers, a sort of prize for being true to the brand (#respect).
DIA has become so popular in the last months (again, inflation, depression, etc.) that it has sparked its own hashtag on social media, the perfect “why the hell didn’t I come up with that?” – #Dialieber – through which users post everything from their favorite DIA products, to pictures of their DIA discount card proudly hanging from their keychain, like some sort of statement. Finally, a cause I can get behind. There’s even a guy that apparently bought a discounted *kid* at a DIA, look:
— heavy mental (@catartica_) October 15, 2018
The Best DIA Products Around
Contrary to what many people may think, there are actually a lot of great quality products at DIA. Personally, I’m not a fan of anything from their carnicería (although their premium frozen hamburger patties are pretty much on par, or even better than, any other brand on the market) and I find their produce section to be a bit overpriced as a whole. But as far as canned goods go, there are a lot of DIA products for the taking, some of them imported from Canada and some produced locally.
Before we take a quick look at some of my favorites, a quick heads up. We here at The Bubble care deeply about living a healthy life. Exercise and good nutrition are essential for the hectic schedules that dominate us in today’s world. Nevertheless, this is a guide about shopping at DIA and values quality/price over anything else. So I would advise that you don’t look at the nutrition charts for these items, OK? Ignorance might just be bliss when you’re roaming the aisles of DIA.
DIA Potato Chips
So let’s begin with the jewel in the crown (the cheap, bought in Once sort of crown, obviously). If you had to take a blind test and taste a Pringles chip and a DIA chip, I’d wager that you may not be able to tell the difference between them. I know, this is quite the ballsy statement, but they really are THAT good.
And the price difference between the two is pretty astounding, to be honest. They come in three flavors: original, cheese, and sour cream and onion, and should be a “must” on those weekend nights when you just want to stay home and chill with some friends. Speaking of chilling with some friends at home…
So, if you feel that artisanal beer has taken over your town, your city, your country, your world… You’re not alone. The craft beer epidemic is real and there’s really no way of escaping it. But a lot of people agree that it’s a matter of time before this whole fad passes. And you know what we’re gonna be left with? Good old supermarket beer, which is less pretentious and will not judge you when you drink it out of a can in your underwear.
Diversity is huge in the supermarket beer game, and prices range quite a bit. This is were DIA comes in, being (in my opinion) the belle of the ball in the lower-cost range, absolutely trumping Quilmes and the other cheaper brands (again, ballsy statement, but it’s really that good).
DIA Orange Juice
This was a bit of a find when I first bumped into it a year and a half ago, but the cat is out of the bag big time with this item, so much so that I’ve been having trouble finding it the last couple of months in my closest DIA store. I should probably not publish this item, now that I think about it, but I’m a kind soul and I wish to spread the word.
Natural OJ has been monopolized for who knows how long by Citric which is, in all fairness, very good. But this is the new kid in town and he is considerably much cheaper (like waaaaaay cheaper, in fact) and is not that much of a tradeoff in the flavor department. It’s usually marked down with extra discounts every 15 days or so, so keep an eye out for that.
DIA Raspberry Cookies
There’s a lot of sweet stuff in DIA, and I could’ve used a lot of different items in stead of this one, from the ice creams to the little pound cakes. But I decided on these little treats because of sentimental reasons, since they bare a striking resemblance to some cookies I used to eat a lot as a child in Venezuela. Never underestimate the power of nostalgia and home sickness when buying sweet treats. DIA knows me so well, it’s scary sometimes.
DIA Instant Coffee
This is kind of a controversial one… I have an ongoing conflict with a colleague at The Bubble HQ because she, to put it bluntly, says it’s “instant piss.” I, on the other hand have grown quite fond of it since I discovered it’s the only instant coffee in this whole country that doesn’t have any sugar added to it (the commonly known torrado).
Seriously, what is it with this country and its pre-sugared coffee?! I will say this much: shopping at DIA requires that you put your system of beliefs on pause, so maybe it does taste like crap but I’ve just chosen to believe it doesn’t… Does that make sense at all?
Honorable mentions: Canned tuna (whole, not shredded), vanilla pudding, cream cheese, bread.
In a country were high prices reign supreme, DIA may just be the savior we’re all looking for. Or at least it may provide some much-needed budget relief. Either way, count me in as a proud #Dialeiber and please, make good use of the DIA card stuck to my key chain if anything should ever happen to me. I assure you, thousands and thousands of coupons await.