What I love about places like Aldi is that you can wander in for an aubergine and leave laden with things you never new you needed – as well as some things that you probably don’t.

Compact Binoculars will almost never be on a list of things I need to buy. I haven’t had a pair since I was 7 and have managed to cope pretty well in the interim. But for £8 and with a few trips abroad planned … well I could see myself popping these in my basket.

Make no mistake, these are cheap zoom bins not fit for “serious birding”. However, for a casual dabble – which is what binoculars in the sub £10 price bracket are for – these are wonderful. They are extremely light and compact, folding down into what would be a bulky mobile phone. There’s a carrying strap that’s fairly comfortable and capable of withstanding a few tugs. The overall build quality is acceptable – you can toss them around a little without them falling apart, and they come with a 3 year guarantee. You could quite easily give them to a child.

The reversible eyecups are handy if you wear glasses (as I do) and the magnification was fine – increasing object size by up to 10 times. Things were a tiny bit on the dim side – these don’t appear to be the finest optics – but were more than fine for £8 and were great for casual use when out and about. I went for a stroll on the Thames and had an enjoyable time investigating architectural details from across the water.

The Aldi’s Specialbuys Compact Binoculars are in stores now for £7.99 … but if you’re interested it’s best not to dally as once they’re gone, they’re gone!