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A couple of months ago, I was alone at home, so I decided to eat and I then I realized something.

B: What did you realize?
A: My mother told/had told me she would buy me something on her way back from work.

Can both be used? If so, why?

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No. Use the Past Perfect. What you were told came before the 'realised something', yet these are in an inverted order when spoken.

B: What did you realise?
A: My mother had told me she would buy me something on her way back from work.

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I'd have to use the past perfect even in a casual conversation?

Also, how would I ask a question related to that?
Why had she told you that or why did she tell you that? I'd go with the second one.