Comparing prices at Aldi
I finally managed to make a true comparison shop between Aldi and my regional chain supermarket. As I mentioned in my first post about shopping at Aldi, I resisted shopping there for years. There really wasn’t a convenient location, most people raved about the produce prices and at that point, I wasn’t ready to drive 5-10 miles out of my way for produce and honestly, I was intimidated by the cart rental policy and the fact that they don’t take credit cards.
I promised a comparison and here ya go. As much as I’d love to be organized enough to do a weekly shop, I know I’ll be back at the store for milk or bread because I no longer have or want the freezer space to store more than one or two loaves of bread. I like milk to taste fresh so I usually don’t buy more than a gallon at a time. Today, I did a bare basics shop. Afterward, I stopped by the local grocery chain to write down their lowest price on comparable items. Here’s the breakdown:
Spreadsheet Comparing Prices at Aldi
I’m not at all surprised by this but I’m glad to finally proof that Aldi’s prices are significantly lower than, ok I’ll say it….Giant Eagle. There, I said it. I noticed a few things.
1) Giant Eagle has been forced to lower prices on some items or advertise lower prices on some items. I noticed that basic groceries (milk, bread, butter and juice) are closer in price than they were a few months ago. (With the exception of milk-we have state-imposed minimum prices, so usually this doesn’t fluctuate from store-to-store.) As we all know, most people will buy other things on impulse once they’re in the store, especially if you have to walk from one end to the other. Likely those other purchases won’t be discounted or competitive.
2) If you are a faithful Walmart shopper, you likely won’t be impressed by Aldi prices. I get that, but ask yourself how often you buy something you don’t need or weren’t planning to buy when you shop at Walmart. I think that company is the king of separating people from their hard-earned cash. There are a lot of things I don’t like about Walmart so I just choose not to shop there. One of the things I love about Aldi is how quickly you can get through the store because of its lay-out.
3) This was a medium shopping trip on a Wednesday. If it had been on Monday, I could expect to make another trip to Aldi and spend another $20 at Aldi or $35 to $40 for comparable items at GE. I don’t know about you but $25-$50 savings per week (and that’s conservative) is huge to my budget.
4) BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FUEL REWARDS AT MY LOCAL GROCERY STORE? Don’t worry, I plan to take a very close look at fuel reward programs. I suspect that most people think they are getting free gas but really are spending hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars more than they would have for groceries or gift cards. I am not convinced that spending $50 more per week on the same groceries makes sense. In our store, for every $50 you spend, you save $.10 per gallon of gas. Even if I get the maximum 30 gallons, that’s a savings of $3 for that extra $50. See, 30 gallons X .10/gallon = $3.00. It simply doesn’t make sense to spend $50 to save $3.00. Sometimes the store gives .20/gallon for every $50. Now we’re talking spending $50 to save $6 in gas. Either way, it doesn’t add up. Like I said, I plan to write a detailed post unwrapping the myth about fuel rewards in the future.
I really regret not buying what’s available at Aldi sooner. I’m hoping that posts like this will encourage others to try Aldi or make the switch completely. I know you won’t be sorry.
So tell me, have you made the switch to Aldi? I plan to review a few of their products that are especially impressive both in taste and in value.