Face-Off in Aisle 9

I know we’ve comparison-shopped ALDI against Cub before.  ALDI came out victorious and by the numbers, we confirmed that we were saving approximately $1000/year on groceries.

Fast-forward two years:  We have a friend who is all-Target all the time and has been begging us for ages to comparison shop ALDI against the Bullseye.  Because, you know, what if ALDI isn’t really a bigger deal.

We resisted for the longest time because, duh, ALDI is the best deal in town and shopping at big box grocery stores is draining wallets left and right.  But without the cold, hard, facts to back us up he would NOT give it up.

So, without further adieu, our comparison shop of Target v. ALDI on staple foods we buy on a very regular basis.

Item Aldi Target   Notes
Ground Turkey $1.69 $4.00 1 LB
Tomatoes $2.99 $4.50 5 Vine Tomatoes
Avacados $2.37 $4.47 3 Avacados
Eggs $1.65 $1.99 1 Dozen
Romaine $1.99 $2.09 3 Hearts, 1 Pack
Tomato Paste $0.78 $1.12 2 Cans
Onion $1.39 $2.29 1 Bag
Asparagus $2.29 $3.39 1 LB
Broccoli $1.39 $2.54 2 Heads
Green Onions $0.99 $1.29 1 Pack
Milk $1.79 $2.09 1/2 Gallon
Butter $2.49 $3.54 4 Pack
Cheddar Cheese $2.79 $2.69 Brick
Flour Torillas $0.99 $2.09 10 Pack
EVOO $2.99 $4.75 17 OZ
Tomato Sauce $0.25 $0.77 1 Can
Total $28.83 $43.61

$14.78/week x 52 weeks = $768.56

The numbers speak for themselves because once again, we are not talking savings in the odd latte or tank of gas, we are talking savings on the order of PLANE TICKETS.

I was shopping at Lunds a few weeks ago to pick up some scallops for dinner at my parents’ house and I will be the first to admit that wandering through that store is so, incredibly soothing.  You walk in and it is like You Have Arrived.  Even the in-house brands feel Nice.  But I would happily trade paying to feel that way for 20 minutes while running an errand for the money that we get to spend on other things instead.

Where do you do most of your grocery shopping?  Do you have any great frugal grocery tips?

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7 responses to “Face-Off in Aisle 9

  1. It is not hard to believe – the produce is unreal in difference…..

  2. I struggle with grocery costs, esp. after watching food docs like Food Inc. A certain amount of the inflated cost at Lunds is surely to pay for ambience, but I trust the provenance of their fresh foods way more than I would at a Target or Aldi. Paying $1.65 a carton for eggs is obviously preferable, but I feel better about shelling out (pun) another few dollars to get the free range variety and know that the workers and animals are being treated well. I’m not trying to be preachy/snooty/judgey, but it’s worth thinking about why food costs what it does.

  3. We do most of our shopping at Trader Joe’s, and buy other things in bulk at Costco (examples: orange juice, canned tomato sauce and Rotel tomatoes). We used to be all-Target, all-the-time, and now we rarely go in there.

  4. I love shopping at Aldi. I think the prices are so much better than other stores, and for someone that has a very limited budget, this allows me to get the most for the money I have.

  5. We mostly shop at Costco, Trader Joe’s and sometimes at Rainbow. Haven’t found a convenient to he to Aldi near us yet and the produce at Targer is generally pretty terrible and incredibly limited (at least the ones by our house) so we rarely go there

  6. Here on the Gulf Coast, my choices are limited. We essentially have Wal-Mart, Rouses (local chain out of Louisiana), Winn-Dixie, and Froogels (a cost + place that charges you 10% on top of what the price on the shelf is).

    We do most of our shopping at Froogels, but we have to be careful. What looks like a good price can be deceiving when you add in the 10% (for instance, we like to put a roast in the crockpot and when you look at the initial price, you’re like Oh, that’s good! And then when you add in the 10% for 5 lbs of meat, you realize you’re not saving anything and may in fact be paying more. The great thing about Froogels is that they often have some great specials on beer. We picked up my husband’s favorite brand for $3.75 +10% for a 12 pack a few weeks ago…and it wasn’t Natty Light ;-0 ) Once a month or so, we make a trip to Costco in New Orleans (about 45 minutes -an hour away depending on traffic) and pick up things. I also watch the sales at all of the options and if I see something that we will eat, I pick it up.

    It is frustrating, though, to have so few options. We wind up spending much more on groceries than I did when I lived in places like Louisville (which had Aldi and a wider selection of grocery stores) and Reno.

  7. I shop a combination of Aldi’s, Cub, and Trader Joe’s. Cub makes the most sense when you want to stock up with their really decent coupons. Aldi’s covers most other things and I like Trader Joe’s best for affordable produce.

    I know we can’t make every decision based on the almighty dollar, but gosh, with my limited income and having a hard enough time finding money for a vacation in the first place – everything helps. In terms of voting with your dollar, I think there’s more to be done in just limiting consumption period, and oh by the way voting the old fashioned way as well.

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