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Three Dave's No Waiting

Tuesday, May 5, 2009



To Aldi food I bought before. I used a quarter near the door. It secured for me a cart, and now I feel so smart. I saved and saved and saved some more. (My apologies to Julio, Willie and anyone who has no idea what I am talking about.)

Aldi is awesome. Not much to look at. My wife went to an Aldi in Austria a few years back. It wasn't called Aldi there. But she said the shape, color and layout of the store was exactly the same as here in the states.

If you are an off brand shopper like myself, Aldi is your dream come true. The selection is not the same as other grocery stores or supermarkets but they definitely have more than just the staples. The prices are much lower than the other stores.

I decided to do a little research. I decided to compose a "typical" grocery list (not necessarily what Amy and I buy but more on that later) and compare the prices to the lowest priced comparable item at another super market. For the competition, I chose Jewel (Same company as Shaws and Albertsons). Jewel was my choice for 2 reasons: 1) It was the grocery store of my youth. We weren't sent to the store. We were sent to "The Jewel." 2) They have been advertising quite a bit lately about their price cuts and I wanted to see how they stacked up to Aldi.

Here is a copy of my list:
Sour Cream, Butter, Tomato Soup (2 cans), Onion Soup Mix
Saltines, Dry Roasted Peanuts, Off Brand Cheerios, 2 Gallons Skim Milk
1 dozen eggs, 1/2 lb block cheddar, 1/2 lb grated cheddar, 3 pounds bananas
Cottage Cheese, Graham Crackers, Sliced American Cheese,Gala Apples 3 pounds
2 pounds green grapes, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can chicken noodle soup, Cream Cheese
3 loaves wheat bread, Creamy Peanut Butter, 2 cans corn, 2 cans green beans
2pounds carrots, 3 boxes mac and cheese, Ramen 12 pack, Cake Mix
Off Brand Oreos 18 0z, Yogurt 4 6 oz containers, Ground beef 80/20 3 lbs, Sugar 5lbs
Flour, Mayo, Iced Tea mix

The first thing I did was to look at the cost at A, Jewel's pre-discounted prices, comparing that with B, their adjusted prices, and then to C, Aldi. Since Jewel sometime had 3 or more kinds of the same product I always chose the lowest priced item.
Here are the results. These prices are before sales tax.
A. Jewel regular price: $114.39
B. Jewel reduced price: $ 89.93
C. Aldi price: $ 63.55
So for comparison purposes let's call A $115, B $90, and C $65. Lets also assume that is the average cost of 2 weeks groceries.

The savings in one year by going to Aldi rather than Jewel is $650 ((B-C)*26) or $1,300 ((A-C*26) over their regular prices.
Now I know a lot of people who shop at Aldi, but very few who do so exclusively. We don't get our meat there (although I know people who say the meat is great there). Amy flat out refuses to let me buy saltines there as well. There are some items we can't get due to HFCS concerns. (Yes, last month's themed entry was an April Fools joke!) We do get most of our groceries at Aldi and the savings are significant.

Now there were some items that were actually priced lower at Jewel but overall Aldi was the consistent winner on price. I am not sure exactly how they do it. But here is one thing I noticed on Thursday when I was doing my comparisons. I got there about 7:40 p.m only to realize that they closed at 8:00. I got my comparisons done just as they were closing and was off to Jewel which was open until midnight. So, Aldi had 4 less hours of payroll to contend with on Thursday. The old adage is that you pay for convenience, but an adage of the frugal is that convenience is overrated.

Aldi works for me. I enjoyed my stint as a GSI (Grocery Store Investigator.) Contact me if you want me to e-mail you a copy of my spreadsheet that I used. For more Frugal tips that work go to WFMW at We are That Family.

Next Time: Oh, Where is my Hair net?


  1. Genius poetry! I recommended Aldi as one of my frugality tips tonight too!! Quite miraculous it is, isn't it. Love your savings breakdown, thanks.

  2. Great tip!

    I am all about the discount grocery stores. We used to do Alid, but when we moved we decided to switch to Save-a-Lot.


  3. great research...so how much would it be to ship all that to me? we don't have one near us! use to have save-a-lots...maybe similar, but not any longer!

  4. sorry, my comment above was linked to my work email...kerry

  5. I like your poetry!

    We have a similar store on this side of the country called Winco. It's the bomb!

  6. just fyi... here in france.. I priced out Cheddar you save considerably..
    I have to drive 45 minutes using diesal to get there (inflated prices too)
    and the price was nearly $12 Euro for 1 Kilo
    Estimating with fluctuating market prices
    that is approximately
    $15 for 1/2 lb block of cheddar...
    no it was not extra sharp...

    great Post dave
    I too love Aldi! :)

  7. Bravo on your poetry! Nice way to start...

    So I wish we had an Aldi around here.....we have a Price Right which sounds similar about 35 miles away, so my friend and I (we have almost a dozen kids between us) pack up the minivan and hit it once a month. That's our big girls day out....yeah, pretty sad, huh?

    Anyway, I love seeing the savings.....do you do a particular "savings dance" that you do in the parking lot? I do!

  8. I'm not sure you understand how much it pains me that I will be singing, "to Aldi food I've bought before..." ALL DAY LONG! :) Thanks a lot.

  9. I love Aldi, too. I'm there every two weeks. I know you're a dude, but perhaps your wife might be interested my post about Aldi's new skin care line, Lacura. It's wonderful!

  10. I will check it out Songbird, thanks! Hey Dave, you've found an audience, you should be publishing all those songs! You're the new Alan Sherman!!

  11. I love Aldi's! I buy 90% of my groceries there! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Stopped by from WFMW...
    Love your poetry! My trip to Aldi will never be the same. Have you or your wife tried the chocolate? Amazing!

  13. We have an Aldi at the end of our street :) I love it but can tell you though that I will never buy cheese there again. The past two times I've bought grated cheddar cheese, it's been moldy. Produce is also touch and go but usually is alright if you use it up right away.
    They're able to keep their prices down since people don't steal their carts, they don't have bags and baggers, and they don't have to pay a cake decorator, pharmacist, florist, baker, photo center person, etc :)

  14. Thanks for making that point about the earlier closing time. I typically go to my supermarket late at night when it's less crowded. I've been frustrated that Costco (and the wonderful "random canned goods sold way cheap in a no-frills basement" store that I went to until it closed just recently) have such limited hours that, working full-time, I can only go on weekends. But they must be saving me money by being open only at the most popular shopping times! Now I know.

  15. We buy some meat at Aldi. Chicken breasts, chicken wings and lunch meat are pretty safe. I don't buy my burger there...go to the meat counter for that. :-)

    I also don't buy any fruit except bananas there because fruit is cheaper at the other market. But veggies are pretty well priced. I just got avacados for 49 cents each and a 3 pack of colored peppers for $1.29. Can't beat that any where.

    The only thing I don't like about Aldi is the long wait to check out. I hate being behind 5 cart-fulls when I have a loaf of buns, a head of lettuce and an avacado.

    Loved your poem BTW...the picklets and I will recite that the next time we head to Aldi.



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