Aldi is continuing to pop up in new locations around the United States and it has many people wondering about Aldi foods and how much they stand to save by shopping there. I’ve personally made the switch from Kroger-owned Harris Teeter to Aldi in recent months and am loving the savings. Is swapping out your grocer for Aldi the right move for you?
How Much Should You Be Spending on Groceries?
Many people look to their grocery bill when they need to start trimming their budget. It is one of the easiest expenses to control, especially if you are willing to shop around. You can collect the local flyers and compare sales prices across the board or look prices up online to determine where you can get the best deals.
However, there are some items that cost pretty much the same everywhere you go. So, how much should you be spending on groceries each month?
USDA Monthly Grocery Budget Guidelines
Each year the United States Department of Agriculture releases information about the cost of produce and other food items. According to the USDA, the figures below outline the average cost to feed yourself or your family.
|Family Size||Thrifty Food Plan||Low-Cost Plan||Moderate-Cost Plan||Liberal Plan|
Kroger vs. Aldi Foods
Some individuals have completely swapped out their traditional grocer for Aldi. This has helped them better control their grocery budgets and, in the long-run, it helps them save money. How do Aldi foods compare to, say, Kroger?
Pros and Cons of Aldi
One of the biggest pros of shopping at Aldi is the prices. Because of the way the store is set up, you’re able to increase your savings.
There are some cons to getting those savings, however. If you are a “brand snob,” you won’t always be able to find name brand items at Aldi. Even if you do, they may not be there the next week. Some products are rotated within the store’s inventory. The store may not always have what you’re looking for either, especially if it is a unique food product.
Another thing to note is Aldi’s produce does not keep that long in the fridge and sometimes doesn’t seem to be that fresh. You may want to continue picking up items like lettuce or fresh greens elsewhere.
Also, keep in mind, Aldi does require you to insert a quarter into the shopping cart to use one. You’ll also need to purchase bags or bring your own. In some cases, the store may have extra boxes they are willing to give you to store your food for the ride home as well.
Pros and Cons of Kroger
Kroger-owned grocery stores are a bit more expensive than Aldi on most things. Unless you’re able to cash in on a specific sale or stack coupons, you can get almost everything cheaper at Aldi.
Personally, Kroger offers up a better shopping experience. Lines at Aldi can be a bit long and it is difficult to find someone to help you if you need it. That isn’t the case at Kroger. You’ll also be able to find everything you need in one store shopping at Kroger. Whereas, as mentioned above, Aldi may not have some specialty items.
Non-food items are cheaper at Aldi than Kroger but, in most cases, you’ll be able to get these items cheaper at a store that isn’t only selling groceries. More often than not, you’ll get a better deal on items like toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and other non-food items at Walmart or Costco.
Are the Savings Worth It?
For many people, shopping at Aldi has been able to save them up to 50% on their grocery bill each month. When you consider those savings, swapping out Kroger (or your current grocer) for Aldi foods seems like a no-brainer.
Many people may try to argue that Kroger-owned stores offer up rewards and better promotions than Aldi. Keep in mind, most rewards programs are designed to get you to spend more money. You’ll pay a higher original price to get your $5 off or your gas rewards.
Aldi prides itself on not having to do those types of deals because their prices are always low. One Reddit user even mentioned the local Aldi store manager sending associates to local grocers to ensure they have the lowest price on staples like milk and eggs.
While there has been some negative feedback on some produce at Aldi, you can always shop there for most of your food and hit Kroger for specific items. Switching to Aldi for the bulk of your shopping stands to save you $100+ a month.
Readers, what do you think about Aldi foods and prices? Have you shopped there?