Still shopping at Walmart because you think it’s the cheapest place to buy groceries?
As it turns out, you might actually stand to find a better deal.
The Penny Hoarder team’s got a new favorite place to grab cheap groceries. And while it’s still got a blue sign, “mart” is nowhere in it’s name.
It’s Aldi, the small, German grocer you may not have heard about yet, but definitely need to check out ASAP.
Its deals will knock your socks off. Don’t believe us? Keep reading.
Shopping for the Cheapest Grocery Store: Walmart vs. Aldi
While planning for our office’s crazy 2016 Thanksgiving feast, we compared prices for all our menu items at Walmart, our local regional grocer (Publix), and Aldi.
What we found was… honestly kind of nuts.
We’d easily save a ridiculous amount of cash, without having to sink a single second into couponing, just by shopping at Aldi. It had frozen Butterball turkeys for just $1.29 per pound — almost half of what they cost at Publix ($2.49 per pound).
And although it’s not surprising that this discount market did better than a swanky store, it outperformed Walmart pretty handily, too.
A five-pound bag of potatoes ran us $2.79 as opposed to Walmart’s $3.47. A dozen large eggs cost just 99 cents — while the ‘mart had ‘em at $1.14.
Even something that seems like it’d be crazy cheap everywhere, like cornstarch, was significantly different: Walmart had a pound of it at $1.18, whereas Aldi’s was just 89 cents. It was even the same brand.
Business Insider also recently compared prices between the two stores, and it found the same groceries cost 30% less at Aldi than they did at Walmart.
Although a few items, like tomatoes and organic bananas, were cheaper at Walmart, Aldi had surprisingly great deals on both fresh produce and packaged foods.
But don’t forget: Walmart will price-match any competitor, and one of the reasons Aldi can sell its goods so cheaply is a lack of investment in customer service.
Our team decided to shop Aldi for the majority of its Thanksgiving purchases, and it’s true that there wasn’t much of a customer service presence in the store. That said, nothing’s that difficult to find… and if we’d needed to, we’re sure we could have asked a cashier.
Aldi also requires buyers to bring their own bags, and there’s a $0.25 deposit to get a shopping cart. But you get your quarter back when you replace the cart — and Aldi doesn’t have to hire somebody to do that job, which means it’s putting even more coins back into our pockets.
So if you live near an Aldi, check it out. We’ve even put together some insider tips to help you get even more out of the money you spend there.
Just make sure you don’t forget your reusable bags — or your laundry quarters!
Your Turn: Do you shop at Aldi? What do you think of its prices?
Jamie Cattanach is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder and total Aldi convert. Her writing has also been featured at The Write Life, Word Riot, Nashville Review and elsewhere. Find @JamieCattanach on Twitter to wave hello.