I’ve seen Aldi touted as a great place to save money and for somethings it is. But when I recently walked the store I was shocked at how high their prices were on generic brands were compared to what I am used to paying for national brands with coupons.
In addition, Aldi has begun carrying some National Brands. I saw P&G products (including Pampers for $24.99/box), Coca-Cola and Pringles among others. So I did a little price comparison for this week’s sales ad. I randomly chose several items from the Aldi ad for this week and checked the same item at Harris Teeter.
I went in thinking- well these are the Aldi featured deals- they’ve got to be the best ones so I expected Harris Teeter to come out much higher overall. See what I found:
I had to make some adjustments to get closest to the same size product but I think I came pretty close. Overall on these select items Harris Teeter came out to be $4.19 cheaper. You can see though there are several items that there is a great difference in cost. The Chocolate bars are free at Harris Teeter but are almost $2 at Aldi, Aldi beats out Teeter on the produce deals (that’s probably going to be true each and every week).
Why do so many people think Harris Teeter is so expensive and Aldi so cheap then?
Well, they’d actually be right. Take a look at Harris Teeter’s regular everyday shelf price of most items and they will never be close to Aldi’s prices. But when you factor in several variables:
- Harris Teeter accepts and doubles coupons.
- Harris Teeter provides you with bags (paper or plastic your choice)
- Harris Teeter runs Buy 1 Get 1 Free or Buy 2 Get 3 Free deals quite often
- Harris Teeter participates with Savingstar, Upromise and Ibotta.
- Harris Teeter offers instant savings promotions (Buy 10- get $2 off, etc)
- Harris Teeter offers special discounts through the EVIC program.
- Harris Teeter runs Catalina Offers.
If a shopper just wants to run in and grab an item and know that it is at an okay price- Aldi is probably the place to go. If a shopper wants to buy an item and get it for a super price- a regular grocery store is going to be the best bet. I’d never be able to get 5 Tresemme items at Aldi for under $2. I’d never be able to get a rebate back on Purex through SavingStar at Aldi’s.
The basic idea behind strategic shopping is not getting an item at an okay price- but to get that item at 60-90% off or MORE! (ok the TRUE goal is to get it free- but we’ll never be able to do that 100% of the time!)
If someone doesn’t want to take the time to shop smart and just wants to shave a bit off their bill every week- Aldi is the place for them.
If someone really wants to see a drastic change in their grocery budget every single week- and maybe even be able to NOT shop for weeks on end- strategic shopping and stockpile shopping is the best choice. Buying items at 60-90% off and buying multiples of them to last a while will create this drastic change. Saving 70¢ on a bag of cheese for one week really won’t.
What do you think- is Aldi really the most inexpensive place to shop?