Every dollar that passes through our fingers is God’s. Our job is to be good stewards of it. Big or small, every purchase is important when we take this view of money.
Therefore, the next series of blog posts will feature practical tips on how to be wise with money in your everyday life. My hope is that this blog post might help you to spend less money on groceries and that you may use the freed-up funds in a way in which you feel God is calling you.
Now, to Answer the Question
So how can you reduce your grocery bill by 44% without ever clipping a coupon? The one-word answer is: ALDI!
Aldi is a German-based discount supermarket chain that opened its first store in the US in 1976 and currently has approximately 1,300 stores in the US. It’s owned by the same family as Trader Joe’s.
I’ve been shopping at Aldi since I graduated from college and to this day can’t help but smile every time I checkout. Although the savings are noticeable, I had never done the research to find out just how much I’ve been saving by shopping at Aldi. Therefore, I set out to compare the prices of 15 items I commonly purchase at Aldi against that of comparable products offered at my local SuperTarget. I’ve separated the store brands from the national brands in order to compare multiple data points. Below is a chart of what I found:
Store Brand at Aldi Compared to Store Brand at Target
Of the 15 items at Aldi, only 10 were available in the store brand at Target. The total for these 10 items at Target came to $21.23 and only $15.30 at Aldi – or 28% less! Remember that this is comparing a generic brand to a generic brand. Even still, this type of savings would reduce a $500 monthly grocery bill to about $360!
Store Brand at Aldi Compared to Store Brand at Target
When comparing national name brands the difference is even greater. The 15 items I chose to compare at Target came to a total of $42.01, while they were only $23.65 at Aldi – or 44% less! If you currently buy all name brand groceries, you may be able to reduce a $500 monthly grocery bill to less than $282! Needless to say, saving over $200/month would be extremely helpful to anyone’s cash flow situation.
A Few Notes on My Comparison
I understand that my sample of 10-15 items is very small, but I’m confident that if you compare a broader selection you will find similar results.
You’ll notice that I didn’t compare any produce goods. The main reason for this is because of the high seasonal fluctuation in price point on these items. That said, you’d still find significant savings on fresh produce at Aldi as well.
Finally, it’s important to note that I used the regular price for each of these items rather than a sale price. I also did not factor in any coupons or the 5% savings from the Red Card that our family gets whenever we shop at Target. If you do get these discounts the difference between the total Target bill and Aldi bill would be less.
Getting Ready for Big Savings at Aldi
Perhaps you’re reading this and ready for your first Aldi experience. There truly is no catch and there are no strings attached. However, in order to keep their prices low, Aldi does take a few cost-cutting measures that you’ll want to be aware of before making your first trip to Aldi.
First of all, in order to use a cart at Aldi, you are required to put a quarter into the cart, which you get back when you return it. This means that Aldi doesn’t have to pay employees to retrieve carts.
Second, Aldi charges 6 cents per paper grocery bag, but a couple of ways to eliminate this extra cost are to bring bags with you or pack your items into an empty box you pick up in the store.
Third, Aldi only provides its shoppers with a limited selection of the fastest-moving grocery items. Rather than carry about 30,000 items like a typical grocery store, Aldi only carries about 1,400.
Aldi also historically has not accepted credit card payment in order to reduce their costs, however recently the Aldi that I shop at started accepting credit cards.
While Aldi does implement a number of cost-cutting measures to keep their prices low, one area that I don’t believe they skimp is on the quality of their food. My family finds Aldi food to be excellent in most cases, and on their website, Aldi states, “We’ve designed and tested our brands to exceed the national brands in taste and quality. We’re so confident in our products that every item in our stores is backed by our unbeatable Double Guarantee.” This guarantee says that if for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with any product, they will replace the product and refund your money!
My point of this blog post is not to try to convince you to stop shopping at Target or other large grocery chains – in fact, my wife and I still buy some groceries at Target on a weekly basis. Our family prefers some Target products, such as gluten-free pasta and fresh meat, even though it is more expensive.
The purpose of this blog post is to encourage you to consider ways that you may be able to reduce your grocery bill and repurpose that money elsewhere. After all, it’s God’s money and we are accountable to how we steward each dollar. In upcoming blog posts, I will be sharing other practical ways to cut spending.
And if you’ve never visited an Aldi, I’d suggest that you find one close to your home and discover for yourself just how much you might be able to save!
About Guide Financial Planning
Guide Financial Planning is led by founder Ben Wacek, who is a Christian fee-only Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Kingdom Advisor®. He has a passion to help people of all income levels make wise financial decisions and steward their resources from an eternal perspective using Biblical principles. Based in Minneapolis, MN, he works with clients both locally and virtually throughout the country and abroad. You can follow the links to learn more about Guide Financial Planning and our team and the services we offer.