Which Grocery Store is the Cheapest?

Grocery shopping is not always as easy as it sounds. It’s a heart wrenching task filled with tough decision making and substitution.

Once you realize you’re a dollar short of affording apple cider, the other option is to get creative. Then you think to yourself that apple juice is the way forward.

But there’s no need for substitutes when you can just shop at a grocery store that fits your budget. So if you’re looking for the cheapest grocery store, you’re on the right page!

In this article, you’ll learn which grocery store is the best for all budget shoppers.

What store has the cheapest groceries?

Usually, grocery shoppers think of Walmart as the cheapest grocery store there is in the USA because of its affordable goods. But in fact, Aldi wins in terms of pricing.

Aldi is a German-owned chain of supermarkets founded by Karl and Theo Albrecht in 1946, with more than 10,000 stores spread in 20 countries. 

At Aldi, you could check out a basket containing grocery items like toilet paper, dish soap, brown rice, and so on, for $57.40, whereas at Walmart, the same basket will cost you $61.24.

Although some products at Aldi may be more expensive than at Walmart’s. For example, Aldi sells cured bacon starting from $2.09, while Walmart sells bacon starting from $3.48.

Things you should know before shopping at Aldi.

The food quality is great

Unlike most grocery stores that throw away food, Aldi stores are some of the few ones that consistently donate their scratched, dented or almost expired items to food banks. So your chances of finding rotten or bad produce there are pretty slim.

grocery items in a shopping cart at Aldi
Photo credit: @aldiusa on Instagram

The store chains also sell fresh and hormone-free meat, which is one essential factor to consider when you’re in search of the best steaks or bacon to cook with.

You’ll need to pay for a cart

The idea of paying for a cart at Aldi seems absurd when you can just walk into a Walmart store and push one for free.

A shopping cart in an empty parking lot

However, this cart rental system promotes accountability for the shopping carts and takes the workload off their employees. When you pay a quarter for an Aldi cart, it’s unlocked from the docking station and then you can wheel it around however you want. 

But if you want your quarter back, you’ll need to return the cart to the docking station you picked it up from.

Bring your own shopping bags

Aldi charges a few extra cents for the paper bags used to pack up your groceries after you make payment at the checkout area. So always bring your own shopping bags if you want to cut back on those extra costs.

A red shopping bag

But most importantly, be prepared to bag your own groceries because Aldi doesn’t have baggers. You read that right.

Aldi stores have a special bagging area for customers to sort out their groceries into shopping bags by themselves.

They sell liquor

It’s no secret how most grocery stores don’t sell liquor, but Aldi is an exception.

The grocery store chain sells beer and wine products, and you can purchase them from any of the outlets. However, online purchase is unavailable due to the age verification policy.

Bottles of liquor stacked on a shelf

You need to be 21 or older to purchase alcohol from Aldi, and you’ll need to provide a means of identification.

Alternatively, you can purchase alcohol from Aldi through grocery delivery services like Instacart or Shipt. Instacart delivers alcohol for selected grocery stores, though you’ll still need to provide an ID before doing that.

However, you can do it online by scanning the front and back end of your ID, after which your personal Instacart shopper will deliver your order to your doorstep.

What other grocery stores are cheap to shop at?

Besides Aldi, Kroger and Meijer are two other stores strongly competing in the affordability category. 

Kroger is the second largest supermarket in the USA, and it was established in 1883 by Bernard Kroger. It has more branches than Meijer does, with over 2000 outlets spread out across the country.

Meijer operates around 200 stores, which is a wide gap from Kroger, although Meijer has more variety than the latter. So if you don’t mind forking out an extra dollar, it’s where you’d want to shop out if you want to expand your shopping options.

Now that you know the cheapest grocery store to shop at, here are some other notable stores you can check out: