Switching Grocery Stores Can Potentially Save You Hundreds of Dollars

By: Savvy Dime Staff | Published: Dec 20, 2023

About 238 million people are experiencing food insecurity around the world — which is a 10% higher number than we saw last year. 

Many experts attribute this to supply chain issues, global instability, unemployment, disabilities, COVID-19 and high inflation rates — all of which are prompting Americans to pinch pennies and change their shopping habits. 

Groceries Eat Up Many Americans’ Budgets

Groceries are one of the biggest areas of expenditure for many Americans, according to expert sources. SoFi, citing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, notes that an average U.S. family spends $7,316 on food per year. 

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Reddit users share information on the latest cheap eating fads and food plans to try to save a few dollars.

Source: Reddit

Mathematically, that’s about 12% of the average American income, equating out to about $152.42 per week. 

Millions Are Taking to the Internet to Find New Ways to Save

Many consumers are taking to finance sites and forums to discuss new savings opportunities — such as Theresa Britton did when she spoke with GoBankingRates and started MomsWhoSave.com

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Stack of US dollar bills

Source: International Money Transfer

Around the time she launched her own site, Britton began experimenting with new grocery store chains — going on the hunt for the best possible deal. 

Could Aldi Be the Key to Saving on Groceries?

After trying other supermarkets, Britton decided to swap her primary grocery store of choice to Aldi — a chain known for its money-saving benefits and shopper perks. 

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A table full of groceries is pictured from one excited social media user, claiming that they saved on their favorite vegan products.

Source: Reddit

The swap didn’t affect the quality of the groceries or fresh food availability for Britton, who chose to shop for many of her household needs at the store.

Wait a Minute — What’s Aldi?

Aldi isn’t a single-store chain, contrary to what many believe. It’s actually the end-product of two Germain discount store chains that have successfully launched in America, creating 12,000 stores around the world. 

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An Aldi storefront is pictured, along with a customer who is taking groceries to her cart.

Source: Reddit

While the two chains split in the 1960s, they do still contract and share resources with each other — leading to worldwide expansion and new ways to save for consumers. 

Ways to Save: Packaged and Processed Foods

As Britton began to shop exclusively at Aldi, she found new ways to save (and savings pitfalls to avoid). One of the primary takeaways, based on her experience, is to steer clear of paying premium prices for pre-packaged and processed foods.

Two cans of brand-name and one can of off-brand soup are pictured for comparison.

Source: Reddit

“There is absolutely no reason to pay more (for these) at a higher-end store,” Britton noted to GoBankingRate.

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Savings on Canned Goods, Chips, and More

After encouraging consumers to avoid full-price pricing on their packaged goods, Britton continued: “Even if you’re brand loyal, those brands are almost certainly less expensive at stores like Aldi.”

Household staples (such as chips, canned goods, and flours/pastas) are pictured, both in pantries and on a table.

Source: Reddit

She then went on to note a list of savings opportunities at Aldi for key consumer goods, such as chips, cereal, canned goods, rice, and soup. 

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A Little Time and Consideration Can Save You Time & Dollars

Many find it helpful to consider what they’re actually gaining when they opt to pay full price at the store. Are you looking for a better taste? Brand-specific quality? Is there anything you can compromise on? 

A cart is being pushed down an aisle in a grocery store.

Source: Supermarket News

Taking some time to determine your shopping “non-negotiables” and areas of flexibility can impact how much you save on your next grocery trip. 

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Consider Being Open to New Flavors and Experiences

After you determine what you expect and want to see from your groceries, Britton suggests remaining flexible and open to new tastes and experiences.

Three lines of pre-plated food lay on a table after an afternoon of meal prep.

Source: Reddit

“Try the store brands at…Aldi, since they can be just as good or even better than the name brands — saving you even more money!” Britton urged in her piece with GoBankingRate. 

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Are There Any Areas Where Aldi Falls Short?

Everyone has their own quality standards when it comes to groceries and consumer habits. Britton noted that she does travel to other stores for specific items, such as deli and bakery foods.

Aldi brand bagels and meat are pictured against neutral backgrounds.

Source: Reddit

Experiment and determine if Aldi meat and bakery items suit you, or if you would prefer to go to other stores.

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You Can Still Save at Other Grocery Stores, Too

While Aldi is a favorite shopping option for avid couponers and penny pinchers, Britton did note that you may still have new ways to save at your favorite chain shop. 

A map is portrayed with a legend that shows the most popular places to shop in the United States, by state.

Source: Reddit

“Your lower-priced grocery stores might be just fine for (certain foods),” she suggested, prompting many readers to go out and see for themselves. 

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Other Ways to Save: a Shortlist

Whether you choose to switch up your go-to grocery store or you dive deep into the world of couponing, there are plenty of ways to shop without breaking the bank. 

About 48 packs of chicken sit on a conveyor belt, serving as an example of what people can save on when couponing.

Source: Reddit

Need a place to start? Keep your eye out for in-app store specials on your favorite grocery store’s app, get on grocery store mailing lists and save your coupon clip-outs in the mail. 

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