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Food Shopping
Old 02-15-2019, 06:18 PM   #1
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Food Shopping

It's what we do... YMMV!

In our area there are three grocery stores where we shop. Walmart, Aldi's and the local equivalent of Whole Foods. 90%+ of our food is bought at Aldi, since about 1989... 30 years.

We know we save money, but never put the numbers down to see how much. On our own, we have estimated how much we save, by comparing prices, on a general basis. We figure that we save about 20% over Walmart, and about 35% over the "Whole food" . Totally unscientific but we thought,a pretty good guess.

Our current approximate weekly food cost (Aldi)is about $90. That would put Walmart at about $110, and our (equivalent) Whole Foods at about $135. If that's close, it would mean that we've saved about $32,000 over WM prices and about $70,000 over WF prices in the past 30 years.

That was just our guess... maybe right, maybe wrong, but here's a study i just found from last October from Kiplinger.

https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/...ods/index.html

Quote:
The total bill for the 50 items on our shopping list added up to $136.98 at Aldi; it was $205.66 at Whole Foods – a difference of nearly $69. In some cases the difference was pennies per item, but in others it was dollars. It adds up. Flickinger, the retail consultant, says his research shows that a family of five can save perhaps between $3,500 and $5,500 a year by shopping for groceries at Aldi over Whole Foods.
If I read that correctly, is means a savings of almost 50%, rather than our estimate of 35%.

Probably not enough to shake the walls, but for us, a meaningful difference.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:39 PM   #2
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We’ve shopped Aldi since the late 80s too. Selection back then was limited and you could see all the ways they kept prices low. Cash only back then. The current Aldi setup feels luxurious by comparison. We never shopped at WF but I figure Aldi averages 20-30% less than the typical grocery. Every day every item. No specials of buy 2 get one free nonsense.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:08 PM   #3
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I too shop at Aldi's, as I appreciate it's smaller footprint. I'm quick and efficient getting through the door. But they don't have everything we need. I do like Aldi's pork and chicken that comes from the upper Midwest, as it's better than Tysonized meats down south.

But we fill in at Publix every 4th week when their big 2 for 1 sales come in. And we use our local Big Star for their Excel pork and ground beef/chuck on sale.

Note: Our Aldi's just increased prices 20 to 30 cents on virtually every item sold this week.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:20 PM   #4
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Like Publix. Use their 2 for 1 deals every week, but big box items get from BJ's.
I find the service at Publix to be superior to any larger supermarket from the NYC metro area.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:03 PM   #5
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Don’t care about prices. Care about selection.
(We don’t have Aldi or Lidl in Colorado.)
We care about quality.
We buy meat from local butchers who source from ranchers within Colorado.
I never want experience a woody chicken breast again.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Don’t care about prices. Care about selection.
(We don’t have Aldi or Lidl in Colorado.)
We care about quality.
We buy meat from local butchers who source from ranchers within Colorado.
I never want experience a woody chicken breast again.
I’m not sure if we’re talking the same thing, but we had a run of rubbery chicken and have since converted to a higher end chicken with great results. Not sure if they’re national, but we get Bell and Evens. It’s about $7 a pound, but it’s still way better than eating out and no rubbery chicken.

We don’t buy from a local sourcing butcher, but it is a local establishment and they have good product. Got some prime filets from them for Valentines Day and DW and we ate very well. Even buying price steak, still spent half what we’d have spent for lesser quality steaks if we would have gone out.

We’re price sensitive, but the food has to be good first. I have heard Aldi’s has good and cheap avocados, but it’s unlikely I’ll got to a store for a single product.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:53 PM   #7
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Aldi by my house has the cheapest, freshest veggies and fruits- salad items fresher than the other stores, at 50-75% of the cost. Fit N Active chicken noodle soup is good too, and mixed nuts and sunflower seeds.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Don’t care about prices. Care about selection.
(We don’t have Aldi or Lidl in Colorado.)
We care about quality.
We buy meat from local butchers who source from ranchers within Colorado.
I never want experience a woody chicken breast again.
Our number one -and only-resolution when we RE'd was that we would never skimp on our food.

Maybe I should be ashamed of this but I have absolutely no idea what food costs. I know our total but not the individual products.

We go shopping once or twice a week but I couldn't tell you what a gallon of milk, box of cereal or loaf of bread costs if my life depended on it.

[Oh! But I do know that every three weeks Thomases English Muffins have a 'buy 1 get 2 free' sale and that's when I get them; I just don't know how much they are]

Now about that chicken: We've had chicken breasts that lately have a 'crunchy-ness' to it; sort of a chewy texture. Is that what you're talking about?
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:42 AM   #9
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Every couple of years we put together a shopping list of items we purchase regularly and price compare them at the grocery stores in our area that we are willing to patronize. We've been doing this for the last 15 years. Different stores may be cheaper on different items, so we know where to go if we are looking to minimize costs.

The pattern of which stores are more or less expensive has generally remain unchanged, except for the stores that have come into our area or have left our area. We do keep our eyes open for weekly sale prices for the products we buy, which can alter the general equation a bit.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:53 AM   #10
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Is it pronounced "AL DEE" or "AWL DEE"?

We spend at Aldi as well as Whole Foods. Aldi was our go to store in the lean years earlier this century.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:36 AM   #11
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Is it pronounced "AL DEE" or "AWL DEE"?

We spend at Aldi as well as Whole Foods. Aldi was our go to store in the lean years earlier this century.
Aldi is a German company and is pronounced "all" "dee".
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:42 AM   #12
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We do not have Aldi in this part of the country, but it sounds like if there was, we would be frequenting it. I do not like to spend more money if I can get the same thing for less.

By watching out for sales at the national chains like Safeway, Fry's, and a couple of local stores, my wife manages to save quite a bit of money.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:50 AM   #13
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All this talk about woody chicken. Who knew?

http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articl...ustry-stumped/


Woody breast continues to confound the poultry industry a decade after its discovery. The condition does not harm the birds or cause them to act differently, and it does not harm people if eaten. It does, however, cause the meat tissue on chicken to become unusually tough, with a coarse texture - prompting complaints from consumers and leading to large amounts of affected poultry products going to waste.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:54 AM   #14
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We go by quality too, and not by price alone. We buy from whomever gives us the best price for a higher quality product. We eat mostly at home. I am a gourmand so I like to have outstanding meals at home. Not fancy, just very good. That calls for good quality ingredients as well as good preparation. If I’m putting in the time to prepare all these meals I want great results.

And we eat mostly at home because the food is great there.

Just got a new smoker and have been having a blast.....
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Wood is for beavers
Old 02-16-2019, 07:59 AM   #15
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Wood is for beavers

Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
Now about that chicken: We've had chicken breasts that lately have a 'crunchy-ness' to it; sort of a chewy texture. Is that what you're talking about?
https://atlasofscience.org/the-woody...n-breast-meat/

The poultry industry digs for solutions to woody breast | Poultry Today | poultrytimes.com

https://www.openaccessgovernment.org...ndustry/46351/
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:41 AM   #16
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We shop at our local Safeway primarily. Do occasionally have a big meat/seafood run at Costco. We recently had a small "neighborhood Walmart grocery only" store put in the town next door and we have been going there for many items for significant savings!
Rarely shop at Whole Foods, New Seasons, or Trader Joes. All are nearby.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:54 AM   #17
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Yeah, who’d of thought that creating a chicken breast as big as a turkey breast would be problematic. The breasts I but tend to be about half the size of the standard breasts. They’re more than twice as much, but I just don’t eat enough that it’s expensive on a per meal basis. Its just so much less expensive to eat at home no matter how expensive your ingredients are. Even buying the best ingredients you’re probably not going to exceed the cost of same meal out.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:55 AM   #18
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Oh NO...I am an obssesive ALDI fan. My friends and relatives cringe when the name is brought up in my presence as they know an hour long diatribe extolling the virtues of ALDI will ensue.

A few fun facts:

> Quality: ALDI sources from major suppliers

- ALDI's "Cheerios" are packaged as "Toasty Oats". In fact, they ARE Cheerios and are produced and packaged on the same General Mills production line as regular Cherrios...They just stop the line and change the boxes when it's time to fill their ALDI order. This was told to me by an old friend who worked at GM for many years.

- Walmart - $3.68 / box

- ALDI - $1.89 / box

- ALDI's Cheese - 8 oz. blocks. are actually sourced from Sargento, at least here in the mid-west. My former co-worker's Husband is a truck driver and picks up and delivers between the local Sargento distributor and area ALDI stores.

- ALDI - (8oz. block) - $1.89

- Elsewhere - $ 3.99

ALDI is also one of the largest wine retailers in Europe. Must have crappy products right? NO self respecting European would buy His/Her wine there....would they?

Oh, you like Trader Joe's? Well, welcome to ALDI ! When ALDI was first introduced in the U.S. typical Americans with their "if it costs less it must be inferior" attitude confounded ALDI management when their proven worldwide business model was not producing equivalent sales and revenues as it always had elsewhere around the World.

Strategy: Package the SAME products differently, add 15-20% to the price, and Voila! Like leading Sheep to The Slaughter, Trader Joe's was born.

I'll stop. For now.


Tomorrow's Episode : " ALDI, Jesus, and YOU. "





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Old 02-16-2019, 08:58 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
... Maybe I should be ashamed of this but I have absolutely no idea what food costs. I know our total but not the individual products.

We go shopping once or twice a week but I couldn't tell you what a gallon of milk, box of cereal or loaf of bread costs if my life depended on it...
Until I started using Quicken, I had no idea what our grocery cost was. And ever since I retired, got more into cooking and accompanied my wife on her grocery errands, I knew a bit more about food shopping.

We have a local market that has very low prices on produce, where most things get rotated for the sales of 3 lbs for $1. Now, their tomatoes or zucchinis may not look as "purdy" as those at the larger stores, but I think they all come from the same growers, and after getting cooked in a soup they all look the same.

I think the cheap veggies are sorted based on appearance, and the uneven-sized ones are sent to the discount stores. The bananas look the same though, and for driving the same distance I see no reason not to buy bananas at $1 for 3 lbs, vs getting only 2 lbs.

An exception is Costco, where the food usually looks good and less expensive at the same time. Amazing how they do that.
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Old 02-16-2019, 09:12 AM   #20
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Yeah, who’d of thought that creating a chicken breast as big as a turkey breast would be problematic. The breasts I but tend to be about half the size of the standard breasts. They’re more than twice as much, but I just don’t eat enough that it’s expensive on a per meal basis. Its just so much less expensive to eat at home no matter how expensive your ingredients are. Even buying the best ingredients you’re probably not going to exceed the cost of same meal out.
Definitely not! Just look at what a King Crab dinner costs at a restaurant! One of the easiest things in the world to make (just reheating) and at home* I can enjoy some nice Sancerre without paying through the nose or worrying about driving home.

We rarely eat out, and when we do it’s for things too much trouble to make at home.

*Costco is a good source for top quality King Crab legs.
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