Aldi, Walmart, Costco, and More Grocer Comparison + Never Shop At Kroger Again

Happy Thanksgiving, a huge study this week of Grocery Stores. Start considering ways to cut Kroger out of your life, you will be horrified.

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Seeing a deal vs Calculating a deal

Aldi will bring you in for loss leaders on Eggs, but their green peppers are 2x more expensive than Walmart. Which is more cost effective?

Typically we have used Calories Per Dollar, but there is nothing wrong with using other metrics. Rather than see which way a broccoli company rounded on protein nutrition, we will compare mass/$.

Process Notes:

Bulk sizes and store-brand were chosen when available.

We look at

Cost – Mass Per Dollar
Quality- Availability
Quality- Worker Pay

We did not look at: Self Checkout, Greeter Presence, and ‘Singing Employees’. My advice here- Don’t be weak. Basic human interaction is good for you. Consider it exercise.

Grocery Store Comparison

To Continue:

A common theme will be seen today, despite claiming to lower prices, Kroger was our worst performing store.

Aldi and Meijer did not have fresh broccoli available. We track this in a later section.

The size of the packaging didn’t matter to Aldi, who despite being 5lbs lighter was the cheapest place to get brown sugar.

Kroger looks to have a loss leader on butter. Costco does not seem to be the place to buy your weekly groceries.

When I go to Aldi, I usually limit myself to Eggs and Milk. Greek Yogurt hits 40g of protein per dollar at Aldi. This is exceptionally high and a recommendation.(Note, I haven’t tasted it)

Costco and Sams Club were recorded with their almost nauseating 3lbs of canned tuna. This does not reseal, and possibly intended for restaurants. This is more expensive than Walmart and Aldi consumer sizes. Aside from the membership fees, wholesale seems more like a Marketing tactic rather than bulk bargins.

Introducing Effectiveness

Efficiency is measured as Metric/Cost. Effectiveness is measured Metric/Maximum.

Aldi, Costco, Walmart, and Samsclub are all above 95% Effective. You aren’t losing that much going from store to store. However Meijer under 50% would be an awful place to frequently purchase flour.

Can you go into Aldi and Walmart with a smile and create a positive aura?

Sams Club is often close to the price of their own store, Walmart.

On many items we found it was significantly more expensive to get the Sams Club product.

While my original statement was a bit drastic(considering it was inspired by the fall of Carthage), I don’t see a reason to maintain a membership at Sams Club.

Thought this was interesting. Want that peanuty flavor? Peanut butter is 2x more effective than peanuts.

I’ve noticed this reoccurring, massive bulk packaging saves around 30% of the cost. That is the highest possible amount you can save from Costco and Sams Club. The top item was a 50lb bag of pinto beans. Despite my urge to believe I need commercial sized quantities of food, the savings on this 50lb bag is only 10 dollars, and in 2 years the food will have expired.

Oh Kroger…

Home Stretch

This looks quite odd, however, my Walmart and Aldi lack a variety of produce, their only Spinach was precut in packaged bags. The lesson here- Packaging is expensive, if you can avoid it, you will save money.

Walmart kicks butt on sugar. Wholesale doesnt benefit you for going big.

Aldi had a crazy loss leader, a bag of sweet potatoes for a dollar. I didn’t believe it, so it was the item I purchased to confirm, they gave you a multi-pound bag of sweet potato for 1 dollar.

Fish prices vary drastically by store.

Tortillas seem to be similar from store to store.

This week everyone had a sale on Turkey. It seems Walmart and Aldi are not having difficulty bringing people in. The protein per dollar is deceptively high due to using the weight of bird=weight of edible meat in this math.

More interested in the Calories per Dollar, Pasta seems to have gone down in price in the last few years. My goal for ’empty white carbs’ is around 2000 calories per dollar. I’ve gotten crazy deals on cereal close to that amount, and I usually stock up. At 2000 calories per dollar, anything is a pretty good buy. Walmart 1$ knockoff girl scout cookies often meet this criteria.

Raw Data can be found here.

Comparing Workers Wages

Really Kroger? Really?

Your decision if this matters to you. It doesnt seem like any grocery store pays well.

Variety and Cleanliness

From our list we found Costco, Aldi, and Sams Club did not have many of the items we were looking for.

How to Shop

Sams Club

Don’t shop at Sam’s Club.

Costco

Don’t shop at Costco.

Aldi

Aldi is great for a few products, however, keep an eye out for massively expensive products. IE: If chicken breasts are 1$/lb more than other stores.

Walmart

They have a massive variety of groceries at low costs. I recommend them for low cost fresh food and produce.

Meijer

Meat costs were low. With protein being expensive, Meijer surprised me and will have a new customer. Warning to keep an eye out for expensive products.

Kroger

Never again, and you should tell your friends.

Why Kroger?

How does a company pay their employees so poorly and have such uncompetitive food prices? Their target demographic will pay more. Flashy signs claiming low prices, clean store, a name that isnt ‘Walmart’. Upper Middle class people routinely go to Kroger without knowing how bad costs are.

Try eliminating Kroger, it will take a few weeks to learn a new grocery store, but your weekly savings will be noticeable.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

-Michael
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9 thoughts on “Aldi, Walmart, Costco, and More Grocer Comparison + Never Shop At Kroger Again

  • November 24, 2017 at 2:42 am
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    Any data on Whole Foods? Though might be better to wait a while to see how the Amazon acquisition affects things.

    Reply
    • November 26, 2017 at 10:22 pm
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      I’m interested in doing higher end grocery stores, but I need ideas for quality metrics to compare.

      I’ve heard the words “Good Produce”, but I personally find the produce at Walmart ‘good enough’. If I don’t get sick, that is my metric. Need to quantify the benefits, do people still believe in Organic?

      Reply
      • November 26, 2017 at 10:28 pm
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        “Organic” can definitely mean a lot of different things to different people. I think nowadays people might be looking more at pesticides used on their produce and exposure to other chemicals. For meat, I think growth hormones and how the animal was raised are the big ones.

        Reply
  • November 26, 2017 at 7:18 pm
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    Do you think there’s any merit to going to Costco for non-grocery items? I think they have day passes and things like that. Most of the “meme” type things I hear about Costco are less about groceries and more about the random variety of other products they have. Though I suppose that’s veering more into time cost and price-checking with other places beforehand.

    Speaking of, how do you manage time cost? I’ve always heard from folks that you’re better off shopping at the place with the lowest prices in general as opposed to driving all over town to get the lowest possible price for each item you purchase.

    Reply
    • November 26, 2017 at 10:37 pm
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      From what I studied, I wouldn’t imagine Costco is doing any major deals outside grocery. I’ve heard of their return policy, which is a benefit. They do pay their employees well. Unless you are direct product to product comparing like this, and buying significant amounts, you may spend more money.

      Yes Time. I havent found anything significant enough to have me going from store to store.

      We have been shopping at Walmart for nearly everything. We laid out our grocery store and had our weekly grocery list was sorted. In and out in 15 minutes/week. Otherwise I buy protein powder online.

      Time is huge. Free Online grocery order and pickup is going to change the country.

      Reply
  • November 27, 2017 at 3:00 pm
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    I find your results for Wal-Mart particularly interesting since I occasionally go there instead of my local grocery stores (Ingles and Harris Teeter) and find that: a) their meat (including ground beef) is consistently more expensive than my local grocery stores and b) I’m constantly finding items that I buy frequently elsewhere which simply don’t seem to be offered at Wal-Mart (or are offered, but not in the brand I need).

    I have found them to be consistently very low priced on drinks and frozen foods, though.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2017 at 3:40 pm
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      Interesting, I’ve known that brand names often mark up pretty drastic. Then they can offer their products at a discount.

      Any particular cuts of meat? Any brands you buy? I’m very interested and can follow up on this.

      Reply
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  • December 2, 2017 at 3:31 pm
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