Where do you prefer to grocery shop? Aldi, Walmart, the mainstream grocery store?
Shoppers tend to be loyal to a particular store, we're creatures of habit after all. Some folks like Aldi because of the consistently low prices and name brands aren't a concern. Others favor Dillons because of the loyalty card and fuel points. Then there are those who do their regular grocery shopping at Walmart liking the one-stop shopping convenience for clothes, home & garden, and other general merchandise.
Here's this week's side-by-side Wichita Metro comparison of grocery store prices for Aldi, Walmart, and Dillon's (Kroger, a.k.a. the mainstream grocery store), plug in the name of the mainstream grocery store in your neck of the woods here, ie., Meijer, HyVee, Publix, Albertsons, etc. Odds are that mainstream is going to be the most expensive of the three from week to week.
Covering the basics with a focus on store brands, this week's list, dated September 25, 2023, is unchanged in item count from the previous Wichita Metro weekly essentials review for a total of 25 grocery products. There were no revisions to the shopping list. Of note, in a same-store comparison to the previous review of September 11, prices are mixed. Aldi shoppers would have spent $0.38 less* for the same items purchased two weeks ago. Dillons shoppers paid more, an additional $1.34, and Walmart shoppers spent $1.28 less.
Prices stated are online prices and for items available at the time of the review. Remember that the featured items are the store brand for each respective store unless otherwise labeled. Prices can vary from store to store, as store managers have the flexibility to adjust prices, lower or higher. Aldi does not have the flexibility of the other stores reviewed. Prices are good as of this writing and could change by the time you make that grocery run.
- Aldi: 8011 E Kellogg Ave, Wichita, KS 67207
- Dillons: 9450 E. Harry St., Wichita, KS 67207
- Walmart: 11411 E Kellogg Dr, Wichita, KS 67207
Takeaways from this week's price review:
- Aldi continues to be the lowest in online pricing of the three stores reviewed, it's consistent week over week. Keep in mind their online prices are higher than in-store prices, so you'll spend even less than what's listed when shopping in-store. Aldi uniquely does this to cover their employee cost of personal shopping for your delivery or pickup order. Check out the price for chicken. It's the same chicken as the other stores, Tyson does the private labeling for Aldi under the Kirkwood brand. * Aldi did not have Kraft Singles available this week, so that's part of the drop in the overall cart price from the review done on September 11. That's a shopper reality, sometimes a store doesn't have what you put on your list. So you either do without or do what many folks do, make a substitution. You could get a 24-count package of Aldi private label cheese, Happy Farms Deluxe Slices (similar to Kraft Deluxe Slices and I would challenge you to be able to tell the difference in a taste test), for $3.85. I actually prefer this cheese over Kraft's individually wrapped slices, I hate the plastic wraps! Including the Happy Farms cheese pushes this week's cart total to $73.44.
- The Dillons online pricing is the same as in-store. As in past reviews, Dillons has a very red column of prices, but, they also have a little more green than usual. The price gap this week Dillons vs. Aldi with cheese... (sounds like a fast food order...) was $5.90. Even with the store loyalty card and/or fuel points, you're probably not going to make up the difference based on this grocery list. You're limited to what Dillons decides to put on sale. The price gap with Walmart was a notable $3.51. Dillons shoppers would probably make up most of gap there with loyalty card savings and fuel points. If you're curious about how the Dillons loyalty card plays a role, check out the related article link, "Mainstream Grocery vs. Discount Grocery: Dillon's (Kroger) vs. Aldi. Dillons has the lowest price for lunch meat, canola oil, and eggs (store brand) this week.
- The Walmart online pricing is the same as for in-store. Walmart consistently finishes second in overall price from week to week, but check out the higher prices for bacon, bananas, and wheat bread.
- Sliced cheese comparison: Since Aldi didn't have Kraft Singles available this week, I did a quick comparison of store-brand cheeses. I compared the Deluxe versions, not the 'Singles', the individually wrapped stuff which is an inferior cheese. It's not unfair to describe it as "plastic cheese" individually wrapped in plastic, and the processed texture of the stuff almost has a plastic-like consistency to it and those darn wrappers can sometimes be a pain. Deluxe Slices are the way to go. Aldi Happy Farms Deluxe American Slices, 24-count package - $3.85. Dillons Kroger Deluxe American Slices - $4.39. Walmart Great Value Deluxe American Slices - $3.98. Once again, for most products, Dillons is the most expensive of the three stores. But if you're looking to save some money vs. buying Kraft Deluxe Slices (not to be confused with Kraft Singles) priced at $6.99 for a 24-count package at Dillons, go with the store brand stuff. If you want inferior 'plastic' cheese, here's that comparison in 16-slice packages (size available at all three stores): Aldi Happy Farms - $2.09. Dillons Kroger - $2.50. Walmart Great Value - $1.98. Walmart has the cheapest fake cheese.
Don't see some essential items that you think should be on the list? Please comment.
$pend Wisely My Friends...
Related: Grocery Stores in Wichita