Why It Pays to Shop Around

Testimonial from Karen

I just want to say thanks. I see you post often about ALDI and I always write it off as a not for us because it is too far away.

Today, I was in the neighboring city and knew I needed to stop for some fruit at the grocery store. Right as I thought of it, we drove by an ALDI. I pulled in the parking lot and we went inside to “check it out”.

The first thing we noticed was the milk, $1.89 a gallon! That was shock! We pay $3.39 a gallon.

Next, I went to the produce. The prices were good but the fruit was picked over. We were able to get cantaloupe for $0.99 each and that was exciting (they are $2.50 at our regular grocery store!)

So for a gallon of milk and 3 cantaloupe I paid $4.86, if I had bought this at my grocery it would have been $10.89!!! What a savings!

Then, we stopped at the nearby Target for 3 specific items: diapers, cheese, and a skillet meal. The diapers were $0.90 cheaper and the cheese was $0.65 cheaper than the Target by our house. The skillet meals were the same price, but this Target store carried more variety than the one by our house.

Also, we noticed gas was $0.11 a gallon cheaper in this town than where we live. I make a trip to this town every two weeks, and I think I’m going to start planning my grocery trips around it.

While I can’t buy two weeks’ worth of milk at once, I can save $1.40 a gallon for every gallon I do buy. I am excited to see what I can “save” by buying here instead of at home and I would not have noticed if I hadn’t read your posts about ALDI! So, thank you! -Karen

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  1. Abigail's Mommy says

    Time to get a cooler and stock up. I keep my milk for two weeks. We do not drink it. So the gallon last the whole two weeks. I would buy a 1/2 gallon, but in Texas it’s .10 more to get a gallon.

  2. says

    My family has saved hundreds a month by shopping at Aldi instead of our local small town grocery store. Thanks guys! I didn’t know that you could freeze milk!

  3. says

    I really wish we had an Aldi here, sounds like you all really save your money. I have never paid $3.39 for milk (what store is that?) that is alot for milk. It really does pay to shop around. Good for you!

    • Kim M says

      Its about the same price here for a gallon, and I’m in upstate NY. We’re fortunate to have a local convenience store that has a stamp program- for every gallon you buy, you earn 2 stamps. with 10 stamps you get a free 1/2 gallon. Its not a lot, but it’s saved our behinds quite a few times when we had no money for milk!

    • Jen says

      Here in PA milk is at least $3.39 a gallon, even at Aldi. I can’t remember the exact price I’ve been paying lately, maybe like $3.87??

      • Renee says

        The minimum price of milk (and many milk products) in PA is fixed by the Milk Marketing Law. It will be pretty much the same no matter if you shop at Aldi, Costco, Target, or a regular grocery store. Stores can’t put milk on “sale” or use it as a loss-leader. I believe it can be marked up, though.

      • Kristen says

        Wow that is ridiculous. I hope that is organic. I pay $5.99 per gallon – but that’s only because its organic from Trader Joe’s.

    • Tammy W. says

      Milk prices are largely determined by geography. Here in PA, there’s a state minimum enforced, in order to (supposedly) protect the farmers from losing money. We’re a few minutes from the OH border (but 30 min. from an OH grocery store), and the milk there is about $1 cheaper per gallon!

  4. marie says

    karen if you have space you can freeze milk. a store buy us had a great special in June so we stocked up and had milk all of July and August! !!
    talk about helping the budget!

  5. Lana says

    After you have shopped at that Aldi for a bit you will learn what days and times are best to shop for produce. My Aldi often has pretty long dates on their milk because they sell so much so you might do very well there too. I pour all of our milk into glass containers when I get it home and it keeps way longer than in the plastic jug there is no date for the family to be phobic about. :) We don’t care for milk that has been frozen but we do freeze it for cooking.

    My daughter uses only Aldi diapers and says they are great and a great price. You can get a refund if you do not like them. Also you can sign up to get Aldi’s emails and the ad will be emailed to you each week.

  6. Jeni says

    I pay for my gas to go out of town to Aldi (20 miles) with my savings on milk alone! We pay $3.75 where we live- Central IL- That combined with all of my savings makes it SO worth it to drive out of town!

  7. Amy Smith says

    If you have room in your freezer you might try to go ahead and buy 2 weeks of milk at a time. We buy 3 weeks worth and pour some out into a pitcher to allow for expansion, and then freeze the rest in the jug. It works great-just give it a good shake after it is thawed to redistribute the fats. Tastes great, and is much cheaper than our almost $4 a gallon milk here in town!

  8. Debbie says

    The price of milk at Aldi’s varies alot. It can change from week to week and even be different from store to store. This week’s current flyer has it advertised for $1.89, but it’s usually higher. Sometimes I can get milk cheaper at another chain store.

    • Carrie says

      Wow that is cheap! In our area we pay 4.15/gal at the local Walmart. I end up buying milk @walgreens for 2.69 or going to a Freedom gas station & buying it for 2.88. It is sad when you can buy milk so much cheaper @a gas station. Aldi sounds like a great store, wsh we had one in our area.

  9. says

    You can buy two weeks’ worth of milk at a time! I used to do it all the time (when we had a much bigger food budget and a different menu). I would buy 13 gallons when it went on sale, and then wait until it went on sale again two weeks later, as it did then.

    If you look at the dates and pull from the back of the fridge, you can get milk that doesn’t expire for two weeks.

    I’ve never had to freeze it.

    By doing that, I was able to only go shopping every two weeks.

    Now I go shopping a lot less often than that, but it can be done, and it’s a good way to stretch your shopping to once every two weeks.

  10. amie says

    I see a lot of comments about freezing milk here and I wanted to add that I was skeptical about it and finally tried it this year. Now, I try to shop my Kroger on days when milk gets marked down. It is often around $3.60, but the manager’s special is $1.99. I buy as much as I can and freeze it. We cannot taste a difference and it saves us a lot.

  11. Erin says

    Maybe Karen does not have room for extra milk? It is not always cost-effective to buy an extra freezer or fridge and pay electricity on it.

    • Emily says

      Yes! I sometimes get discouraged by reading comments after posts like that (even though they’re all well-meaning!) because not everyone can necessarily stock up or buy a deep freezer. Our family has a very small freezer (It’s one of those narrow ones that open to the left of the refrigerator portion) so I couldn’t try freezing extra milk if I wanted to. I’m currently trying to organize it to get the best possible use of space, but it is hard, and I can’t imagine putting milk jugs in there the way it looks now!

      Another thing to think about—some people live in apartments. When we were in an apartment earlier this year, there would have been *no* way to get a deep freezer in our apartment without it a) looking ridiculous or b) being entirely in the way or c) needing to be sold within a few months in preparation for our cross-country move–not everyone is in a permanent home situation, so it’s important to keep those things in mind!

      • Kathy says

        Don’t get discouraged Emily! Do what works for YOU and your family! Only you know best for your situation, and if you can’t do some things that people go on and on about, then do what you can and pat yourself on the back for it 😀

      • Kate says

        While I agree with you 100% that everyone’s situation is different, the comments aren’t meant to discourage! If the case is that she hadn’t thought of buying extra because she didn’t know it kept for 2+ weeks, or could be frozen, they could save her that much more money! Also– just a funny tidbit, up until 2 weeks ago, my husband and I lived in a teeny tiny apartment, and you know what I put in it right next to our couch?? A deep freezer. Because even after the pain of hauling it up 3 flights of stairs, it saved us SO much money. Was it a little funny when people came over for the first time? Sure. But I draped a tablecloth on it and put a vase with flowers and then no one was the wiser! And we just had a big move, and we were able to get it back out and get it to the new (bigger) house and it was just dandy! :)

      • Jade says

        Have you thought of buying the extra gal or two of milk and putting it in ziplock bags and freeze them flat, then you can stack them in spaces too tight for a big plastic jug or something round? I’ve done that for my dad who lives alone and only has a small freezer on the top of the refridge. Just a thought.

      • Heather says

        I live in an apartment, and I have a small chest freezer on the balcony. I bought it for $25 at an estate sale. We’ve had some issues with the outlet it plugs into not working, and the maintenance staff was peeved with me for having it (even though our lease does not forbid it), but I’m still glad I have it out there. We don’t have a pantry or a garage, but we store extra food under our bed. With a little creative thinking, you can stockpile with less-than-ideal space.

  12. Rita says

    Your lucky to have Aldi and Kroger in your area, I’m in California and everything is expensive – we are priced higher on everything even at Walmart. I see these posts and think wow – I wish I could save that much, if I ever saw milk that cheap I’d think something was wrong with it….

  13. kathy viviano says

    If you have freezer space, it pays to buy your milk “in bulk” and freeze multiple gallons for future use. I shop basically once a month and buy 4 – 6 gallons of milk at a time. I’ve got a big freezer in the basement and, while the milk takes up just about a whole shelf, I never run out of milk so I am not running to the store where there is a chance I would spend money I don’t have in my budget.

    • Marti B. says

      Heh, I wish that could work for our family, but with 6 kids we go through a gallon of milk PER DAY. I shop at Aldi’s when I can, but sometimes it’s cheaper to just pay the more inflated price at a closer store than to pay for the gasoline to drive there. So we pay anywhere from $1.99 (Aldi’s current local price) to $3.09 (state-wide grocery chain) to $4 (Dollar General that’s close to us.)

      Also, our town’s Aldi has a limit of 4 gallons per customer.

  14. says

    What a great testimony! We haven’t shopped much at Aldi’s because we were trying to eat healthier (more organic/natural) and their meats kind of scare me. But for other items besides meat, we started to incorporate them into our shopping trips. Dillions (Kroger) has some great sales, and Wal-Mart is our go-to place.

    Nicole @ WKH

    • Kristen says

      Aldi does have a very small selection of organic. Their organic bananas, apples, potatoes, spinach, etc are all way cheaper than other stores. I definitely don’t buy meat there (I only buy organic meat).

  15. Angela says

    A lot of people here are talking about taking Aldi ads in to Walmart for price-matching, which is a great idea. But, and this is probably a stupid question, does Walmart price-match ads for stores that don’t actually have locations in the state? I would assume not.

    Unfortunately, there are no Aldi’s anywhere near where I live. As far as I can tell from their site, the closest one is in Kansas… and I’m in Nevada. We do have Smith’s (Kroger) though, and since I started shopping there for the bulk of our weekly grocery needs, we have been able to cut quite a bit off of our bill.

    • Kate says

      YMMV, but if you print out the Walmart price-match policy, they should! Their policy does not state that it has to be a competitor right by them. You don’t even have to take in an ad! I’ve had a store or two give me gruff, but then I show them the policy that states clearly that I just have to be honest (have good character) and tell them that Store A is selling Product B for Price C and they’ll adjust it. The store near me, however, has never given me a problem! I price match a store that is 40 miles away because we used to live there and I was very used to their awesome prices. :) Good luck!

  16. Carole says

    Here in central Illinois we have grocery stores called “Rulers” that have prices and stock similar to Aldis. They are owned by Kroger. If you get one, you might want to check it out.

    • Clara Pedigo says

      We recently had a Ruler Foods open up in Charleston, IL and their prices on a gallon of milk are $1.49 almost every week. Since it is the town I work & shop in I haven’t felt the need to stock up on milk, but after reading these posts, I plan to try freezing a gallon and see how we like it. It would be nice to cut down to 2 shopping trips per month!
      Thanks to all of you for some great ideas!

  17. says

    I drive 45 miles to get to the closest Aldi store and it’s WELL WORTH the drive. I usually go about every other week. Great deals! Last week, they had a sale on cinnamon raisin bread – $ .25 per loaf! Yes, I bought all they had (13 loaves) – I blessed others with some and froze the rest! LOVE Aldi!

  18. Tina says

    Our Walmart price matches Aldi milk without bringing an ad cuz so many people do it. If the town you visited isn’t more than 30 minutes away, your local Walmart should match the Aldi price on the milk even without an ad.

    • jenny says

      Our Walmart won’t price match it now,they said they were not meant to or allowed to anymore but they could price match the eggs.

  19. Betsy says

    I shop at Aldi’s. I have found their milk keeps at least 10 days past their expiration date
    All of their foods that I have purchased are awesome. Their cheese is great too!

  20. Jessica says

    My deep freezer and freezer over the fridge are almost always full of freezer meals and the 1/4 cow I buy once a year, along with a supply of frozen veggies. We go through 4 gallons of milk a week- will be more once the baby turns 1, and I live in a metropolitan area so I can choose from about 10 grocery stores that are within 3 miles of my house. I even have multiple Aldis and Krogers within that distance.

    However, I have noticed that about different locations of the same chain having different prices. The Target by campus has higher prices than the Target that’s closest to my house. The Target by the huge shopping mall has prices in the middle but also tends to have the best clearance.

  21. MB says

    I’ve found the same thing and the two Targets I go to (literally 1.5 miles from each other)….one has higher prices on some items and the other on other items!

  22. jenny says

    Also at Walmart if you get a gift card and put money on it you can use it for gas at the gas station in walmart and get an extra 10c off a gallon.

  23. Krista says

    We shop at Aldi regularly, too. What a blessing it is to have it in town.

    Aldi is our go-to place for milk as well. Their dairy prices will fluctuate from season to season or quarter to quarter (however they do it), but if they are up for a while, they will come back down eventually.

    They also sell local things like produce and apple cider (seasonally) so it’s nice to get things there. We don’t buy meat there, usually, because I haven’t noticed that their meat prices are any better.

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