Wegmans vs. Aldi: Battle of the Grocery Stores
Now, I know some people will dither with the title of this post. Why? Because, they argue, Wegman’s is not just a “grocery store” -- it’s an experience.
Well, yes, indeed it is. And for the record, I cannot imagine a time when I will not shop at Wegmans. But I’ve been saving a lot of money at Aldi lately, so I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison of each store to really see if it’s worth it to go to both stores every week. Below are items that I have bought at both stores in the past month. This price comparison does NOT take into account coupons, because most of these items are pantry staples and it is unusual to find coupons for many of them on a regular basis.
Cheaper at Aldi
- Deli Meat
- Deli Cheese
- Baking Supplies (flour, oil)
- Herbs & Spices
Cheaper at Wegmans:
- American Cheese Slices
Same at both:
- Block Cheese
- String Cheese
From this comparison, it certainly looks as if Aldi is the winner, doesn’t it? There are four pretty big caveats, though.
1. This list only compares “like” items. There are some products, like bread and rolls, that I won’t buy at Aldi because I haven’t found any without HFCS added.
2. This doesn’t take into account items that are easy to use coupons on, like cereal. You can find cereal at Aldi for $1.89/box, which is $.10 cheaper than Wegmans’ store brand cereal, but at Wegmans I have used coupons to get cereal for $1.50 or less a box.
3. Aldi is something of a wild card -- almost every time I’ve been there I’ve found a few national brand products at deeply discounted prices. Of course, I just got lucky that I happened to be there that day and found those items.
4. Fruit and vegetable prices are always MUCH cheaper at Aldi. But at least 50% of the time, they just don’t seem as fresh and good-looking as Wegmans’ produce, and I like that Wegmans has local sources for much of their in-season produce.
Based on my recent receipts at both Aldi and Wegmans, I save between $5 and $10 a week by shopping at Aldi. This is enough for me to keep going there, especially since it’s only about a mile away from my Wegmans and it’s not another inconvenient trip to get there. However, I think the best strategy will be to stock up on what I need at Aldi every other week -- that way I can save a little time, and also make sure I have the items I know will be cheaper at Aldi.
I'm curious to hear what others do. Do you shop at 2 or more stores every week?