Who can PRODUCE an explanation for these prices?

Who can PRODUCE an explanation for these prices?

Just a short musing on ALDI produce prices vs. grocery store produce prices today. Why? Well, I recently ran into my local non-ALDI grocery store to pick up a couple of things they had on sale, and thought I’d save myself another trip by grabbing a pack of celery for soup while I was there.

Talk about sticker shock!

Yes, I did actually put the celery right back on the shelf, and headed right back down the road to the nearest ALDI. Why?

Basic Produce prices at ALDI vs. other Grocery Stores

aldi produce prices vs grocery store produce prices -- celery is much cheaper

On the very same day, in the very same town: Celery at my local Jewel-Osco store was $3.99. Celery at my local ALDI store was $1.49. (If you’re not in the Chicago area, Jewel is Albertsons-owned and is comparable to Safeway, Albertsons, Shaw’s…) 

Who pays $3.99 for… CELERY, of all things?! That local grocery store price on celery was about 2.7 times the ALDI price. That’s not just a little bit more, that’s crazy more.

And while we are at it…

onion prices at aldi vs jewel

While we’re buying the basic produce to make our soup, wouldn’t you agree that $3.49 for a three pound bag of yellow onions seems a tad bit excessive? (I don’t even like the everyday $1.69 price at my ALDI, so often wait for onions to go on sale for $.99 at either ALDI or my local produce market.)

$3.49 for a 3 lb bag of yellow onions is over twice the everyday $1.69 price at my ALDI.

avocado prices at ALDI vs jewel

While I was there, I figured I’d also check avocado prices — because, well… because I buy an awful lot of them! Everyday price at my ALDI when not on sale, usually around $1.09. Everyday price at my local chain grocer, usually around $2.00 — not quite twice as much. Plus, the ones at Jewel were the kind of crazy hard and bright green that means they’ll probably never ripen quite right. Isn’t that the worst? 🙂

Think how cheaper produce prices at ALDI add up every day

Yes, produce prices will vary dramatically across the country (and seasonally, and from day to day). But for our purposes today, let’s just look at the price differentials rather than the specific amounts.

This week I just looked at a couple of everyday prices rather than sale prices — because, of course, when either ALDI or another store puts a given produce item on sale as a loss leader, they’ll come out ahead in any given week. This same day, for instance, strawberries were on sale for $.99 at my local Jewel and $1.29 at my local ALDI — but it’s these everyday prices on the basics you need for your everyday meals that are going to make the difference in the long run.

  • If I’d bought a pack of celery, 3 lbs of yellow onions, and an avocado at Jewel, I would have spent $9.48.
  • If I’d bought a pack of celery, 3 lbs of yellow onions, and an avocado at ALDI, I would have spent $4.27.

And this, for those of you keeping score at home, is why the free weekly meal plans are based around ALDI shopping and sales: They just wouldn’t be doable with these kind of prices on produce basics at most other large grocery chains.

Is produce this expensive at your own local grocery store vs ALDI?

Is it just my local stores, or does regular price produce run this much more at other grocery stores in your area than it does at ALDI? I knew prices would be higher, but haven’t picked up non-sale produce at my local Jewel in so long that I really hadn’t thought about how much higher it was until this week. I’m curious to hear what you have found in your own local area, though!

See also: Is ALDI Cheaper than Walmart?

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