1. Many Hands House says

    I am a die hard Aldi fan. This one was obvious to me, especially when you factor in gas and membership fees. I have found that with some items, buying bulk just means I consume more.
    However, if it's something you enjoy, maybe you should keep your membership. Us Mamas get very little pleasure these days.

    Some day I will post a week of my receipts for you to analyze.

  2. Betty Monroy says

    Well I can see how Aldi is cheaper but I'm wondering about the quality compares between the two of them? For example if you compare the quality of some of the produce (lettuce, avocados, cilantro just to mention some) between Walmart and Hy-Vee I have found that usually Hy-vee produce last longer. Or maybe that's just me. So I'm very curious to know if or how Sam's club and Aldi compare.

  3. Michele says

    Do you factor in the gas it takes to get there? I'm assuming that you are traveling to Davenport to get there so you are probably not making a special trip to get to Sam's but combining it with other reasons to visit that side of town.

    We stopped renewing when we moved to the west side of Davenport. I just couldn't justify the costs of driving there plus the fact that you have to spend so much just to get the "good deal"… because the quantities are so large we end up spending our budget on just a couple things. And then, like that list above, I wasn't seeing the huge savings I thought we should be getting.

  4. Michele says

    Betty, I too find that HyVee produce is superior to Walmart… in fact I refuse to buy walmart produce now, after having so much spoil just a couple days after bringing it home.

    I find that produce at Aldi can vary between stores. Also it varies based on how long it's been there. New produce stock is VERY GOOD but they do mark it down if it's been sitting there a while… and then you can tell it's been there a while and you need to eat it fast. When it comes to Aldi produce, I think it helps to get to know your store and it's schedule.

  5. McKenzie Gilbert says

    I have my Sam's membership for business purposes, but use it for a lot other than food too. The first year I ever had a membership I more than paid for the cost of the membership when I purchased 4 tires & their hotel discounts (although that was 10 years ago & nowadays Joe Shmo can get the same discounts on the net). For catering though I get chips, baked beans, frozen chicken breasts, etc.. all much cheaper than buying multiple smaller cans to equal the same amount. That said I do love Aldis though for a lot of things especially their Fit & Active line of products.

  6. Michelle says

    Betty, my personal opinion is that produce varies EVERYWHERE! None of it, that I buy, is as good as what I grow myself. I've had bad luck at all the stores and good luck at all the stores. I try to smell the pineapples, for example, to get a good one, and look through all the apples or oranges in a bag. We bought a bunch of bananas at Sam's Club the other day and one of them had been run through with a knife. It was disgusting. I would have taken the whole lot back if we had noticed it sooner! But it's not worth drive.

    Michele, I can't factor in gas. I always combine trips with other reasons to be in the QCA. But it is certainly a consideration.

  7. Abby says

    I am in the process of making this exact decision and comparison right now, but I also have a Costco membership (I pay for one, my mom pays for the other and we share). So far, Aldi is looking best for us, too. Costco is cheaper than Sam's on most things by a few cents. I am near Des Moines, so I have access to about anything. Aldi makes a very concerted effort to keep improving what they sell, and I think their quality is pretty on par with other stores. I really dislike that so much of the produce at the bulk stores is huge. Not the amount, the actual produce. My three year old is not going to eat an apple the size of his head; if I am paying by the pound, I would rather have more, serving sized produce than fewer gigantic ones. I have compared our entire shopping list the last couple months and so far, even with the membership added in, Costco and Aldi are pretty much even. The issue with keeping the Costco is that, as I think someone else mentioned, you are then left with a lot of some items that you don't necessarily need a lot of, and so you are back to shopping several stores, which I really don't like doing if I can help. Our current plan, with the preliminary look at costs-I still need to compare Fareway numbers-is to buy most of what we need at Aldi, then fill as necessary at Fareway or Hy-Vee. Hy-Vee we generally only use to stock up on pantry items when they have super sales on things-most recently was pasta sauce for $.29 a can and yesterday we got milk for the month (we shop one month at a time) for $1.98 a gallon.
    It isn't easy to decide, but I also know I have a handful of friends who wouldn't give their memberships up for anything, and if I *really* needed something, could tag along every once in a while. I think you feel like you're getting a better deal because you should be for paying a membership fee, but when it comes down to it, you generally aren't saving enough to make it worth the hassle. At least so far. I am looking forward to see what you find out. I had plans of blogging my findings once I get through. Shopping only once a month means it is a slow comparison process 😉

  8. Michelle says

    Abby, I totally agree with you on the sheer size of their produce. I don't understand how they get such BIG apples! If half of it is wasted because it's too big, costing less isn't really saving moving. And I didn't even look at SALE prices at Aldi – and their produce is often on sale making it even cheaper than what I have listed. This week, for instance, you can get Fuji apples for .49 cents a pound at Aldi. I plan to buy 4-5 bags as that's an awesome price!

  9. The Prudent Homemaker says

    I don't have an Aldi's here, but I do have Sam's Club.

    Our carrots are only .39/lb for the 5 pound bag. Our sugar is lower, too, right now at $14 something. I know sometimes Sam's Clubs vary in price; mine is usually higher than other stores, though.

    I buy cheddar cheese in the 5lb block.

    I don't buy potatoes or eggs at Sam's Club; I buy those on sale at another grocery store.

    Also, prices on dairy change on a regular basis–even at Sam's Club. I have seen cheese at $1.79 a pound in the summer, and higher in the winter.

    I really save on oil at Sam's Club. Just the savings on olive oil alone would be worth my membership cost.

    I also buy the #10 cans of tomato sauce (which are under $2.50) at my store, and those save me quite a bit, too.

    Here is what I get at Sam's Club:

    I think it really depends on what you buy. Last year I fed my family of 8 for under .70 a person per day, and filled my pantry with that amount. Buying in bulk at Sam's Club was a big part of that for us.

    Good luck!

  10. Michelle says

    The Prudent Homemaker! I love your website. I've been there a lot. I was especially surprised about the sugar at Sam's club as I bought 50 lbs of raw sugar for about the same as Sam's club prices not too long ago. I figured it would be less at Sam's Club. Prices change a lot at Aldi, too, but less on the staples than on the fresh produce. I get canola oil for almost free when an Albertson's affiliate has great catalina sales. Olive oil is another story – but I generally buy it on sale with coupons. I will check it out at Sam's Club. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Lisa says

    Personally I like Aldi's, I can buy just the amount I need, so no worries about wasted food. If you are thinking about forgoing your Sam's Club membership give it a try. Sam's always has special days they let non members shop for membership prices. They will have passes in the papers at this time.

  12. Jessica says

    Hi there. Just found your site via some pin on pinterest and I’ve been reading through all of your posts. Kudos to you! I wanted to post something that I haven’t seen anyone bring up.

    I primarily use my Sam’s membership for medicine. I have severe allergies and Zyrtec is the only antihistamine that works for me. I save the equivalent of the membership with one purchase of the store brand at Sam’s even over the Wal-Mart brand. I also buy all of my Tylenol and Advil (store brand of course). The savings over any other store is shocking. I generally don’t shop at Sam’s except for a few items of their’s that I love, but the meds are hands down the best value ever.

    Great blog. Keep up the good work.

  13. Laura says

    I have actually done a test between Aldis, Walmart and Meijer produce. Bought a bag of lettuce mix, cucumbers, and tomatoes at the same time and hands Meijers won. The Walmart lettuce mix was first to go with Aldis a close second. Meijiers salad mix lasted an entire week longer! The Walmart tomatoes were mushy from get. Aldis tomatoes lasted ok but were not good to taste. Again Meijer won. Cucumbers from Aldis lasted about 24 hr in my fridge. Walmart cucmbers a few days and Meijers few days longer. Rule of thumb only buy produce from Aldi when your gonna eat it in the next day or two. Walmart is just a crap shoot. And well Meijer is best, freshest bang for he buck. Oh i guess i should say that i think Sams produce is somewhere between Walmart and Meijer


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