Top 10 Cheapest Supermarkets in the US Right Now
Top 10 Cheapest Supermarkets in the US Right Now

Finding good cheap food is not a new concept, but knowing exactly where to go will save you time and money. Your best bet might be to shop at discount chain Aldi. according to a recent report, it’s the cheapest place to grocery shop.

Cheapism analyzed the prices of 41 grocery products and foods sold at three grocery chains: Aldi, Kroger and Walmart. The website recorded prices at three stores all in the same western Ohio community to find the cheapest grocery store.

According to the website: “Our final tally produced a clear overall winner: Aldi, where the grocery bill came to $67.34, about 14% cheaper than the Walmart total of $78.23 and more than 20% cheaper than Kroger (even with a store savings card). Aldi outpriced Walmart on 33 of 41 items. Kroger was never the cheapest choice.”

The chain keeps things simple. In general, Aldi stores are smaller, private label products are low-cost and customers even bring their own bags. Despite that, the store manages to carry staples, as well as snacks, home goods, and seasonal items—as well as gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free products. This Aldi’s third win from Dunnhumby,

For the 10th year running, Aldi has also been crowned the Value Leader, according to the Market Force Information® Grocery Benchmark Study and PR Newswire. The study surveyed thousands of shoppers, and the unanimous agreement was that Aldi doled out the best shopper experience, and fastest checkout speed and ranked highly for cleanliness, convenience, and value. A 2019 study conducted by Kanter dubbed Aldi “more cost-effective” than other grocery chains. Hooray, Aldi!

How to save money at the supermarkets

Shopping at Aldi locations can save you money — but you shouldn’t stop there. As we have noted, estate sales — yes, you heard us right — also are great places to get an excellent deal on groceries.

These grocery hacks are all effective, but they aren’t all-encompassing. There are also creative shopping tactics that go beyond the “buy only what’s on sale” kind of idea. Take the following tips, for example.

Check the pantry at estate sales

Estate sales are generally everything-must-go sales that take place soon after someone dies and the house needs to be cleaned out. Since “everything” means everything, you may find some swell deals on items from the cupboard and pantry.

Look for close-dated dairy products

Watch the sell-by date on dairy products and ask for a discount if the date is about to pass.

A sell-by date is not a safety date. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it “tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory management.”

Consider last-chance produce

Those bananas with the red tape around them. The plastic bag contains several kinds of citrus. The table of tomatoes with a price tag so low you think the store accidentally left off a digit.

Maybe those bananas or tomatoes ripened faster than expected, or maybe the manager ordered too many limes. Either way, the store would rather make some money than throw it all away, giving you the opportunity to score discounts on fresh produce.

Top 10 Cheapest Supermarkets in the US Right Now

1. Aldi

2. Costco

3. Walmart

4. Dollar General

5. Food4Less

6. H-E-B

7. Kroger

8. Lidl

9. WinCo

10. Market Basket

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1. Aldi

Photo: mysanantonio
Photo: mysanantonio

Aldi is a terrific discount grocery store to consider. I love Aldi for the fact that they offer cheap to produce, organic options, and some awesome gourmet cheeses, wine, and seafood.

If you have champagne taste but a beer budget, Aldi is a terrific choice. Everything they do is to cut costs while passing on the savings to their customers and paying their employees a higher wage. This arrangement means they only sell popular products that have been loaded directly onto shelves while still in warehouse packaging.

You also have to insert a quarter into their carts in order to use one (don’t worry, you get the quarterback once you return the cart). You also have to bag your own groceries, so don’t forget reusable bags.

However, if you can get past those little inconveniences, you could save up to 40 percent off of regular grocery store prices. I’ve been shopping at Aldi ever for years, and it helps us spend less on groceries.

2. Costco

The first thing that pops to mind when shoppers think of Costco? Delicious rotisserie chicken for just $5—but the truth is that Costco's Kirkland products are often much cheaper than similar products elsewhere. Costco has earned a reputation for some of the best-prepared foods due to a rehaul of their cafeteria menu (one of the five benefits anyone—even non-members—can enjoy.)

Grocery prices are lower due to Costco's annual membership, which averages about $60 annually. But if you're interested in shopping at the warehouse, here's how you can do it without coughing up the cash for a membership.

3. Walmart

Walmart
Walmart

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer, known for massive stores, large selections, and most of all, low prices. It’s nice that Super Walmart is a one-stop shop, so you get your lawn stuff, clothes, jewelry, gift items, and groceries all in the same place. Or maybe it’s not so nice, since my $5 pizza trips turn into $40 toy trips.

Walmart made the history books in 1950 when Sam Walton first began rolling back prices at Walton’s 5&10. Today, thanks to its huge global footprint, Walmart can get lower prices from its vendors, then pass those savings on to customers.

Walmart is known for the basics—pantry staples, toiletries, laundry detergents, and cleaning supplies. And even though I personally tend to eat like a 5-year-old, you healthy eaters will be happy to know Walmart now has organic, keto and gluten-free items.

4. Dollar General

Dollar General is another discount grocery store that is typically available in smaller towns and rural areas. Because of this, it is often one of the only stores those residents can use.

While Dollar General isn’t the best choice if you want lots of fresh food, it’s suitable for staples and household goods. Where Dollar General shines is the selection they offer beyond groceries.

Expect to find items from the following categories at Dollar General:

  • Apparel
  • Beauty products
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Office supplies

Unlike other dollar stores, Dollar General allows you to use coupons for even more savings.

5. Food4Less

Photo: supermarketnews
Photo: supermarketnews

Food 4 Less is an affordable grocery chain (you knew that already—it made the cheapest grocery store list!) scattered throughout the West Coast. When you visit a bright yellow Food 4 Less, you could be going into an independent store or one operated by Kroger. Not only are they budget-friendly, but some also have Mexican-style carniceria meat departments. A Mexican deli? Take all my dinero!

Expect to bag your own groceries. Food 4 Less is a warehouse-style supermarket, where efficiency is king.

Shop at Food 4 Less for your basic grocery, health and beauty items. I also hear they have a surprisingly affordable organic produce section and wide selection of gluten-free items!

6. H-E-B

Oh, how I miss H-E-B! As a southern gal, I loved going into the store and admiring all of the aisles with delicious foods, including prepared items and baked goods.

H-E-B stores are located only in Texas, so this store will not work for everyone.

However, if you’re lucky enough to have an H-E-B near you, it’s an excellent option to save money on groceries. You can save and clip their email and digital couples.

You can get online deals shipped directly to your door or make a menu on their app based on the items on sale. H-E-B also allows you to order groceries online and pick them up curbside to keep from impulse shopping.

7. Kroger

Photo: thedailymeal
Photo: thedailymeal

While they partner with several other grocery chains, Kroger branded stores are only available in ten States. If you have one near you, you’re in luck.

Kroger operates under different names, depending on where you live. If you have the following stores in your area, they are Kroger-backed:

  • Baker’s
  • Dillons
  • Fred Meyer
  • King Sooper
  • Ralphs

Kroger stores have some of the best sales on meat and produce that you’ll find, and it’s easy to find deals on their website. You can find weekly deals, digital coupons, and fuel reward options directly on their site.

They also give you the option to have groceries delivered to your door.

8. Lidl

Lidl (rhymes with like beetle, not idle) wants to be your favorite affordable, high-quality grocery store. They don’t only sell grocery goods—you also can find small kitchen appliances, gardening stuff, toys and even power tools at this East Coast chain.

The Cruze family can get a 16.4-ounce pepperoni pizza at Lidl for just $4.39. That’s a pretty good deal!

Lidl made the cheapest grocery store list with their intentional efficiency standards. Their stores are designed to get shoppers in and out quickly—meaning they can sell more products to more shoppers. And they eliminate “any unnecessary costs,” like paying employees to unpack produce. Instead, they just put a new box of produce on the stand, saving the cost of paying employees to stock products item by item.

Good news for families trying to eat healthy on a budget: Lidl has a reputation for top-shelf produce. They also have a crazy good spice rack–I’m talking $0.55 for onion powder, cinnamon and more. And if you shop for certified seafood, Lidl products are good for the planet and good for your budget all at the same time.

9. WinCo

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

WinCo is an employee-owned company that has stores on the West Coast and some southern states like Arizona and Texas.

If you aren’t familiar with WinCo, they have some awesome perks, including discounts on bulk items and marked-down items (with the little green tags). Like some of the other stores on this list, you have to bag your groceries at WinCo. But you’ll also be able to score some great deals, so it’s worth it.

The store tries to be as eco-friendly as possible, which is a huge perk for earth lovers shopping.

10. Market Basket

Market Basket is a New England supermarket with a more than 100-year legacy. It turns out they’re budget-friendly and people-friendly—Consumer Reports gives the regional chain high marks for customer satisfaction. And bonus: It comes in second place for the cheapest grocery store!

How does Market Basket achieve their “More for Your Dollar” tag line? They run their business debt-free. Way to go, Market Basket. I’m so proud. That means they don’t have to increase the price of their goods to cover any interest on debt! Plus, they have a much smaller corporate staff than other grocery chains of similar size. And last, they stock all their stores with almost the same products, meaning they streamline purchasing for their stores and pass on the savings to the customer.

If you go to Market Basket, you have to try the local New England goods. Check out Rhode Island clams, maple syrup, and their unique regional produce like apples from Maine and pears from New Hampshire.

Other Ways to Grocery Shop on A Budget

Shopping at discount grocery stores is an excellent way to save money. However, there are other ways to trim your bill. Here are a few different ways to save money at the grocery store:

Have a Meal Plan

A meal plan is one of the best ways to save money on groceries. Americans waste 40 percent of their food per year, according to the USDA.

For many families, this results in hundreds of dollars going into the trash each year.

Meal planning is a terrific way to mitigate this cost. Start by planning out meals for a week and go from there.

If you don’t know how to start, a service like $5 Meal Plan is an excellent resource to use.

Avoid Snacks and Processed Foods

Processed foods seem cheaper, but they can sneakily add up in cost. That’s also not to mention the long-term impact of eating a lot of processed or boxed food.

Processed foods are fine in moderation but look for suitable alternatives to save money and improve your health.

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