Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bulk Shopping: Comparing Aldi, Sam's Club and GFS

Here in Indiana we don't have bulk or consignment groceries, but we do have other options. I looked everywhere on the internet for a comparison of bulk prices vs. Aldi prices. Being that I've stopped using coupons for now, I really need to find the best prices out there. Cooking for a month at a time requires a lot of ingredients and upfront cash. The chain supermarkets just are not an option for this amount of shopping. Normally, I can buy all that I need for around $180.00, but if I could somehow even save 15% a month, this could translate to about $450 a year!

Item/ Sam's /Aldi /GFS

Whole Wheat Pasta $.94/lb ... $1.45/lb...n/a

Cheddar Cheese $.49/cup... $.82/cup... $.55/cup

Mozarella Cheese $.48/cup... $.82/cup... $.49/cup

Oats $.05/oz... $.04/oz... $.07/oz

Green Beans $.03/oz... $.03/oz ...$.04/oz

Corn $.03/...$.03/oz ... $.02/oz

Flour $.46/lb... $.33/lb... $.35/lb

Peaches $.05/oz... $.06/oz...n/a

Applesauce n/a... $.04/oz... $.05/oz

Diced Tomato $.02/oz... $.03/oz... $.02/oz

Peanut Butter $1.20/lb... $1.24/lb... $1.39/lb

Sugar $.50/lb... $.40/lb... $.58/lg

eggs $.12/egg... $.08/egg... n/a

honey $.12/oz... $.07/oz...n/a

turkey bacon $1.67/pkg... $1.89/pkg... n/a

butter $1.67/lb... $1.99/lb... n/a

It may seem as though this is just a saving of pennies, but difference really shows up when you consider the size of each item. For example, a can of vegetables at Sam's is actually 104 ounces and a jar of peanut butter is 6 pounds! This translates into dollars saved, not pennies.

I have noticed the biggest impact in saving on cheese and butter. A sale on cheese for $.99/cup happens once in a great while. It's half that everyday at Sam's Club. There is a down side of buying in bulk that can not be ignored. What should a person do with 25 pounds of flour or 5 pounds of shredded cheese or a huge can of applesauce once it is opened? Dividing everything up into smaller portions and freezing them until use has been working for me just fine. And not picking up an overpriced jar of peanut butter whenever I'm at the store is well worth the six pound jar that dropped on my foot.


Saralyn said...

Wow! I never would have guessed that Sam's was better priced than Aldi on that many items. I really need to start OAMC again, but I'm at it alone and it takes a lot of steam to get this engine chugging! Thanks for doing the math for us.

Gretchen said...

I also live in Indiana, shop at Sam's and do OAMC. I use the Click N Pull option at Sam's so that I don't have to wonder around the store with my two children. I just go to the service desk and pick up my order. It works for me!

Mary Ann said...

I've just recently written down some cost comparisons between Aldi and Sam's Club. I found that cheese and butter are so much better priced at Sam's! Some folks think that for the two of us, shopping at Sam's is silly but I like getting a bigger amount and not having to shop so often. I buy the blocks of cheese then run some of it through the food processor to shred when I get home. It's ready for the freezer that way! Unless there are great sales or coupons for the other stores, I can pretty well rely on Aldi and Sam's Club for good prices on the basics!

Anonymous said...

I am thinking about buying in bulk more... but I am wondering how you store things... I'd like to buy flour, sugar, and oats, for instance. But I don't want to have to go out and spend forty dollars on storage containers for this food once I get home. Any good ideas?

Monica said...

To store all of the bulk I usually break it up into large ziplock freezer bags and store them in our chest freezer. That way I don't have to worry about spills or bugs or things going stale. It works for us.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

We don't have Aldi's here, and I have read great things about their prices. It's interesting to see that you found Sam's Club to be so much cheaper on so many things.

The Anon, who asked about where to store things--I have food grade buckets that I use for flour, bread flour, sugar, popcorn,oats beans, etc. I bought mine from Walton Feed. You can see pictures of my buckets on my well-stocked pantry page; they have different colored lids (yellow is popcorn, white is white wheat, black is oats, etc). It did cost some money to get the containers, but I bought mine full to start with :) from Walton Feed (I did buy a few empty buckets as well). As we have had the experience of living on our food storage for two years, I can say that having a way to store the food for that long was worth every penny. Also, I get into those buckets every single day.

Elizabeth Buckner said...

By any chance do you have a recent list?