Low-cost grocery stores


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There is a dominant grocery here in Texas, HEB, and very little competition. Recently the small city near us got an Aldi's, which is a German owned, no-frills "grocery and other stuff" store. We were in the area today and I purchased whole chickens at about 15 cents a pound less than at HEB, a package of mushrooms at about 50 cents less, and some pasta that HEB doesn't carry.
I was surprised to find their plastic storage and freezer bags were more expensive, and their paper towels were, too.
Question: do you shop low-cost grocery stores, and do you find the prices to be consistently lower, or do you have to be vigilant?
 
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I live in a suburb and there are 7 grocery stores within 5 miles. I use an app called reebee to check the ads and figure out where the best deals are.

That said, I will not drive 5 miles to save 10 cents on one item but I do have my list for if I'm going by. In addition if I am in a store and need an item on my list, I can decide whther to purchase it at the higher price or wait.

The worst one to watch out for getting hosed is Costco. You need to know your prices. I assure you, these apps are wonderful :)
 

alp

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I live in a suburb and there are 7 grocery stores within 5 miles. I use an app called reebee to check the ads and figure out where the best deals are.
...
The worst one to watch out for getting hosed is Costco. You need to know your prices. I assure you, these apps are wonderful :)

Heartily agree! I also google the prices before I go out. Before bank holidays, I would buy and buy to fill up the freezers. That's about the only time goodwill is free and flowy ..

German stores are cheap on vegs and meat, but beware. Their green looks good, but they don't keep. I would say go for in season eg don't buy asparagus in winter! Buy melon in summer. But you really have to keep an eye out on the quality. I have now used Aldi and Lidl for their meats. I prefer to go to Morrisons where I can see no water in their package. Also, they do have some good flowers and plants. Sometimes petrol costs a bit, but it's nice to be out and about and when you see something unexpected, that really makes your day. In this country, the German stores keep the booze prices down and they have now become magnets to middle class drinkers.. Yes, get one's of Lori's apps and you don't have to waste petrol too much. Bashing on the keyboard to bring out the detective in you.
 
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The big gray box store has totally screwed up the dynamics of grocery store operation here in the states. They have used practices to manipulate suppliers into giving them favors because of their tremendous volume. Such things as making a 14 oz. package exclusively for Big Gray while other stores are forced to sell 16 oz. packages for a higher price. The customer doesn’t realize that the cheaper Big Gray price is for less product. Buyer beware!
 
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alp

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When things are cheaper, there are usually various reasons. I bought a shake n salt crisp from Aldi and on the way home found out there was no salt in one bag and the quality of the crisps wasn't what I had expected. Apparently, there's a rumour that Aldi don't do sell by day. If the stuff looks good, they will sell. When Aldi was opened down the road, Tesco suddenly became very friendly and Printed out £2 off voucher for £10 or £8. I have to admit, with the influx of Eastern Europeans, Aldi and Lidl must have been 2nd home to them. Also, Aldi is very savvy in using Daily Mail to print stories that their stuff is superior in quality, for example, good quality Egyptian cotton, facial cream, wine and what nots. They are always busy and sometimes I walk out because of the long queues. Their cashiers are very rude and have been nicknamed Turbo Tracey for being fast and without consideration.
 
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I shop at 99 Cents Store and I'm finding its prices are becoming more expensive. I went there recently and bought factory damaged Apple Pie for $2.99. While three bucks isn't bad, the pies were damaged and I could find pies at my local Safeway at the same price and it's baked fresh.
 
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I cannot tolerate the Aldi check out system nor their checker's attitude.

We have a small home town 3rd generation grocery store of possibly 3,500 sq. ft. that I wouldn't trade for a dozen Aldi's. It belongs to an Affiliation ( illegal union if you will ) so prices are always compareable to large affiliations and I truly believe fresher produce as well as other consumables and a full cut to order meat market. But who can afford Ribeye. We still get our groceries taken out to the car with a smile. I've considered a tip for those under paid part time kids that work there after school but I believe they appreciate a simple Thank You as much or more.
 
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I don't go shopping for a chat, I want to go in get what I want and get out as soon as possible

Here in the UK. Aldi checkout operators have to achieve targets related to goods processed per shift at the check-out. That's why their work rate is two to three times higher than their competitors. Naturally they get paid more than their competitors' staff and they deserve it.
I quite like their system. When your purchases go back in your trolley, you can take them to the packing bench separate them how you wish and put everything in the appropriate bag.

Our Aldi staff are cheerful helpful and polite.
 
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I'm of the old school where there is a saying " sometimes good things take a little longer " and I'm grateful we both have a choice.
 
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