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Grocery Store Prices, Comparing Thanksgiving Meal Costs, Aldi vs. Dillons, vs. Walmart

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Where do you prefer to grocery shop?  Aldi, Walmart, the mainstream grocery store? 

Shoppers tend to be loyal to a particular store, we're creatures of habit after all. Some folks like Aldi because of the consistently low prices and name brands aren't a concern. Others favor Dillons because of the loyalty card and fuel points. Then there are those who do their regular grocery shopping at Walmart liking the one-stop shopping convenience for clothes, home & garden, and other general merchandise.

Here's this week's side-by-side Wichita Metro comparison of grocery store prices for Aldi, Walmart, and Dillon's (Kroger, a.k.a. the mainstream grocery store), plug in the name of the mainstream grocery store in your neck of the woods here, ie., Meijer, HyVee, Publix, Albertsons, etc.   Odds are that mainstream is going to be the most expensive of the three from week to week.

Covering the basics with a focus on store brands, this week's list, dated November 2, 2023, is a look into shopping for the Thanksgiving Day meal.  This is a list of typical Thanksgiving meal menu items, including ingredients for green bean casserole, and scalloped corn.   Items include a store bakery pumpkin pie (I hate making pie) and a few nuances, such as canned green beans vs. fresh, and fresh cranberries vs. that jellied crap in the can, and real potatoes vs. instant.

Prices stated are online prices and for items available at the time of the review. Remember that the featured items are the store brand for each respective store unless otherwise labeled. Prices can vary from store to store, as store managers have the flexibility to adjust prices, lower or higher. Aldi does not have the flexibility of the other stores reviewed. Prices are good as of this writing and could change by the time you make that grocery run.

  • Aldi:  8011 E Kellogg Ave, Wichita, KS 67207
  • Dillons: 9450 E. Harry St., Wichita, KS 67207
  • Walmart: 11411 E Kellogg Dr, Wichita, KS 67207

Grocery Store Prices Thanksgiving 2023

Takeaways from this week's price review:

  • Aldi is the cheapest place to shop for your Thanksgiving meal.  Keep in mind their online prices are higher than in-store prices, so you'll spend even less than what's listed when shopping in-store. Aldi uniquely does this to cover their employee cost of personal shopping for your delivery or pickup order. Look at the HUGE price gap vs. Dillons and still quite a significant one vs. Walmart.    The overall Aldi price is without Rhodes Frozen Dinner Rolls, they don't carry them or a frozen alternative, so that price wasn't included in the total.  Even so, add in about $5 for a 36-count bag of rolls and the overall price is still WAY below either Dillons or Walmart.
  • The Dillons online pricing is the same as in-store.  Look at all the red in the Dillons column!  They have the highest price on a majority of items.   The price gap in this review, Dillons vs. Aldi was $14.90 and that's NOT figuring in the dinner roll deduction.   The Dillons price gap with Walmart was $5.27.  Dillons shoppers are NOT going to make up the price difference using the loyalty card or fuel points, that's just too huge of a price gap.  Dillons shoppers might come out ahead vs. Walmart.  If you're curious about how the Dillons loyalty card plays a role, check out the related article link, "Mainstream Grocery vs. Discount Grocery: Dillon's (Kroger) vs. Aldi.   Of note, Dillons has the best price in this review for bacon and pumpkin pie. 
  • The Walmart online pricing is the same as for in-store.   Walmart consistently finishes second in overall price from week to week, that trend holds true for Thanksgiving meal shopping.  They have the lowest prices for many of the staples, milk, eggs, heavy cream, and onions, as well as the featured item of the day, the all-important turkey! 
  • Nuances:  I threw in price comparisons for fresh vs. canned green beans and fresh vs. canned, jellied, cranberries, and real potatoes vs. instant.  People have their preferences for making turkey day classics and those preferences will impact the overall shopping cart price.  For a name-brand nuance, you can go with name-brand chicken broth, Swanson, but I don't know why you would.  Sure, you can spend a little less, $1.26 at Aldi, $1.29 at Dillons, but you get less broth.  The cans are 14.5 ounces vs the 32-ounce cartons.  If you buy the Swanson 32-ounce carton ($1.97 at Walmart is the cheapest, around a 50-cent increase vs. store brand cartons), you'll spend more and here's the kicker, it doesn't have better flavor. 

Don't see some essential items that you think should be on the list?  Please comment.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

 

Related: Grocery Stores in Wichita

Related: Mainstream Grocery vs. Discount Grocery: Dillon's (Kroger) vs. Aldi

Related: Food Review: Great Value bacon not such a great value

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Mike T.

UPDATE: Aldi now has whole turkeys (frozen) available for $1.27/lb.

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