314 -714-5059 10926 Lin Valle Drive St. Louis, Missouri 63123 Like Us on Facebook

Which St. Louis Grocery Store Costs the Least?

by | Oct 19, 2018 | Schraut Out & About

St. Louis Grocery Store PricingIf, like me, you’ve spent time in St. Louis you’re probably familiar with at least one of the major grocery stores in the area, but which one is the ‘best’? There seems to be an ongoing debate between our friendly neighborhood St. Louisans over which store should be crowned as grocery king (or queen), with many locals giving different reasons why they choose one store over another.

One of the most relevant debates in my neighborhood is which store is the most cost-effective. If I ask five different people, I seem to get five different answers. So, I thought it was time to put this debate to rest using math. You can’t argue with numbers! I may not be able to tell you which grocery store is the ‘best’, but I can tell you which one is the cheapest.

I asked a group of locals where they do the majority of their grocery shopping and received the following five contenders: Dierbergs, Schnucks, Shop ‘n Save, Wal-Mart, and Aldi. I figured it would only be fair to visit all five, so off I went to do some shopping.

I chose over 20 of the most frequently purchased grocery items and recorded the price of the store brand as well as a well-known name brand, giving me a total of over 50 products! More than enough data, don’t you think?

EDIT: I started this before the announcement was made that Schnucks was purchasing the local Shop ‘n Save stores. Therefore, it will be interesting to see what happens with these prices. Will the stores even last?

I laid out a few ground rules: 

  1. I recorded the prices for both the store brand and a large name brand.
  2. I tried to get the same brand and size where possible.
  3. I chose the medium sizes, when available.
  4. If the item was on sale, I recorded the regular, non-sale price (some stores made this more accessible than others).

Keep in mind that this article is ONLY about price. So, location, customer service, variety, product placement, bagging services and other factors haven’t been accounted for. You may have your favorite store for a reason far beyond price, and that’s perfectly okay!

Also, as Mary from Oakville pointed out – not all of these stores are part of a union. Aldi and Wal-Mart are NON-union establishments. Sometimes you pay a bit extra when you shop with a union because you’re supporting a larger cause. Is it worth it? Only you can decide that.

Want to jump straight to the conclusion? Click Here

IMPORTANT: This article was intended to give a general guideline as to the cost of groceries in St. Louis, and It’s worth noting that these prices are subject to change DAILY. Great care has been taken to ensure that all prices are accurate at the time of publishing, but I’m only human, so there’s a chance you might find some errors in the data below. If you find a discrepancy, PLEASE leave a comment below or send me an email directly by clicking here: contact the author.  

Now that I’ve set the stage, let’s pull the curtain back and discover who really is the cheapest grocery store in St. Louis…

OIL

Name Brand Vegetable Oil

First up is name brand Vegetable Oil. For this, I was able to find Crisco 48oz bottles at all stores except Aldi – who actually only had one name brand product in the entire test!

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandCriscoCriscoCriscoCriscoN/A
Size48oz.48oz.48oz.48oz.N/A
Price$3.99$5.29$3.99$2.88N/A
Price/Ounce$0.083$0.110$0.083$0.06N/A

What surprised me here was that Schnucks was 54.44% more expensive than Wal-Mart, for the exact same product. Dierbergs tied with Shop ‘n Save, and Wal-Mart came out victorious at $2.88, or $0.06 per ounce.

Store Brand Vegetable Oil

I was able to find the store brand at all five locations. Let’s see how they stack up:

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueCarlini
Size48oz.48oz.48oz.48oz.48oz
Price$3.29$2.99$2.50$1.88$1.85
Price/Ounce$0.068$0.062$0.052$0.039$0.038

The winner was Aldi, but only by 3 cents, so It may come down to taste alone. That gives us the perfect excuse to make a couple of batches of chocolate chip cookies to conduct a “scientific” blind taste test. If it’s scientific then the calories don’t count, right?

Name Brand Olive Oil

For name brand olive oil, I used Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Oil. I was able to find the 16.9-ounce bottle in all stores except Aldi.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandBertolli Extra LightBertolli Extra LightBertolli Extra LightBertolli Extra LightN/A
Size16.9oz16.9oz16.9oz16.9ozN/A
Price$6.99$8.99$6.99$5.93N/A
Price/Ounce$0.413$0.532$0.413$0.35N/A

For the same product, the cost at Schnucks was significantly higher than the rest. One could be excused for thinking they might be trying to steer their customers towards their own Schnucks brands – I’ll let you decide. Wal-Mart wins this one at $5.93, or $0.35 per ounce.

Store Brand Olive Oil

For store brand olive oil, I found the usual suspects at each grocer. The sizes varied slightly, but I still found some interesting data.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueCarlini
Size17oz25oz17oz25.5oz16.9oz
Price$6.99$7.99$4.99$5.94$7.99
Price/Ounce$0.411$0.32$0.293$0.233$0.472

A couple of things jump out at me instantly: Aldi has the highest price by a country mile, with Wal-Mart offering the lowest price.

White Vinegar

Name Brand White Vinegar

Vinegar has dozens of different uses. In fact, I’m tempted to write a blog that shows just how versatile this kitchen staple can be, but let’s stick to the prices for now. For this, I used 32oz bottles of Heinz vinegar.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandHeinzHeinzHeinzHeinzN/A
Size32oz32oz32oz32ozN/A
Price$1.99$1.99$2.59$1.74N/A
Price/Ounce$0.062$0.062$0.081$0.054N/A

Most of the prices are pretty comparable, except for Shop ‘n Save. It seems Heinz white vinegar is a delicacy there 🙂

Store Brand White Vinegar

32oz is a popular choice for white vinegar, so I went with that.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandEss. EverydaySchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueTuscan Garden
Size32oz32oz32oz32oz32oz
Price$1.29$1.29$1.59$1.22$0.79
Price/Ounce$0.04$0.04$0.049$0.038$0.024

Aldi is the clear winner here. For how versatile white vinegar is, you just can’t beat $0.79 for 32oz.

All-Purpose Flour

Name Brand AP Flour

Pillsbury was the brand of choice for AP flour. I used the standard 5-pound bag.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandPillsburyPillsburyPillsburyPillsburyN/A
Size5lbs5lbs5lbs5lbsN/A
Price$3.29$3.19$3.19$2.48N/A
Price/Ounce$0.041$0.04$0.04$0.031N/A

All of the prices were pretty close, but Wal-Mart takes the win by only $0.09 per ounce.

Store Brand AP Flour

5-pound bags still reign supreme, but let’s see how the store brands shape up.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueBaker's Corner
Size5lbs5lbs5lbs5lbs5lbs
Price$2.49$1.99$1.99$1.93$1.69
Price/Ounce$0.031$0.025$0.025$0.024$0.021

Prices were all pretty close, with Aldi taking the win and Dierbergs as the most expensive.

Chocolate Chips

Name Brand Chocolate Chips

We all love homemade chocolate chip cookies, especially when they’re still warm from the oven. I used Nestle Toll House, who we all know and love.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandNestleNestleNestleNestleN/A
Size11.5oz11.5oz11.5oz11.5ozN/A
Price$3.49$3.49$3.29$2.74N/A
Price/Ounce$0.303$0.303$0.286$0.238N/A

Wal-Mart comes out considerably cheaper than the rest.

Store Brand Chocolate Chips

Where there’s a name brand, there’s sure to be a store brand right behind it.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandEss. EverydaySchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueBaker's Corner
Size11.5oz11.5oz11.5oz11.5oz12oz
Price$2.59$2.59$2.59$1.98$1.89
Price/Ounce$0.225$0.225$0.225$0.172$0.157

Aldi wins the store brand price, any surprise there? There seems to be a pattern emerging.

Pure Vanilla Extract

Name Brand Pure Vanilla Extract

Pure vanilla extract is expensive! Here’s a fun fact: if you were to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool with nothing but pure vanilla extra, it would cost around $425,000,000! Although we’re not sure why you would… unless you’re thinking what I’m thinking?

You could dive in like Scrooge McDuck!

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandMcCormickMcCormickMcCormickMcCormickN/A
Size2oz1oz2oz2ozN/A
Price$11.99$6.39$8.99$8.98N/A
Price/Ounce$5.995$6.39$4.495$4.490N/A

Wal-Mart wins by a penny, coincidence?

Store Brand Pure Vanilla Extract

Store brand doesn’t mean artificially flavored. The store brand examples below are still pure vanilla extract.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandEss. EverydaySchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueN/A
Size2oz1oz2oz2ozN/A
Price$10.99$4.69$7.49$6.92N/A
Price/Ounce$5.495$4.690$3.745$3.460N/A

Aldi didn’t carry pure vanilla extract. However, their artificially-flavored option is $2.39 for 40oz – what a huge difference from the real stuff!

White Sugar

Name Brand White Sugar

White sugar is a staple product found in almost every kitchen across the country. I used C&H, which can be spotted from a mile away!

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandC&HC&HC&HC&HN/A
Size4lbs4lbs4lbs4lbsN/A
Price$2.99$3.49$3.49$2.56N/A
Price/Ounce$0.046$0.054$0.054$0.04N/A

Pretty even across the board with Wal-Mart edging out Dierbergs at $2.56 for a 4-pound bag.

Store Brand White Sugar

This is one commodity with plenty of store brands. Everyone carries the standard 4-pound bag, so that’s what I used.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueBaker's Corner
Size4lbs4lbs4lbs4lbs4lbs
Price$2.59$2.39$2.29$1.97$1.87
Price/Ounce$0.04$0.037$0.035$0.031$0.029

Aldi just edges out Wal-Mart with their Baker’s Corner brand.

Coffee

Name Brand Coffee

By far my favorite item on this list. Folgers is my go-to coffee brand (that was before Icing Cafe introduced me to Park Avenue Coffee – AMAZING!). I’m drinking a steamy cup right now while I watch the rain fall outside.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandFolgersFolgersFolgersFolgersN/A
Size24.2oz24.2oz24.2oz24.2ozN/A
Price$9.99$9.99$8.99$7.48N/A
Price/Ounce$0.412$0.412$0.371$0.309N/A

Wal-Mart beats the rest to come in first with the cheapest Folgers based on price per ounce!

Store Brand Coffee

If I had to choose a single product where the brand actually matters, it would be coffee. That being said, you can find some delicious own-brand coffees!

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueUnbranded
Size24oz24.2oz24.2oz24.2oz30.5oz
Price$12.99$6.99$6.49$6.57$4.89
Price/Ounce$0.541$0.288$0.268$0.271$0.160

I believe this is the first time where a store brand is more expensive than a name brand. Is Dierbergs coffee really better than Folgers? Maybe I should add coffee cake to that list of “scientific experiments”…

White Rice

Name Brand White Rice

White rice is another essential cupboard staple that I couldn’t leave off this list. The brand I went for this time is Minute rice, a well-known brand that I’m sure many of you will recognize.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandMinuteMinuteMinuteMinuteN/A
Size28oz28oz14oz42ozN/A
Price$3.99$3.99$1.99$5.46N/A
Price/Ounce$0.143$0.143$0.142$0.13N/A

Wal-Mart has the cheapest brand rice by a tiny amount, but cheapest is cheapest, right?

 

Store Brand White Rice

Nearly every store will have their own brand of rice, so let’s see which one comes out on top.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandEss. EverydaySchnucks Ess. EverydayGreat ValueEarthly Grains Instant
Size28oz28oz14oz42oz28oz
Price$3.29$3.29$1.99$3.82$2.39
Price/Ounce$0.118$0.118$0.142$0.091$0.085

Aldi is the winner, not surprising when you consider that this store has built its business on stocking Aldi-made brands in large quantities.

Ketchup

Name Brand Ketchup

Everybody loves ketchup on their fries, right? This list wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of one of the most famous dipping sauces in the history of condiments, and who else would we choose if not the long-established mega-brand, Heinz.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandHeinzHeinzHeinzHeinzN/A
Size20oz38oz38oz20ozN/A
Price$2.79$3.99$3.99$2.54N/A
Price/Ounce$0.14$0.11$0.11$0.13N/A

It’s a tie for first-place between Schnucks and Shop ‘n Save. They take first by a whopping $0.02!

Store Brand Ketchup

Nearly all stores make their own ketchup, it’s so popular they’d be silly not to!

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueBurman's
Size20oz38oz38oz19.5oz38oz
Price$1.39$1.84$1.99$1.74$1.49
Price/Ounce$0.069$0.048$0.052$0.089$0.039

Aldi wins the store-name brand ketchup category. But, as I’m sure most of you agree, we all have our favorite ketchup brands. Is Aldi’s ketchup cheap enough to tempt you away from yours?

Mustard

Name Brand Mustard

Mustard goes with so many things, so it just had to go on my list. What brand did I use? Why, French’s of course!

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandFrench'sFrench'sFrench's French'sN/A
Size20oz20oz20oz20ozN/A
Price$1.99$2.69$2.69$1.97N/A
Price/Ounce$0.1$0.135$0.135$0.099N/A

Wal-Mart and Dierbergs are almost neck and neck, with Wal-Mart winning by the price-per-ounce war by a single penny.

Store Brand Mustard

Of course the stores would jump on the ‘Big Brand Bandwagon’ and create their own mustard. Let’s see whose is cheapest.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueBurman's
Size14oz20oz24oz20oz20oz
Price$1.29$1.69$1.99$1.38$0.99
Price/Ounce$0.092$0.085$0.083$0.069$0.050

Once again, Aldi proves to be championing store brand pricing, coming in at $0.019 cheaper per ounce than its closest competitor. It all adds up!

Mayo

Name Brand Mayo

Mayonnaise is so versatile and popular that most families will have it on their weekly shopping list. The brand I went for was the well-known Hellmann’s. This brand is so well known that even Aldi carries it!

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandHellmann'sHellmann'sHellmann'sHellmann'sHellmann's
Size30oz30oz36oz30oz30oz
Price$2.99$4.99$4.99$3.48$3.48
Price/Ounce$0.1$0.166$0.139$0.116$0.116

Dierbergs is the winner here, with their Hellmann’s Mayo coming in at $0.016 cheaper than joint second place winners, Aldi and Wal-Mart.

Store Brand Mayo

If you prefer to save on mayo and choose the store’s own brand, then this next table is for you.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandEss. EverydayValu TimeEss. EverydayGreat ValueBurman's
Size30oz30oz30oz30oz30oz
Price$3.49$1.99$2.49$2.48$1.89
Price/Ounce$0.116$0.066$0.083$0.083$0.063

In a bizarre twist, Dierbergs flips from the cheapest in name brand mayo to the most costly store brand mayo. And, once again, Aldi wins the Store Brand race. Yep, there’s definitely a pattern emerging.

Ranch Dressing

Name Brand Ranch Dressing

There are few things more satisfying on a hot day than a crisp salad smothered in creamy ranch dressing. Maybe that’s why so many people love it. I chose big brand Kraft for this comparison.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandKraftKraftKraftKraftN/A
Size16oz16oz16oz16ozN/A
Price$3.00$3.59$2.99$1.98N/A
Price/Ounce$0.188$0.224$0.187$0.124N/A

Wal-Mart comes out top by over a dollar, at $1.01 cheaper than their closest competitor.

Store Brand Ranch Dressing

Let’s see how the store brand versions shape up on price.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandEss. EverydaySchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueTuscan Garden
Size16oz16oz16oz16oz16oz
Price$1.99$1.89$1.89$1.72$1.49
Price/Ounce$0.124$0.118$0.118$0.108$0.093

Now we’re certain, there’s definitely a theme developing here – it seems that Aldi really can’t be beaten on the price of its store brand products.

Ground Beef

There were no store brand/name brand options in ground beef, so I’ve chosen just to do a straight price comparison here.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandUnbrandedUnbrandedUnbrandedUnbrandedUnbranded
Size1lb (16oz)1lb (16oz)1lb (16oz)1lb (16oz)1lb (16oz)
Price$4.11$4.49$4.99$4.34$2.99
Price/Ounce$0.257$0.281$0.312$0.271$0.187

Aldi is the cheapest again by over a dollar at $1.12 cheaper than Dierbergs, who was the second cheapest.

Chicken Breast

Again, I’ve compared chicken breasts without the name/store brand differential, as there is only one choice of chicken breast in most of the stores.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandPurdue Fit & EasyPerdue Fit & EasyPerdue Fit & EasyTysonKirkwood
Size1lb (16oz)1lb (16oz)1lb (16oz)1lb (16oz)1lb (16oz)
Price$4.49$3.99$4.99$4.24$2.29
Price/Ounce$0.281$0.249$0.312$0.265$0.143

Aldi is once again the cheapest option at $2.29 per pound.

Bacon

Name Brand Bacon

Who doesn’t love a bacon sandwich in the morning? Or at lunchtime? Or for a snack? What can I say, I like bacon! Let’s see how the prices stack up. The choices in-store were between Oscar Meyer and Smithfield.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandSmithfieldOscar MeyerSmithfieldOscar MeyerN/A
Size12oz16oz12oz17ozN/A
Price$6.79$7.49$5.29$7.78N/A
Price/Ounce$0.565$0.468$0.441$0.458N/A

Shop ‘n Save wins on price per ounce with Smithfield bacon.

Store Brand Bacon

Does all bacon taste the same? Well, bacon is still bacon, right? So let’s take a look at the store brand options.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandN/ASchnucksN/AGreat ValueAppleton Farms
SizeN/A1lb (16oz)N/A16oz12oz
PriceN/A$6.29N/A$4.44$3.49
Price/OunceN/A$0.393N/A$0.278$0.291

Unbelievably, Aldi has been beaten on a store brand price! Wal-Mart is only just cheaper on its Great Value bacon.

 

White Bread

Name Brand White Bread

A staple in 99% of homes across America, I simply couldn’t leave White Bread off of this list. Wonder Classic is the brand I chose.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandWonder ClassicWonder ClassicWonder ClassicWonder ClassicN/A
Size20oz20oz20oz20ozN/A
Price$1.99$2.49$2.49$1.78N/A
Price/Ounce$0.099$0.125$0.125$0.089N/A

Wal-Mart wins the branded bread competition as the cheapest provider of Wonder Classic white bread.

Store Brand White Bread

Bread was one of the first products that stores began to create for themselves to compete with the big brands. So, let’s see how the numbers stack up.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueL'oven
Size20oz20oz20oz20oz20oz
Price$0.98$1.49$1.49$1.38$0.75
Price/Ounce$0.049$0.075$0.075$0.069$0.038

Aldi wins by $0.23! It may not seem like much but large families can get through a lot of bread, and those 23 cents will soon add up.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Name Brand Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla ice cream is a fantastic treat, especially in those balmy summer months, and is the perfect accompaniment to desserts like cake and pie. It’s certainly a regular resident in my freezer! I’ve compared the prices of Blue Bunny Vanilla here.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandBlue BunnyBlue BunnyBlue BunnyBlue BunnyN/A
Size48oz48oz48oz48ozN/A
Price$5.99$5.79$5.69$3.50N/A
Price/Ounce$0.125$0.120$0.119$0.073N/A

Once again, Wal-Mart smashes the competition to win the name brand price war.

Store Brand Vanilla Ice Cream

Do name brands really make better ice cream? Some would say that the taste is worth the extra cents, but let’s see how the store brands shape up and I’ll let you decide for yourself.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandN/ACountry MaidEss. EverydayGreat ValueSundae Shoppe
SizeN/A16oz56oz48oz56oz
PriceN/A$1.00$2.29$2.97$1.99
Price/OunceN/A$0.062$0.041$0.062$0.036

Aldi races to victory with its store brand Sundae Shoppe, no surprises there!

 

Spaghetti Noodles

Name Brand Spaghetti Noodles

Spaghetti Bolognese is one of my favorite comfort foods, and spaghetti noodles are great with so many different sauces that they really are a cupboard staple. Creamette was the most widely available brand, so that’s what I’ve gone with.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandCreametteCreametteCreametteCreametteN/A
Size16oz16oz16oz16ozN/A
Price$1.49$1.49$1.29$1.14N/A
Price/Ounce$0.093$0.093$0.081$0.071N/A

Wal-Mart is the cheapest option for Creamette spaghetti noodles. They do seem to be doing quite well in the name brand price war.

 

Store Brand Spaghetti Noodles

Noodles are noodles, right? And if you can save money buying store brand instead of name brand, then I’m going to help you do just that.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueReggano
Size16oz16oz32oz16oz32oz
Price$0.88$1.19$1.89$1.00$1.69
Price/Ounce$0.055$0.074$0.059$0.063$0.053

Aldi wins once again, but Dierbergs came in with a very close second place.

Egg Noodles

Name Brand Egg Noodles

Once again, I’ve chosen the Creamette brand for this comparison.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandCreametteCreametteCreametteCreametteN/A
Size12oz12oz12oz12ozN/A
Price$2.29$2.29$2.19$1.98N/A
Price/Ounce$0.191$0.191$0.183$0.165N/A

Wal-Mart wins the name brand race once again, with Shop ‘n Save a not too distant second.

Store Brand Egg Noodles

And where there’s a popular name brand, a store brand will follow:

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueReggano
Size16oz16oz16oz16oz16oz
Price$2.09$2.19$1.79$2.14$1.39
Price/Ounce$0.131$0.137$0.112$0.134$0.087

Aldi beats all the others to the winning spot once more – this store really does seem to be the cheapest option for store brand goods.

Peanut Butter

Name Brand Peanut Butter

Like many of us, I love a good old PB & J sandwich. I’ve chosen to compare Jif peanut butter for this example.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandJifJifJifJifN/A
Size16oz16oz40oz40ozN/A
Price$2.50$3.29$6.49$5.78N/A
Price/Ounce$0.156$0.206$0.162$0.145N/A

Wal-Mart is cheapest for Name Brand goods once again.

Store Brand Peanut Butter

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a favorite brand of peanut butter. For me, it’s all about the taste. But it’s still interesting to see who comes out on top in store brand PB.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGeat ValuePeanut Delight
Size18oz16oz40oz40oz18oz
Price$2.35$2.19$5.29$4.37$1.79
Price/Ounce$0.131$0.137$0.132$0.109$0.099

Aldi is the cheapest per ounce, followed up closely by Wal-Mart.

Raisin Bran

Name Brand Raisin Bran

Kelloggs is unquestionably the king of cereal brands, so what other brand could I possibly choose? Apparently, cold cereal is one of the most popular breakfast choices in the US, so I had to include it on my list.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandKelloggsKelloggsKelloggsKelloggsN/A
Size18.718.718.718.7N/A
Price$3.49$3.99$3.79$2.88N/A
Price/Ounce$0.187$0.213$0.203$0.154N/A

Wal-Mart is officially your cheapest go-to store if you’re a Kelloggs fan!

Store Brand Raisin Bran

Let’s have a look at how the store brand prices stack up.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueMillville
Size20oz18.7oz18.7oz18.7oz18.7oz
Price$2.49$2.19$2.19$2.26$2.19
Price/Ounce$0.125$0.117$0.117$0.121$0.117

Hold on to your hats – because it’s an incredible three-way tie for the cheapest product, with Aldi, Schnucks and Shop ‘n Save all coming in at the same price per ounce. One of the rare times that Aldi hasn’t been the clear winner in the store brand race.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Name Brand Chicken Noodle Soup

Cambells is such an iconic brand that world-famous artist Andy Warhol chose to immortalize their soup cans in a painting. A natural choice for my name brand comparison, and what better flavor than chicken noodle – homely, filling and moreish.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandCambellsCambellsCambellsCambellsN/A
Size18.6oz18.6oz18.6oz18.6ozN/A
Price$2.49$2.49$2.49$1.78N/A
Price/Ounce$0.134$0.134$0.134$0.096N/A

Dierbergs, Shop ‘n Save and Schnucks all charge exactly the same price per ounce for their Cambells Chicken Noodle Soup, but Wal-Mart beats them all and comes in cheapest.

Store Brand Chicken Noodle Soup

Store brand soups are usually just as tasty as name brand soups, so why not save the cents where you can?

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandEss. EverydaySchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueChef's Cupboard
Size19oz18.6oz18.6oz18.6oz18.6oz
Price$1.99$1.94$1.79$1.38$1.35
Price/Ounce$0.105$0.104$0.096$0.074$0.073

Aldi is $0.001 cheaper than Wal-Mart, a difference worth noting but probably not worth changing stores for!

Chicken Broth

Name Brand Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is so versatile that I try and always have some stocked in my pantry. It can be used in sauces, paellas, risottos, stews and soups, plus many more recipes. Swanson was the most available brand.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandSwansonSwansonSwansonSwansonN/A
Size48oz32oz32oz32ozN/A
Price$3.79$2.39$2.39$1.98N/A
Price/Ounce$0.079$0.075$0.075$0.062N/A

All the prices here are very similar, but Wal-Mart is just that little bit cheaper than the rest.

Store Brand Chicken Broth

With chicken broth I really don’t think brand matters all that much, so let’s take a look at the store brand prices and see if I can save you some cents.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandEss. EverydaySchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueChef's Cupboard
Size48oz32oz32oz32oz32oz
Price$2.99$2.00$1.99$1.44$1.29
Price/Ounce$0.062$0.063$0.062$0.045$0.040

These store brand alternatives really aren’t that much cheaper than the name brand products. Wal-Mart is the cheapest option – but there’s not much in it.

Canned Green Beans

Name Brand Canned Green Beans

There was a selection of name brand products to choose from for this category, and not every store stocked the same name brands. I chose Del Monte, Libbys and Green Giant.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandLibbysDel MonteGreen GiantDel MonteN/A
Size14.5oz14.5oz14.5oz14.5ozN/A
Price$1.00$1.39$1.49$0.98N/A
Price/Ounce$0.069$0.096$0.103$0.068N/A

Shop ‘n Save’s Green Giant was the most expensive, while Wal-Mart’s Del Monte and Dierbergs’ Libbys were the cheapest options, with only $0.001 between them.

Store Brand Canned Green Beans

Do canned vegetable really taste better when they come from a name brand can? I’ll leave that decision to you.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueHappy Harvest
Size14.5oz14.5oz14.5oz14.5oz14.5oz
Price$0.89$0.89$0.69$0.64$0.49
Price/Ounce$0.061$0.061$0.048$0.044$0.034

Aldi is the cheapest store brand option, with Wal-Mart a fairly close second.

Canned Sweet Corn

Name Brand Canned Sweet Corn

I found Del Monte canned sweet corn in each store except Shop ‘n Save, who stocked Green Giant instead.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDel MonteDel MonteGreen GiantDel MonteN/A
Size15.25oz15.25oz15.25oz14.75ozN/A
Price$1.49$1.39$1.49$0.98N/A
Price/Ounce$0.098$0.091$0.098$0.066N/A

You won’t be surprised to learn that Wal-Mart is the cheapest option for name brand canned sweet corn, with Dierbergs and Shop ‘n Save being the most expensive.

Store Brand Canned Sweet Corn

Let’s see who wins the race for the cheapest store brand canned sweet corn.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueHappy Harvest
Size15.25oz15.25oz15.25oz15oz15.25oz
Price$0.89$0.89$0.69$0.64$0.49
Price/Ounce$0.058$0.058$0.045$0.043$0.032

The prices were close, but Aldi is the undisputed champion once again.

Canned Carrots

Name Brand Canned Carrots

Carrots are a staple vegetable for most families, and they can go in a wide variety of dishes such as stews, soups and pies. I chose Del Monte for this comparison.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDel MonteDel MonteDel MonteDel MonteN/A
Size14.5oz14.5oz14.5oz14.5ozN/A
Price$1.49$1.39$1.39$0.98N/A
Price/Ounce$0.103$0.096$0.096$0.068N/A

Wal-Mart came out on top with the lowest price for Del Monte canned carrots.

Store Brand Canned Carrots

Can Aldi do it again? The suspense is killing me!

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandEss. EverydaySchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueHappy Harvest
Size14.5oz14.5oz14.5oz14.5oz14.5oz
Price$0.89$0.89$0.69$0.68$0.65
Price/Ounce$0.061$0.061$0.048$0.047$0.045

Well, that was anti-climatic, of course it can! Although, Wal-Mart and Shop ‘n Save were very close in price.

Canned Tuna

Name Brand Canned Tuna

Tuna is not only packed full of goodness, making it a healthy option, it’s also easy to prepare in salads, with pasta, on top of baked potatoes, you can even eat it straight out of the can! Four of the five stores stocked Starkist tuna.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandStarkistStarkistStarkistStarkistN/A
Size5oz5oz5oz5ozN/A
Price$1.00$1.19$1.19$1.00N/A
Price/Ounce$0.20$0.238$0.238$0.20N/A

Wal-Mart and Dierbergs both came in as cheapest.

Store Brand Canned Tuna

There doesn’t seem to be a huge saving to be made by buying store brand tuna instead of Starkist.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueNorthern Catch
Size5oz5oz5oz5oz5oz
Price$0.93$0.89$0.89$0.87$0.79
Price/Ounce$0.186$0.178$0.178$0.174$0.158

Aldi is the cheapest option, however, the prices were very close.

Eggs

Name Brand Eggs

Eggs go on anything, with everything and in so many things! Plus, they’re naturally good for us and extremely easy to cook. Egglands was the brand I chose.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandEgglandsEgglandsEgglandsEgglandsN/A
Size12 eggs12 eggs12 eggs18 eggsN/A
Price$3.29$3.19$2.99$3.98N/A
Price/Ounce$0.274$0.266$0.249$0.221N/A

Based on price per ounce, Wal-Mart beats the rest by a couple of pennies per ounce.

Store Brand Eggs

I like to know where my eggs come from and how the chickens are cared for, but store brands can also be responsible egg harvesters, so there are definitely some savings to be made here.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveGreat ValueGoldhen
Size12 eggs12 eggs12 eggs18 eggs12 eggs
Price$0.99$1.99$2.29$1.74$1.17
Price/Egg$0.083$0.166$0.191$0.097$0.098

Dierbergs appear to be the egg champions across the board – a massive $1.30 cheaper than Shop ‘n Save for a dozen eggs, plus they also beat Aldi at the store brand game. Are our store brand champions being dethroned?

Milk

Name Brand Milk

I don’t think I need to explain why milk is on the list. In 2017 the average American consumed 199 pounds of fluid milk throughout the year. Most stores carried Prarie Farms, except Dierbergs who stocked Country Fresh at the time of recording.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandCountry FreshPrarie FarmsPrarie FarmsPrarie FarmsN/A
Size1 gallon1 gallon1 gallon1 gallonN/A
Price$2.79$4.39$4.38$3.18N/A
Price/Ounce$0.017$0.027$0.026$0.020N/A

Dierbergs Country Fresh came in cheapest, followed by Wal-Mart’s Prarie Farms.

Store Brand Milk

I’m fairly happy to drink any brand of milk (as long as it originally came out of a cow). So, let’s see how the store brands measure up.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveGreat ValueFriendly Farms
Size1 gallon1 gallon1 gallon1 gallon1 gallon
Price$3.78$2.79$3.38$2.57$2.06
Price/Ounce$0.024$0.017$0.021$0.016$0.013

Diebergs falls from the podium for the cheapest name brand to become the most expensive for store brand. Aldi comes in as the cheapest store brand option for milk, but this price is extremely close to the cheapest name brand option at Dierbergs.

 

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Name Brand Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Kraft cheese was carried by each store. Seriously, who doesn’t like cheese? Unless you’re lactose intolerant of course…

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandKraftKraftKraftKraftN/A
Size8oz8oz16oz16ozN/A
Price$1.76$3.39$5.79$4.58N/A
Price/Ounce$0.22$0.42$0.36$0.29N/A

Dierbergs’ Kraft cheese was the cheapest, followed fairly closely by Wal-Mart.

Store Brand Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cheese can be expensive. So it’s good to try and save the dollars where you can.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueHappy Farms
Size8oz8oz16oz16oz16oz
Price$2.99$2.29$3.99$4.22$3.29
Price/Ounce$0.374$0.286$0.249$0.264$0.206

Aldi wins the store brand category once again.

Butter

Name Brand Butter

Three stores carried Land O Lakes butter, and Wal-Mart carried Prarie Farms. You can use butter in pretty much anything, and it’s a regular ingredient in baking, so it was an obvious choice for my list.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandLand O LakesLand O LakesLand O LakesPrarie farmsN/A
Size16oz16oz16oz16ozN/A
Price$6.29$5.99$6.29$3.98N/A
Price/Ounce$0.393$0.374$0.393$0.249N/A

A pound of Prarie Farms butter from Wal-Mart is cheapest, coming in at a massive $2.31 cheaper than the most expensive options, Land O Lakes at Dierbergs and Shop ‘n Save.

Store Brand Butter

How did the stores do with their own brands of butter?

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
BrandDierbergsSchnucksEss. EverydayGreat ValueCountryside Creamery
Size16oz16oz16oz16oz16oz
Price$3.99$3.29$3.29$3.24$2.89
Price/Ounce$0.249$0.206$0.206$0.203$0.181

Once again, Aldi wins the store brand race, with Wal-Mart the second cheapest option.

 

As most of these next few items are unbranded, with only one type available in store, I’ve just used a straight price comparison (so, no individual brands for these ones!).

Avocado

With their long list of health benefits and unrivaled versatility being lauded across health blogs and magazines everywhere, avocados have become seriously big business over the last few years.. Of course, being so in-demand can make them rather pricey at times. So, where can we get them cheapest?

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
Price/Avocado$2.50$2.50$1.99$1.18$0.49

It may come as no surprise that Aldi is cheapest, but what did surprise me is the huge difference in price between stores. Aldi avocados were a significant $0.69 cents cheaper than the second cheapest option (Wal-Mart) and a ridiculous $2.01 cheaper than the most expensive options (Dierbergs and Schnucks).

Celery

Celery is great in salads, as crudites with dipping sauces, or chopped up in stews and gravies. Let’s see where it’s cheapest!

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
Price/Bunch$0.95$0.99$2.99$1.48$1.39

Dierbergs is cheapest, with Schnucks a close second.

Head of Lettuce

Who will be crowned the supplier of the cheapest lettuce? Let’s find out!

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
Price/Ounce$0.95$0.99$1.99$1.48$1.39

Dierbergs comes in first once again, with Schnucks hot on their tail.

Baking Potatoes

I love potatoes just about any which way (roasted, mashed, baked, as fries, etc.), but there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a crispy baked potato smothered in your favorite topping.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
Size1lb1lb5lbs1lb5lbs
Price$0.95$0.99$2.99$0.98$2.99
Price/Ounce$0.059$0.062$0.037$0.061$0.037

Aldi and Shop ‘n Save were cheapest with exactly the same price per ounce of potatoes.

Lemons

Lemons were a tricky product to compare as each store seemed to sell them in a different quantity, some selling by weight and others selling per lemon.

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
Size1 lemon1 lemon2lbs1 lemon2lbs
Price$1.25$0.80$4.99$0.68$3.79
Price/OunceN/AN/A$0.156N/A$0.118

Dierbergs, Schnucks and Wal-Mart sold per lemon, with the cheapest option between them being Wal-Mart. Aldi and Shop ‘n Save sold lemons by the pound, and per pound the cheapest was Aldi.

Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away – so which store has the healthiest prices?

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
Size1lb1lb1lb1lb1lb
Price$4.99$3.99$3.79$2.97$2.89
Price/Ounce$0.31$0.25$0.24$0.19$0.18

Aldi is the best option for cheap apples, followed very closely by Wal-Mart.

Bananas

Bananas are a cheap, healthy and conveniently self-wrapped snack that are full of energy and flavor, but where can you buy them cheapest?

StoreDierbergsSchnucksShop 'n SaveWal-MartAldi
Size1lb1lb1lb1lb1lb
Price$0.59$0.55$0.55$0.45$0.43
Price/Ounce$0.037$0.034$0.034$0.028$0.027

There’s not a massive difference in price here, but Aldi is the cheapest closely followed by Wal-Mart, who take second place once again.

Conclusions

 

Name Brand Products

If big name brands are more your thing, then Wal-Mart is the store for you. It came out as the cheapest option 25 times, with Dierbergs being cheapest only 6 times, and Shop ‘n Save and Schnucks offering the cheapest name brand products only once each.

Schnucks was the most expensive store for named brand goods a total of 20 times, with Dierbergs following at most expensive 12 times, and Shop ‘n Save times.

Wal-Mart was never the most expensive option for name brand goods.

Store Brand Products

Aldi totally smashed it out of the park, offering the cheapest store brand products an impressive 27 times, with Wal-Mart beating it only twice. Dierbergs, Schnucks and Shop ‘n Save each offered the cheapest store brand product just once. 

Dierbergs was the most expensive market for store brand products 18 times. Schnucks was the most expensive times, Shop ‘n Save times, and Wal-Mart times.

Aldi was most expensive just once.

Grocery Products

For the grocery products that were unbranded (ground beef, chicken breasts, avocados, celery, head of lettuce, baked potatoes, apples and bananas):

Aldi was the most economical, offering the cheapest option 7 times (remember their super-cheap avocados!) with Dierbergs beating them twice.

Shop ‘n Save was the most expensive 4 times, Schnucks times and Dierbergs was the most pricey twice. 

 

 

17 Comments

  1. Crystal Poston

    Fresh Thyme often has cheap & good quality produce. Their meat sales are also great.

    Reply
  2. phyllis

    Yes, thank you for your time but all of us shoppers knew Aldi was the cheapest already!

    Reply
    • Matt Sayle

      True, but only for store brands. Some people prefer the taste of specific brands and Aldi seemed to only have a single choice per item.

      Reply
  3. Cassie Mc

    Save-a-Lot still at Reavis & Lemay?

    Reply
    • Matt Sayle

      According to Google, it’s still there! However, it wasn’t included in this article.

      Reply
    • Shelley

      It’s there! Also one in the plaza next to Wal Mart on Telegraph.

      Reply
  4. Chris Toole

    Amazing article, this must have taken you weeks!

    Reply
    • Matt Sayle

      Several weeks is right. The hardest part was finding all of the products in each location to record the price. My knees are still recovering!

      Thanks for reading 🙂

      Reply
      • Roger

        What a great article . I’m a very Thrifty Shopper so I really liked the Insight. Appreciate all the hard work and time it took you to do this.

        Reply
  5. Norman Plant

    It’s unfortunate that Ruler does not have more coverage in the area, so I understand why they were not in this study. But I would put their store brand prices and quality up against any of these options. This study also explains the demise of Shop N Save.

    Reply
    • Matt Sayle

      I spent a few years in Mount Vernon, IL working at the airport out there. I really enjoyed shopping at Kroger. I assume that means I would enjoy shopping at Ruler as well.

      Shop ‘n Save was a shock to me, Schnucks is taking big strides towards solidifying their spot as the dominate grocery chain in the area.

      Reply
  6. Deb

    Walmart in highland banana are 55 per pound they are the most expensive and Ruler is the most reasonable

    Reply
    • Matt Sayle

      I actually hadn’t heard of Ruler until I started researching for this article. They were described by someone as “The Kroger of Belleville”. I thought that was an interesting comparison. Turns out, Ruler is owned by Kroger – so I guess he was dead on!

      Reply
  7. Kim Martin

    Interesting! Thank you for the data. Good work.

    Reply
    • Matt Sayle

      So glad you liked it Kim!

      Reply
  8. Kathy

    Very nice work

    Reply
    • Matt Sayle

      Thank you so much! So glad you like it 🙂

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Schraut Promo