How discount grocery stores can help shoppers save more money
HOUSTON - Many shoppers are switching to discount grocery stores to save money and beat inflation. Supermarket News reports sales growth for discount stores is outpacing the overall grocery market.
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How is a discount grocery store different from other grocery stores? And how are they able to offer low prices?
Aldi invited us inside a local store to show us. Officials tell FOX 26 it's currently gaining about 16,000 new Houston customers a month, offering shoppers prices that are often lower than most grocery stores.
"It’s roughly 15% they’re saving on their shopping bill. Around $700 a year," said Aldi Divisional Vice President Karla Waddleton.
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Aldi does it by keeping overhead low. There are only five aisles, all focused on the staples.
"We have about 1700 products compared to many other stores that have 60,000. You’re always paying for that extra shelf space. But here, we have about 98% of the items every customer wants on their weekly shopping trip," explained Waddleton.
Aldi says many of its products are locally sourced, or from the same suppliers as major brands, but sold as Aldi brands.
"It’s the same items you might get at other retailers and national brands, we’re just in our store under our label and that’s how we’re able to save you money," said Waddleton.
She points out that you won't find avocado towers in the produce section or a butcher in the meat department.
"We don’t have a butcher in the back of the store or a cheesemonger or a deli counter. But we’re able to prepackage these meat items that are fresh, never frozen," she said.
Shopping carts are rentable for a quarter, which you get back when it's returned, so they don't have to hire cart gatherers. Customers bag their own groceries, and prices are updated on the shelves electronically, rather than by hand.
Aldi says it now has about 45 stores in the greater Houston area.
There are other local discount stores that can help you save money, too. Among them are Joe V's Smart Shop, World Food Mart, 99 Ranch Market, Fiesta Mart, and Food Town.