Where Should You Be Grocery Shopping?

Jordan Abbott ~ Guest Writer

Collage by Jordan Abbott displaying cookie aisles at Walmart, Aldi, and Target

Determining which grocery stores have the best selection of products for the best value can be a daunting and time-consuming task.

A study conducted in 2022 revealed that the average college student spends $294.06 on groceries every month. 

With all aspects of the economy currently being impacted by inflation, knowing which stores can give you the best value for your dollar is crucial. 

According to a poll conducted via Instagram story, 53 percent of University of Lynchburg students prefer to shop at Walmart, while 41 percent prefer Target. 

Senior Emily Bray chooses to shop at Walmart because it has, “Lower prices than Target and more of a selection than Aldi.”

On the other hand, sophomore Courtney Newton prefers Target. 

“For me, it’s a place of convenience. It’s where I’m used to shopping,” says Newton. 

On Feb. 25, 2023, I visited Target, Walmart and Aldi to compare prices and the amount of in-store selection of four items frequently purchased by college students: laundry detergent, Oreo cookies, microwave macaroni and cheese cups and frozen pizza. 

In terms of selection size, Aldi has the smallest selection by far. 

Target was second smallest and Walmart carries the most products per item. 

The first item I compared prices for was laundry detergent (Tide Original 92 ounce bottle,  specifically), which surprisingly varied only by two cents across all three stores; Aldi and Walmart both charge $12.97 and Target charges $12.99. 

Next, I looked at Double Stuff Oreo cookies, due to all three stores carrying that specific variety. 

Target’s price was $4.39, Walmart’s was $4.58, and Aldi’s was $4.98. 

Because not all three stores carry the same brands, I compared generic macaroni and cheese cups sold at each retailer for consistency. 

Aldi and Target are the least affordable by about twenty cents in this category, with four-packs costing $3.75 and $3.79, respectively. 

Finally, frozen pizza was the most challenging to compare, as all three stores did not overlap at all in pizza brand or variety. 

However, Target’s most expensive frozen pizza was $5 more than Aldi’s, which was the most affordable store in this category. 

Graphic by Jordan Abbott displaying prices of each item by store.

Though not many drastic price differences exist between these three stores, the totals by store prove that a few cents difference here and there can make a large difference in a shopping trip’s total.

Happy shopping, Hornets!

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