I have a few friends that have asked me why I am willing to drive 25+ miles to shop at a certain store called Aldi's. Of course, this amazes me that they have not even tried it! I guess it would really blow their minds to know that I used to drive over 50 miles to shop at an Aldi store before our "local" city earned its place on the map. My mother, sister and myself would all take the truck and make a day of it and we would buy enough canned goods to last our families at least 3 months.
Now you must remember that I do not shop Aldi's exclusively but I do get the bulk of our food there. I also do not shop there once a week. If I happen to be "in town" and I will be close to it then I'll stop there for my fresh produce or a gallon of milk, otherwise, it's usually a once a month shopping trip and I prepare our meals from the pantry.
I have found that shopping at Aldi helps keep my food budget down which is very helpful when feeding a family of six...it used to be seven but one has left home now. When combining my Aldi shopping with cooking from scratch and taking advantage of sales, I have managed to keep our food bill down to $600 per month. For some, this may sound like a lot but most of those have smaller families. In addition, I have checked with the USDA's food plan chart, which says a family our size, should have a budget of $1058 per month on the "low cost plan!" It doesn't describe the "low cost plan" but I'm assuming it allows for a couple of roasts per month and a couple of evenings with lower cost steak choices with the bulk of other meats being chicken, ground beef, fish or pork.
I have compared prices with many different stores and have consistently found Aldi to be cheaper. Their "store brands" compare to those name brand items you are used to buying and many times the same company, on the same lines as the name brand labels, manufactures them. Of course, that is usually the case with most store brands located in all stores. I know this personally, as I worked in a canning company for a short time.
If you would like to compare prices without actually going to the store a homeschool dad was able to get a price list and he scanned it for the rest of the world. These prices were current for April 2008 and may differ a little bit by your location. It's now posted on SlickDeals...open the PDF file from there.
As with all of your shopping, I recommend you read the labels. As you may know, we avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils for health reasons but those things are in all processed foods no matter where you buy them. To read more about why you should avoid them check out "Cooking from Scratch - Healthy Living"
Have a great day!