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The holiday baking season is upon us! If the last episode of Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge has you inspired to whip up your own batch of holiday sweets, you might find that the ingredients are more expensive than in years past. Dairy products in particular have skyrocketed in price over the past few years. And finding cheap butter and other baking ingredients is a real challenge.
Recently, Aldi — along with Walmart — announced that they’d be dropping the prices of holiday cooking essentials to 2019 levels for the Thanksgiving holiday. Unfortunately, butter wasn’t included in Aldi’s Thanksgiving Price Rewind. But when news started to spread that butter prices had indeed dropped under $2.50 per pound in some places, bakers ran to their local Aldi — some even waiting in lines out the door — to purchase a pound of butter at pre-pandemic prices.
Aldi’s butter sale has ended, but we wanted to share a guide to the best butter prices for all of your holiday baking. We’ll update you on cheap butter deals through December, but if you’re looking to stock up without waiting for another sale, here are the best places to shop.
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Why are butter prices so high in 2022?
The Wall Street Journal reports that as of August 2022, the price of butter was up 24.6% compared to August 2021. Supply shortages, including declining milk production and labor shortages, have contributed to the U.S. having the lowest amount of butter in storage since 2017. With this shortage — and the increase in demand we see during the holidays — comes higher prices and fewer sales. But some smart shopping can ease the butter bind this year, and bakers can still stock their fridge before Christmas cookie season is in full effect.
Related: Christmas Cookie Cost
Where to find cheap butter this holiday season:
I did some research in my area, which is just outside of Pittsburgh. By shopping store brands, I found cheap butter prices at several grocery chains near me. Since some avid bakers prefer specific brands, I also analyzed name-brand butters for an accurate comparison across retailers. While prices in your area may differ from mine, hopefully this serves as a guide for the best places to shop for cheap butter during the 2022 holiday baking season.
Let’s review the spread (hah!) of store-brand butter prices. Trader Joe’s has unique and fresh foods, but they’re not always known for low prices. So it came as quite a shock to see them offer the lowest butter prices. They even beat Aldi and Walmart! A pound of butter is currently $3.69 at Trader Joe’s. This is a full $0.70 lower than the next lowest price of $4.39 at Aldi. And it’s a whole dollar cheaper than my local Target’s Good & Gather brand.
Looking at name brand prices, your best bet is Walmart if you’re a Land-O-Lakes or Kerrygold fan. If you’re new to the Kerrygold brand, it’s worth noting that it’s sold in 8-ounce packages, which is two sticks. So you’d need to buy two packages for a full pound of butter. Our comparison chart reflects the price of a full pound.
Related: Christmas Cookie Costs for 2022
How to get the best deals on butter:
The biggest takeaway from this research? Always use butter coupons and jump on those butter sales! While Trader Joe’s offers a lower price on their store brand, it’s still over $3.50 per pound. If you see a better sale on butter, snag it. Grab a few pounds if your budget allows. Butter freezes well, and it lasts up to six to eight months past the expiration date on the package. If you’re a name-brand butter lover, give the store brand a try. It may be worth the savings. You can always swap back to your favorite brand when and if prices lower again.