How Much Would Kevin’s Grocery Trip from Home Alone Cost at Aldi?

Home Alone Screenshot of Disney Pl

A screenshot of the Home Alone landing page on Disney+.

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In the cult classic 1990 Christmas film Home Alone, 8-year-old Kevin McCallister is accidentally left at home by himself when the rest of his family departs for France. With no one else in the house, Kevin has to fend for himself, not only defending his home against a pair of bungling burglars but also finding something to eat.

In one iconic scene, Kevin visits a local supermarket where he picks up a few essentials.

Based on what is visible in the cart, Kevin buys:

  • milk, half gallon
  • Tropicana orange juice, half gallon
  • a TV dinner
  • a 20-ounce loaf of Wonder Bread
  • Kraft frozen macaroni and cheese
  • Tide liquid detergent
  • plastic wrap, 100 square feet
  • a bag of toy soldiers
  • Snuggle dryer sheets
  • toilet paper, 4 rolls

After using a $1 coupon for the orange juice, Kevin pays $19.83. If you adjust that price for inflation, it comes out to a little more than $45 in late 2023 money.

In winter of 2023, a TikTok video claimed that those same items today would cost nearly $70 when purchased at Target. USA Today ran its own calculations based on Midwest grocer Schnucks and came up with around $55. Shoppers on message boards and social media have likewise chimed in with their own takes on the subject, including what they would pay at their own local grocers.

Now, before we continue, a couple of caveats about this debate. One, Home Alone is a movie, which means the prices may or may not have reflected local prices at at the time. Over at IMDB, some viewers speculate that the price may even be an Easter Egg, “perhaps a nod to the late Roberts Blossom, as 1983 was the year that Christine (1983), featuring Blossom, came out, and the Christmas classic, A Christmas Story (1983), came out.” Blossom played Old Man Marley, the scary neighbor, in Home Alone.

Two, prices among groceries can vary widely depending on the area. Some places like New York City can have higher food prices than Indianapolis. Home Alone was filmed in the Chicago area, where grocer costs aren’t especially high, even if housing is.

That all said, we thought it would still be interesting to put this question to Aldi. Granted, Aldi doesn’t sell many national brands, so anything we’d price would be an Aldi private label.

So we decided to find out. We didn’t just go on Instacart, as that site routinely prices higher than stores. Instead, we marched into our local store in the Midwest with our shopping list and picked up the items in person.

Our Buys:

Home Alone @ Aldi

Milk, a half gallon. We had to choose between 2% and whole. The 2% was about 20 cents cheaper at our store, but we prefer whole so we got that instead. Cost: $2.02

Tropicana orange juice, a half gallon. Thanks to shrinkflation, we didn’t see any half-gallon (64-ounce) orange juice. Instead, Aldi sold 52-ounce carafes, which is the same size Tropicana sells. That’s what we got. Cost: $3.29

A TV dinner. Aldi doesn’t routinely sell traditional TV dinners as Regular Buys and wasn’t stocking anything close at the time in the Aldi Find section, so we had to think outside the box on this one. We ended up settling for Fremont Fish Market Fish and Chips, which aren’t maybe the stereotypical TV dinner but do have the virtue of being an entree and side. Cost: 4.99

A 20-ounce loaf of Wonder Bread. Aldi has several options for bread loaves. Most of them are currently $1.29 in our store, but we went with one of our personal favorites, Whole Grain White, which is more. None of them are as expensive as actual Wonder Bread, though. Cost: $1.99

Kraft frozen macaroni and cheese. In the spirit of the movie, we passed on the boxed mac and cheese, even though it’s very cheap. And while Aldi doesn’t sell frozen mac, it does sell a pretty good refrigerated item in the form of Park Street Deli Macaroni and Cheese. Also, in a moment of irony, our Aldi also happened to be selling Kevin’s gluten-free mac right next to the one we bought. Cost: 4.99

Tide liquid detergent. While Aldi has a few kinds of detergent, we went with the red bottle Tandil, which, while a little more expensive, is the store’s Tide equivalent. Our bottle happened to be 50 cents off the day we got it — not quite the $1 coupon Kevin got for his OJ, but we’ll take it. Cost: $7.49

Plastic wrap, 100 square feet. Aldi sells just one option here, Boulder Plastic Wrap. It’s a good, if not great, alternative that is comparable in price to Walmart’s Great Value Plastic Wrap. What’s more, both the Aldi and Walmart wraps are 200 square feet, twice what the young Mr. McCallister got at his supermarket. Cost: $1.95

A bag of toy soldiers. We had to spitball on this one. Not only did Aldi not surprisingly not have any toy soldiers in the Aldi Find section, but because it was the week before Christmas, and we were shopping toward the end of the weekly ad cycle, the Aldi Find section was thoroughly picked over. We considered getting a pair of Little People figures for $4.99 or a small LEGO set for $8.99, but neither quite fit what we were looking for. Instead, we’re substituting a $1 pack of plastic bugs we got at Dollar General for a companion post over on Dollar Store Reviewer.  Cost (Dollar General): $1

Snuggle dryer sheets. Aldi Tandil Dryer Sheets come in a few varieties. They each have 80 sheets, which comes out to about 2.8 cents per sheet. That’s cheaper even than the bulk-sized Walmart options. Cost: $2.29

Toilet paper, 4 rolls. Most Aldi bath tissue comes in giant packs — most of them in the $9.50 to $10.50 range — but we did find one version in the same type of 4-pack that you see in Home Alone. The downside is that the Aldi 4-pack is Willlow Essential 1000, which is a lower quality TP like you’d see in an institution. Sorry, Kevin. Cost: $2.99

Total Price:

The subtotal for our Aldi purchases was $29.96. The toy from Dollar General was $1. That brings our combined subtotal to $30.96. With local sales tax, our grand total was $33.24.

That’s less than half the $70 the TikTok video claimed, and it’s also significantly less than the $55 USA Today came up with from Schnucks. It’s also no small amount less than the $45 Kevin would have paid in inflation-adjusted 2023 dollars.

Of course, we got to that price by buying Aldi house brands, not the national brands featured in Home Alone. Many Aldi shoppers, though, would point out that Aldi brands are pretty good imitations of those national brands.

Closing Thoughts:

All the recent talk about Kevin’s $19.83 grocery purchase has shone a spotlight on grocery prices. Our biggest takeaway from this project is just how effective Aldi has been in not just keeping prices low compared to inflation, but also stocking quality food and other goods while doing so. You can’t exactly get everything on Home Alone dollars, but Aldi is also less than half what the TikTok video priced. That’s saying something. Because when you have to protect your home from the likes of Harry and Marv, you need every break you can get.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at

One Comment

  1. Great article!

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