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GRAND PRAIRIE Milk prices have dropped across North Texas. Aldi fired the first shot in the milk price war over the weekend, cutting the price for a gallon of milk under $1 in area stores, and almost immediately, competitors followed their lead.

Kathleen Thompson's family of four drinks a gallon of milk a day. I have two sons and a husband at home, and with all the testosterone going on, they need to eat a lot so we do.

When she heard Aldi was having a sale on milk, she purchased eight gallons.

The average national price for a gallon of milk is $3.31 (and adjusted for inflation in 1966 dollars, that's $21.64!).

Late Monday afternoon, local Albertsons and Tom Thumb supermarkets were selling gallons of milk for as little as $1.68, but when Aldi lowered its price to 99 cents on Saturday, North Texas Kroger, Target, and Wal-Mart stores quickly slashed their prices to match Aldi.

Ninety-nine cents is a good price, said shopper Glenn Jalowi. Surprising when I walked up and saw how cheap it was.

Aldi which opened its first North Texas stores earlier this year slashed the price for a gallon of milk in part to convince new customers to try its stripped-down, deeply-discounted grocery shopping experience.

We've got more new fresh faces; new customers who are willing to come in and try us out because they saw the 99-cent retail and are thinking to themselves, 'Well if milk is 99 cents, I'm sure there are going to be other things that are at least as low, if not lower,' said Aldi spokesman Jonathan Aboites.

Aldi plans to keep the sale going for at least a few more weeks, which could mean the milk price war isn't over yet.

The 99 Cent Only chain just announced they will sell a gallon for 90 cents.

Some stores do have some fine print with their deals. At Kroger, you must buy $10 worth of groceries for every two gallons of discount milk.

Other stores say they're limiting the number of gallons you can buy with each sale, but many customers are getting around that by simply coming through the line more than once.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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