So my wife and I recently discovered the ALDI grocery store, where we continue to be awed by what seem like incredible bargains for all sorts of food and drink. With their rock-bottom prices, who can resist?
But seeing low prices is not enough for me; my mom and dad gave me an analytical mind, and I decided to put it to good use by making a systematic price comparison with one of the kings of low-priced shopping -Walmart- to see if you can really save a lot at the ALDI supermarket.
Disclaimer and Methodology
To carry out my bargain-hunting mission, I went to an ALDI grocery store in Miami and took as many pictures of item prices as I could without looking like some weirdo. Then, I looked up equivalent items at Walmart’s grocery website, which displays the prices for a store near me (also in Miami). I used the cheapest brand I could find at Walmart, and I ignored items that were on sale at either store.
This is not a scientific study, and I did not look up the prices on the same day. My goal is not to be the ultimate authority on ALDI grocery store versus Walmart pricing. It’s just to do a fun price comparison and get a general idea of who is really cheaper.
What Is ALDI?
It’s a really cheap supermarket. What distinguishes them is that they mostly sell no-name brands, for extremely low prices. They have most things a regular supermarket would have, including award-winning alcohol in states that allow it (I’m looking at you, Massachusetts). They may not have extremely specific, low volume products, or really froufrou, Whole Foods-type stuff.
They’re originally from Germany, and so I’m led to believe they have quality stuff (you know, because of the stereotypes about Germans and quality and efficiency). (As a youngster, I took German and French; I think they conform to the stereotypes. French is pretty and melodic, while German is logical but sounds, well, harsh).
Can You Really Save A Lot At the ALDI Supermarket?
So let’s get on with the price comparison:
1. Strawberry Preserves
ALDI price per ounce: $.10
Walmart price per ounce: $.09
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
ALDI price per fluid ounce: $.177 (17.7 cents)
Walmart price per fluid ounce: $.20
3. Top Sirloin Steak
ALDI price per pound: $5.99
Walmart price per pound: $5.95
Walmart wins, though it looks like the ALDI meat is higher quality (USDA Choice vs USDA inspected).
4. 93% Lean Ground Beef
ALDI price per pound: $4.89
Walmart price per pound: $4.00
5. Chicken Breasts
ALDI price per pound: $2.29
Walmart price per pound: $1.99
6. Deli Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast
ALDI price per ounce: $.266 (26.6 cents)
Walmart price per ounce: $.25
7. Organic Apples
ALDI price per pound: $1.66
Walmart price per pound: $1.48
Walmart wins (assuming it’s the same variety of apples).
8. Multi-Colored Peppers
ALDI price for a 3-pack: $2.99
Walmart price for a 3-pack: $3.88
9. Non-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt
ALDI price per ounce: $0.11
Walmart price per ounce: $0.12
10. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
ALDI price per ounce: $0.225 (22.5 cents)
Walmart price per ounce: $0.18
ALDI Grocery Store vs. Walmart – Price Comparison Results and Analysis
I think the results were pretty clear. Walmart was cheaper in 7 out of 10 categories, although many times it was in very large, Costco-type sizes. That said, it seems to me that Walmart is, in absolute, once-versus-ounce terms, cheaper.
To be sure, they are both cheap stores, and you can save a lot at either. However, in my personal preference, Walmart is superior for two reasons: first, it is just as cheap (and probably cheaper) than the ALDI supermarket. Second, it tends to have better selection, with more products and more brands per product. And it’s not just a grocery store (as is common knowledge, they have all sorts of stuff) so you can get more shopping done in one trip. So, my overall winner is Walmart.
12/15/17 Update: In response to reader Julie’s constructive criticism on Facebook, I’d like to emphasize that while this article features a comparison based purely on price, quality should, of course, also be an important consideration.
With this in mind, and to try to keep quality differences to a minimum, I mostly kept the comparison to single-ingredient items. For example, the extra virgin olive oil is labeled “extra virgin olive oil” at both stores.
That said, I recommend that you try to gauge the quality of the items that you like to buy by, for example, checking out the ingredients list.
I thank Julie for her comments. Constructive criticism is always encouraged and makes The Rich Miser a better blog.
Have you found a place cheaper than Walmart? What do you think of ALDI?