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:
ALDI price per ounce: $.10
Walmart price per ounce: $.09
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
ALDI price per fluid ounce: $.177 (17.7 cents)
Walmart price per fluid ounce: $.20
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).
93% Lean Ground Beef
ALDI price per pound: $4.89
Walmart price per pound: $4.00
ALDI price per pound: $2.29
Walmart price per pound: $1.99
Deli Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast
ALDI price per ounce: $.266 (26.6 cents)
Walmart price per ounce: $.25
ALDI price per pound: $1.66
Walmart price per pound: $1.48
Walmart wins (assuming it’s the same variety of apples).
ALDI price for a 3-pack: $2.99
Walmart price for a 3-pack: $3.88
Non-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt
ALDI price per ounce: $0.11
Walmart price per ounce: $0.12
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.
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?