March 2, 2024
Aldi vs. Walmart: Which Grocery Retailer Is Cheaper?

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There have been some iconic duels throughout the ages: King Kong vs. Godzilla. Alexander Hamilton vs. Aaron Burr. And … Aldi vs. Walmart? Okay, Walmart and Aldi aren’t literally dueling, but Aldi is certainly inching (or, rather, leaping) ever closer to being the crowned #1 Cheap Grocer of All Time.

I’m not sure when it happened, but Aldi is likely what many of us automatically picture when we think of affordable grocery stores. Perhaps the store has even become key to keeping your grocery budget under control these days. But are the savings that much different than what’s offered at Walmart? I figured I’d scour the aisles firsthand to see how select items at both grocers add up.

Before we get to number crunching, though, I’ve said it once, and I’ve said it a half-dozen times: The concept of “cheapness” really shakes down to your particular priorities. The pricing of something as personal as groceries will mean a lot of things to as many different people, depending on the value you ascribe to a product as well as your financial situation. For example: Your favorite brand of $6 kettle chips that make you very happy are a staple in your household (whereas, you might think $2 Other Retailer’s chips are overpriced because they don’t taste as good as your favorite bag; or you don’t really care about chips that much, in which case $2 is a “steal”).

With that bit of housekeeping aside, let us tackle the ultimate question! To figure it out, I compared some household staples side-by-side and ounce-by-ounce. To keep things on as equal footing as possible, I visited the stores on the same January night in Burbank, California. I aimed to compare both store-brand and name-brand items across the sections (produce, frozen, pantry items, snacks). In some cases, Walmart provided (larger) options that were not available at Aldi. 

These are 12 of the household staples that matched as closely as possible.

So, Is Aldi Cheaper than Walmart?

The short answer is overwhelmingly yes! And don’t we love a short answer? I also have a long answer (i.e., the receipts), though — don’t you worry. 

Both retailers carry store-brand frozen waffles. While Aldi only offers one flavor, the difference in price is HUGE — nearly $5 cheaper than the ones at Walmart for the exact same quantity.

2. Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Even after we account for the difference in sizes (Walmart’s bag of nuggets is three ounces bigger), Aldi’s nuggets are cheaper. Still, this is a great example of why it’s important to compare unit prices. 

Both retailers sell avocados by unit, not by weight, which makes this head-to-head comparison a no-brainer. Once again, it’s Aldi FTW. (Plus, a few tips on the best ways to pick avocados.)

At the time I visited, Aldi only had conventionally grown raspberries available, while Walmart only had an organic option. In general, organic produce tends to be more expensive (as it is here) and exposed to fewer pesticides.

If your household regularly goes through a gallon of milk, picking it up at Aldi will save you nearly $1 per container.

At more than $1 less per block, it’s worth grabbing an extra one of these Irish butters and stashing it in the freezer so you have it on hand for your next batch of buttercream.

Another dollar savings deal! While Aldi and Walmart’s almond butters each come in 12-ounce jars, the one from Aldi is a full $1.09 cheaper.   

Both retailers carry store-brand granulated sugar in four-pound bags, but the bags at Aldi are a little over 25 cents cheaper.

9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Once again, both retailers sell store-brand options and at identical sizes. And, once again, Aldi comes in a bit lower than Walmart. Picking up the bottle of Priano will save you 33 cents.

Unlike the raspberries, both stores offer organic versions of canned beans. Walmart’s are less than a dollar and a good 30 cents cheaper. Do grab a few extra cans on your next trip there.

Not only are there more bagels per bag, but Aldi’s everything bagels are also a tad bigger (at 3.3 ounces per bagel vs. 3 ounces per bagel). It’s truly a case of getting more for less.

Turns out, you won’t save any money buying these iconic cookies at one retailer vs. the other. Both stores offer the Original and Double Stuf versions at the same price.

Before Your Next Grocery Run, a Few Tips

Each retailer has its own strengths, so comparing the two side by side alone misses out on a couple of nuances.

Regardless, the prices don’t lie. Aldi is considerably cheaper than Walmart in almost every instance (or they were about the same). Now you know! Especially when it saves you considerable cash, doing a bit of grocery math is the best kind of math, right?

Which store do you prefer? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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