We Compared the Price of Buttery Croissants at Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s — And the Best Buy Might Surprise You

published Mar 29, 2023
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Graphic collage of Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe's storefronts
Credit: Photos: Carina Romano, Philip Arno Photography, Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock; Design: Kitchn

Homemade croissants are incredibly tasty and notoriously fussy to make — don’t get us wrong! They are and will forever be worth the effort. They’re just not something we’re adding to our weekly routine anytime soon. As much as we’d love to roll out of bed and roll out some buttery dough on a Monday morning, those emails aren’t going to answer themselves — at least, not yet.

That’s where the bakery section at some of our favorite grocery stores comes in! You’ve probably heard us sing the praises of the baked goods at Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s. Multiple times. All three excel at pillowy loaves, chewy cookies, fruity pies, and, yes, buttery pastries. But which one has the best price for a pack of butter croissants? We scoped out the wonderfully scented sections at each to find out.

We visited all three stores in the same neighborhood, on the same day, to see which retailer charges the least amount of dough for the pastries. Here’s what we discovered.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Butter Croissants

At first glance, we truly didn’t know what to think! Trader Joe’s has the lowest retail price ($3.49), and also the least amount of croissants. The butter croissants come in bags of three. Aldi’s all-butter croissants are priced only slightly higher ($3.99 or 50 cents more), but offer double the number of croissants: six! 

And then there’s Costco. At $5.99, the warehouse’s butter croissants seem like a (comparatively) high-ticket item. But like all things Costco, they are sold in bulk. You get double and quadruple the amount of pastry in those clamshells than you do at Aldi and Trader Joe’s. To make things slightly more complex, the croissants themselves all vary in size (although, as you’ll see below, this did not affect the results). We needed to do some quick math to really make dollars and cents of it all. So we pulled out a calculator (aka a smartphone) and crunched the numbers.

It turns out, the cheapest one is not the most cost-effective. Buying your croissants by the dozen is the best way to go! You’ll only spend 50 cents per croissant (21 cents per ounce) when you shop at Costco, versus 67 cents per croissant (33 cents per ounce) at Aldi and $1.16 per croissant (41 cents per ounce) at Trader Joe’s. 

You might be thinking that 12 croissants sounds like a lot of pastry to get through before it goes stale, but you can slice leftover croissants and freeze them. They’ll keep for up to three months, which seems like more than enough time to feast on these flaky pastries. 

Speaking of time — if you have eight minutes, this tip from fellow Costco members will turn your croissants into “one of the best croissants” you’ve ever had.

Best price: Kirkland Signature Butter Croissant, $5.99 for 12 at Costco

What groceries do you want to see price comparisons for? Tell us in the comments.