We Compared the Price of Eggs at Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s — Here’s What We Found
Even if they’re not a staple in your fridge, you’ve probably noticed eggs have gotten more expensive in recent months. (Luckily you can make a really good breakfast casserole without breaking any eggs.) Depending on where you shop, one-dozen eggs can cost in the double digits. That’s a lot of money to shell out for a carton.
But there’s some good news! We’re (finally?!) starting to see egg prices decrease — and we’re hoping that downward trend continues for the rest of the year. Who’s with us?
As frequent shoppers and avid home cooks, we’re always looking to get the most yield for our yolks. Recently, we visited three of our favorite retailers — Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s — to compare egg prices. Just as we did for milk, avocados, and croissants, we went to three stores in the same neighborhood, on the same day. Here’s what we found.
A Note About the Variety of Eggs on the Shelves at Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s
We were surprised to see the variance in egg options at these retailers. At the time we visited, we spotted a mix of sizes (medium, large, jumbo) and both white and brown eggs. (When it comes to taste and nutrition, there is no difference between white and brown eggs. The color of the shell depends on the breed of the chicken.) We focused on large because most recipes call for eggs of that size.
We also found cage-free, free-range, pasture-raised, and nondescript eggs on shelves. (The USDA has a voluntary egg grading program that includes standards for cage-free and free-range hens — it does not regulate pasture-raised hens. Independent agencies, like Humane Farm Animal Care, provide additional certifications, and have developed their own quality standards. It is worth reading the differences between how the hens are raised.)
Trader Joe’s carried the most options, and was the only retailer to sell at least one variety from the four categories listed above: cage-free, free-range, pasture-raised, and nondescript eggs. Aldi sold both cage-free and free-range eggs, while Costco only sold cage-free and in two-dozen cartons. Aldi and Trader Joe’s sold eggs by the dozen. All had at least one organic-labeled offering.
In the end, there was only one variety of egg that was spotted at all three retailers: Cage-free eggs.
We eliminated all the other egg varieties to create the most direct comparison. (Think apples to apples, but with eggs.) Once we did, it was easy to figure out which one truly did give us the most yolks for our bucks.
Don’t be deceived by the $5.99. As we mentioned above, Costco sells cartons of two-dozen (or 24) eggs, while Aldi and Trader Joe’s sell eggs by the dozen. The eggs sold at both Trader Joe’s ($3.49) and even Aldi ($3.65 on sale) might seem like they are cheaper — they are lower in price. But are they half the price?
Some quick math or a glance at the finer print (aka the unit price) on Costco’s price tag reveals that the price per dozen eggs is actually $2.995. That’s nearly 50 cents less per dozen than Trader Joe’s (and 65 cents less than Aldi). Conversely put, if you were to buy the same amount of eggs at Trader Joe’s, you’d spend close to one dollar more than you would at the warehouse (and $1.30 more at Aldi).
Of course, you only want to buy as many eggs as you’ll consume before they spoil. Eggs have a pretty long shelf life: They’ll keep for three to five weeks in the refrigerator, according to the USDA. So you’ll want to keep both of those things in mind before your next trip to one of these stores.
Best price: Kirkland Signature USDA Grade AA Cage-Free Large Eggs, $5.99 for 24 eggs at Costco
What groceries do you want to see price comparisons for? Tell us in the comments.