We Compared Milk Prices at Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s — Here’s the Cheapest One

published Mar 6, 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

We, like many of you, are huge fans of Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s. We make frequent trips to these budget-friendly retailers to stock our kitchens with ingredients we need to make meals happen. (Of course, we also scope out the new and seasonal items while we’re there!) 

As the prices of everyday staples (milk, bread, eggs, etc.) continue to fluctuate, we were curious to know which of our regular retailers has the cheapest items — right now. We had our suspicions, but there was only one way for us to see for ourselves. 

We recently visited each store on the same day to compare the prices. (The stores are located in a suburb of New York and less than 10 minutes from each other.) We started with whole milk because it’s a staple in many of our homes, and it truly felt like one of the less predictable items on our list. 

Before we share what we found, are there any guesses on which store has the best price? … No? It might not be the one you think! Let’s take a look.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Whole Milk (Gallon) 

Aldi was our first stop in this three-part tour and, once we spotted the large sticker price, we had a feeling it meant big savings — and we were right! At $3.25 per gallon, Aldi Friendly Farms Whole Milk was 42 cents cheaper than Costco, the next lowest option, and 74 cents cheaper than Trader Joe’s. While 42 cents might not sound like much, Aldi’s milk is roughly 12 percent less expensive than the gallon at Costco. Think about how much 12 percent in savings could add up to over the month or even year!

Best price: Aldi Friendly Farms Whole Milk, $3.25 for 1 Gallon

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Whole Milk (Half Gallon) 

This Costco didn’t have any half gallons of milk available for purchase (whole or otherwise). Still, we decided to include this two-way comparison for smaller households or anyone who may be interested in sizing down their dairy intake. Once again, Aldi Friendly Farms Whole Milk came out top (or is it bottom?) with a retail price of $1.76 per half gallon versus Trader Joe’s at $2.69. And the savings difference is even greater — a staggering 93 cents. We must call out that the half gallon at Aldi is on sale for 10 cents off, but even if it weren’t it would still be 83 cents cheaper than the one at TJ’s.

Best price: Aldi Friendly Farms Whole Milk, $1.76 for Half Gallon

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