We Compared Ranch Dressing Prices at Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s — Here’s What We Found

published Apr 26, 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

Are you a ranch enthusiast? If you’re reading this, you probably think that’s a silly question. Or maybe you’re just genuinely interested in the prices of groceries. Either way, you’ve come to the right post. 

The classic dressing is a salad mainstay, of course, and a delightful dipping companion — for veggies, wings, and, yes, pizza. But it’s great for much more than that. (Try folding it into your eggs.) We could go through a bottle in less time than it takes to say, “Hey, pass me a slice.” Which is why we headed to three of our favorite retailers — Aldi, Costco, and Trader Joe’s — to scope out which one has the cheapest bottle around. We visited all three stores in the same neighborhood, on the same day. Here’s what we found.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Ranch Dressing

In the past we’ve spotted name-brand bottles at select Aldi locations, but we didn’t find any during our most recent trip. Both Aldi and Trader Joe’s each had their own store-brand ranch in 16-ounce bottles — although the dressings were more than $1 apart in price (Aldi’s Tuscan Garden Ranch Dressing was $1.95, and Trader Joe’s Organic Ranch Dressing was $2.99). Aldi also had a larger, 36-ounce “Family Size” bottle for $3.29, which, fun fact, is still four ounces shy of just one Costco bottle.

Of the three, Costco was the only retailer to carry the iconic ranch with the rolling green fields (and winner in our epic salad-dressing taste test): Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. In true Costco form, the dressing came in two hefty-sized bottles (40 ounces each!) shrink wrapped together for $12.59. It was clear Aldi had the cheaper of the pint-size bottles, but would the bulk sizes give us more dressing for our dollars? 

Usually, we’d glance at the unit price to see how much we’re paying per ounce, pound, or quart. But the tags had a mix of measurements — pounds and quarts — and we don’t have those conversions memorized off the top of our heads. Another almost-as-fast option is to use the calculator app on our phones to quickly crunch the numbers, which is what we did! 

The price per ounce for ranch at Aldi is 12 cents for the 16-ounce bottle and, unsurprisingly, an even bigger deal for the family-size bottle: just nine cents per ounce. Costco’s price per ounce is 16 cents, which is 25 percent higher than Aldi’s smaller bottle and almost 80 percent more than the larger one. So whether you’re looking to restock your fridge or stock up for the season, Aldi’s ranch dressing had the best of both prices.

Best price: Tuscan Garden Ranch Dressing, $3.29 for 63 ounces at Aldi

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