We Compared Prices for 19 Items at Aldi and Trader Joe’s — There Were a Few Surprises
You may or may not have heard that I recently went to Aldi for the first time. And while I was excited about certain things (specifically, the cheese selection and all the prepared pastries), I definitely didn’t think Aldi could replace my weekly trips to Trader Joe’s. And it didn’t seem like the prices were that great.
In the interest of saving money, I decided to go head-to-head and compare prices on similar products at both stores. I picked items that were on my shopping list last week, and are typical kitchen staples for me. My findings were surprising in some instances — especially when I did the math and compared prices by ounce.
Here’s what I found.
1. Baby spinach
I buy baby spinach every week: I add it to salads, soups, pasta dishes, and eggs for a pop of leafy green nutrition. Although a bag of the stuff is cheaper at Aldi, it did look less wilt-y at Trader Joe’s.
WINNER! Aldi Baby Spinach: $1.49 for 8 ounces ($0.18 an ounce)
Trader Joe’s Baby Spinach: $1.99 for 6 ounces ($0.33 an ounce)
Trader Joe’s is famous for their 19-cent bananas, while Aldi sells the budget-friendly fruit by the pound. The prices at both stores are about the same, but Aldi promises that their bananas are organic.
TIE! Aldi Organic Bananas: $0.59 for 1 pound, or about 3 bananas ($.19 each)
TIE! Trader Joe’s Bananas: $0.19 each
I know TJ’s sells multi-packs of avocados, but I prefer to buy individual avocados so they don’t all ripen at the same rate. My Aldi store didn’t have avocados a la carte, only a bag of organic ones and they were cheaper at Trader Joe’s.
Aldi Organic Avocados: $4.99 for 4 ($1.25 each)
WINNER! Trader Joe’s Farm Fresh Avocado: $1.19 each
4. Frozen fruit
Both retailers varied in their frozen fruit selection, so it was hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison. (Pun intended!) I found frozen strawberries, a freezer staple for me, and it turns out they’re about the same price at both stores.
TIE! Aldi Season’s Choice Frozen Strawberries: $1.95 for 16 ounces ($0.12 per ounce)
TIE! Trader Joe’s Frozen Strawberries: $1.99 for 16 ounces ($0.12 per ounce)
Although the tub of garlicky hummus at Aldi was larger, it ended up being the same price per ounce as TJ’s.
TIE! Aldi Park Street Deli Garlic Hummus: $2.49 for 10 ounces ($0.25 per ounce)
TIE! Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Hummus: $1.99 for 8 ounces ($0.25 an ounce)
6. Goat cheese
My favorite thing about Aldi is their affordable cheese selection, so I wasn’t surprised that they won the goat cheese battle.
WINNER! Aldi Happy Farms Goat Cheese Log: $1.99 for 4 ounces ($0.50 an ounce)
Trader Joe’s Chevre Goat Cheese Log: $2.99 for 5 ounces ($0.60 an ounce)
I buy my eggs at a nearby farmstand when I can, but I’ll grab a dozen at the supermarket if I’m in a pinch … and by buying them at Aldi, I’ll save 27 cents.
WINNER! Aldi Grade A Large Eggs: $1.57 per dozen
Trader Joe’s Jumbo Fresh White Eggs: $1.79 per dozen
Both stores carry bargain, organic chicken breasts, so I compared their mid-range natural versions. Aldi came in at twenty cents cheaper per pound.
WINNER! Aldi Never Any! Chicken Breasts: $4.29 per pound
Trader Joe’s All-Natural Boneless Chicken Breast: $4.49 per pound
Pasta tends to be affordable at any supermarket, and I was expecting the win to go to Aldi for this comparison. Although the boxes of farfalle were both $0.99, the one at TJ’s was a fourth larger.
Aldi Reggano Farfalle: $0.99 for 3/4 pound
WINNER! Trader Joe’s Imported Italian Farfalle: $0.99 for one pound
10. Olive oil
I cook with EVOO a lot, so I’m always on the lookout for affordable bottles. I was surprised that my usual $6 bottle at Trader Joe’s was cheaper than Aldi’s offering.
Aldi Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil: $3.89 for 16.9 ounces ($0.23 an ounce)
WINNER! Trader Joe’s Imported Italian Olive Oil, $5.99 for 33.8 ounces ($0.18 an ounce)
11. Coconut oil
Both Aldi and Trader Joe’s offer jars of organic coconut oil, but you can get a larger jar at TJ’s for just ten cents more.
Aldi Simply Nature Organic Coconut Oil: $4.89 for 14 ounces ($0.35 an ounce)
WINNER! Trader Joe’s Organic Triple-Filtered Coconut Oil: $4.99 for 16 ounces ($0.31 an ounce)
Both stores carried plenty of varieties of honey, but I went with the cheapest option at each store for a head-to-head comparison. The results? A total tie.
TIE! Aldi Berry Hill Honey Bear: $3.49 for 12 ounces
TIE! Trader Joe’s Clover Blossom Honey Bear: $3.49 for 12 ounces
Another budget-friendly pantry staple of mine: canned beans. They’re so easy for last-minute meals, and they’re always SO cheap. At sixty-nine cents a pop, it was definitely worth stocking up on black beans, garbanzos, and cannellini beans while I was at Aldi.
WINNER! Aldi Dakota’s Pride Black Beans: $0.69 for 15 ounces ($0.04 an ounce)
Trader Joe’s Black Beans: $0.79 for 15 ounces ($0.05 an ounce)
14. Almond butter
Although you can grab a tub of almond butter for less than $5 at Aldi, you’ll pay less per ounce for a larger jar at Trader Joe’s.
Aldi Simply Nature Creamy Almond Butter: $4.59 for 12 ounces ($0.38 an ounce)
WINNER! Trader Joe’s Creamy Almond Butter: $5.99 for 16 ounces ($0.37 an ounce)
15. Peanut butter
For no-frills peanut butter, Aldi beat TJ’s — you get a larger jar for sixty cents less. But in terms of nut butter selection, Trader Joe’s had many more varieties than Aldi.
WINNER! Aldi Peanut Delight Creamy Peanut Butter: $1.39 for 18 ounces ($0.07 an ounce)
Trader Joe’s Creamy Unsalted Peanut Butter: $1.99 for 16 ounces ($0.12 an ounce)
Snacks & Sweets
Round out your Aldi cheese plate with a box of Ritz-inspired crackers. Although they’re only four cents cheaper than their TJ’s counterpart, Aldi’s Savoritz crackers come in a larger quantity.
WINNER! Aldi Savoritz Buttery Round Crackers: $1.95 for 13.7 ounces ($0.14 an ounce)
Trader Joe’s Golden Rounds Crackers: $1.99 for 12 ounces ($0.16 an ounce)
Trader Joe’s cheddar popcorn puffs are one of my all-time favorite snacks. I didn’t like Aldi’s version nearly as much, and they were nearly twice the price per ounce.
Aldi Simply Nature Organic White Cheddar Puffs: $2.19 for 4 ounces ($0.54 an ounce)
WINNER! Trader Joe’s White Cheddar Corn Puffs: $1.99 for 7 ounces ($0.28 an ounce)
18. Chocolate chips
I always have a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in my pantry during the holidays (you never know when you’ll need to whip up a batch of cookies). Both retailers came in very close in price, but Aldi was the winner here.
WINNER! Aldi Baker’s Corner Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels: $1.89 for 12 ounces ($0.15 an ounce)
Trader Joe’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: $1.99 for 12 ounces ($0.16 an ounce)
19. Light ice cream
I have a love-hate relationship with Halo Top ice cream — one of the things I hate is the price (it’s almost $6 for a pint at my neighborhood grocery store!). Both Aldi and TJ’s have their own versions of the low-cal, high-protein stuff for $2.99 per pint.
TIE! Aldi Sundae Shoppe Low-Fat Ice Cream: $2.99 per pint
TIE! Trader Joe’s Light Ice Cream: $2.99 per pint
The Final Tally
Number of Aldi wins: 9
Number of Trader Joe’s wins: 6
Number of ties: 4