We Compared Prices for 19 Items at Aldi and Trader Joe’s — There Were a Few Surprises

updated Nov 7, 2019
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Credit: From left to right: Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock ; Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

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)

2. Bananas

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

3. Avocados

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)


5. Hummus

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)

7. Eggs

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

8. Chicken

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


9. Pasta

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)

12. Honey

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

13. Beans

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

16. Crackers

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)

17. Popcorn

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