We Compared Prices for a Dozen Items at Aldi Versus Walmart — And One Is Clearly Cheaper

published Jan 27, 2024
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Left to right: Aldi storefront, Walmart storefront.
Credit: Left to right: Carina Romano; BCFC/Shutterstock

There have been some iconic duels throughout the ages: King Kong vs. Godzilla. Alexander Hamilton vs. Aaron Burr. And … Aldi vs. Walmart? Okay, Walmart and Aldi aren’t literally dueling, but Aldi is certainly inching (or, rather, leaping) ever closer to being the crowned #1 Cheap Grocer of All Time.

I’m not sure when it happened, but Aldi is likely what many of us automatically picture when we think of affordable grocery stores. Perhaps the store has even become key to keeping your grocery budget under control these days. But are the savings that much different than what’s offered at Walmart? I figured I’d scour the aisles firsthand to see how select items at both grocers add up.

Before we get to number crunching, though, I’ve said it once, and I’ve said it a half-dozen times: The concept of “cheapness” really shakes down to your particular priorities. The pricing of something as personal as groceries will mean a lot of things to as many different people, depending on the value you ascribe to a product as well as your financial situation. For example: Your favorite brand of $6 kettle chips that make you very happy are a staple in your household (whereas, you might think $2 Other Retailer’s chips are overpriced because they don’t taste as good as your favorite bag; or you don’t really care about chips that much, in which case $2 is a “steal”).

With that bit of housekeeping aside, let us tackle the ultimate question! To figure it out, I compared some household staples side-by-side and ounce-by-ounce. To keep things on as equal footing as possible, I visited the stores on the same January night in Burbank, California. I aimed to compare both store-brand and name-brand items across the sections (produce, frozen, pantry items, snacks). In some cases, Walmart provided (larger) options that were not available at Aldi. 

These are 12 of the household staples that matched as closely as possible.

So, Is Aldi Cheaper than Walmart?

The short answer is overwhelmingly yes! And don’t we love a short answer? I also have a long answer (i.e., the receipts), though — don’t you worry. 

Freezer Finds

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

1. Frozen Waffles

Both retailers carry store-brand frozen waffles. While Aldi only offers one flavor, the difference in price is HUGE — nearly $5 cheaper than the ones at Walmart for the exact same quantity.

  • WINNER! Aldi Breakfast Best Homestyle Waffles: $1.99 for 10 waffles
  • Walmart Great Value Buttermilk Waffles: $6.68 for 10 waffles
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

2. Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Even after we account for the difference in sizes (Walmart’s bag of nuggets is three ounces bigger), Aldi’s nuggets are cheaper. Still, this is a great example of why it’s important to compare unit prices

  • WINNER! Aldi Kirkwood Chicken Breast Nuggets, $5.29 for 29 ounces ($0.18 per ounce)
  • Walmart Great Value Chicken Nuggets, $5.97 for 32 ounces ($0.19 per ounce)

Produce

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

3. Avocados

Both retailers sell avocados by unit, not by weight, which makes this head-to-head comparison a no-brainer. Once again, it’s Aldi FTW. (Plus, a few tips on the best ways to pick avocados.)

  • WINNER! Aldi Hass Avocados, $0.59 per avocado
  • Walmart Hass Avocados, $0.68 per avocado
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

4. Raspberries

At the time I visited, Aldi only had conventionally grown raspberries available, while Walmart only had an organic option. In general, organic produce tends to be more expensive (as it is here) and exposed to fewer pesticides.

  • WINNER! Aldi Driscoll’s Raspberries, $1.69 for 6 ounces
  • Walmart Fresh Kampo Organic Raspberries, $4.96 for ounces

Dairy

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

5. Whole Milk

If your household regularly goes through a gallon of milk, picking it up at Aldi will save you nearly $1 per container.

  • WINNER! Aldi Friendly Farms, $3.64 for 1 gallon
  • Walmart Great Value Whole Milk, $4.56 for 1 gallon
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

6. Irish Butter

At more than $1 less per block, it’s worth grabbing an extra one of these Irish butters and stashing it in the freezer so you have it on hand for your next batch of buttercream.

  • WINNER! Aldi Countryside Creamery Pure Irish Butter, $3.09 for 8 ounces
  • Walmart Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter, $4.18 for 8 ounces

Pantry and Snacks

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

7. Almond Butter

Another dollar savings deal! While Aldi and Walmart’s almond butters each come in 12-ounce jars, the one from Aldi is a full $1.09 cheaper.   

  • WINNER! Aldi Simply Nature Creamy Almond Butter, $3.89 for 12 ounces
  • Walmart Sam’s Choice Creamy Almond Butter, $4.98 for 12 ounces
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

8. Granulated Sugar

Both retailers carry store-brand granulated sugar in four-pound bags, but the bags at Aldi are a little over 25 cents cheaper.

  • WINNER! Aldi Baker’s Corner Premium Granulated Sugar $2.95 for 4 pounds
  • Walmart Great Value Granulated Sugar, $3.24 for 4 pounds
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Once again, both retailers sell store-brand options and at identical sizes. And, once again, Aldi comes in a bit lower than Walmart. Picking up the bottle of Priano will save you 33 cents.

  • WINNER! Aldi Priano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $5.79 for 16.9 ounces
  • Walmart Great Value Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $6.12 for 16.9 ounces
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

10. Black Beans

Unlike the raspberries, both stores offer organic versions of canned beans. Walmart’s are less than a dollar and a good 30 cents cheaper. Do grab a few extra cans on your next trip there.

  • Aldi Simply Nature Organic Black Beans, $1.19 for 15 ounces
  • WINNER! Walmart Great Value Organic Black Beans, $0.88 for 15 ounces
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

11. Everything Bagels

Not only are there more bagels per bag, but Aldi’s everything bagels are also a tad bigger (at 3.3 ounces per bagel vs. 3 ounces per bagel). It’s truly a case of getting more for less.

  • WINNER! Aldi L’Oven Fresh Pre-Sliced Everything Bagels $2.19 for 6 bagels (20 ounces)
  • Walmart Sam’s Choice Pre-Sliced Everything Bagel, $3.38 for 5 bagels (15 ounces)
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

12. Oreo Cookies

Turns out, you won’t save any money buying these iconic cookies at one retailer vs. the other. Both stores offer the Original and Double Stuf versions at the same price.

  • TIE! Aldi Oreo Original or Double Stuf Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, $5.98 for 25.5 ounces
  • TIE! Walmart Oreo Original or Double Stuf Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, $5.98 for 25.5 ounces

Before Your Next Grocery Run, a Few Tips

Each retailer has its own strengths, so comparing the two side by side alone misses out on a couple of nuances.

  • Consider your household size and loyalty to name brands. Walmart has great deals on larger quantities of items, including snacks, cereals, and even fresh produce, plus a larger inventory of name brands and items in general. 
  • Try the store brand. Aldi has a wide variety of tried-and-true store-brand items, which are often significantly cheaper, plus a few more deluxe items at great prices, including cured meats, fun cheeses, and even household items like hand blenders. 
  • Take note of the product’s size — wherever you shop. Walmart had noticeably “shrinkflated” (aka reducing the amount you get for the same price) some items, like bagels; in these instances, Aldi items were still less expensive without the shrinkage. 

Regardless, the prices don’t lie. Aldi is considerably cheaper than Walmart in almost every instance (or they were about the same). Now you know! Especially when it saves you considerable cash, doing a bit of grocery math is the best kind of math, right?

Which store do you prefer? Tell us about it in the comments below.