This might come as a surprise to many of us, but there is a cheaper and more exciting alternative to Walmart! This is hard to imagine, but we can confirm it after our own shopping comparison at Walmart and German discount chain Aldi.
The only problem is that there are not as many Aldi stores as there are Walmart’s, especially in rural areas, but the savings are so good that it might be worth doing some driving if at all possible. The bill can be as much as 30% lower at Aldi and that’s hard to believe, but very possible.
What is Aldi?
First of all, let’s talk about Aldi and their model to really understand the differences. Besides having fewer stores, Aldi also has fewer products in the stores than said Walmart. But don’t let size alone to deter you from giving Aldi a try. You will find all pantry staples and absolutely all you need there, but you might not have a choice of 5 different whole milks or 7 different strawberry flavored yogurts, and who needs that when the main objective for you is budget?
One other amazing thing about Aldi is that you can find some unexpected German items there that are simply not available anywhere else. For example, cookies, wafers, healthy chips, and ginger bread house kits before Christmas. It’s almost like a little visit to Germany and a chance to find something that you won’t at Walmart, Kroger, or Publix.
Aldi stores are not very big, so you won’t have to wonder around for 10 minutes just to find bread section. They also don’t offer bagging service or bags for you, but you can definitely handle that yourself for an exciting selection and 30% savings when compared to others, right?
One other thing – you will have to insert a quarter just to get a cart, but will get it back once you deliver the cart back after your shopping. This is a common practice in Europe and reduces retailing expenses that transfers to shoppers- less staff for cart return, more savings to us.
Aldi also strives to be a health-conscious retailer, so you can expect to find plenty of organic options in every department. In fact Aldi is so successful in US that the chain is rapidly expanding its network and additional Lidl supermarkets, which are bigger and more modern, but offer the same great selection of healthy staple foods at the same budget-friendly prices. In the next few years, Aldi plans to have 2,000 stores, which will cover a lot of territory.
How do prices compare at Walmart and Aldi?
To do our comparison we shopped at both stores and picked just 4 staple items: bananas, flavored yogurt, bagged salad, and apple juice. This is a small sample, and yes, there are some items in Walmart that beat Aldi in price, but overall trend is clearly leaning towards Aldi being more affordable.
Let’s take a look:
- Bananas (price per pound) - $0.44 at Aldi and $0.59 at Walmart. The difference is not huge, but it all adds up. Personally, we loved the freshness of Aldi bananas too when compared with Walmart’s.
- Flavored yogurt GoGurt by Yoplait (per stick) - $0.29 at Aldi and $0.34 at Walmart
- Bagged salad (10-12 oz) - $0.89 at Aldi and $1.42 at Walmart. Granted, bagged salad is hard to compare apples to apples as they are all a bit different, but this is as close as it gets. We can see that the difference is quite significant.
- Apple juice (64 fl. oz.) - $1.09 at Aldi and $1.23 at Walmart
Walmart often wins on bread, milk, eggs, and pasta though, so there is no reason to discount this discount retailer just yet. It also offers a one-stop-shop that Aldi simply can’t as you won’t find a toilet brush and towels alongside your salad and avocadoes.
Let’s talk about organic section and choices. According to multiple research, Aldi winds here not only on prices, but also on the quality of ingredients and organic produce. Aldi’s SimplyNature organic products don’t use over 125 harmful and questionable ingredients that Walmart’s Good Value Organic brand does. This includes high fructose corn syrup, trans-fatty acids, nitrates, and various artificial flavors. This means that Aldi organic section safeguards not only your wallet, but health too just a little bit more than other retailers.
- $10 OFF Grocery Purchases
- Free Delivery on Grocery Order of $50+
One more thing to consider here – many regular grocery stores have some produce and meat options cheaper with coupons than both of those retailers. It makes sense to always check for coupons and sales before heading out the door to any grocery seller.
Most retailers, including Walmart, will price match, so if you see something cheaper at Aldi, take the ad and get the same deal.
As you can see, our simple analysis leads to Aldi’s win when it comes to prices alone. We also feel that this German retailer offers a great shopping experience and you won’t feel like you are just visiting another warehouse style store. You might not be able to do all your grocery shopping exclusively at Aldi, but you can definitely supplement your regular retail trips with some exciting options from Germany.