Which is cheaper, ALDI or Walmart? Let’s compare ALDI and Walmart prices in the spring of 2022!
This is the third in a series of ALDI vs. Walmart price comparison experiments: Where I compare prices on equivalent store brand food items at both stores, in the same town, on the same day. In both earlier editions (spring 2017 and spring 2019) ALDI beat Walmart on price on most items and in all categories.
Due to Covid, though, I skipped repeating this experiment in 2020-2021. So: It’s high time to check prices again in the spring of 2022, in order to see if ALDI is still cheaper than Walmart. I again visited my local ALDI and local Walmart in Villa Park, IL on the same day last week (during April, 2022). At both stores, I collected updated prices and looked at what’s changed over the past three years.
Read on for some ALDI vs. Walmart price comparison charts on a number of common grocery items, plus some observations on how prices have changed — and, on where they have increased the most.
Which is cheaper: ALDI or Walmart?
Here’s my methodology on determining whether ALDI is still cheaper than Walmart, as well as a couple of notes.
- I only checked common food items, and tried to get a representative cross-section of prices.
- I compared store brand to store brand, with only a couple of exceptions. When not possible, I compared ALDI brands to the cheapest equivalent national brand.
- I compared identical sized items whenever possible. When not possible, I’ve provided per pound, per item, or per ounce pricing in the charts below, with the item’s actual price and size at both stores listed at the end.
- I’ve rounded all percentages, as well as per pound/ounce pricing, to the nearest whole.
Prices may be different by you: Here in the Chicago area, food prices are often higher than in some other parts of the country. Pricing at both Walmart and ALDI is regional (and can even vary on some items at stores within a few miles of each other).
Pricing, especially in our current age of inflation, can also vary day by day. Since this is a single day snapshot from two stores in one town, you will likely see some different prices at your own local stores — and, might even come to a different conclusion in your own area.
Lastly, do note that since you can use coupons at Walmart but not at ALDI, that can sometimes knock the price of name brand items down to a more competitive level. Here’s more on how to save on groceries in general.
ALDI squeaked out the pricing lead in 2022
Getting straight to the punch: Yes, ALDI does continue to beat Walmart on price in 2022. But, the pricing gap between the two stores has narrowed significantly in most categories, and Walmart has even moved into the lead in a couple.
Check out the price comparison charts and discussion below for all of the details.
At a glance
In all of the color-coded charts below:
- Green means it’s a tie: The price on a given item is the same at both stores
- Yellow means that ALDI is cheaper on a particular item
- Blue means that Walmart is cheaper on a particular item
Yes, this even sometimes means a price difference of a penny or two; on many items one store just narrowly beat out the other. See the discussions in each category to find out just how much cheaper ALDI tends to be on a given set of products, because how much you will save by shopping ALDI varies widely, depending on what types of food you buy. In some categories and on many items those differences are now quite small.
If you find the charts hard to read:
- Tap or right-click a chart to bring it up on a page by itself so that you can enlarge the image, or
- Download all of the 2022 price comparison charts in a single PDF
Note: The PDF download just includes the straight price comparison charts, not any of the analyses below.
ALDI vs. Walmart: Organic food prices
ALDI was still cheaper than Walmart on almost every organic food product I checked in 2022, but on most items the price difference was fairly negligible. 64 oz organic whole milk cost $3.95 at ALDI, for instance, and $3.98 at Walmart; organic cage free eggs ran $3.65 at ALDI, and $3.68 at Walmart.
If you bought one of each organic food product in this chart, you’d pay 5% more at Walmart than at ALDI. But, if you took out the one outlier item (organic coconut oil at $4.99 at ALDI; $6.24 at Walmart), and then purchased one of every other item, you’d pay just over 2% more at Walmart.
ALDI vs. Walmart: Meat prices
On meat prices, however, ALDI pulled further into the lead. In 2022, Walmart beat ALDI on just a few fresh meat items, and there only by a bit. On several other fresh meat products, however, you’ll save significantly more at ALDI. For instance:
- Boneless skinless chicken breast family packs were $2.09/lb at ALDI; $2.97/lb at Walmart
- Medium packs of 80/20 ground beef were $3.99/lb at ALDI; $4.76/lb at Walmart
- Boneless center cut pork chops ran $4.19/lb at ALDI; $5.24/lb at Walmart
- Fresh tilapia was $5.79/lb at ALDI; $6.91/lb at Walmart
If your family regularly eats meat, especially common products like chicken and ground beef, you’ll still save by shopping ALDI. When looking at this list as a whole: Overall, meat prices at Walmart averaged 12% more than those at ALDI.
However: In terms of variety and quantity, Walmart beat ALDI hands down. This is true even of some everyday items. My local ALDI, for instance, no longer even carries conventional whole chickens; Walmart had them at $1.25/lb. My ALDI has been hit or miss on fresh meat items; Walmart was lower in stock than usual, but had most products out on the shelf.
How much have meat prices changed?
Let’s take a quick look at how a few common fresh meat products have increased in price between when I last checked in 2019 and now:
- Boneless skinless chicken breast family packs are up 10% at ALDI; up 49% at Walmart
- Chicken drumsticks family packs are up 40% at ALDI; down 6% at Walmart
- Medium packs of 80/20 ground beef are up 38% at ALDI; up 2% at Walmart
- Beef chuck roast is up 47% at ALDI; up 8% at Walmart
- 12 oz packs of hot dogs are up 51% at ALDI; down 8% at Walmart
It honestly surprised me to find that (aside from those big packs of boneless chicken breast) meat prices overall had risen so much more at ALDI than at Walmart over the past three years — especially on beef. See the 2019 Walmart vs. ALDI post here.
ALDI vs. Walmart: Produce prices
In terms of fresh produce, ALDI pricing was again better than Walmart pricing on most items. Beyond potatoes and strawberries, however, in many cases that difference was minimal — bananas were just a penny more a pound at Walmart; cilantro $.03 more a bunch; celery $.05 more. And, broccoli and apples were significantly cheaper at Walmart. Averaging prices across all of the produce items I checked, fresh fruit & vegetables at Walmart ran about 4% more than their counterparts at ALDI.
In terms of produce quality, though: In my area, ALDI produce beats Walmart’s hands-down. The avocados at ALDI were large and perfect; those at Walmart were small and squishy. Strawberries at ALDI were beautifully large and ripe; those at Walmart were somehow simultaneously underripe and molding.
How much have produce prices changed?
While pricing on some fruit and vegetables has remained remarkably steady (and some even decreased), others have increased dramatically. Since 2019:
- 3 lb bags of yellow onions are up 30% at ALDI; up 18% at Walmart
- Bags of garden salad are up 89% at ALDI; down 11% at Walmart
- Bags of spinach are up 22% at ALDI; up 10% at Walmart
- Bunches of cilantro are up 8% at ALDI; up 13% at Walmart
- Bananas are down 43% at ALDI; down 47% at Walmart
- Avocados are down 8% at ALDI; down 4% at Walmart
Unfortunately, some of the produce prices that have increased the most, especially at ALDI, include dinner staples such as onions, salad, and spinach.
Walmart vs. ALDI: Dairy prices
Just look at that sea of yellow: When comparing items in the conventional dairy section, ALDI pricing beat Walmart pricing on every single product. Again, though, the cost on many items was extremely close: Only a penny difference on a gallon of milk, or on an 8 oz brick of cheddar cheese.
On other items, however, that price differential was much more significant: A dozen eggs were priced at $2.30 at ALDI and $2.92 at Walmart, 16 oz butter quarters ran $2.99 at ALDI and $3.58 at Walmart, and a container of sour cream was $1.59 at ALDI and $1.96 at Walmart.
If you purchased one of each item in the chart above, you’d pay 13% more on your dairy shopping cart at Walmart than you would at ALDI.
How much have dairy prices changed?
Prices on milk and eggs have skyrocketed since 2019. Oddly enough, though, products such as blocks of cheddar cheese have actually decreased in price. (Egg prices in particular jumped dramatically just this week due to the avian flu outbreak, but have increased more at Walmart than at ALDI.) Since I last checked in 2019:
- A gallon of whole milk is up 60% at both ALDI and Walmart
- One dozen eggs are up 95% at ALDI; 128% at Walmart
- 16 oz butter quarters are down 5% at ALDI; up 10% at Walmart
- An 8 oz block of cheddar is down 7% at ALDI; down 16% at Walmart
Fresh foods (meat, milk, produce) have increased the most over the past few years, but those increases are uneven and prices are volatile. And because ALDI runs weekly sales on produce and meat, where Walmart just touts everyday low pricing, you can sometimes also save more by shifting your ALDI spending to temporarily cheaper products.
Note: for organic dairy, see the separate organic section above.
ALDI vs. Walmart: Pantry staples prices
In terms of pantry staples, ALDI prices beat or tied Walmart prices on every item I checked in 2022 — although again, in some cases, only by a few cents. If you bought one of each pantry item in the chart above, you’d pay 5% more in total at Walmart than at ALDI. (Note: This number takes into account the per ounce price rather than the per item price on rice and pasta sauce, because they are different sizes at each store.)
On a lot of these pantry staple items, though, the pricing was either identical or extremely close. On everything from canned corn to mayo, from black beans to yellow mustard, from white rice to cream of mushroom soup, it really wouldn’t matter which store you shopped at.
How much have pantry staples changed?
Pricing on pantry staples seems to be all over the place. Some products such as tomato paste and bread have gone through the roof over the past few years, while others are unchanged, or up only a bit. Prices overall have changed more at ALDI than at Walmart since last checked in 2019:
- 6 oz cans of tomato paste are up 51% at ALDI; up 35% at Walmart
- 20 oz whole wheat sandwich bread is up 53% at ALDI; up 68% at Walmart
- 32 oz boxes of chicken broth are down 7% at ALDI; down 8% at Walmart
- 15 oz cans of black beans are up 3% at ALDI; unchanged at Walmart
- 30 oz jars of mayo are up 12% at ALDI; unchanged at Walmart
- Long grain white rice is up 10% at ALDI; unchanged at Walmart
In 2019, pantry items had also increased in price faster at ALDI than at Walmart; the gap here isn’t as significant as it used to be.
Walmart vs. ALDI: Baking and spices prices
In the baking and spices aisle, Walmart wins by just a hair. Buy one of each item in the chart above, and you’ll pay a whopping 1% less at Walmart than at ALDI. The raisins alone are what pushed Walmart into the lead, though. If you simply took raisins out of your cart at both stores, ALDI comes out 2% cheaper. (For some reason, that canister of raisins has gone up $.90 at ALDI since 2019, but only $.10 at Walmart.) Either way, prices are very, very close here.
Note: I only compared oregano as a representative sample of the $1.00-ish spices at each store, but you’ll see about the same per ounce price differential on most seasonings. At both stores, of course, those $1.00-ish spice bottles are significantly smaller in size than in 2019; neither grocer is immune to shrinkflation.
How much have baking prices changed?
This category was again all over the place: While some items (such as canola oil) have increased quite a bit, the cost of other items (such as flour) has actually come down. This could be because we’re still close to Easter, but I checked prices the week after the holiday. Some price changes since 2019 include:
- 48 oz canola oil is up 56% at ALDI; up 53% at Walmart
- Brownie mix is up 15% at ALDI; up 11% at Walmart
- 5 lb bags of flour are down 17% at ALDI; down 19% at Walmart
- Vanilla extract is up 18% at ALDI, down 14% at Walmart
In some cases, these changes seem to have brought prices more in line with each other across both stores: That little bottle of vanilla was a whopping $1.93 more expensive at Walmart than at ALDI in 2019, for instance, but in 2022 it will only cost you $.09 more.
ALDI vs. Walmart: Snack prices
If you purchased one of each item that I checked this year in the snack foods aisle, you’d pay 7% more at Walmart than at ALDI. (This accounts for the size differential in the bags of potato chips.) While some items such as pretzels and almonds were fairly similar in price, others such as graham crackers and tortilla chips varied quite a bit.
Because of our overall focus here on cooking meals at home, I didn’t check a lot of snack products in 2022.
ALDI vs. Walmart: Frozen food prices
Last but not least: I also checked just a few representative frozen food prices this year, but here Walmart actually came out ahead. If you bought one of each item in the chart above, you’d pay 4% less at Walmart than at ALDI.
This savings comparison does take into account the difference in sizing between the pizzas and waffles: Always watch what you’re getting! Both stores are guilty of this, too. On the face of it, paying $1.00 for a box of waffles looks better than paying $1.24 — but, not when you get 8 instead of 10. When it comes to basic store brand frozen pizza, Walmart’s is still cheaper per ounce — but, because ALDI’s is over an ounce heavier, the difference is not as great as it appears when just looking at the item prices.
A brief note on grocery pickup
If you choose to use grocery pickup, it’s important to know that Walmart’s pickup pricing is the same as their in store pricing. ALDI’s grocery pickup pricing, however, is higher than their in store pricing, because they use Instacart as a third party fulfillment service. There are also no fees at Walmart, as long as you hit a $35 order minimum.
- Want to try Walmart grocery pickup? Here’s a $10 off $50 code for new customers: TRIPLE10.
- Want to try ALDI grocery pickup or delivery through Instacart? I reviewed Instacart way back in 2018; however, prices, fees, and processes may have changed.
If you use grocery pickup, Walmart will be cheaper than ALDI. The fees and product upcharges on Instacart eat up (and exceed) any savings you’d otherwise see when comparing in-store pricing.
Since Walmart’s online pickup pricing is the same as their in store pricing, you can also use their grocery pickup site to check against current ALDI prices — without having to visit both stores.
What do your shopping experiences tell you?
So, now that we’ve gone through all of these prices and percentages, what do your own ALDI and Walmart shopping experiences tell you?
- Do you find these patterns to be true at your stores?
- Is your ALDI cheaper than your Walmart?
- Are prices at your Walmart to be better than at mine?
- How much have you seen prices increasing in your area recently?
I would love to hear from those of you who shop at both ALDI and Walmart in different parts of the country, so let me know what you find.
Blast from the price comparison past
You can see earlier posts and price snapshots here:
(How times have changed…)