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Who has cheaper grocery prices? Walmart, or ALDI?

aldi is cheaper than walmart

See the 2019 ALDI vs Walmart price comparison update here!

A couple of months ago we saw a little flurry of articles about how Walmart is targeting ALDI in its ongoing price wars in stores across several states, including Illinois. In the initial tests reported in these articles, spot checks of various grocery items tended to come out cheaper at Walmart than at ALDI. That didn’t sound right to me at all for the Chicago area, but since I’m not a regular Walmart shopper I thought it might be worthwhile to go do my own snapshot test of grocery prices — to see if my suspicion that ALDI is cheaper than Walmart was actually true.

ALDI vs Walmart Prices: My Methodology

On May 12 I stopped at both a Walmart store and an ALDI store located 2.5 miles apart in the same town (Villa Park, Illinois), and wrote down prices on a number of common grocery items to see how you might fare when shopping at one retailer over another. Here:

  • I only checked food items.
  • I compared store brand to store brand whenever possible.
  • I compared identical sized items whenever possible; when not possible, I’ve provided per pound or per ounce equivalents in the charts below.

Note that prices at both Walmart and ALDI stores outside the Chicago area are often lower, and that the Reuters spot tests at Illinois Walmart and ALDI stores this February were not conducted in Chicago or its suburbs. You might get different results in a different geographical area than I am getting on my spot-check here, and, since this is just a one-day snapshot, realize that pricing on dairy, produce, and meat items is always highly variable. Lastly, you can use coupons at Walmart, which sometimes knocks the prices of name brand items down to a more competitive level.

ALDI Beats Walmart on Grocery Prices: In Every Category

I’ll admit that going into this experiment I did expect ALDI to be cheaper on most grocery items, but I was honestly surprised by how much cheaper it was in many cases. While sometimes items were only a few cents off in price, other items were easily 50% more expensive at Walmart — even comparing store brand to store brand.

So here are some handy ALDI vs. Walmart price comparison charts I put together for you on a number of common grocery items. The cheaper of the two prices on each item is highlighted in yellow.

ALDI is Cheaper Than Walmart: On Shelf-Stable Grocery Items

ALDI dominated the pantry staples category on every item I checked. While some products, such as 16 oz boxed pasta, only differed by a penny or two in price, many other grocery items were significantly higher at Walmart.

This was also true for baking staples. Here ALDI pricing again beat out Walmart pricing on every single item — just by a few cents on things like granulated sugar and flour, but by quite a wide margin on items such as canola oil and brown sugar.

And, ALDI again dominates the snacks category. I just checked a few different products here, but ALDI pricing beat Walmart pricing on each.

ALDI is Cheaper Than Walmart: On Perishables

I saw a bit more competition on perishable items, especially in the produce department, but again ALDI was the clear price leader in every section. In the dairy department, Walmart pricing beat ALDI pricing only on conventional milk — but pricing on many items here wasn’t as far apart as I tended to see on shelf-stable grocery products.

This was true of the few organic dairy items I checked, as well.

In the produce department we saw a little bit more competition, but Walmart pricing came out ahead or equivalent on only two items (and not that far ahead; only a penny or two per pound!).

The same pattern holds in the meat department, where Walmart pricing came out a little cheaper this week on boneless skinless chicken breast and tilapia, was fairly close on products such as whole chickens and frozen salmon, but was significantly higher on meats like ground beef and chuck roast.

ALDI is Cheaper Than Walmart: On Frozen Foods

I again only checked a few common items in frozen foods, but ALDI brand products again tended to prove cheaper than Walmart’s Great Value brand. The price differences here were insignificant on frozen fruits & veggies, but pretty substantial on waffles and ice cream.

So, that was fun!

As Walmart continues to eliminate price matching in additional stores across the country, it’s important to think about the everyday cost of common food items and how much you can save by shopping one store over another. You’ll note also that I didn’t check a lot of organic and gluten free products on this trip, but have found ALDI’s gluten free pricing to be very good overall — this might be a post for another day, lol.

I only compared straight-up prices, too; which is a different question than that of quality, product availability, and overall shopping experience. I’ll leave that today as an exercise for you all at home. 😉

How about you?

I would love to hear from some of you who shop at ALDI and Walmart in different areas: Do you find this pattern to be true at your stores? Is your ALDI cheaper than your Walmart, or do you find prices at your Walmart to be more competitive than those I found at mine?


Monday 29th of May 2017

The WM in Plano, IL has Roma frozen pizzas for $2 each, but not sure these are available in all areas. We tend to divide our shopping between Aldi & WM- there's some things (like the Armour brand "lunchables" that are $1 each at WM but unavailable anywhere else) that we stop by WM specifically for- so anything I can't accomplish at Aldi is done next door at WM.


Saturday 8th of July 2017

I have multiples stores 10 minutes from me, including a woodmans. The walmarts are always dirty and overcrowded. Woodman beats them on price. The only thing I don't get at woodmans is produce ( I do the buy the bagged salads as they are super cheap and as fresh as the other other stores bagged salads). I go to Butera for produce and deli meats.. I use the Meijer M-perks as well and save a lot with their 20.00 prescription coupons too. We also have a butcher shop so we get a lot of our meat their or at Costco. I can't stand the smell every time I walk into an Adli's. The workers are always rude and I've found the quality of the foods (frozen pizzas, frozen breads, frozen waffles, canned fruit) to be very poor. My kids won't eat their cheese or any of the other foods I mentioned. I'll stick with Woodmans which by the way now has a kiosk where you can print your own coupons from


Wednesday 17th of May 2017

So nobody here is a Walmart fan? Walmart is where I purchased the Dell desktop that I currently have. I got it on clearance, and paid $300 for it., but I step inside a Walmart store approximately three times in a year, but every time I go there they are always super busy, and I can't figure out why. I much prefer Target.

BTW- I just found out last night that Lidi, which is a chain that originated in Germany is opening up 100 stores in the US. Their US headquarters is in Virginia, and all of there stores are going to be on the East coast. They are supposedly similar to Aldi, and have tons of stores in Europe..


Friday 16th of June 2017

Not all of the Lidl stores will be on the East coast. I am in the Conroe, Texas area and they just got all of the permitting processes done to build a store here.


Tuesday 16th of May 2017

I am also the type of person who prefers to buy brand items for the same price as generics by using sales and coupons, but I have found that there are several products at Aldi which are more worthwhile to purchase. I primarily get produce and dairy products from Aldi, but I also like to get their rice cakes, can tomato sauce and refrigerated pizza dough ($1!). I have never seen milk at Walmart as cheap as $2, whereas Aldi is often under $2. I do see a vast fluctuation in milk prices between the city and suburbs (skokie), so I tend to stick to the suburbs. I used to price match at Walmart so would shop there a lot, but since they stopped the price matching several months ago, I hardly ever get anything in the food section there.


Tuesday 16th of May 2017

I think a lot of people assume that everything at Walmart is a good deal, and that is why they do a ton of business. I belong to Sam's Club, and I get all of my prescriptions there, as well as tires and batteries for my car, and gas. I do occasionally get a few other things such as coffee filters, as well as occasionally books. I see a lot of customers loading up on stuff that I don't consider to be a good deal, such as giant boxes of cereal. I think a lot of customers there consider everything in the store to be a good deal when most of it is not. Some of the deals there are for items where you have to buy a huge amount. Some of their cheese is relatively cheap, but you have to buy five pounds of it to get it cheap.

Walmart is hoping that since you are in the store buying groceries, that you will also consider buying some clothes, and people who shop at Aldi's would be less likely to be impulse shoppers.


Tuesday 16th of May 2017

Part of Walmart's generic pricing is based on making the generics 10 to 30 percent cheaper than the name brand. Walmart doesn't want to compete with Aldi they want Jewel's customers--people who will drop $200 on a single trip.