Aldi vs. Kroger vs. Walmart: Which grocery store has the lowest prices?

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Aldi vs. Kroger vs. Walmart price comparison
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If you’re trying to lower your grocery bill, saving more money every month could be as simple as changing where you shop.

Money expert Clark Howard is a big fan of the discount supermarket chain Aldi, which is undergoing a massive expansion and plans to have 2,500 stores in the U.S. by the end of 2022.

Aldi says its exclusive brands like Clancy’s, Baker’s Corner and Tuscan Garden can save up to 50% over the national brands.

Grocery store price comparison: Aldi vs. Kroger vs. Walmart

Two of Aldi’s main competitors, Walmart and Kroger, stock their shelves with plenty of items from national brands, but they also have their own store brands for shoppers who love a good bargain.

I wanted to find out if those private-label items at Kroger and Walmart are priced higher or lower than at Aldi.

How I conduct price comparisons 

For this price comparison, I visited all three stores (located in Atlanta, Georgia) on the same day and took note of the prices for staples like milk, chicken breasts, bananas, salad, yogurt, coffee and more.

I looked for the cheapest in-stock option for every item on my list, which was a generic item most of the time.

Here’s an example: Walmart sells its own brand of hummus, but it was out of stock. I didn’t drive to another Walmart because that’s not how most people shop. Instead, I recorded the price of the cheapest hummus available for immediate purchase.

To make this price comparison as fair as possible, I only included items that are sold at all three stores in similar quantities or weights, though I allowed for slight differences.

Here’s what I found when I compared prices in February 2019:

Grocery store price comparison (February 2019)

 Item  Aldi Kroger Walmart
Avocado, 1 medium $0.69 $0.77 $0.88
Bananas per lb. $0.44 $0.59 $0.59
Milk, 1 gallon $1.85 $2.99 $2.79
Large eggs, 1 dozen $0.88 $0.99 $1.18
Unsalted butter, 16 oz. $2.56 $3.29 $2.56
Mozzarella cheese, 8 oz. $1.69 $1.99 $1.74
Orange juice, 64 fl oz. $1.69 $1.89 $1.74
Hummus, 10-12 oz. $1.89 $3.49 $3.14
Ranch dressing, 16 oz. $0.89 $1.50 $0.92
Chicken broth, 32 oz. $1.19 $1.29 $1.22
Pasta sauce, 24-25 oz. $0.85 $1.00 $0.88
Boneless chicken breast, 1 lb. $1.89 $1.99 $1.99
Ground beef 80/20, 1 lb. $2.79 $4.29 $3.88
Diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz. $0.35 $0.50 $0.46
Red grapes per lb. $1.79 $2.49 $2.88
Apple juice, 64 fl oz. $1.09 $1.49 $1.23
Spaghetti, 32 oz. $1.39 $1.49 $1.43
Ground coffee, 11.5-12 oz. $3.79 $3.99 $3.88
Flavored yogurt, 5.3-6 oz. $0.29 $0.40 $0.34
Bagged salad, 10-12 oz. $0.89 $1.29 $1.42
Total  $28.89 $37.72 $35.15

And the winner is… 

Aldi beat out Walmart in my 2019 price comparison by more than $6, with a total price below $30.

Last year, I recorded the prices of the same 20 items at the same three grocery stores in Atlanta. At the time, Aldi was only 30 cents cheaper than Walmart.

Here’s a look back at my April 2018 price comparison:

Grocery store price comparison (April 2018)

 Item  Aldi Kroger Walmart
Avocado, 1 medium $0.39 $0.69 $0.98
Bananas per lb. $0.24 $0.55 $0.56
Milk, 1 gallon $2.45 $1.99 $1.98
Large eggs, 1 dozen $2.08 $1.99 $1.68
Unsalted butter, 16 oz. $2.99 $2.79 $2.56
Mozzarella cheese, 8 oz. $1.79 $1.99 $1.74
Orange juice, 59 fl oz. $1.99 $2.49 $2.08
Hummus, 10 oz. $1.99 $3.49 $2.08
Ranch dressing, 16 oz. $0.89 $1.29 $0.92
Chicken broth, 32 oz. $1.19 $1.29 $1.28
Pasta sauce, 24-25 oz. $0.99 $0.99 $1.06
Boneless chicken breast, 1 lb. $2.29 $1.99 $1.99
Ground beef 80/20, 1 lb. $2.99 $4.29 $4.12
Diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz. $0.89 $0.49 $0.46
Red grapes per lb. $1.49 $2.99 $2.28
Apple juice, 64 fl oz. $1.19 $1.39 $1.33
Spaghetti, 32 oz. $1.39 $2.00 $1.43
Ground coffee, 11.5-12 oz. $3.79 $3.99 $3.88
Flavored yogurt, 6 oz. $0.35 $0.40 $0.34
Bagged salad, 10 oz. $1.99 $1.19 $0.92
Total  $33.36 $38.28 $33.67

Final thought

When it comes to price alone, Aldi remains the clear winner! Of course, my price comparisons included a sample of only 20 items and didn’t take into consideration other factors like food quality, store cleanliness and customer service.

What’s missing from these price comparisons? Impulse convenience foods. They’re hard to compare and those grab-and-go options are also how stores drive up their profits by getting you to spend more.

If you can build your weekly menu around the sale ad and stick to a list, you can cut your grocery bill significantly.

Do you shop for groceries at Aldi, Kroger or Walmart? If you’ve conducted your own price comparison, let us know about the results in the comments below! 

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