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

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

RELATED: How I cut my food bill by nearly $1,200 in one year

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 Aldi.

For this price comparison, I visited the three grocery stores on the same day and wrote down 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 typically a generic product.

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.

Take a look at what I found…

 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

Editor’s note: Prices were recorded in April 2018 at grocery stores in Atlanta.

And the winner is… 

Aldi was the winner, but just by 31 cents! Of course, this price comparison included a sample of only 20 items and didn’t take into consideration other factors like food quality, store cleanliness and customer service.

The bottom line is that there’s an opportunity to save if you buy generic — and it doesn’t matter where you shop.

What’s missing from this price comparison? 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.

Last year, I slashed my food spending (groceries and restaurants) by nearly $1,200! Here’s the one simple rule I followed to save all of that money.

Do you shop for groceries at Aldi, Kroger or Walmart? Share your savings tips in the comments below!

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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