Have you ever been curious about the bottom line here? Costco or Aldi: Which has better prices?
Back when we lived an hour away from both Costco and Aldi, at most I could hit each of these stores once per month. Now that we live in Lincoln, I can go wherever, whenever. Hahaha, I mean, if you don’t consider the fact that getting out of the house and to the store EVER is quite the feat.
How many carts does it take to contain all of the Coppinger children??
Two. And then let’s hope there’s still room in the carts for groceries.
If I move a few mountains, I can get out of the house all by myself to buy groceries. This still sometimes requires two carts, but that’s only because I don’t have kids with me and will therefore buy as much as I can because of the “convenience” of shopping on my own.
Our current grocery budget
There are currently 13 people living in our home and our grocery budget is hanging in there at $1,200/month. You can read details about this here. With so many changes happening in our lives during the past year – I think I need to write a new Coppinger Family Grocery Budget post soon! Be on the lookout for this. :)
Now that we’ve lived in Lincoln for over half-a-year, I feel like I’m finding my groove just a bit when it comes to knowing which prices are better at which store.
My favorite places to shop in Lincoln are: Costco, Aldi, Sam’s
I pick up our WIC items at Walmart because I’ve found that to be the easiest and because the three above-mentioned stores don’t work with our WIC cards.
There are a few items I can only get at Sam’s, and sometime soon, I’ll write a post to share my favorite finds there. But for today…
Costco or Aldi: Which Has Better Prices?
Now, it all depends on what you’re going for. In my experience, non-organic items at Aldi are less expensive than almost all Costco items. But the quality of most of those Aldi items are subpar and I’ve found that it’s not always worth the savings. I mean, have I really saved money if I buy cheaper grapes at Aldi but then have to throw half of them away because they got moldy right away?
Here are the items I’ve cost compared and where I’ve landed on purchase preference. Prices tend to fluctuate so I won’t share specific costs, but will instead note what I’ve learned about which store has the better overall price.
Grassfed Butter – Both stores have a Kerry Gold knock-off and wow are they good! Best price: Aldi
Tip: Watch for it to go on sale during the holidays and stock up. It freezes well!
Cream Cheese – Lately, our Costco has not carried a knock-off but only Philadelphia brand. The price is cheaper for this brand compared to any other store I’ve seen. However, Aldi’s Happy Farm cream cheese is MUCH cheaper and fantastic quality. Best price: Aldi
Regular Butter – Best price: Depends on the day – watch for sales at both stores and stock up when they are discounted!
Shredded Cheese – Aldi has regular-sized pouches whereas Costco has bulk-sized (5-pound) pouches. Shredded cheese freezes well, so buying the bigger pouches works even if you don’t go through it quickly. Best price: Costco
Nitrite-Free Lunch Meat – Both stores carry a nice variety of healthier lunch meats. They freeze well so it works to buy in bulk. Best price: Costco
Organic Chicken Broth – Both stores have good quality organic broth that I like to have on hand for easy soups and casseroles. Costco’s price wins by a few cents per container. Best price: Costco
Organic Salsa – Both stores have tasty organic salsa, but Aldi’s is significantly cheaper. Best price: Aldi
Canned Corn – Cost per can of corn is about the same at both stores, but Costco’s is better quality. So in my book… Best price: Costco
Applesauce Pouches – By far every variety of these is cheaper at Costco. We go through these like crazy at our house! Best price: Costco
Why yes, I do buy my bulk in bulk…
Organic Pasta Sauce – Both stores have very tasty pasta sauces and both are high quality. Hands down though, Aldi’s is cheaper. I buy 6-12 jars at a time! Best price: Aldi
Rotel – Cost per can of Rotel at Costco and the Aldi knock-off are about the same. Because the price is the same, I prefer to buy a case at Costco because we go through a lot of it and it’s easier to buy by the case. Best price: Both
Organic Coconut Oil – There is no comparison on this one – Costco’s oil is much, much less per ounce compared to Aldi. Granted, Costco’s is an 84-ounce tub vs. Aldi’s 14-ounce jar. The bulk option saves a large amount of money! Best price: Costco
Organic Olive Oil – Again, you’ll have to buy a larger quantity to enjoy the savings. But I find that it’s worth it! Best price: Costco
Cage Free Eggs – I like to buy the 5-dozen packs at Costco because we go through eggs so quickly at our house. As it turns out, they are less money this way. Best price: Costco
Whole Milk – I buy many gallons of milk each week and while I know the cheapest price is at Aldi, I can’t go there every week. I just pick it up wherever I happen to be that week. But best price: Aldi
Half & Half – Do you want organic or non-organic? If you want organic, best price: Costco. If you aren’t particular and are ok with non-organic, best price: Aldi
4% Cottage Cheese – We like whole milk cottage cheese at our house and have found that price per ounce is less expensive at Aldi. Best price: Aldi
Grocery Shopping Cheat-Sheet
Here’s a quick summary of each item I mentioned above and what is cheaper at which store:
Nitrite-Free Lunch Meat
Organic Chicken Broth
Organic Coconut Oil
Organic Olive Oil
Organic Pasta Sauce
Half & Half
4% Cottage Cheese
Obviously this doesn’t cover every grocery item. And both Costco and Aldi carry specific products that the other doesn’t carry, making it impossible to compare.
I love and appreciate both stores! Hopefully these price comparisons are helpful to you as they are to me!