With the price of just about everything still on the rise, Americans continue to be forced to take a pay cut — not on their salary, but on their purchasing power. Inflation may be trending down from its apparent peak in June of 2022, but consumers are still feeling the impact. It’s relatively easy to cut down on luxuries, but when it comes to purchases like groceries, finding the best price can make a serious difference in your budget.
Costco and Aldi are both popular retailers that attract a loyal customer base, in large part because of their competitive pricing. Here’s a look at which of them has the best pricing on some common purchases.
At Costco you can pick up a two-pack of Kirkland Signature 2% reduced fat milk for $7.70, or $3.85 a gallon.
Meanwhile Aldi shoppers can purchase Friendly Farms 2% milk for $3.79 a gallon.
Aldi has the best price here, although the margin of victory is slim — a gallon at Aldi is about 1.5% cheaper than at Costco. Every penny counts though, and if you have kids your household may go through a lot of milk.
Costco offers a two-loaf pack of Alfaro’s Artesano bread for $6.54, which works out to $3.27 per loaf.
Over at Aldi you can find single loaves of L’Oven Fresh artisanal bread for $3.19 each.
Aldi again has a slightly better price at eight cents less per loaf, making them 2.5% cheaper than Costco. A bigger edge than they had with milk, but you’re still going to have to buy a lot of bread to really move the needle on your budget.
Delicious, delicious cheese. For this one we’ll be looking at the unassuming but tasty sharp cheddar.
Costco offers a two-pound block of Kirkland Signature Sharp Cheddar for $7.59, just about $0.24 an ounce.
At Aldi you can grab a one-pound block of Happy Farms Sharp Cheddar for $4.09, which is right around $0.26 an ounce.
Costco takes this one, although once again it’s a pretty minor difference once you break it down to price per ounce.
So far it’s a pretty close call. It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that commodity-type items are pretty close in price for both of these big retailers. Both have the size and scale to get low prices from their vendors for the things that everyone buys day in, day out. Still, while a few percentage points of difference may not be eye-popping, over the course of a year of grocery shopping that can add up — it just may not be worth going out of your way for.
Let’s see if there’s a bigger difference in some more specialty items.
Peanut Butter Pretzels
Costco shoppers can leave with a 55-ounce tub of Kirkland Signature peanut butter pretzel nuggets for $11.69, which works out to $0.21 an ounce.
Aldi shoppers can opt for a 24-ounce bag of Clancy’s peanut butter-filled pretzel pieces for $5.75, or $0.24 per ounce.
Costco is the cheapest option for this filling snack, around 12% cheaper than Aldi, a substantial margin of victory. Bulk sizes are Costco’s hallmark, and the advantage is obvious. Size does have its drawbacks though. Depending on the size of your kitchen, buying in bulk can become unmanageable pretty quickly.
OK, you can probably live without candy — but you shouldn’t let inflation keep you from all of the joys of life. For this round we’ll look at a classic peanut M&M’s.
Costco went big as it so often does, offering a monster 62-ounce tub of peanut M&M’s for $16.37, or $0.26 an ounce.
Aldi shoppers can get a more modest 10.05-ounce sharing size peanut M&M’s for $4.95, or about $0.49 an ounce.
Once again, buying in bulk clearly pays off here. Shoppers looking for the best deal on a treat will want to hit up Costco.
We’ve seen that when it comes to the basics, prices are pretty close, with Costco running out in front when bulk sizes come into play. If you have the room for it that could net you some serious savings in your grocery spending.
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Disclaimer: Prices are based on using an address/ZIP code in Southern California. Prices may vary based on location.