Aldi vs Kroger Plus Cost Comparison: Why Eating Healthy Doesn't Have to be Expensive

Since moving to Michigan, I had heard people talking about Aldi. And I caught myself thinking "is this place really worth it? Does it actually carry all of the stuff I need to buy week to week?" I hadn't really thought about it again for a while. I  just enjoyed my Kroger savings and moved on with my life. Until I stumbled across a comparison again that my friend posted on Facebook. 

It was ridiculous. Why? Because there was NO REAL FOOD!

It was all chips, soda, candy! Heck even another comparison I pulled up lately was the exact same way! Sandwich bags! Graham crackers! Vanilla wafers! Granola bars! Raisins! Where is the real food? I know, I know you're probably thinking "Here she goes! She's about to healthy eating shame us again!" But think about it - so many people say that they can't eat healthier because it costs too much money. 

Aldi often advertises that they can save patrons 30-40% , and that's great! But if it's not going to help people with a fundamental problem to live healthier, more fulfilling lives, than what's the point?

So I sought to do my own price comparison!

Battle of the Brands - Aldi vs. Kroger Plus Savings

So early in October, I took a trip to Aldi and bought my weakly haul of things I needed for that week's meal prep! I was surprised to see that when I usually was just under $50 each week with my groceries, my total was actually in the 30s shopping at Aldi!

So I headed to Kroger just down the street to see if I really was saving that much money! Below you'll friend a price comparison of Aldi vs. Kroger. This comparison was done on the exact same day, in the exact same area as the Kroger where I looked was about 3 block down the street from the Aldi I went to. 

Bonus: I got a $2.50 bottle of red wine (not shown) that was surprisingly good!

Bonus: I got a $2.50 bottle of red wine (not shown) that was surprisingly good!

There is some produce here, some protein, some non-perishables, and everyday staples here...and in the majority of them there was some SIGNIFICANT savings just by shopping at Aldi! On average, items at Aldi were 2/3 the cost of items at Kroger!

But - how is the quality?

That might be your next question - and that was definitely one of my concerns! And i have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the produce I've gotten! I mean creamy peanut butter is creamy peanut butter. But grape tomatoes? Cabbage? Was it going to be all browny and icky? 

Nope! Not at all!

In fact, I much preferred the asparagus I got at Aldi vs. the one I found at Kroger. Asparagus ideally should be long and thin, am I right? Well, the stuff I always found at Kroger is much thicker stocked and very fibrous at the ends. Every single bundle I found at Aldi this day were these long, thin stems of vibrant green Asparagus! Definitely preferable!

how the heck can Aldi have such cheap food?

Well, there are a number of things that Aldi does to cut down on costs.

  1. Shopping carts: You basically have to "check out" a cart. The carts are situated adjacent to the entrance of the store. All you have to do to use one is put a quarter in. The cart gets released from it's chain, and you can go shop! When you're done, simply put the cart back, re-insert the chain, and your quarter will be released! It's how they cut down on employees by needing to hire what I affectionately call "cart wranglers"!
  2. No Bags: You won't have the option of paper or plastic here. In fact you're highly encouraged to bring your own OR buy some of their reusable bags!
  3. No Baggers: They also don't bag your groceries. I can already here someone reading this say *gasp* "No grocery baggers! But, but, but..." Calm yourself!!! It's not the end of the world! In fact, I like it! How many times have you had a bagger, in their haste, accidentally crush your eggs on the bottom of the bag. Or squash your loaf of bread! Call me a control freak, but I like bagging my own groceries!
  4. Aldi Brands: Similar to many large stores, Aldi has their own, cheaper brands of products which they sell to help cut costs.
  5. Select Assortment: A lot of grocery stores carry multiple brands, multiple styles, multiple EVERYTHING of all of their different products. Sometimes that variety is great - but am I the only one that sometimes gets analysis paralysis from an over-abundance of options!? Well - Aldi doesn't do that. They sell must-haves with smaller inventory! It saves you money, but their is a possibility that they may not have the EXACT same versions of the things you used to get at your grocery store.
  6. Shorter hours: Aldi is own during your typical shopping hours, but they aren't open crazy late or crazy early. So you can't go haphazardly hit the grocery store if you want to exclusively shop at Aldi. But you CAN hit it up for your weekly shopping trips like I do! :-)

So, what do you think!?

Are you interested in check Aldi out?! I highly encourage it! October was my first month primarily shopping at Aldi, and I don't think it's a coincidence that it was the first time I was on my grocery budget in a while!

Learn more about Aldi here!