Long-time readers of this blog know of my love for Aldi. I even wrote a book about eating a whole foods diet with Aldi. If you love Aldi too, read on for my thoughts on Aldi vs Costco!
Warehouse clubs had tempted me in the past, but a couple of things always held me back. One, concerns about space and storage. We don’t have a pantry but now, we have a large freezer. We also have 9 people eating food, 6 of them young adults, so stuff gets used up quickly!
Secondly, I had often heard that when you have a bulk supply of something, you tend to use more. And thirdly, I wasn’t convinced their prices were better than Aldi.
However, my eldest son talked us into getting a Costco membership. His hybrid car requires premium gas, and Costco has the best price. The membership pays for itself from that purchase alone.
Aldi vs Costco
With ANY grocery saving strategy, knowing your prices is important.
Determined to see whether Costco could beat Aldi’s prices, I made several trips there to scout. Some were more productive (sans little kids) than others. I keep a price book so I know what Aldi’s prices are. Once I got home I made the comparisons.
Turns out, there are a couple dozen things I can buy at Costco that beat Aldi’s prices.
There are a few other items that are the same price, but Costco’s version is organic. And a few other items that I love buying, but Aldi didn’t have them.
One thing I notice about Costco is that there aren’t as many generic or house brands as Aldi offers. This may be part of the reason that more items aren’t cheaper there than Aldi.
A pic of my very dark (missing lightbulb, ha!) fridge post-Costco run.
Aldi vs Costco: What’s Cheaper at Costco?
Keep in mind that markets vary. I also use Instacart to buy my groceries from Aldi, which has a tiny (not enough to make me stop using it!) markup. I do not use Instacart for Costco, as the markup is too high, and I like to fill up the gas tank when I go to Costco as well.
So far, the following items are cheaper at Costco vs Aldi:
- Hummus – I know I could make my own cheaper, but I don’t. So there’s that. Hubby loves this and takes it in his lunch. The kids love it too.
- Trash Bags – a great deal at Costco
- ECOS laundry detergent – it actually works nearly as well as Tide, and beats Aldi’s price on Tide. See why I don’t make homemade laundry detergent here. TL;DR: it doesn’t work.
- Almond Milk – hubby doesn’t love the flavor, and prefers Aldi’s brand. But I use Costco’s for smoothies and where flavor doesn’t matter so much, as it’s a great price.
- Big Blocks of Cheese – we eat a lot of cheese around here! We shred our own (always a kid available to do this task for me!)
- Butter and KerryGold Butter – I use regular for cooking/baking, and KerryGold to spread on bread when taste matters more.
- Sour Cream – we actually eat that huge tub before it goes bad!
- Rotisserie Chickens – at 4.99 these are bigger than anyone else’s and can almost feed my family. They’re a loss leader for Costco.
- Baby Wipes – I don’t have a baby in diapers, but the other family members find these wonderful for personal hygiene.
- Fish Oil and Magnesium – hubby and I both take these, and Costco beat Amazon’s price
- Frozen Berries – one of the blends beats Aldi’s prices, but not all do.
- Bar soap – my family goes through soup really fast, and it’s nice to buy this in bulk, and thankfully Costco’s price is a bit less than Aldi. At Costco, this is Dove (no fragrance), which is likely the exact same product Aldi sells under their house brand.
- Razors – with 3 adult males and 3 leg-shaving ladies, finding a deal on razors is nice. Aldi razors frankly suck.
- Dishwasher Tabs – when you run the dishwasher 3 times a day, getting these cheap is nice! The best price I had found was Amazon, but Costco has them cheaper. (Note, I realize that liquid or powder is cheaper than tabs, but this is a concession to my teenage dishwasher, and I’m willing to spend a few pennies more to keep her happy!)
- Powdered Parmesan Cheese – someone sprinkles this on their food nearly every night. The huge sprinkler of parmesan was a much better price than Aldi’s.
Costco Organics That are the Same Price as Aldi’s Conventional
- Organic spaghetti sauce
- Organic Chicken Broth – as cheap as conventional at Aldi. (I also always boil up chicken or turkey carcasses for broth, but still run out! We eat lots of soup.)
- Organic Bell Peppers – I buy the big bag, chop/slice them all up and use for snacks and in many recipes
- Organic Chicken Breakfast Sausage – the kids and hubby love these and prefer the flavor of them over Aldi’s.
- Organic Brown Rice – those huge bags are an amazing deal! Thankfully I have the room in my big freezer to give it an overnight freeze treatment to kill any grain moths. (Blech! I’ve had this happen more than once in grains that weren’t eaten up quickly.)
Things that Costco Has That Aldi Doesn’t
- Oikos 000 Yogurt. I often eat one a day. Love these, and Costco’s price is awesome.
- A2 milk. I’ve been wanting to buy this for years and no store I frequented had it.
- Water Kefir – this is an expensive treat for me. After my surgery two months ago, I had to take antibiotics, so I’m drinking these to help my poor little gut.
- Cauliflower Rice – I use this item constantly and it was always a pain to have to to to another store to get it, as Aldi doesn’t have it.
- Peanut Flour – I use peanut flour a lot, and Aldi only had it rarely.
Items We Prefer from Aldi
So far, hubby prefers Aldi’s gluten-free bread over any brand we’ve tried from Costco. Aldi’s GF bread is a HUGE win for our family. It’s priced great, and they just recently made the slices larger, more like ordinary bread.
He also prefers the Aldi almond milk (Costco doesn’t have vanilla unsweetened, which is what he uses in his coffee.)
Lowering our grocery spending is part of my Year of Financial Optimization project, check out more posts in the series.