We've been going to Trader Joe's for years whenever we want to get a fanciful bagged lettuce or inexpensive yet gourmet-tasting snack. But there's a new discount store in town, one that promises many of the same perks as Trader Joe's, minus some of the frills.
Aldi is a European grocery store, but it's been rapidly expanding throughout the US. It's pretty bare-bones — Aldi tends to have fewer employees in the store and shorter hours of operation and has a few other quirks. For example, you have to "rent" your shopping cart for 25 cents and you have to bring your own bags and bag your purchases yourself.
Similar to Trader Joe's, Aldi sells a lot of in-house brands that are super-cheap compared to what you might see at a regular grocery store. There's a large selection of affordable wine too.
But I started wondering — if I only have time to go to Aldi or Trader Joe's, which should it be? I went to each store (both located in Santa Clarita, California) to see how exactly the prices of some of my most commonly purchased ingredients matched up.
While each store has its strengths — Aldi is better for bulk buying; Trader Joe's is better for buying specialty items — the prices in the following slides tell their own story.