Friday, February 5, 2021

Grocery Shopping: Trader Joe's vs. Aldi vs. Harris Teeter

 Hi there! Several years ago an Aldi grocery store popped up near my parents house. My mom LOVED it, but I just couldn't get into it. It felt so different from my regular store and apparently when I grocery shop I like things that feel familiar. Well fast forward awhile and several of my girlfriends were talking about how much they loved Aldi. I decided to give it another shot and go in with a more open mind... I was pleasantly surprised! The prices are incredibly low, the store is run very efficiently, and they had some really unique/delicious foods available. I kept going back and the more I go, the more I love it. 

That being said, Aldi doesn't have everything I need so I usually end up making two store trips in order to get the remainder of my list. All of a sudden a blog post idea was born: what if I made my list, bought what I could at Aldi, and then compared the prices of the food at Aldi to my regular store, Trader Joe's? What if I compared those prices to our other local store, Harris Teeter? I have seen a few other bloggers compare shopping lists and am always intrigued, so why not give it a go myself? 

Before I left to go shopping, I called my mom to tell her about the Aldi vs. Trader Joe's vs. Harris Teeter experiment I was about to conduct. Her reaction? "You know Aldi and Trader Joe's are owned by the same company right? Something German. I'll be curious to see how they compare". Now I was even more intrigued! So I made my list for the week, and headed to Aldi. I kept the receipt and took it with me to Trader Joe's to buy the rest of my items and compare the prices between the two stores. Later in the week I needed more eggs so I just ran over to Harris Teeter real quick to grab some. I tried to compare the prices at Harris Teeter too, but to be honest the items they had weren't really comparable so I struggled to compare prices sometimes. Let's have a look. Here is my Aldi receipt:


I kept it in my pocket as I went through Trader Joe's picking up the rest of my items. Whenever I saw something I grabbed earlier at Aldi, I found the comparable item and snapped a picture of the price. Later in the week, when I stopped by Harris Teeter, I tried to compare the items as well. 

Milk: I usually buy the organic grass fed whenever possible. Our Aldi doesn't have grass fed, but they do have organic so I grabbed a picture of the TJ's comparable one too.


Price at Aldi: $2.89/half gallon

Price at TJ's: $3.49/half gallon

Price at Harris Teeter: $5.99/half gallon

Winner: Aldi


Ground Flax Seed: We love to put this in our smoothies to add a little extra fiber.

Aldi: $1.89/16 oz bag

TJ's: $2.99/16 oz bag

Harris Teeter: $4.99/10 oz bag

Winner: Aldi

Organic Baby Spinach:

Aldi: $1.89/5 oz container (0.378 per ounce)

TJ's: $2.29/6 oz bag (0.381 per ounce)

Harris Teeter: $4.99/11 oz (0.45 per ounce)

Winner: A close one, but Aldi

Coconut Water:

Aldi: $3.29/33.8 oz container

TJ's: $2.99/33.8 oz container 

Harris Teeter: $5.69/33.8 oz container

Winner: Trader Joe's

Organic Avocados:

Aldi: $3.19/4 count

Trader Joe's: $4.49/ 4 count

** I didn't see a bag of organic avocados at our Harris Teeter, only individuals so I didn't compare **

Winner: Aldi

Organic Pears: 

Aldi: $3.79/2 lb bag

Trader Joe's $3.49/2 lb bag

** Our Harris Teeter only had individual pears, not a bag so I didn't compare **

Winner: Trader Joe's


Organic Pink Lady Apples:

Aldi: $4.39/2 lb bag

Trader Joe's: $2.99/2 lb bag 

Harris Teeter: $3.99/2 lb bag

Winner: Trader Joe's

So basically what I learned from this experiment is that Aldi and Trader Joe's are really similar, if you are buying organic produce. If you're buying regular produce, Aldi is significantly cheaper than both other stores. For example, one individual avocado was on sale for $0.39 at our Aldi... $0.39!! They were also on sale at Harris Teeter... for $2.50 each... on sale! Trader Joe's avocados were in between at $0.99. Those prices can really add up if every item you buy is $1-$2 more. I bought 17 items that morning at Aldi.. that could've been roughly $20 more at Harris Teeter! I like to look at it like "that could've been a new pair of earrings" rather than paying a higher amount for the same thing. 😉

All this being said.. I love Harris Teeter and there are some thing there that are definitely worth the extra $$$. For example, the cookies from their bakery are incredible. Also, some specific brands just aren't sold at Trader Joe's or Aldi so if I really want a particular item.. Harris Teeter it is. Now that I have seen the difference in prices though, I will definitely make more of an effort to shop at the cheaper two stores. 

Thanks for reading along with my experiment today! 

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!


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