Aldi vs. Lowes Foods

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by bledsoe on January 25, 2015

I had the opportunity to shop at the new Aldi grocery store that just opened across the street from our neighborhood Lowes Foods last week (at the corner of Timber and Aversboro for you locals), and the prices were so noticeably lower I thought I'd do a direct comparison.

I bought a total of 34 items at Aldi, and found suitable matches for 32 of them at Lowes. Since most of the items I bought were Aldi brands, I decided a suitable match was the same Lowes brand item, or a similar generic if one existed, or the brand I would usually buy if there was no generic. If the Lowes item was on sale, I recorded the sale price. I also had to do a little proportional price recalculation for some items (marked with * below) since, for example, the bag of Aldi tortilla chips I got was 13 oz, while the matching Lowes tortilla chips were 11 oz.

Here's the breakdown:

Aldi vs. Lowes
Item Aldi Price Lowes Price
Chedd/Btry Popcorn* 1.49 3.08
Cuties (Clementines) 3.49 5.99
Plain Bagels 1.69 4.49
Large Eggs 1.59 2.09
Bananas* .95 1.49
Chicken & Dumplings 1.99 N/A
Bread Croutons .89 1.79
Jumbo Cook Shrimp 7.49 N/A
Pepper Assourtment 1.49 2.59
Carrots (2 lbs) 1.19 1.98
New Orleans Rice .99 2.89
New Orleans Rice .99 2.89
White Tortilla Chips* 1.19 2.36
White Tortilla Chips* 1.19 2.36
Fruit/Gel Bowls 1.79 2.00
Fruit/Gel Bowls 1.79 2.00
Fruit/Gel Bowls 1.79 2.00
Applesauce Cups 1.59 2.25
Sharp Cheddar 1.79 2.89
Pringles 1.45 1.50
Pringles 1.45 1.50
Honeycrisp Apples (2 lbs) 3.29 7.38
Swiss Rolls 1.15 1.79
Organic Muesli 2.49 3.79
Goat Cheese Log 1.99 5.99
Kettlecorn* 1.99 8.97
Whole Bean Coffee 3.99 6.99
Whole Bean Coffee 3.99 6.99
Soft Pretzel (box of 6 frozen) 1.99 3.95
Blackeye Peas .65 1.29
Blackeye Peas .65 1.29
Blk Frst Ham/Turk 3.29 3.99
Raspberry Preserve 2.09 2.00
Sunflower Kernels* 1.99 2.59
$5 Promo Coupon -5.00 N/A
SUBTOTAL $58.34 $105.15

 

A few things to note:

  1. Aldi doesn't have as wide a selection as Lowes.
  2. Aldi is a discount supermarket chain while Lowes is a traditional full-service chain. Aldi has a more limited selection of food items, the shelves are more warehouse style, and they don't bag your groceries for you. This no doubt helps keep their prices down but means you do without a few frills.
  3. This shopping trip was taken on the second day the Aldi had been open, so their prices may have been lower than normal for marketing/promotional reasons. Also, I didn't include in the Subtotal the $5.00 Promo Coupon that we got in the mail.
  4. All of the Aldi items I've tasted so far have been comparable to previously-eaten Lowes items in quality and taste, with the exception of the Honeycrisp apples. The Aldi ones were not bad, but every Honeycrisp apple I've ever had from Lowes was amazing, which is maybe why they charge $3.69 a pound for them. (Note that the Aldi Honeycrisps were the small, pre-bagged variety, while the Lowes Honeycrisps are the loose kind that are about as big as a softball.)

That said, here are my initial takeaways:

  1. Only one item (the Raspberry Preserves) cost less at Lowes, and it was only 9 cents less.
  2. The bag of kettlecorn at Aldi was $1.99 for a 9 oz. bag. An equivalent bag at Lowes would have been $8.97, or 4.5 times more expensive. Granted, Lowes only had one brand of kettlecorn (that I could find), but still, that's a pretty big price difference.
  3. A small log of goat cheese at Aldi was $1.99, while the same size at Lowes was $5.99, 3 times more expensive.
  4. $58 vs. $105? Holy cow.

Photo Credit: Tulane Publications via Compfight cc

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