By now, you've probably come across one or more of our many heartfelt odes to Trader Joe's. The nationwide grocery chain is a bargain shopper's dream — a dream that has been damn tough to displace by any of its competitors (do they really have any?) It's safe to say that for us, TJ's has been a long time OG savage in the food savings game; a king among pawns.
That is, until we discovered Aldi — an equally cutthroat seller of steals in edible goods. And contrary to what many people believe, these two stores are NOT owned by the same parent company. According to Slate, what began as a unified grocery chain was later split into the two separate companies by former business partners and brothers, Karl and Theo Albrecht. Thus Aldi and TJ's — true cheap eats champions and competitors — were born.
The major differences between the two stores? Well, Aldi encourages customers to bring their own bags (and will charge a fee for those who don't). Aldi also charges a refunded quarter for shopping cart use (full list of details here on why). And unlike TJ's, who carries a solid mix of exclusive as well as discounted name-brand products, Aldi mainly carries brand exclusive items. And now to the most important question at hand: how do the prices compare?
To answer this, we've rounded up 23 swappable products, ranging from prepackaged snacks to produce, that can be found on the shelves at both grocery chains. Click on to see how the products stack up, and which of the chains ends up with a cheaper overall grocery list. (*Note: Prices were calculated from what is posted online on the store's sites, so they may vary from region to region.)