ShopRite vs. Aldi: Which Is Better?


Aldi can be found on every list of America’s cheapest grocery stores and focus on providing super low prices on their own brand of groceries as opposed to national brands. ShopRite also has low prices and offers a lot of coupons too. But let’s compare ShopRite vs. Aldi.

Here’s what I know from doing a detailed comparison:

ShopRite vs. Aldi – Aldi is as much as 50% cheaper than ShopRite. However, ShopRite has much better meat and produce departments with a fresher and wider selection and meat departments with in-house butchers.

Aldi has almost 1,800 stores in 35 states in the US.

ShopRite is a well-known supermarket chain and a subsidiary of Wakefern Corporation, one of the largest retail cooperatives in the US. They are well known for their organic selection and reasonable pricing for the quality they provide.

In this article, we’re doing a deep dive comparing ShopRite and Aldi.

ShopRite is reasonable but Aldi is much cheaper and widespread. The most common questions are which is cheaper and who has the best meat.

But, I’ll also cover who has the best produce, what do you should not buy at Aldi, and exactly why Aldi is so cheap. Keep reading to find out the details!

Is Aldi cheaper than ShopRite?

Yes, Aldi is cheaper than ShopRite. The primary reason is that Aldi does not focus on selling a lot of national brands. They are able to keep prices low because they mostly sell their own house brands of most types of products.

Aldi does not accept coupons yet they still have lower prices than ShopRite.

However, we already know this is because they do not sell many national brands. On the other hand, if you’re all for national brands then you can stack your coupons at ShopRite to get the best deals.

In a recent comparison of Sausage Pasta ingredients by Spoon University, Aldi’s prices were 50% less than ShopRite’s on some items. Some of the items were grape tomatoes, garlic, onion, and spinach.

Here’s how that price comparison stacked up:

Aldi

  • Grape tomatoes $2.99
  • Garlic $1.45
  • Basil $2.79
  • Spinach $2.41

ShopRite

  • Grape tomatoes $2.99
  • Garlic $1.17
  • Basil $3.49
  • Spinach $2.99

Does ShopRite have better meat than Aldi?

Yes, ShopRite does have better beef than Aldi. That’s because Aldi’s number 1 focus is low price whereas ShopRite focuses on both price and quality. ShopRite also has a much larger selection of meat and has in-house butchers.

Aldi’s low meat prices might leave you skeptical about their quality but they actually have some good meat.

They have no in-house butcher and they do not sell USDA Certified Prime Steak. However, Aldi does sell both USDA certified beef, organic, and grass-fed. I should mention that you will mostly find middle-grade or USDA Select which is good quality.

I also have to commend Aldi on having a clear Animal Welfare Policy.

Aldi has a decent selection of all types of meat but if you’re searching for custom cut beef or prime steak, you will have to look to ShopRite. ShopRite has been awarded for Excellence in Beef for its USDA Certified Angus Beef Prime.

ShopRite has a much larger selection of meat.

They also have in house butchers who assist with customizing your meat cuts and answering any questions you have. However, the lack of transparency on animal welfare is a bit concerning.

There is a lot more to look at when it comes to Aldi’s meat. Here’s my recent article on where Aldi’s meat comes from. No, it’s not China. I’ll cover all you need to know about the kinds of meat sold at Aldi and why they can sell meat cheaper than other grocers.

Click that link to find out the details!

What should I not buy at Aldi?

Avoid buying fresh items at Aldi such as produce, meat, and cheese. Also, skip health and beauty items too. Aldi provides an incredible bargain on most types of groceries, but staple canned, jarred, bagged, and bottled items are the best things to buy.

Here’s a more detailed list of what to avoid at Aldi:

Produce

While Aldi’s generic layout boasts organized cardboard boxes of produce that are seemingly fresh at first glance, this is not always true.

Aldi’s produce is definitely cheaper than most grocery stores but the quality is not all that great or consistent. One shopper stated that each time she bought potatoes they would spoil within a week or just a few days. (source).

Depending on the time you shop and how long the produce has been out, you’ll have to keep an eye out for signs of spoilage.

If you’re looking for top-notch produce, here’s my recent article on Whole Foods versus ShopRite. Click that link to find out who has the best produce, who has the best prices, and much more! This is a must-read!

Just click the link to see it on my site.

Paper Products

Avoid the toilet paper and paper towels from Aldi’s private brands. They are cheap but scratchy and thin. You’ll get a better deal buying TP at ShopRite, especially with a coupon.

Shredded Cheese

Now, this is something I’ve seen on every site while doing my research.

Aldi’s shredded cheese contains loads of corn starch to prevent the strands from sticking together. The shredded cheese has an off taste and burns really quickly, leaving a lot of grease behind. Solution?

Buy Aldi’s delicious block cheese and grate it yourself.

Ground Meat

It isn’t terrible but you’re better off using Aldi’s ground meat for a meatloaf and not burgers.

The meat is mealy because it’s been ground for too long. According to the r/aldi Reddit thread, you shouldn’t be surprised if you find pieces of bone in your ground turkey meat.

Deodorant and Shampoo

Aldi has a very small selection of both deodorant and shampoo. You’ll also only find them under national brand names. You can get a better bargain buying them at a drug store with a sale or coupon.

Why is Aldi food so cheap?

Minimal staffing, less desirable locations where the rent is cheaper, charging customers for things like shopping bags and carts, and a focus on house brands are the primary reasons Aldi is so cheap.

Aldi schedules only a few workers at a time.

The generic layout of the stores is meant to be efficient for both shoppers and employees so there is not much need for a lot of workers. Aldi also operates for about 11 hours of daily service, less than other large grocers and this lowers both operational costs and wages that they have to pay.

Aldi also requires you to pay a quarter to get a shopping cart and you’ll get it back once you return the cart. Therefore, they don’t need extra staff to patrol the parking lots.

Aldi pays low rent for their warehouses because they have low inventory. They focus on purchasing inventory that they can sell without causing a lot to waste. Aldi also sources meat and produce locally so they can save cost on transportation.

Additionally, Aldi has started to install LED lighting in stores and warehouses. They are also looking at making all their packaging recyclable and reusable. This will reduce supply chain costs. (source)

Walmart is another of America’s cheapest grocery stores.

Check out this recent article on ShopRite versus Walmart to get the scoop on how they differ. I’ll cover pricing, quality, and much more!

Click the link to read it on my site.

Does ShopRite have better produce than Aldi?

Yes, ShopRite does have better produce than Aldi. Aldi focuses on low price and quality and selection are secondary to that. ShopRite also features more organically grown produce.

We have already established that Aldi does not have the best produce quality.

ShopRite is a good source of both organic and inorganic produce at a reasonable cost. Their selection is much wider than Aldi’s. As with any grocery store, produce is freshest on the day it is restocked so be sure to check for bruises and spoilage.

With its deep roots in New Jersey, the “Garden State” and long-standing relationship with local farmers, you can count on fresh produce.

 Did I cover all you wanted to know about ShopRite vs. Aldi?

ShopRite and Aldi both have their own loyal customers for different reasons but we looked at them from an unbiased perspective.

In this article, we compared prices at ShopRite and Aldi to determine the cheaper of the two. You learned that even though Aldi has a transparent Animal Welfare Policy, their meat quality leaves a lot to be desired. ShopRite has a reputation for quality meat and even has Prime offerings.

You won’t find that in your local grocery store.

We also covered why Aldi is so cheap and the grocery items you are better off sourcing elsewhere. You learned that Aldi’s super cheap produce prices might mean you won’t get a satisfactory quality.

I hope this article has helped you to determine which of the grocers is best for you.


Photos which require attribution:

Aldi by Mike Mozart and Shop Rite Wallingford, CT USA by Marcus Balcher are licensed under CC2.0

Jeff Campbell

Hi! I'm Jeff Campbell. I was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades. I worked in 9 stores in 4 states, not counting the hundred-plus stores I've assisted in other ways. I was a Global All-Star, a Gold Pen Winner, and won Top-10 Store (company-wide) 3 times in addition to Best New Store (company-wide).

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