Here at The Penny Hoarder, we try to buy the cheapest option. Always.
But baby products? It’s not always so easy.
Quality is definitely a factor when raising little ones, and once you find a product your baby doesn’t fuss over, why would you take any chances?
I think every parent in our office would agree they’d happily pay more for a leak-proof diaper or a baby food variety their kid will love every single time.
When Aldi announced last summer it would launch its Little Journey line of baby products with close to 50 product offerings for infants through preschoolers, we couldn’t help but wonder: Can this stuff compete?
The discount grocery chain promised “high-quality baby feeding and changing essentials at prices that will save parents up to 50 percent on their monthly grocery bills,” based on prices for comparable products sold at top national retail grocery stores.
TPH Editor Justin Cupler volunteered his sons, 18-month-old Kayana and 5-year-old Jakoby, as testers. He chose six of Aldi’s new baby products to try based on items his family already purchases regularly.
How does Little Journey stack up? Read on…
A Note on Our Methods
If you know one thing about Cupler, let it be this: He has zero brand loyalty. Brand-name, generic, double-coupon — whatever’s the cheapest, he’ll buy it.
He made one exception: He compared Aldi’s price against Huggies diapers and wipes at Target and Walmart, since Aldi compares its diapering products to Huggies.
Six Aldi Baby Products, Tested by an Expert (AKA a Dad)
Here are the results of Cupler’s experiment — and his grade for each Aldi product.
Aldi: $12.49 for 82 diapers — 15 cents per diaper
Target: $54.49 for 164 diapers — 33 cents per diaper
Walmart: $58.55 for 164 diapers — 36 cents per diaper
Aldi diapers come in a smaller package than Huggies — he paid $12.49 for 82 diapers, compared to packs of 164 diapers for about $56.
But while the 15-cents-per-diaper price at Aldi is a major draw, Cupler’s 18-month old developed a rash. “They seemed absorbent enough, but he got a rash on his lower back where the diaper didn’t seem to absorb sweat,” Cupler said.
Cupler took the open box back to Aldi, where customer service processed a full refund and didn’t inquire as to why he was dissatisfied.
Cupler’s grade: C. “Inconclusive,” he said. “They worked fine, but my son has sensitive skin. Can’t fault [Aldi] for that.”
Aldi: $3.49 for 216 wipes — 1.6 cents per wipe
Target: $26.99 for 1,152 wipes — 2.3 cents per wipe
Walmart: $14.82 for 648 wipes — 2.3 cents per wipe
So granular, those decimal points.
You can never have too many baby wipes, but the cheaper the better, right? Cupler picked up Aldi’s Little Journey wipes, which again come in a much smaller pack than Huggies Naturals wipes, but also cost 30% less per piece.
Cupler’s grade: A. “We loved the wipes,” Cupler said. “They were absorbent, soft and had no fragrances added. They sealed really well, so they didn’t dry out.”
Aldi: $2.49 for 28 ounces — 9 cents per ounce
Target: $5.99 for 28 ounces — 21 cents per ounce
Walmart: $9.94 for 56 ounces — 18 cents per ounce
Tear-free is the way to be at bath time. Cupler’s family typically buys Johnson & Johnson or CeraVe baby wash but was pleased with Aldi’s baby wash performance. Cupler said other all-over baby washes have left his kids’ scalps flaky and dry, but Aldi’s had no adverse effects. “It goes a long way because it’s so thick,” he said.
And it’s almost half the Walmart or Target price per unit.
Cupler’s grade: A
Aldi: $1.79 per 1-ounce bag
Target: $2.69 per 1-ounce bag
Walmart: $2.68 per 1-ounce bag
Aldi’s Little Journey yogurt bites are almost a whole dollar cheaper than those at the big-box stores. But how do you know if a toddler will really like them?
You try them yourself!
“The fruit flavor was really good — it melts in your mouth nicely,” Cupler said. “I ate some of them to try and some just because I liked them.”
Meanwhile, his son wouldn’t go near the banana-flavored yogurt bites. Cupler isn’t sure why his son didn’t care for them, but it may have been the strange aftertaste they left when he tasted them. He said the other varieties were tasty, and his toddler agreed.
Cupler’s grade: B-minus. The banana-flavored ones pulled the grade down a bit, but the other flavors kept them above average.
Aldi: $1.39 for 1.48 ounces — 94 cents per ounce
Target: $1.87 for 1.48 ounces — $1.26 per ounce
Walmart: $1.86 for 1.48 ounces — $1.26 per ounce
Puffs are the trendiest baby cereal snack of the modern age. Luckily, it doesn’t cost too much to keep your kid’s cravings in line.
Cupler reported his wife liked the taste of the Little Journey puffs, but his son shied away from them.
Cupler’s grade: A
Aldi: 79 cents for 4 ounces — 20 cents per ounce
Target: $5.29 for 16 ounces — 33 cents per ounce
Walmart: $7.50 for 25.2 ounces — 30 cents per ounce
“He didn’t make any funny faces,” Cupler said of his toddler’s reaction to Aldi’s baby puree pouches, which is probably as close to a rave review as a baby can give. Cupler’s 5-year-old also liked the fruity varieties.
Cupler’s grade: A
Will His Family Become Loyal to Aldi Baby Products?
Cupler’s family already shops at Aldi regularly — it’s their go-to stop for produce and eggs. But Aldi doesn’t offer coupons, and Cupler’s family’s couponing habits often result in cheaper brand-name baby products from other stores.
“But if we don’t have coupons and we need it, we’d definitely stop at Aldi for the wipes and soap,” Cupler said.
His brand loyalty may be long gone, but at least he has another option.
Your Turn: Have you tried Aldi Little Journey baby products?
Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.