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Is it cheaper to make trail mix or to buy it?

Is it cheaper to make your own trail mix?

For years, I have wondered if it’s cheaper to:

a) make my own trail mix with Aldi ingredients

or

b) buy the pre-mixed Aldi trail mix

A bag of Aldi trail mix.

If I didn’t have a blog, I’d probably just spend the rest of my life wondering.

But since I do have a blog, I have a reason to figure out detailed stuff like this.

Aldi trail mix, spread out in a pan.

I bought a bag of Aldi trail mix, dumped it out onto a sheet pan, separated out each component, and weighed it.

Nuts in a kitchen scale.

This was a boring job, which is why I put some earbuds in.
Kristen wearing earbuds.

Pre-made Trail Mix Weights

Here are the weights of the items in the trail mix.

  • Raisins: 10 ounces
  • Peanuts: 7 ounces
  • M&Ms: 6 ounces
  • Almonds: 3.5 ounces
  • Cashews: 1 ounce (this is not a very cashew-heavy mix!)

Trail Mix Ingredients (Aldi prices)

I bought all the trail mix ingredients at Aldi, and here’s how those prices break down.

Trail mix ingredients on a countertop.

Raisins: $0.14/oz

Peanuts: $0.12/oz

M&Ms: $0.27/oz

Almonds: $0.35/oz

Cashews: $0.43/oz (This explains why there are so few cashews in the mix!)

Pre-made Trail Mix Prices per ounce

M&Ms in a kitchen scale.

The price of the pre-packaged trail mix goes like this:

10 ounces raisins: $1.40

7 ounces peanuts: $0.84

6 ounces M&Ms: $1.62 (the priciest ingredient)

3.5 ounces almonds: $1.22

1 ounce cashews: $0.43

Cost Results

The DIY version adds up to $5.51.

And a bag of the pre-mixed trail mix costs $4.89!

So, the pre-made trail mix is actually cheaper than making your own.

Who knew??

Of course, there are ways that you could make this mix more cheaply. 

  • M&Ms are not a great price at Aldi (this is true of most brand name products at Aldi); by buying seasonal ones after a holiday, you could easily cut the price of the M&Ms by more than half. 
  • You could use chocolate chips instead of M&Ms, since they’re far cheaper per ounce.
  • You could opt to make your mix without cashews, since they’re the most expensive per ounce.
  • You could buy nuts from Costco and probably get a lower price on something like bulk almonds.

But the point of this post is: if you are buying all the ingredients at Aldi, it’s actually cheaper to buy this particular mix ready-made.

If you’d like to try making your own, though, here are the cup measurements of what was in the Aldi bag.

Aldi Trail Mix

Aldi Trail Mix

Yield: 5 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups peanuts
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup cashews

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

This makes an exact replica of Aldi's Mountain trail mix. If you can get M&Ms cheaply, or if you use chocolate chips, this is cheaper to DIY. But if you buy all the ingredients at Aldi, it's cheaper to buy the premade mix!

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also enjoy reading two of my other posts:

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jeff

Wednesday 21st of July 2021

Bj's bulk prices July 2021

Bjs Pre-made bag - $9.99 Bjs bulk buy diy bag - $7.35

7% Cashews - $0.38/oz 35% peanuts - $0.14/oz 9% almonds - $0.25/oz 19% M&Ms - 0.21/oz 30% Raisins - 0.16/oz

Jane

Thursday 1st of April 2021

You are hilarious. Thank you for your time.

Daphne

Saturday 10th of October 2020

I found a delicious trail mix somewhere that contained peanuts, pepitas, raisins, dried crans, and chocolate chips. I was able to buy some decent-size packs/containers at Aldi and make a large container-full of it for fairly cheap - probably way less than individual packs. If I really wanted to, I could by things at our farmer's market for even less. Looking at yours, I can see why that one would come out more expensive - especially with those cashews!

My problem is that I LOVE trail mix. One measly pack is never enough for me, and I want to have a lot on hand to eat or take along for lunches. So even if it's slightly more by doing it myself, I have a lot "loose" to use, instead of messing with special packs.

Clare Mansell

Tuesday 19th of March 2019

This is one of the best blog posts I've read for a long time.. I just love that you followed your curiosity and put in so much effort to diligently find the answer... the even funnier thing is, I live in the UK and I've never seen nor eaten trail mix, so I have no idea why I clicked on this!

Kristen

Tuesday 19th of March 2019

Haha, well, at least it was entertaining to you! Trail mix is really delicious...you should give it a try. ;)

Anne

Sunday 17th of March 2019

I have to laugh at this post, because if I have trail mix I always end up separating it as I eat it :)

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