Which supermarket is cheapest for our Christmas basket?We look at the cost of festive supermarket fare

18 December 2015

Christmas supermarket

There are savings to be made if you shop around at Christmas

Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry - but all that supermarket shopping can get pricey, so we've looked at the cost of Christmas groceries across the supermarkets.

We've rounded up a basket of festive fare, including everything from cranberry sauce to After Eight mints, to see which supermarket was cheapest for the past month.

And the answer is Asda, which charged an average £142.15 for our comparison basket - a whopping £18.96 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket. 

But if you actually bought our festive basket at Tesco, it should charge you the same as Asda - which would mean it would come joint top. This is because Tesco now price matches branded products at the till or as you pay the bill online (as opposed to giving you a voucher for the difference). 

Other supermarkets, including Asda, do also price match but in Asda and Sainsbury's case, give you a voucher for the difference. So although you save on your shop, you're not getting money in your pocket and have to spend any money you save with them.

To discover how the other supermarkets stack up and who's usually cheapest for our comparison baskets, check out our supermarket prices compared page.  

Festive supermarket prices

In everyday life, visiting more than one supermarket just to save money isn't appealing. However, if you're planning on pushing the boat out there are savings to be made at Christmas. And you can always order the bulky goods online from one supermarket and visit another for your fresh items.

For instance, for our basket, the average price of a bottle of Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial Non Vintage Champagne was £32.63 at Waitrose and on offer at an average £23.67 at Tesco. A 300g box of Nestle After Eight Chocolate Mints was on average £1.83 at Tesco and £3.50 at Waitrose. 

However, it's not always the same supermarkets that are cheapest for each, so it's worth checking across supermarkets or using a price comparison website such as mysupermarket.co.uk. Remember that some things aren't comparable, as supermarkets frequently sell different sizes of the same products, even when they're branded. 

To discover which Champagne and mince pies we've rated as Best Buys this year, check out our Best Buy mince pies and Champagne.

35 products in our Christmas basket

As we've looked at big brands our basket isn't a complete Christmas dinner, but instead we looked at supermarket goods that people often buy at Christmas - such as batteries for toys and a bottle of sherry for Santa.

Here's a list of the products we've included in our comparison basket:

  • Ambrosia Devon Custard (400g)
  • Aunt Bessie's Crispy Homestyle Roast Potatoes (907g)
  • Aunt Bessie's Golden Yorkshires (12 per pack - 220g)
  • Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur (1L)
  • Birds Eye Field Fresh Garden Peas (800g)
  • Bisto Favourite Gravy Granules (170g)
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons Tube (72g)
  • Carte D'Or Vanilla Ice Cream (900ml)
  • Coca Cola (1.25L)
  • Colman's Bread Sauce Mix (40g)
  • Colman's Original English Mustard (100g)
  • Doritos - Cool Original (200g)
  • Doritos Cool Sour Cream & Chives Dip (300g)
  • Duracell Ultra Power AA Batteries (8)
  • Elizabeth Shaw Famous Names The Signature Collection Liqueur Chocolates (165g)
  • Elmlea Double Cream Substitute (284ml)
  • Ferrero Rocher (16 per pack - 200g)
  • Garner's Original Pickled Onions (454g)
  • Glenfiddich Single Malt Whisky 12 Years Old (700ml)
  • Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry (750ml)
  • Knorr Stock Pot Chicken (4x28g)
  • KP Original Salted Peanuts (300g)
  • We found Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial Non Vintage Champagne was an average £32.63 at Waitrose and on offer at an average £23.67 at Tesco

    Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial Non Vintage Champagne (750ml)
  • Nestle After Eight Chocolate Mints (300g)
  • Nestle Quality Street Matchmakers - Cool Mint (130g)
  • Ocean Spray Cranberry Wholeberry Sauce (250g)
  • OXO Stock Cubes Vegetable (12 per pack - 71g)
  • Paxo Sage & Onion Stuffing (190g)
  • Philadelphia Soft Cheese - Original (180g)
  • Pringles - Original (190g)
  • Ritz the Original Snack Cracker (200g)
  • Rodda's Cornish Clotted Cream (227g)
  • Stella Artois (4x440ml)
  • The Black Farmer Premium Pork Sausages (6 per pack - 400g)
  • The Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky (700ml)

Supermarket price comparison schemes

It's not just as simple as who's cheapest when you buy. Most supermarkets have price comparison schemes, which means that if some or all of your shopping would have been cheaper elsewhere you may be offered a voucher for the difference or in Tesco's case it's deducted at the time. 

This is how the different schemes stack up:

  • Asda checks against Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose or Morrisons. It will give you a voucher for the difference if it isn't 10% cheaper
  • Ocado price matches against Tesco (excluding offers) and these are the prices it sells for
  • Sainsbury's has a price match for branded items only and compares against Asda
  • Tesco checks branded prices only against Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. It deducts any discount automatically at the till
  • Waitrose price matches Tesco on certain branded items (excluding offers) and these are the prices it sells for.

To calculate the average price of our basket, we used data from the independent shopping website Mysupermarket. We averaged the price of these products between the 15th November and the 14th December at the online supermarkets Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose. 

We include discounts but not multibuys. This is because discounts apply automatically, whereas you have a choice whether you buy more than one product as part of a multibuy.

More on this...