Which supermarket was cheapest during September?Asda tops our monthly comparison of branded items

06 October 2016

Woman shopping in a supermarket

Asda was cheapest for our basket of branded products in September

Each month, we compare the price of a basket of branded items at the six big supermarkets. This month, and for the sixth in a row, the cheapest store is Asda. 

It's the sixth month in a row that Asda has been the cheapest supermarket in our monthly shop. The 78 popular branded products cost £148.39 at Asda, although one of its rivals was close behind at £151.12.

At the other end of the scale, the same items cost £163.90 in the most expensive supermarket. Which means you'd shell out £15.51 more than at Asda.

To find out who got closest to Asda and who the priciest supermarket was, see our full results at supermarket price comparison.

Supermarkets in the news in September

Sainsbury’s is launching ‘click and collect’ points in a range of its stores, where you can pick up online Argos and eBay orders. Whether this will boost its sales – which (excluding fuel) are down in its latest financial report – remains to be seen.

Discounter Aldi, which is probably responsible for some of Sainsbury’s losses, has seen its profits drop slightly, but its sales rise. Aldi attributes this to cutting prices.

Meanwhile, rival Lidl will stop selling its thin 5p carrier bags from July next year. All supermarkets donate proceeds from these bags to charity, under a government scheme. Lidl will continue to sell its thicker bags - these don’t fall under the scheme. But Lidl told us it will ‘continue to donate to charity through our other activities’.

How we compare supermarket prices

To compare prices, we start with a list of more than 100 popular products each month, which are likely to be sold in all six supermarkets we cover. The products range from Heinz baked beans to Walkers crisps to Gillette razor blades.

Using data from the independent shopping website MySupermarket, we calculate the average price - including discounts, but not multibuys - for each item across a whole month. We add those average prices up to get the cost of the basket.

If a product hasn't been sold in one of the six supermarkets during the month, then it's removed from that month's basket altogether to ensure a fair comparison.

Supermarket price comparison schemes

Many supermarkets have a price matching scheme, where they compare their prices against other supermarkets. They will often give you a voucher for the difference if your shopping would have been cheaper elsewhere. As the schemes vary, we've rounded up the differences below. 

Tesco's price comparison scheme now deducts money at the till or as you pay the bill online, so should charge the same as Asda for our basket. However, you need to buy at least ten items to qualify for the scheme. 

Click the links to find out how each supermarket compared in our customer survey, and to find out which Best Buy products you can buy from each. 

  • Asda checks prices against Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, and Waitrose. Asda will give you a voucher for the difference if it isn't 10% cheaper.
  • Morrisons no longer has a price match scheme.
  • Ocado price matches against Tesco and will give you a voucher for the difference.
  • Sainsbury's no longer has a price match scheme. 
  • Tesco checks prices on branded products against Asda, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s. Tesco will deduct the difference off the price of your shop before you pay.
  • Waitrose price matches Tesco on branded items. There aren't any vouchers - these are the prices it sells the items for.

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