Asda is back on top as the cheapest place to buy a basket of groceries.
The average price for a basket of 68 branded items was £132.85, making Asda the cheapest of all the supermarkets we compared in August.
The same collection of branded products was most expensive at Waitrose, coming in at £144.74. That’s £11.89 more.
While Asda was cheapest for all but one month last year, it has faced increasing competition during 2017. It’s only the fourth time so far this year that it has come out on top, with Morrisons and Tesco both beating it in earlier months.
To see the full price comparison results, including Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose, head to our supermarket prices compared page.
Supermarkets in the news in August
New figures released last month show that more shoppers than ever are flocking to budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl. Notably, Lidl has now overtaken Waitrose to become the UK’s seventh-largest supermarket, according to research by retail experts Kantar Worldpanel. But size isn’t everything. We’ve spoken to thousands of shoppers, digging deep into all aspects of grocery shopping, to reveal the best and worst supermarkets for 2017.
Meanwhile, Morrisons declared that it will no longer sell produce using fake farm brands – those which give a misleading impression that food comes from a British farm, market or rural town that doesn’t really exist. After conducting its own market research, the supermarket chain said it believed that the majority of its shoppers objected to this type of marketing.
Also this month, Waitrose joined Tesco by announcing that it, too, will offset the controversial 5% VAT on women’s sanitary products by reducing the price of tampons and sanitary pads to compensate for the tax.
Plus, from the end of August, Tesco has stopped selling 5p carrier bags, offering 10p ‘bags for life’ instead. The supermarket said that a trial had led to a 25% cut in bag sales.
How we compare supermarket prices
Each month, we start with a list of more than 100 popular branded products that are likely to be sold in the six supermarkets we cover (Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose).
The products range from PG Tips tea to Warburton’s bread and John West sardines.
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 up those average prices to get the cost of the basket. If a product hasn’t been sold in one or more of the six supermarkets during the month, then it’s removed from that month’s basket altogether to ensure a fair comparison. This month, we included 68 items in the basket.
Supermarket price comparison schemes
Many supermarkets have a price-matching scheme, where they compare their prices against other supermarkets and give you a voucher for the difference if your shopping would have been cheaper elsewhere.
We’ve rounded-up the differences between each scheme below.
Click the links to find out how each supermarket compared in our customer satisfaction survey.
- Asda will give you a voucher for the difference if your ‘comparable grocery shopping’ isn’t 10% cheaper than Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose
- 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 from the price of your shop before you pay at the till or online, so should charge the same as Asda for our basket. But you need to buy at least 10 items to qualify for the scheme
- Waitrose price matches Tesco on branded items. There aren’t any vouchers – it claims to sell these items at the same price.