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July 2016’s cheapest supermarket revealed

Asda tops our price comparison for fourth month in a row

Supermarket shopping

Asda was the cheapest supermarket for our basket in July

Every month we compare the price of a basket of branded groceries across each of the major supermarkets – and in July 2016 Asda was cheapest.  

It marks the fourth month in a row that the Walmart-owned supermarket has come out on top. The 77 popular branded grocery items that we compared cost £152.41 in Asda, compared to £169.84 at Ocado, which was the most expensive of the six supermarkets.

To find out how the other supermarkets rank, including Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, check out our full supermarket price comparison.

Supermarkets in the news in July

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has made a formal complaint to Trading Standards about Tesco’s ‘fake farm’ brands. Tesco has rebranded some of its own-label products with names such as “Rosedene Farms” and “Willow Farms” earlier this year. The NFU has said that this could be misleading as the farms are fictional.

Meanwhile Sainsbury’s is to trial same-day delivery in three stores in Surrey and south-east London. Shoppers will be able to receive their shopping in four to six hours when they order by midday.

Asda’s sales dropped by 5.6% in the three months to 17 July, according to figures from market research company Kantar Worldpanel. Lidl and Aldi saw the biggest sales rises, with jumps of 12.5% and 11% respectively.

How we compare supermarket prices

To compare prices, we start each month with a list of over 100 popular products each month, from brands such as Coca-Cola, Heinz and Kellogg’s, which are likely to be sold in all six supermarkets we cover.

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 added 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.

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 has changed its price comparison scheme and 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 10 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 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 your prices 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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