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Which supermarket was cheapest in March 2017?

Asda finishes ahead of rivals in our monthly supermarket price comparison

Man shopping in a supermarket with a trolley and receipt

Asda was comfortably the cheapest supermarket in our March supermarket price comparison, regaining the top spot from Morrisons.

Our basket of 75 popular branded items cost £139.43 in Asda, while in Morrisons – the second-cheapest supermarket – it was £145.58.

Asda also came out on top in 11 out of 12 months during 2016, but Morrisons was cheapest during January and February 2017.

Take a look at our supermarket prices compared page to find out how Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose compare with Asda and Morrisons.

Supermarkets in the news in March

Asda and Tesco were both hit with fines in March. Tesco agreed to pay a £129m fine after coming to a settlement with the Serious Fraud Office over its 2014 accounting scandal. Asda was fined £300,000 after inspectors found dead mice and flies in the aisles of its distribution centre in Enfield, north London.

Waitrose changed its popular free coffee offer for My Waitrose loyalty card holders. Shoppers now have to buy their shopping at a Waitrose store before they can claim their complimentary hot drink.

How we compare supermarket prices

Each month, we start with a list of more than 100 popular products that are likely to be sold in all six supermarkets we cover (Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose). The products range from Diet Coke to Nestle Shreddies 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.

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 10 items to qualify for the scheme.

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

  • 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.
  • Waitrose price matches Tesco on branded items. There aren’t any vouchers – these are the prices it claims to sell the items for.
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