Asda has reclaimed its place as the cheapest supermarket to buy your groceries – it charged the least for our basket of branded goods for the second month in a row.
Our basket of 74 popular everyday items – from PG Tips to toilet tissue – was £143.81 at Asda during April. The second cheapest was Tesco, which charged £149.43. Across all six supermarkets in our comparison there was £10 between the cheapest and most expensive places to shop.
Asda was also the cheapest supermarket for all but one month last year, though Morrisons was the cheapest over the festive period throughout December and January.
Prices rose across the board this month, with each supermarket’s April basket more expensive than the month before.
To see the full price comparison results, including Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Ocado and Waitrose, head to our supermarket prices compared page.
Supermarkets in the news in April
Rising grocery prices hit the headlines in April, as the Office for National Statistics revealed that the price of a basket of common goods was up by 1.2% as compared with the previous year. This was the biggest annual increase in three years.
It was also revealed that stores were sneaking in price rises on products that were less likely to be detected by shoppers at a glance – for example, hiking up the price of dental floss but freezing the price on a carton of milk.
The big four supermarket struggled to grow sales, impacted by the late fall of Easter. But Aldi and Lidl continued to make strides, reaching new record high market shares, according to data from research company Kantar. To find out what shoppers think of the discount supermarkets vs the big four and others, see our rankings of the best and worst supermarkets.
There was renewed pressure on supermarkets and retailers to help reduce household food waste. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee recommended that shops relax their standards that prevent the sales of ‘wonky vegetables,’ which sees a lot of perfectly edible (if less aesthetically pleasing) produce go to waste. The Committee also said that supermarkets should be required to publish information on how much food they throw out – which Tesco does already – and increase cooperation with charities for distributing surplus goods.
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 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.