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Which supermarket was cheapest in January 2018?

Our price analysis reveals the cheapest supermarket for a basket of branded groceries last month

Morrisons starts 2018 as the cheapest supermarket in our monthly grocery price comparison.

The average price for our basket of 68 branded items at Morrisons was £126.20 in January.

Ocado was the most expensive place to buy the same grocery basket of branded products, with an average cost of £136.48 – that’s £10.28 more.

Morrisons was cheapest in our monthly grocery basket price comparison seven times in 2017. Asda won the top spot three times in 2017, while Tesco was cheapest twice. To see the full results, including figures for Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, head to our supermarket price comparison page.

Supermarkets in the news in January

Tesco hit the headlines this week over rumoured plans to launch a discount chain to compete with rivals Aldi and Lidl, although it has declined to comment on the reports.

The news came as Aldi finished top of Which?’s annual supermarket survey for the first time in three years, knocking previous winner Waitrose down to fourth place. Our annual supermarket survey asked 6,800 shoppers what they really think of their supermarket. Check out the results and find out which are the best and worst supermarkets.

Meanwhile, Waitrose is to end the ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ part of its MyWaitrose loyalty scheme. It offered loyal shoppers 20% off the cost of 10 of their favourite products. The scheme will close on 28 February 2018, after some shoppers said it was confusing.

And finally, Sainsbury’s has joined a number of other supermarkets banning the sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to under-16s. It follows similar moves by Aldi, Asda and Waitrose.

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 online supermarkets we cover (Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose). The products range from PG Tips tea to Warburtons 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 summarised the differences between the schemes. Click the links below 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 at Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
  • Morrisons doesn’t have a price-match scheme.
  • Ocado price matches against Tesco and will give you a voucher for the difference.
  • Sainsbury’s doesn’t have 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 Morrisons 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.
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