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Which supermarket was cheapest in February 2018?

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

Morrisons continues its run as the cheapest supermarket in our monthly grocery price comparison.

The average price for our basket of 69 branded items at Morrisons was £127.43 in February.

Waitrose was the most expensive place to buy the same grocery basket of branded products, with an average cost of £141.17 – that’s £13.74 more.

Morrisons was cheapest in our monthly grocery basket price comparison seven times in 2017 and again in January 2018. 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 February

Snow caused chaos for shoppers as the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ hit at the end of February. Many shoppers posted pictures of empty supermarket shelves as the icy conditions made it hard for deliveries to get through. Home deliveries were also affected. 

Meanwhile, two supermarkets faced criticism from the Advertising Standards Agency this month. Aldi came under fire for using its mascot, Kevin the Carrot, to advertise alcohol – something the advertising watchdog said was irresponsible as it was likely to appeal to under 18s. And Sainsbury’s was forced to change the way it displays its tea online after a complaint that it misleadingly appeared to be part of the official Fairtrade scheme, rather than a separate fair trade scheme run by Sainsbury’s.

Finally, Sainsbury’s announced plans to boost workers’ pay, from £8 to £9.20 an hour. For those working in central London, it will be £9.80 an hour. It also announced a new contract for all 130,000 store staff. The proposals are due to come into effect from September.

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 69 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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