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Which supermarket was cheapest in February 2019?

Sainsbury's beat its closest rival by nearly £9 to become the cheapest supermarket this month. But which was the most expensive?

At nearly £9 cheaper than its next cheapest rival for a basket of branded groceries, our pricing comparison shows that Sainsbury’s was the best supermarket for value in February 2019. A basket of 69 popular items cost an average of £131.73.

Morrisons and Asda took second and third place, with a basket of the same branded groceries at each costing £140.51 and £143.50 respectively.

Buying the basket of identical items at online-only Ocado cost a whopping £24.07 more than Sainsbury’s in February, running up a bill of £155.80. Waitrose was the second-most expensive for our selection of groceries, which would have cost £154.36.

We asked Which? members to rate all the UK’s supermarkets on a range of measures. See our guide to the best and worst supermarkets to find out which one comes out on top.

How we compare supermarket prices

Each month, we track the prices of 69 popular branded products, including Alpen muesli, Andrex toilet roll, Cathedral City cheddar cheese and PG Tips tea bags, sold in the six online supermarkets included in the comparison. These are:

Using data from the independent shopping website MySupermarket, we calculated the average price (including discounts, but not multibuys) for each item throughout the month. We added those individual averages up to get the cost of the basket at each shop for the month.

How cheap is Tesco?

Tesco is the UK’s largest retailer, and always used to be considered good value against its rivals. In our latest supermarket survey though, it was awarded just two stars for value for money by Which? members.

In our annual price analysis to find out which supermarket was the cheapest in 2018, Tesco came in fourth behind Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s. It continued to be in fourth place in terms of cost in January, and is fourth again in February with a basket cost of £149.73.

Towards the end of 2018, Tesco renewed its focus on value for money. It started to promote the ‘Exclusively at Tesco’ range with an emphasis on a low price basket of shopping, designed to compete with Aldi and Lidl. In another move to compete with the German discounters, it launched its own discount store, Jacks. Keep up with our monthly basket analysis to see if these moves start to pay off.

Aldi and Lidl – how cheap are the discounters?

As our analysis uses online shopping data for branded items, Aldi and Lidl can’t be included in our price comparison. While Aldi has a selection of its products available online, it stocks a very limited selection of the brands seen at other stores. Lidl doesn’t have an online supermarket.

You can see how we rate the electrical products from the middle aisles at both stores on our Aldi and Lidl offers page. Or, see how they performed in our taste tests in our guide to Best Buy food and drink.

Ocado and M&S partnership confirmed for 2020

Ocado and M&S announced a new joint venture in February. The partnership, which had been rumoured for some time, will begin trading in September 2020 when Ocado’s deal with Waitrose expires.

Online-only Ocado says that thousands of M&S own-label groceries will be available from September 2020, when it will also stop selling Waitrose own-label products.

it also plans to work with M&S to develop new products, aimed at creating a bigger range of products.

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