When Which? compared the cost of a basket of exactly the same branded goods at each of the ‘big six’ supermarkets in August, Asda came out cheapest.
Our basket of 64 grocery items cost £132.92 at Asda, placing it neck and neck with Sainsbury’s, with both having been crowned cheapest supermarket of the month three times this year.
Morrisons has been cheapest twice so far in 2019.
It was a close-run race last month, with just £1.99 between the three cheapest supermarkets. The same basket of goods cost £134.70 at Sainsbury’s and just 21 pence more at Morrisons (£134.91).
Waitrose was the most expensive supermarket once again, a position it’s held for six months of 2019. Our basket of branded items cost £145.35 at the high-end supermarket – £12.43 more than at Asda.
Tesco (£138.88) and Ocado (£144.86) were in fourth and fifth place.
Keep reading to find out how we worked this out, and what else is going on in the world of supermarkets this month.
How we compare supermarket prices
Using data from independent price comparison site MySupermarket.com, we calculate the average price (including special offers but not multibuys) for a basket of popular branded items.
In August, the basket contained 64 products, including Cathedral City Cheddar cheese, Heinz Beanz, Hovis Medium Sliced Soft White Bread and PG Tips tea bags.
It also included everyday essentials like toilet tissue, toothpaste and cleaning detergent.
We track the price of each item throughout the month at each store to calculate an average and reveal the cheapest and most expensive supermarkets.
We compare prices at:
Does cheap mean cheerful? Check out the best and worst supermarkets of 2019.
Supermarkets in the news
Asda launches Re-Loved clothing trial
A new pop-up shop in Asda’s Milton Keynes store will feature donated second-hand clothes from a number of different brands, as the retailer tries to encourage customers to recycle unwanted clothes.
The scheme aims to find new homes for unwanted clothes, and will run for four weeks. All proceeds are expected to go to Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign, which supports Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now. The grocer has estimated that £140m-worth of clothing in the UK goes to landfill each year.
Iceland expands own-brand range
The frozen food specialist is introducing more than 550 new or improved products, in a big own-brand shake-up. The new or improved lines, which began rolling out from the beginning of September, account for 53% of Iceland’s frozen range.
It will also be offering 500 new limited-edition products, following the success of previous limited-edition items.
We don’t include Iceland in our monthly price comparison because the range of branded products it stocks is too limited, but find out how Which? members rated it for value (both in-store and online) in our Iceland supermarket review.
Ocado is the fastest-growing grocer
It may be one of the most expensive supermarkets according to our research, but that hasn’t stopped the online-only supermarket from becoming the fastest-growing UK grocer according to data from Kantar Worldpanel.
Ocado was the only grocer to have recorded double-digit growth, with a 12.6% sales increase year-on-year. However, it still has a small market share, accounting for just 1.4%.
German discounters Lidl and Aldi were the next fastest-growing supermarkets, increasing sales by 7.7% and 6.2% respectively.
Waitrose wipes confirmed as truly flushable
Waitrose’s fragrance-free moist toilet tissue refills and its lightly fragranced moist toilet tissue refills are the first own-brand wipes certified as ‘Fine to Flush’ by Water UK.
The standard was introduced in January 2019, in conjunction with water companies across the UK, and means that the wipes have passed tests conducted by an independent company to prove they break down quickly and easily in the sewer system.
The two products, which are both plastic-free, are available in stores from today and packs will soon carry the ‘Fine to Flush’ logo. Waitrose said it would work towards ensuring the rest of its own-label flushable wipes also meet the guidelines.
Where can you buy the cheapest toiletries? Find out whether Boots or Superdrug are cheaper than supermarkets.