Each month, Which? analyses the price of food, drink and household essentials at the UK’s major grocers to reveal the cheapest supermarket of the month.
We compared the prices of 32 branded and own-label items, from semi-skimmed milk and free range eggs to Hovis wholemeal bread and Knorr vegetable stock pots, to work out which supermarket was the cheapest in October.
Comparing Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, we found a £17 difference between the cheapest supermarket and the most expensive. Read on to find out where October shoppers got the most for their money.
Supermarkets compared: where can you buy the cheapest groceries?
The cheapest supermarket in October was Aldi, with a small trolley of 32 items costing £27.13. Rival discounter Lidl was £4.46 more expensive – an unusually large difference between the two discounters.
Here’s how our trolley of groceries stacked up at each of the UK’s biggest supermarkets.
The same shop at Ocado cost £44.13, making it £17 more expensive than Aldi.
- Find out more: which supermarkets are the most enjoyable to shop with?
How do bigger shopping lists stack up?
We also compared a trolley packed to the brim with 103 items (the original 32 items, plus 71 more). This included a greater selection of branded items, such as Branston baked beans and Flash cleaning spray, which aren’t typically available all year round from the discounters – hence Aldi and Lidl not appearing in this chart.
Asda, at £181.69, was the cheapest supermarket for September and pipped its next-closest rival (Sainsbury’s) by £7.50.
Ocado was the most expensive supermarket, with our trolley of groceries costing £211.49.
We were unable to include as many items in our mega trolley as usual this month, due to there being fewer Ocado-branded products for sale. This is probably due to the online-only supermarket focusing more on M&S-branded items, which it started selling in September.
- Find out more: M&S replaces Waitrose as Ocado’s supermarket partner
How Which? compares supermarket prices
We tracked the prices of 32 items at the UK’s eight biggest supermarkets throughout October.
For our larger trolley analysis, we added a further 71 items for all supermarkets apart form Aldi and Lidl, where some of the products were unavailable.
Our shopping lists combined branded items such as Nutella hazelnut chocolate spread and Yorkshire Tea, plus own-label products, including lettuce, pasta and milk.
Of course, own-brand items aren’t exactly the same at different supermarkets, but we’ve used experts to ensure that the products are as comparable as possible based on a range of factors, including weight, quality and other industry data.
Using an independent price comparison website, we calculated the average price (including special offers, but not multibuys) for each item throughout the month. We added those individual averages together to give an overall price for the trolley at each shop for the month.
- Find out more: supermarket pricing over time
Supermarkets and lockdown – what’s the latest?
While a lot of the UK is in some form of lockdown, shoppers are still able to visit supermarkets to buy basic necessities such as food and medicine.
The UK’s biggest supermarket chains have told Which? that they will continue with the social distancing measures that were already in place, including floor markings, signage and perspex screens. Shoppers are advised to continue following government guidance on wearing face coverings in store.
Some supermarkets have reinstated priority shopping hours for customers.
- Find out more: the latest coronavirus measures from supermarkets