Asda is named Britain’s cheapest supermarket

Asda is CHEAPEST UK supermarket: Basket of 43 everyday groceries costs £130.36 from the retailer – while Morrisons and Tesco are more expensive than Waitrose

  • Alertr team tracked items from the government-based Consumer Price Index ‘shopping basket’ over a five-week period during the month on September
  • Tesco was the most expensive last month, but dropped to the fifth priciest 
  • Followed closely by Morrisons, while Ocado was most expensive store overall
  • Asda was revealed as the cheapest supermarket following the research 

Asda has retained its title as the least expensive option for British consumers looking to keep grocery costs down in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic for the fifth month in a row, according to new research.   

Alertr – an online price tracking website monitoring the price increases and decreases across seven major UK supermarkets – also found that Tesco and Morrisons were more expensive than Waitrose

The results were determined by carefully tracking how each online retailer priced the 43 items outlined in the Government’s Consumer Price Index ‘shopping basket’ on a week-by-week basis – including eggs, milk and bread, as well as non-perishables like pasta, rice and cereal.

The results found that Asda was cheapest for three out of the five weeks, with Iceland taking the top spot for the last two weeks of September. 

Research by Alertr found that for the fifth month in a row, Asda retains its title as the least expensive option for British consumers looking to keep grocery costs down in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Pictured, six of the seven supermarkets analysed

However, even with Iceland’s average basket cost being £2.09 cheaper than last month, Asda still took the overall crown despite the average total being up 0.20p on its August pricing. 

At the other side of the spectrum, Tesco was crowned the most expensive supermarket for the month of September, but has now been knocked down a peg or two by Ocado, which comes in with an average basket spend of £151.24, £3.31 more than last month and £11.60 more than Tesco.

Ocado was sold out of the same or like for like pasta in week’s one and two, but this didn’t affect the pricing as it was still the most expensive across all of the seven retailers. 

Beers (San Miguel Premium Lager 440ml) saw the most consistent price fluctuations across retailers, week one it was priced at £5.50 in Asda, but by week three the price had dropped to £4.60.

Asda is Britain’s cheapest supermarket: A shopping basket of 43 typical groceries
Product Morrisons Asda Tesco Sainsbury’s  Ocado  Waitrose  Iceland  
White bread  £0.49 £0.49 £0.59 £0.55 £0.65 £0.60 £1   
Wholemeal bread  £0.49 £0.49 £0.59  £0.55 £0.65  £0.60  £0.75   
Cereals  £2.70  £2.89  £2.40  £2  £2.40  £2 £3   
Rice  £0.99 £1  £0.99  £1.55 £1  £1.55 £1   
Four  £1 £1.50 £2 £1.50 £1.50  £1.50  £1   
Pizza  £1.50 £1.50 £2.50 £2.50 £2.50  £2.50  £1.25   
Pasta  £2.24 £1.50 £1 £1.95  £1.99 £1.10  £1   
Mince  £2.59 £ 2.59 £2.59  £3.10 £4.50  £3.50 £2  
Pork sausages  £2.65 £ 2.25 £2.75 £2.75 £3.50  £3 £2   
Lamb  £22.48 £16.48 £24 £15 £24 £10.66  £15    
Chicken  £4 £3,55 £3.50 £3.60 £3.80 £4.50 £5   
Salmon £4 £ 2.69 £3.50 £3.25 £4.60  £5 £4   
Blue milk  £0.80 £0.80  £0.80  £0.80 £0.85 £0.89  £0.80   
Green milk £0.80 £0.80 £0.80  £0.80 £0.85 £0.89  £0.80   
Yoghurt £0.80 £0.45 £0.90 £0.75 £1 £0.90  £1   
Cheese £2.50  £2.59 £2.59 £2.50 £3.50  £3.50 £3   
Eggs £0.90 £ 1.10 £ 1.10 £1.20 £1 £2  £1   
Cooking Oil  £2.25  £ 2 £ 2 £1,50 £1.50  £2 £2   
Butter  £1 £1.10 £1.10 £1.85 £1.85  £1 £1   
Bananas £0.75 £0.97 £ 0.69 £0.80 £0.80 £1 £1   
Apples  £1.19 £1.19 £1.60 £1.60 £1.70  £2 £1.60   
Potatoes  £1.25 £1.03 £ 1.29 £1.75 £1.75  £1.80 £2   
Broccoli  £0.49 £0.50 £0.57 £1.60 £0.50 £0.46 £0.75   
Carrots £0.43 £ 0.41 £ 0.41 £0.43 £0.59 £0.70 £0.60   
Tomatoes  £0.70 £0.67 £0.75 £0.75 £0.74 £0.75 £0.75   
Peas £2 £ 1.50 £2.15 £2.15 £2.15 £2.15 £2   
Crisps  £1.75 £2 £3 £3 £3  £3.09 £2   
Sugar  £1.30 £0.54 £ 1 £1.20 £1  £1.35  £1.50   
Jam   £1.60 £1 £ 1.60 £1.25 £1.60  £1.80 £1   
Chocolate £3.50 £ 3 £3.50 £4 £2.50 £3.10 £3   
Ice cream  £ 1.65 £1.35 £3 £1.80 £3.50  £2  £1.50   
Ketchup £2.50 £ 2.29 £2 £2 £2.55  £2.55 £2   
Coffee   £5 £ 5.50 £ 6.50 £7 £4 £4 £4.50   
Tea bags  £ 7 £4.50  £3.79  £5,75  £5.85  £5.85  £3   
Hot chocolate   £2  £2.99  £3  £3  £2.50  £3  £3   
Coca Cola  £ 2 £2,10  £1.59  £1.60  £2  £1.99  £1.95   
Squash  £ 1.75 £1.50  £1.65  £1  £1.65  £1.65  £1.25   
Fruit juice   £ 0.70 £0.69  £0.69  £0.90  £1.50  £0.95  £0.89   
Gin  £16  £15.50  £13  £13  £15.50  £14  £14.95   
Vodka  £16  £15.50  £13  £13  £14  £16  £15   
Prosecco £8.50  £9  £8.50  £8.50  £8.50  £6.99  £7   
WIne  £8.25  £8  £6.50  £6.75  £8  £7.99  £8   
Beers  £4.75  £4.60  £4  £4.15  £4.60  £5  £4.60   
TOTAL £145.24 £132.10  £139.48  £134.68 £152.12 £137.86 £130.44  

Andy Barr, co-founder of www.alertr.co.uk, commented: ‘It is interesting to see that, once again, Waitrose has unexpectedly been more affordable than some of our go-to ‘cheaper’ stores that one may assume they are going to find more reasonably priced items within. 

Breakdown of average basket costs over five-week period in September:

1. ASDA – £130.36 – 20p more than last month

2. Iceland – £132.40 – £2.09 less than last month

3. Sainsburys – £135.24 – £4.27 less than last month

4. Waitrose – £139.50 – 64p more than last month

5. Tesco – £139.64 – £9.34 more than last month

6. Morrisons – £141.53 – £4.22 less than last month

7. Ocado – £151.24 – £3.31 more than last month. 

‘Despite Tesco continuously coming up as one of the more expensive retailers, the data from September does seem to indicate that they’ve begun to drop their prices as we enter another tricky phase regarding the global pandemic.

‘Sainsburys is also another surprise as it comes in third cheapest retailer for the shopping list, somewhat surprising as it’s notoriously known for its higher-end offerings.

‘At this point, it’s starting to look like Asda can’t be beaten on their low prices, and competitors will really have to think about introducing better deals or offers in order to keep customers loyal, particularly at a time when so many are looking to cut their spending in any way possible.’ 

While prices across seven of the largest supermarkets were analysed, discount retailers Lidl and Aldi were not included due to the inability for customers to shop full ranges online.

Own-brand items (or their equivalent) were monitored in the research to give the most unbiased comparison of goods and their prices, with the exception of brands that all seven supermarkets stocked (e.g. Coca-Cola). 

Teabags (Yorkshire Tea 750g) at Morrisons stayed the same price every week, until week five when they went from £5 to £7, this type of price rise is common and we will likely see it drop back to £5 in a few weeks to make consumers think they are saving money.

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