The cheapest supermarket has been revealed. Do you think it works out the cheapest when you shop?
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It’s a hotly debated topic and one that gets asked a lot in our supermarket savings community – where is the lowest priced place to shop?
The thing is, I don’t really think there is a one size fits all answer.
Sure, for ME, and the stuff I buy, one supermarket can work out cheaper.
However, we don’t have young kids or pets, so we save on the additional costs, and no one in the family has allergies or intolerances to food.
Just because the basket of food I buy one week is cheaper, the stuff you buy might work out more expensive.
Table of Contents
Which is the cheapest supermarket in the UK?
Trying to use a bit of methodology, consumer group Which? has been monitoring prices of groceries across six major supermarkets (* that must have been a fun job *).
First, they made a shopping list of 48 items they thought would be in a typical shopping basket.
Their list included stuff likeown label-bread, crisps, butter, cheese, cleaning products, pet food, soft drinks and other everyday items.
They then worked out the average price (including discounts but not multibuys) for each item every month and then compared it.
So what did they find?
Without further ado, they found the lowest price supermarket of 2022 … drum roll, please …
The cheapest supermarket for 2022 is Aldi.
In the last of the monthly comparison, getting 48 items from Aldi added up to £81.63.
Lidl was the second cheapest at £83.24, and Tesco was in third place, costing £93.42
Waitrose (maybe not so surprisingly) was the most expensive, costing £112.62.
You could clearly see how much food prices have been rising month on month. However, the prices did come down slightly from August 2022 to September 2022.
However, comparing September 2022 to December, the prices have risen again.
Cheapest supermarket month on month 2022
The cheapest supermarket in 2022 overall was Aldi. It was cheaper than others for seven consecutive months, with Lidl just missing the top spot.
However, Which? tracks the costs of items on a monthly basis.
Looking back, here are the cheapest supermarkets over the year:
January 2022 – Lidl – £24.78
February 2022 – Lidl – £24.21
March 2022 – Lidl – £26.83
April 2022 – Lidl – £25.92
May 2022 – Lidl – £23.55
June 2022 – Aldi – £75.61 (see the note above about comparison size)
July 2022 – Aldi – £74.23
August 2022 – Aldi – £76.24
September 2022 – Aldi – £75.61
October 2022 – Aldi – £75.79
November 2022 – Aldi – £77.21
December 2022 – Aldi – £81.63
NOTE: In previous months, Which compared around 20 items in each basket, but have increased the number of items they’re looking at. This makes it difficult to see, overall, how the monthly pricing is changing.
In March 2022, 21 items were compared, with the cheapest basket prices at £26.83. In April, with 18 items, it cost £25.92.
Each time they track food prices, the basket they compare changes. This is because they look to make sure products are available in every store. Foods compared included own-label free-range eggs and raspberries as well as branded products, including Chicago Town pizzas.
When you look at the prices on a monthly basis, you can see how much the prices have crept up over the year. And you can tell why it’s so difficult to budget for a grocery shop!
Bigger food shops
While the ranking shows the cost for smaller essential shops, there is also a comparison for a larger show with the original 48 items, plus another 101.
However, as some of the items they compare are branded, they do not include Lidl or Aldi.
If we took away branded foods (as I know a lot of people won’t have their whole trolley full of them), the average cost would be a lot less.
And, as Lidi and Aldi generally win each month for years for a smaller basket (see below for their track history), I’d hazard a guess they’d also lead this chart.
Again, June saw a far bigger comparison (156 in June vs 59 items compared in May)
|Supermarket||December 2022 – Average cost of trolley (149 branded items)|
|Supermarket||November 2022 – Average cost of trolley (149 branded items)|
|Supermarket||October 2022 – Average cost of trolley (148 branded items)|
|Supermarket||September 2022 – Average cost of trolley (149 branded items)|
|Supermarket||August 2022 – Average cost of trolley (153 branded items)|
|Supermarket||July 2022 – Average cost of trolley (152 branded items)|
|Supermarket||June 2022 – Average cost of trolley (156 branded items)|
|Supermarket||May 2022 – Average cost of trolley (59 branded items)|
|Supermarket||April 2022 – Average cost of trolley (63 branded items)|
|Supermarket||March 2022 – Average cost of trolley (66 branded items)|
Cheapest supermarket 2023
More details to be updated soon.
Month on month – which supermarket is the cheapest in 2021?
Here are the supermarkets that were cheaper over 2021:
January 2021 – Aldi and Lidl were tied – £18.45
February 2021 – Lidl – £19.13
March 2021 – Lidl – £22.48
April 2021 – Aldi – £22.64
May 2021 – Lidl – £22.66
June 2021 – Aldi – £21.61
July 2021 – Aldi – £23.59
August 2021 – Lidl – £24.11
September – Aldi – £24.03
October – Aldi – £24.24
November – Aldi – £24.64
December – Lidl – £23.29
Cheapest supermarket UK 2020
In 2020, Lidl was named the cheapest place to shop.
It was 34p cheaper than its rival Aldi.
Ocado and Waitrose were at the bottom of the list as the most expensive supermarket.
Tracking on a month by month basis, Aldi looked like it was cheaper than Lidl. However, instead of using the monthly summaries, they tracked the 2020 lowest priced supermarket by items they could get hold of.
The basket used in the price comparison used 45 popular branded and own-label products, including Hovis bread, Knorr stock cubes, eggs, cucumber and tomatoes.
UK’s cheapest supermarket 2019
As a price comparison of 53 items over the course of 2019, here’s how supermarkets stacked up:
|Supermarket||Average cost of trolley (53 branded items)|
For comparison, in 2018 the UK’s cheapest supermarket in their study was Morrisons, followed by Asda and then Sainsbury’s.
Read next: Find out the cheapest online supermarket
What’s wrong with their old research?
While I’m sure Which? has done their tracking and research perfectly well, I’m not sure it’s a true reflection of how people actually shop.
For many years, they’d only been comparing six supermarkets and they used to miss both Lidl and Aldi up until 2020.
They used MySupermarket to track pricing and, as Aldi and Lidl don’t offer online shopping, the pricing wasn’t used.
They also haven’t monitored food pricing on Amazon and, if you’re going to buy branded, you may find you save loads of money if you shop on Amazon Fresh or even Morrisons via Amazon.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, said:
“Your weekly supermarket shop can have a significant impact on your wallet.
“Our analysis shows how important it can be to shop around to ensure you get the best price for your groceries.”
Will you change habits for lower prices?
Does the research from Which? sway you to shop at another store because it’s “cheaper” than another supermarket in the UK?
Or, are you happy with your own research to know where to shop?
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Content editor at Skint Dad
Naomi knows the burden of living on very little and became debt free by following her own money saving tips and tricks. She is an expert on saving money at the supermarket and side hustles.
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