Cheapest supermarket to buy 15 essential items from this weekend

AS the cost of living crisis continues to clobber wages, it’s more important than ever to nab the lowest food prices possible.

A Sun investigation has looked at the cost of 15 essential food items across six supermarkets – here’s what we found.

Basic food products are soaring in price across all supermarketsCredit: PA:Press Association

Waitrose proves the priciest store, costing roughly a tenner more than Aldi's basket

Waitrose proves the priciest store, costing roughly a tenner more than Aldi’s basket

Last month, inflation jumped to 7%, forcing food and fuel prices up nationwide.

The increase is forcing families to tighten purse strings by all means necessary, like turning the heating off to save on energy bills.

And while there isn’t much shoppers can do to counteract spiralling food costs, making sure they shop at the right store will certainly help towards pinching back a few pennies.

So we picked 15 essential items from a weekly shop including eggs, bread, milk and cheese, and compared the prices at six different supermarkets.

We used prices found on store’s websites on Thursday, May 5 – but it’s important to note that prices can often change, sometimes even daily, so make sure to check for the best deals before you hit the shops.

We compared own-brand products of the same weight or quantity.

You may be able to pay less by buying items in a bigger pack size or different variation, but in the interests of fairness we have tried to compare like-for-like.

The supermarkets we checked are Aldi, Asda, Morrison’s, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

We were unable to include Lidl because it does not list prices on its website, and we excluded Iceland because it does not have an own-brand range.

Out of the six stores we compared, the most expensive basket was at Waitrose, coming in at £18.80.

The total is £5.55 more than our cheapest basket from Aldi, which comes in at £13.25 – some 42% higher.

That means if you bought our basket of essentials each week, you’d spend £288 more over the year if you shopped at Waitrose.

Waitrose was the priciest store for 11 of the 15 items in our basket.

For example, the cheapest loaf of white bread was 36p from Aldi, but costs 65p a Waitrose.

Meanwhile, a 1kg bag of white long grain rice costs 45p at all the supermarkets in our list except Waitrose, where it costs £1.35.

Aldi fans may not be surprised that it was the cheapest basket – with the lowest price for 12 of the 15 items we compared (although it was joint-cheapest for nine of these products).

Tesco also had a number of the cheapest products in the list, largely due to its Aldi price match guarantee.

The most expensive item in our basket was a 400g pack of chicken. The price ranged from £2.79 at Aldi to £4 at Waitrose. (At Asda it cost £2.35 but this was a smaller 350g pack, so works out slightly more expensive on a per gram basis).

While the price of milk was the same at five out of six supermarkets, there was much more variation on the cost of sweet treats.

A 300g packet of own brand chocolate digestive biscuits at Waitrose is 68p, but just 49p at Aldi, Sainsbury’s or Tesco.

There was also a wide disparity on the price of a 12-box of free-range eggs.

The cheapest were from Aldi at £1.99. They cost £2.09 at Morrisons, and £2.20 at Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s. Waitrose did not have a 12-pack of eggs in its Essentials range, but you can buy two 6-packs for £1 each.

The 15 essential food items we included in our basket

We compared 15 essential food products based on their weight or quantity, they included:

  • Eggs – 12 large free range
  • Bread – 800g white loaf
  • Milk – Two pints semi-skimmed
  • Pasta – 500g penne
  • Rice – 1kg long grain
  • Cheese – 400g mild cheddar
  • Sunflower spread – 500g tub
  • Onions – 1kg bag of brown
  • Apples – Six pack
  • Tomatoes – Six salad tomatoes
  • Bananas – Five pack
  • Potatoes – Four pack of baking potatoes
  • Cornflakes – One 500g own-brand box
  • Biscuits – One pack of chocolate digestives
  • Chicken – 400g pack

An Aldi spokesperson said: “With value the number one consideration for most households, more and more people are now realising they don’t have to pay a Big Four price premium for their weekly shop.

“That’s why our promise to our customers is that we will always provide the lowest grocery prices in Britain.”

A Tesco Spokesperson said: “We know that now, more than ever, customers want great value when they do their food shop.

“That’s why we are committed to providing great value for our customers through initiatives like Aldi Price Match, Low Everyday Prices and Clubcard Prices and we have a variety in place to help customers get the best possible value.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We are relentlessly focused on keeping prices low on the products that our customers buy most often and are committed to doing everything we can to help our customers, colleagues and communities at this challenging time.”

A Waitrose spokesperson: “Essential Waitrose doesn’t cut corners on quality. We offer excellent value, great tasting food and high animal welfare while paying fair prices to farmers.”

An Asda spokesperson said: “’We know how much the cost of living is worrying our customers right now and we’re doing everything we can to keep prices as low as possible on their shopping, which is why we continue to be the best value of the traditional supermarkets in this survey and other independent research carried out by the Grocer and Which? magazines.

“Customers shopping with Asda could make this basket even better value by choosing items from our Smart Price range – such as our Smart Price eggs for £1.21, rather than £2.20.”

The Sun has asked Morrisons for comment.

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