Which is the cheapest supermarket? (2023)

It might be a new year, but the cost of living is still high, making it just as important for families to seek out the cheapest supermarket to cut their food costs in 2023.

Knowing how to save money remains a top priority for households, with many still concerned abouthow much their energy bills will cost (opens in new tab)and families continuing to look for new ways to save money on food (opens in new tab).

Food influencer Lucy Lord (opens in new tab) told us: “After accommodation costs, food is the highest outgoing cost for most households. So when it comes to cutting back, a really easy switch can be not only what we buy (branded food vs. supermarket own brand food) but also where we buy our food from. The same food baskets at UK supermarkets varies by nearly £30 from the cheapest to the most expensive. So a simple swap to save pennies, without changing any contents in your shopping basket, could just be changing where you shop.”

Whichever supermarket you choose to shop at, always remember to take yoursupermarket loyalty card (opens in new tab)to maximise any savings or benefits you can get.

Which was the cheapest supermarket in December 2022?

Latest research by Which? has determined thatAldi was the cheapest supermarket for December 2022,with Lidl a close second. Which? checked the price of 48 popular grocery items including Heinz baked beans, milk and teabags, and found that Aldi was the cheapest at £81.63, compared to the Lidl basket of the same items which cost £83.24, £1.61 more.

In contrast, Which? found Waitrose to be the most expensive supermarket in December 2022, costing £30.99 more than the equivalent basket from Aldi.Of the ‘big four’ supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons), Tesco was cheapest at £93.42.

Here's how the basket prices from Which? research compare:

  • Aldi- £81.63
  • Lidl- £83.24
  • Tesco - £93.42
  • Asda- £93.44
  • Sainsbury's- £95.71
  • Morrisons- £97.12
  • Ocado- £102.87
  • Waitrose- £112.62.

Which is the cheapest supermarket? (1)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is Lidl cheaper than Aldi?

Lidl is sometimes cheaper than Aldi - the rivalry between the two discounters is pretty fierce.

The latest analysis from Which? (opens in new tab) has revealed that Aldi narrowly beat Lidl to be named the cheapest supermarket of the year for 2022. Aldi also won the cheapest supermarket accolade in 2021.

However, Lidl was crowned the cheapest supermarket in 2020 and was also the cheapest supermarket in the first five months of 2022.

Which?’s annual survey tracks hundreds of thousands of grocery prices across the UK’s eight major supermarkets throughout the year to find out how much each retailer is charging for branded items such as Heinz baked beans and Dolmio sauce, plus own-brand goods such as apples and lettuce.

During 2022, Aldi was found to be cheapest for seven of the 12 months, while Lidl was the cheapest for five. Across the seven months that Aldi was cheaper, the average difference was £1.59 compared to Lidl.

Discount retailers Lidl and Aldi have soared in popularity in recent years, thanks to their ability to offer a wide range of products at low prices due to low operating costs.

Which was the cheapest supermarket each month of 2022?

The table below outlines the cheapest supermarkets for each month of 2022, and the most expensive, according to research by Which?. Note that a greater range of products has been included from June onwards.

Swipe to scroll horizontally

MonthCheapest supermarketMost expensive supermarket
JanLidl (£24.78)Waitrose (£33.94)
FebLidl (£24.21)Waitrose (£33.71)
MarLidl (£26.83)Waitrose (£36.04)
AprLidl (£25.92)Waitrose (£35.06)
MayLidl (£23.55)Waitrose (£31.85)
JunAldi (£75.61)Waitrose (£101.14)
JulAldi (£74.34)Waitrose (£99.46)
AugAldi (£76.24)Waitrose (£102.20)
SepAldi (£75.61)Waitrose (£99.40)
OctAldi (£75.79)Waitrose (£101.17)
NovAldi (£77.21)Waitrose (£104.11)
DecAldi (£81.63)Waitrose (£112.62)

As you can see in the table above, Lidl and Aldi regularly battle it out each month to see which supermarket comes out as the cheapest. Asda is usually the third cheapest option, but was pipped to the post by Tesco for both November and December 2022.

Which is the most expensive supermarket?

According to Which’s annual survey, Waitrose was the most expensive across the 12 months of 2022. In fact, a basket of items from Waitrose cost from £9 to over £30 more per month than the cheapest supermarket.

However,separate research from Which? (opens in new tab)reveals that over the past year, discounters Aldi and Lidl have seen the biggest overall inflation on food and drink at 19.6% and 19% respectively. Waitrose, on the other hand, had a lower inflation figure of 14.4%.

SupermarketMonthly inflation to the end of November 2022
Aldi19.6%
Lidl19%
Asda15.2%
Morrisons14.4%
Waitrose14.2%
Sainsbury’s 13.7%
Tesco12.6%
Ocado10.3%

Source: Which?

Which is the cheapest supermarket? (2)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Are own-branded products cheaper than premium?

Prices for supermarket own-brands are typically cheaper than premium options. However, data fromWhich? (opens in new tab)shows that during the cost-of-living crisis, the price of supermarket own-brands and budget ranges has actually gone up more than premium and branded goods.

Which? looked at the prices of tens of thousands of food and drinks products at the above supermarkets, and found that prices on everyday budget and own-brand products had increased by up to 175% over the past year. The table below outlines some of the products that had the biggest price increases:

Swipe to scroll horizontally

ProductPrice change% increase
Waitrose chocolate chip shortbread (200g)82p to £2.25175%
Asda Free From soft cheese alternative (170g)93p to £2.12128%
Tesco Creamfields soft cheese (200g)49p to 84p71%
Sainsbury’s Simply Muesli (1kg)£1.20 to £2.0370%

How do online delivery costs compare?

If you want to get your food shop delivered straight to your door, you’ll need to factor in delivery fees. These will vary depending on the supermarket and the time and date of your delivery. Midweek slots tend to be cheaper than weekends, for instance.

You can usually pay as you go or opt for a delivery pass which covers you for up to a year and means you can get free delivery any time.

Asda

  • Minimum spend: £40
  • Cost: Between £1 and £5. An additional fee of £3 applies to orders under £40.
  • Delivery pass: The Anytime Delivery Pass is available for 12 months at a cost of £6.50 a month or a £65 one-off payment. The Midweek 12-month pass for deliveries on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays costs £35.

Morrisons

  • Minimum spend: £40
  • Cost: Between £1.50 and £6.
  • Delivery pass: The Anytime Delivery Pass costs £70 for a year, £45 for six months or £8 monthly. The Midweek Delivery Pass for deliveries on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays costs £40 a year, £25 for six months or £5 monthly.

Sainsbury's

  • Minimum spend: £25
  • Cost: Between £1 and £4.50 for orders over £40. Orders under £40 will be charged a £7 delivery charge.
  • Delivery pass: The Anytime Delivery Pass costs £80 for a year, £40 for six months or £7.50 monthly. The Midweek Delivery Pass for deliveries on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays costs £40 a year or £4 monthly.

Tesco

  • Minimum spend: £40
  • Cost: Between £3 and £7 if you want a fixed one-hour slot, or between £2.50 and £4 if you are happy with a flexible slot. An additional £4 is charged if you order less than £40.
  • Delivery pass: The Anytime Delivery 12-month plan costs £6.99 a month or £83.88 upfront, while the 6-month plan costs £7.99 a month or £47.94 upfront. The Off Peak Delivery 12-month plan costs £3.99 a month or £47.88 upfront, while the 6-month plan costs £4.99 a month or £29.94 upfront.

Ocado

  • Minimum spend: £40
  • Cost: Between £0 and £6.99 depending on slot availability. If your order is less than £75, there is a minimum charge of £2.99 and a maximum of £6.99.
  • Delivery pass: The Ocado Anytime Smart Pass costs £89.99 for 12 months, £49.99 for six months or £8.99 monthly. The Midweek pass costs £39.99 for 12 months, £22.49 for six months or £3.99 monthly.

Waitrose

  • Minimum spend: £40
  • Cost: £3
  • Delivery pass: n/a

How to find the cheapest supermarket

Monitoring surveys and research from publications such as The Grocer and Which? is one way to keep track of the latest supermarket trends. But there are also a number of apps and tools that can help you.

Money saving expert Deepak Tailor (opens in new tab) from LatestFreeStuff.co.uk says: “One of the best apps to use is theLatest Deals (opens in new tab) supermarket shopping comparisonapp for comparing the price of groceries. You can search for popular products like Heinz baked beans or Cadbury chocolate bars, and you’ll know the supermarket that is selling it for the cheapest price. You can also try an app likeTrolley.co.uk (opens in new tab).”

Another app to check out is Supermarket Wizard (opens in new tab). Its operations director, Eleanor Ball (opens in new tab), says: “Our website helps consumers find the cheapest supermarket and is the only UK website that allows a full basket price comparison (including supermarket own-label products) across the big six. We will be adding further supermarkets this year. Once you have placed items in your basket, as well as seeing the total cost at each supermarket you can then view your list and tailor it to visit the supermarkets cheapest for particular products if you wish.”

Meanwhile, shopping app Cherryz (opens in new tab) will deliver everyday essentials straight to your door. The app’s head of trading, John Place (opens in new tab), says: “Cherryz is the go-to app for anyone looking to get a great value on the stuff they really need. The app also includes plenty of money-saving initiatives like frequent deals and offers, heaps of discount brands, a £1 or less category, and not forgetting our Delivery Pass - unlimited free delivery for just £1 a month.”

Is the cheapest supermarket the best?

At a time when the cost of living is soaring, hunting out the cheapest supermarket and finding the biggest savings will be a top priority.

However, cost isn’t the only factor that should be considered when looking for the best supermarket for your circumstances.

Food influencer Lucy Lord says: “For a lot of people, time and convenience is a high priority. So is it really worth jumping in the car and driving 20 minutes away (in traffic, and then back) to get to a cheaper supermarket when you have another supermarket on your doorstep?

“Another factor is shopping experience. Food shopping can be stressful at the best of times whether you’re nipping in for a small basket-worth of goods or doing a larger weekly food shop. Are the queues always a mile long? Are the aisles always packed with shelves half empty? These are individual factors that are worth considering.”

Customer service can be another important factor if you might need additional support buying groceries in-store or online. Keep in mind that while budget stores such as Lidl and Aldi are often cheapest, their in-store shopping experience tends to be more minimalist.

Budget stores don’t always offer the widest range of products either, although this has improved over time. Some, such as Lidl, also do not offer home delivery for food, unlike most traditional supermarkets.

Deepak Tailor from LatestFreeStuff.co.uk (opens in new tab) says: “The golden rule is to research the things you need to buy so you can make an informed decision before you make your purchase.”

Video of the Week:

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Domingo Moore

Last Updated: 01/08/2023

Views: 6194

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Domingo Moore

Birthday: 1997-05-20

Address: 6485 Kohler Route, Antonioton, VT 77375-0299

Phone: +3213869077934

Job: Sales Analyst

Hobby: Kayaking, Roller skating, Cabaret, Rugby, Homebrewing, Creative writing, amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Domingo Moore, I am a attractive, gorgeous, funny, jolly, spotless, nice, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.