The Newsquest DOT Team have tracked the collective prices for ten common everyday items in the weekly food shop at the UK’s biggest supermarkets – including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Aldi.
The DOT Team analysed the prices of these common items as part of our ongoing #YourMoneyMatters campaign, launched by this title and many other local news brands across the UK owned by Newsquest. The campaign was set up to help readers overcome the surge in the cost of living.
As we have seen a whole host of household price increases since early last year — from the energy price cap rise to surging inflation and food prices — costing households hundreds or even thousands of pounds extra per year.
Since March 2022, we’ve made it our mission to look out for your cash, offering money-saving deals, competitions, giveaways and insightful stories from your community on the impact this cost of living crisis is having on our readers like you.
The worldwide energy crisis exacerbated by the Ukraine invasion, the financial impact of the Covid pandemic, record inflation figures and a surge in the cost of goods, fuel and travel means we will all continue to feel the pinch.
What basket of 10 items did we look at?
Over the past few months, between December 2022 and March 2023, the Newsquest DOT Team tracked the collective totals of 10 essential items in the weekly food shop at the UK’s five biggest supermarket chains – Aldi, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
The items tracked were as follows: Medium white bread loaf (800g), 2 pints of semi-skimmed milk, Block of mature cheddar (350g or 400g), Unsalted butter (250g), Bag of granulated sugar (1kg), Pack of 80 tea bags (caffeinated), Medium whole chicken (uncooked), Tin of chopped tomatoes (400g), Medium Free Range eggs (12 pack), and Pack of 4 toilet rolls.
To make the comparisons as fair as possible, the prices of supermarket own-brand items were tracked across all retailers, such as H W Nevill’s White Bread 800G loaf from Tesco and Aldi’s Cowbelle 250g British Unsalted Butter. The cost of a 80 tea bags at Aldi was calculated pro-rata, in order to make a fairer comparison with the other supermarkets. There were also differences in the prices of the chicken by weight, with £2.97/kg at Tesco compared to £1.59 at Aldi.
What did the findings reveal?
The findings revealed that Tesco’s basket of items cost £16.78 on December 13, 2022, and on March 8 cost £16.43.
Meanwhile, Morrisons’ basket cost £18.73 on December 13, 2022, and cost £17.79 on March 8.
The basket at Sainsbury’s cost £17.44 on December 13, 2022, and then totalled £17.78 on March 8.
At Asda, the basket totalled £18,77 on December 13, 2022, and on March 8 cost £17.43.
Finally, Aldi’s basket cost £15.42 on December 13, 2022, and totalled £16.04.
What has each supermarket chain said about the prices of these items?
We contacted each supermarket chain for a response to our findings and asked whether prices on household items (such as the ones we tracked) would continue to fall in the coming months. We also asked what initiatives each chain had to help shoppers during the cost of living crisis.
Here are their responses:
While Morrisons declined to offer a comment, the supermarket said they are working hard to keep prices down and competitive for customers, adding they recently reduced the price of 1,000 products.
The retailer added that they remain committed to doing all they can to help when it comes to the cost of grocery shopping and also have Easter Collector scheme for eligible My Morrisons members. The scheme enables customers to receive a money-off voucher to spend at Easter if they meet the criteria and shop in the relevant weeks.
We supermarket chain said they have also launched a number of new initiatives in their cafe recently and a Kids Eat Free offer remains in place all day every day too.
An Asda spokesperson said: “We launched the Just Essentials By Asda range last year to provide customers with the option of getting all of their weekly essentials from the same low-cost ow brand range in all of our stores nationwide.
“We’re working hard to keep prices in check for customers despite global inflationary pressures and we remain the lowest-priced major supermarket – a position recognised by Which? in their regular monthly basket comparison which has named Asda as the cheapest supermarket for a big shop every month for the last three years.
“Last week we announced we would be freezing the prices of over 500 popular branded and own label products, more than half of which are fresh meat, dairy, fruit and vegetable products until the end of May.”
A Sainsburys spokesperson said: “With costs going up, we are working hard to keep prices low. In the last two years, we have invested over £550m into lowering prices as part of our goal to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s.
“We’re committed to doing everything we can to support customers with the rising cost of living. Through initiatives such as our Aldi Price Match campaign, Price Lock and My Nectar Prices, customers can find low prices on the products they buy most often both in stores and online – including milk, sugar and toilet roll.
“Our focus on value means that all our customers will find great deals when they shop with us and do not need to go anywhere else to get the best prices on their weekly shop.”
A Tesco spokesperson said: “With household budgets under increasing pressure we are absolutely committed to helping our customers, by keeping a laser focus on the cost of the weekly shop.
“So whether it’s price matching Aldi on the basics, locking the price of more than a thousand household staples until Easter 2023, or offering exclusive deals and rewards through thousands of Clubcard Prices – we’re more committed than ever to providing our customers with great value.”
While Tesco acknowledged the findings, the retailer added that through initiatives like Aldi Price Match, Low Everyday Prices and Clubcard Prices , they have significantly increased the number of value lines they have.
Earlier this year, Tesco announced a new price-lock commitment, freezing the prices of more than a thousand everyday products until Easter 2023 – from cupboard staples and teatime items, to household and health & beauty products.
An Aldi spokesperson said: “This survey demonstrates that Aldi is the lowest-priced supermarket in Britain, just like consumer champion Which? who have confirmed Aldi as the cheapest supermarket for the past nine months.
“With value being the number one consideration for most households, our customers know they will always pay less and get more for their money when they shop at Aldi.”