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Aldi returns to the top spot as the UK's cheapest supermarket

Aldi returns to the top spot as the UK's cheapest supermarket
John Fitzsimons
Written By:
John Fitzsimons

After losing its place as the UK's cheapest supermarket last month, Aldi is back as number one, according to a consumer champion.

Aldi has been named the cheapest supermarket in the UK. Each month, the consumer group Which? carries out a price comparison, checking how much a basket of regular goods will cost at each of the nation’s main supermarkets. 

This basket ‒ which in November consisted of 47 items ‒ was found to cost £76.77 at Aldi. 

Here is how the basket cost compared across the supermarkets:

Retailer Average basket price
Aldi £76.77
Lidl £77.56
Asda £84.42
Tesco £87.42
Sainsbury’s £87.79
Morrisons £89.54
Ocado £93.40
Waitrose £97.39

Aldi worked out less than £1 cheaper than its fellow deep discounter Lidl. However, there was a more substantial gap between both and the likes of Asda and Tesco, let alone the more premium option of Waitrose which came out more than £20 more expensive for the same basket of goods.

Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi, said: “Christmas can be an expensive time for everyone, with gifts to buy and families to feed. We’re thrilled that at such a crucial time Which? has officially named Aldi as the cheapest supermarket demonstrating our commitment to providing our customers with high quality food at everyday low prices.”

Last month Lidl had been named cheapest supermarket, bringing a 16-month streak for Aldi to an end, though it has reclaimed top spot in November. 

The bigger basket

Which? also checks prices for a larger basket each month, including greater numbers of products. Because these items are not always available at Aldi and Lidl, they are left off this particular check.

Here’s how the big supermarkets compare:

Supermarket Basket cost
Asda £328.15
Morrisons £338.16
Tesco £354.53
Ocado £356.78
Sainsbury’s £360.26
Waitrose £369.80

The perks of member pricing

It’s worth noting that these breakdowns include discounts that are available to everyone, but not lower pricing that is restricted to members of loyalty schemes.

A host of supermarkets over the last year or so have launched their own version of member pricing, where members of loyalty schemes qualify for cheaper deals on specific items. 

Making use of these schemes can have a big impact on the cost of your basket too ‒ previous studies from The Grocer have found that the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s are now cheaper than their other larger rivals when shoppers can make use of member pricing rather than the regular pricing available to all shoppers.

However there are concerts around how fair these schemes really are, with supermarkets accused of hiking prices for regular shoppers and making it harder to compare unit prices. Last week the Competition & Markets Authority confirmed it will be conducting an investigation into these schemes in the new year.