Cheapest and most expensive supermarkets revealed

Cheapest and priciest supermarkets to buy a basket of 20 items or trolley-load of 85 goods revealed: Waitrose is 32% more expensive than Lidl

  • 20-item shop came in over £7 more at Waitrose than at Lidl, Which? said
  • For a trolley of 85 items excluding discounters, Asda came out as the cheapest 

Lidl is the cheapest supermarket for a basket of 20 frequently purchased items from the supermarket by just 3p, research shows, revealing just how tight the competition is at the top.

The price of 20 items, including own-brand apples, eggs and tomatoes and other branded staples like Hovis wholemeal bread, came in at £22.48 at Lidl.

Its German discount rival Aldi was second. Both are more than £2 cheaper than bronze placed Asda, Which’s? latest analysis reveals.

At the end of the spectrum, the final bill for the same basket of 20 goods at Waitrose was £7 more expensive than at Lidl, coming in at £29.77. In percentage terms, the same 20-item shop came in 32 per cent higher at Waitrose than in Lidl.

How much? A basket of 20 commonly purchased items was cheapest to buy at Lidl, Which? told This is Money 

For a trolley full of 85 items, but excluding Aldi and Lidl, Asda came out as the cheapest option, at £160.42.

Waitrose came out as the most expensive supermarket to buy the 85 items in question, with the final bill a hefty £181.64, which is over £21 pricier than at Lidl.

The selection of 85 items includes a greater selection of branded products, like Branston baked beans and Kleenex tissues, that are not always available in the discounter supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl, Which? said.

For a bigger shop like this, grocery prices at Sainsbury’s and Morrisons were similar, with just £1.50 separating them. 

Trolley shop: An 85-item supermarket shop was cheapest at Asda, Which? said. Aldi and Lidl were excluded from this ranking

Trolley shop: An 85-item supermarket shop was cheapest at Asda, Which? said. Aldi and Lidl were excluded from this ranking

Load up: A trolley full of 85 goods came in at £160.42 at Asda, Which? told This is Money

Load up: A trolley full of 85 goods came in at £160.42 at Asda, Which? told This is Money 

In the analysis of 20 goods, which includes Aldi and Lidl, groceries with some of the biggest price differences include own-label large free-range eggs, which had a difference of £1.15 between Lidl and Waitrose, and own-label rocket, which had a difference of 86p.

Which? said: ‘We can’t compare exactly the same items each month because products aren’t always available at every retailer, but Asda has been the cheapest mainstream (non-discounter) supermarket for more than a year now, having claimed the title every month since January 2020.’

While price will often be an important consideration for many shoppers, other factors like location, convenience and even how pleasant a store is to shop in, all have a role to play in out supermarket habits.


Is price always the most important factor when you use a supermarket?

Natalie Hitchens, head of home products and services at Which? told This is Money: ‘Many households have felt the pinch during the pandemic, and your weekly shop can have a significant impact on your wallet, so getting value for money has become more important than ever.

‘Our analysis shows that the discounters do live up to their reputations, with Lidl and Aldi providing shoppers with genuinely cheaper baskets.’

In calculating the costs for a basket of 20 goods or a trolley load of 85 items, Which? noted that own-brand items are not exactly the same at different supermarkets, but they used experts to ensure the products were as comparable as possible.

Supermarkets have benefited from being able to remain open throughout the pandemic and have seen a surge in online orders over the past year.

Online-based Ocado averaged 329,000 orders in the first quarter with an average order size of £147, but unlike other retailers, it does not expect a summer boom of returning to work, which could help maintain increased online orders. 

All eyes will be on Tesco next week for its preliminary annual results. The supermarket giant has been on a mission to ensure it maintains its competitive edge against the likes if Aldi and Lidl.