We bought the same shopping list from Lidl and the big six supermarkets to see if it’s really the cheapest and M&S was the surprise result

We have all seen our supermarket shopping bills rise over the past year as a combination of coronavirus, Brexit, lorry driver shortages, fuel cost rises and now the impact of the invasion of Ukraine. This week discount store Lidl was named the cheapest supermarket for everyday groceries despite prices being 4.5% more expensive than last year.

A comparison by trade magazine The Grocer of some of the biggest retailers found the German discount chain was the best option for shoppers looking to buy grocery staples on a budget.

Read more: Wales faces the worst food crisis since the Second World War

The study was made by trade magazine The Grocer which carries out a weekly shopping basket price survey of the biggest supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose – but last weekend added Lidl to the list.

They found that a basket of 33 everyday grocery staple products bought from the discount chain was £ 7.13 cheaper than the same items purchased from Asda.

We decided to do our own survey looking at the cost of seven essential items in seven of the biggest supermarkets in Wales.

The shopping baskets from the different stores found a difference of more than £ 2 between the most expensive and cheapest shops.

The items were:

  • two pints of semi-skimmed milk
  • a box of 6 free range eggs
  • pack of ripe cheddar cheese
  • 500g of spaghetti
  • one load of thick-cut white sliced ​​bread
  • six Braeburn appeals
  • a 12-pack of breakfast wheat cereal.

The prices were taken on the morning of Thursday, March 17, from seven different supermarkets in south Wales, including Aldi, Asda, Tesco, M&S, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

All supermarkets have seen increases over the past year. The Grocer data shows that while Lidl is up 4.5% on last year. Asda and Waitrose are up by 4.6%, Sainsbury’s by 3.2% and Tesco by 3.3%.

Our survey found that the cheapest supermarket for our essential items was Aldi with the seven items costing £ 8.46£ 2.04 cheaper than Co-op which at £ 10.50 was the most expensive.

Here is how the different shops compared with cheapest to most expensive:

1. Aldi

Six free range eggs – 99p

Ripe cheddar – £ 1.99 for 220g

Two pints of semi-skimmed – 95p

550g of spaghetti – 55p

One loaf of white sliced ​​bread – £ 1.19

Six Braeburn apples – £ 1.19

Weetabix (12 pack) – £ 1.60

TOTAL: £ 8.46

2. Sainsbury’s

Six free range eggs – £ 1.25

Ripe cheddar – £ 1.60 for 220g

Two pints of semi-skimmed – 95p

550g of spaghetti – 70p

One loaf of white sliced ​​bread – £ 1.20

Six Braeburn apples – £ 1.60

Weetabix (12 pack) – £ 1.60

TOTAL: £ 8.90

3. Asda

Six free range eggs – £ 1.20

Ripe cheddar – £ 2.10 for 400g

Two pints of semi-skimmed – 95p

550g of spaghetti – £ 1

One loaf of white sliced ​​bread – £ 1.25

Six Braeburn apples – 95p

Weetabix (12 pack) – £ 1.49

TOTAL: £ 8.94

4 = Marks and Spencer

Six free range eggs – £ 2

Ripe cheddar – £ 2 for 350g

Two pints of semi-skimmed – 95p

550g of spaghetti – 75p

One loaf of white sliced ​​bread – 65p M&S thick white super soft

Six Braeburn apples – £ 2

Weetabix – £ 1.95 for M&S Wholegrain Wheat Biscuits 24 per pack

TOTAL: £ 10.30

4 = Tesco

Six free range eggs – £ 1.25

Ripe cheddar – £ 1.60 for 220g

Two pints of semi-skimmed – 95p

550g of spaghetti – 70p

One loaf of white sliced ​​bread – £ 1.20

Six Braeburn apples – £ 1.60

Weetabix (12 pack) – £ 3

TOTAL: £ 10.30

6. Morrisons

Six free range eggs – £ 2

Ripe cheddar – £ 2.70 for 350g (on offer from £ 3.50)

Two pints of semi-skimmed – 95p

550g of spaghetti – 20p

One loaf of white sliced ​​bread – £ 1.40

Six Braeburn apples – £ 1.50

Weetabix (12 pack) – £ 1.60

TOTAL: £ 10.35

7. Co-op

Six free range eggs – £ 1.15

Mature Cheddar – £ 2.20 for 200g

Two pints of semi-skinned – 95p

550g of spaghetti – 90p

One loaf of white sliced ​​bread – £ 1.55

Six Braeburn apples – £ 1.80

Weetbix – £ 1.95

TOTAL: £ 10.50

Marks & Spencer, which is often thought of as a more expensive store to buy essentials, was fifth on the list. coming in at a cost of £ 10.30.

The most expensive box of six free range eggs were £ 2 at Marks and Spencer and Morrisons, the cheapest were 99p from Aldi.

One of the biggest bargains was 20p for 500g of spaghetti from Morrisons, compared to £ 1 at Asda.

Marks and Spencer’s don’t sell Weetabix, but £ 1.95 for 24 Wholegrain Wheat Biscuits is great value to money, especially when compared to £ 1.60 for 12 Weetabix in the majority of the other stores.

More data from analytics firm Kantar has found the cost of savory snacks, beef and cat food rocketed as inflation leapt to 4.3 per cent in February, while bacon, beer, lager and spirits fell.

Head of retail Fraser McKevitt said this week: “Apart from the start of the pandemic, when we saw grocers cut promotional deals to maintain availability, this is the fastest rate of inflation we’ve recorded since September 2013.

“Added to this, ongoing supply chain pressures and the potential impact of the conflict in Ukraine are set to continue pushing up prices paid by consumers.

“In terms of understanding how shoppers are responding, it’s a complex picture for the market this month.

“Households spent on average £ 26.07 less at supermarkets in February and own-label sales did better than brands for the first time in three months.”

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