Food prices fall, but where’s really cheapest to shop?
Published 3 July 2015 by Emily Bancroft
With supermarket prices falling, how can you save on your shopping bill?
You’ve probably heard a lot about the ‘supermarket price wars’ over the last year, with the big retailers cutting prices to compete with each other. It means more money in all of our pockets and prices could be set to fall even further.
A new survey from Kantar Worldpanel showed that budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl are setting their prices at rock bottom, forcing the big traditional supermarkets to drop theirs too. This means that it’s getting harder to tell the difference between the top supermarkets, as prices are becoming so close. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in Britain’s supermarkets, as well as how you could be saving.
Ongoing price war
According to the stats, groceries were 1.7% cheaper in the 12 weeks to 21 June than they were this time last year. The main reason for these falling prices is thought to be the rise of the budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl.
As it’s become the norm to buy groceries from budget supermarkets, customers have got savvier. They’re no longer sticking to the same store that’s nearest to their house – now they’re comparing prices and shopping around to get a better deal.
This means the big supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s – have had to act quickly to try and keep customers interested. They’ve been introducing price matching, cutting the cost of basics and offering new deals, and this means we’re now paying less for our groceries than we were this time last year.
Cheapest for basics
However, as all of the supermarkets have been cutting prices, it’s making it difficult to know which one is now the cheapest to go for. To try and help you make a decision, we looked at the prices of a few basic goods – a loaf of bread, bottle of milk, eggs, rice and tinned tomatoes – at five of the UK’s biggest supermarkets. Check out our findings in the chart below:
As you can see, Aldi was the clear winner and was either the cheapest or one of the cheapest for all six of the goods we searched for. So does that mean we should all be turning to the budget supermarkets and stop shopping at Tesco, Asda, Morrisons or Sainsbury’s?
Well, it’s not quite as simple as that. Budget supermarkets like Aldi or Lidl are great for getting your basics for cheaper but they have a much smaller range than the bigger stores. This means that if you’re looking for any more specialised ingredients, you probably won’t be able to pick these up in these stores.
How you can save
If you’re looking to cut the cost of your supermarket shop, find out how you could save with our helpful tips:
• Switch to supermarket’s own-brands goods, as most of them are as good as branded products.
• Plan your meals for the week and take a shopping list so you won’t be as tempted to waste your money on stuff you don’t need.
• Don’t just automatically buy the one with the deal sticker on. Check on the shelf how much it is per weight and see if it’s actually the cheapest option.
• Search on MySupermarket to compare prices as deals change all of the time.
• Get price-match vouchers when you shop. Keep your receipt as you may have to apply for these online.