Which is the cheapest supermarket 2022?

We examine the most recent data to help you find the cheapest supermarket

Woman in supermarket leaning on trolley and looking at her phone with a shopping list in hand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With the cost of living crisis showing no signs of abating, it’s important that families know how to find the cheapest supermarket and how to save money on food (opens in new tab). There are multiple reasons why food prices are going up (opens in new tab), and even more complex reasons why energy prices are going up (opens in new tab). As a result, household budgets remain under a lot of pressure.

Polly Shearer (opens in new tab) from kitchen specialists Tap Warehouse, told us: “Along with fuel, rent and bills, supermarket prices are on the rise and take up a large proportion of your weekly budget. We recommend properly planning your weekly meals and sticking to one large shop every week rather than buying dribs and drabs from smaller, more expensive outlets such as corner shops and express supermarkets.”

Whichever supermarket you choose to shop at, always remember to take your supermarket loyalty card (opens in new tab) to maximise any savings or benefits you can get.  

Which was the cheapest supermarket in October 2022?

Latest research by trade magazine The Grocer (opens in new tab) reveals that discount retailer Lidl is  currently the cheapest supermarket for everyday groceries, with Aldi a close second. The weekly shopping price survey compared the cost of a shopping basket of 33 typical grocery items at the biggest supermarkets (Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose), and compared it to the same basket at both Lidl and Aldi. Lidl’s basket came in at a total of £46.58, which was only 86p cheaper than runner-up Aldi, but a whopping £27.88 cheaper than the most expensive basket from Waitrose.

Overall, the supermarkets were ranked as follows from cheapest to the most expensive:

The full table of the 33 items that were compared across the supermarkets is outlined below: 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ProductAsdaMorrisonsSainsbury'sTescoWaitroseAldiLidl
Asparagus tips (100g)£1.85£1.99£1.88£2£2.50£1.74£1.69
Beef slices (own label, 100g)£2.85£3.69£2.73£3.28£3.95£1.90£2.09
Cadbury Dairy Milk bar (Fruit & Nut, 110g)£1.25£1.50£1.50£1.25£1.25£1.2598p
Carrot cake (own label)£2.65£2.75£2£3£3.30£2.19£2.19
Cava brut (own label, 75cl)£5.75£5.85£5.85£5.85£7.99£5.49£5.49
Chicago Town pizzas (deep dish four cheese, two pack)£1.75£1.50£2£1.49£1.55£1.49£1.49
Chips (own label, frozen, chunky 1kg)£5£3.19£3£3.50£3.45£2.39£2.39
Crisps (own label, ready salted, 6x25g)£1£1.19£1£1£1.1082p82p
Diet lemonade (own label, two litres)60p69p55p55p65p45p45p
Dip (own label, cheese and chive, 200g)79p£1.35£1.35£1.20£1.5079p79p
Feta (own label, 200g)£1.70£1.89£2.10£1.70£3£1.39£1.25
Garlic (four pack)87p99p79p79p£1.2779p79p
Grapes (seedless, mixed, 500g)£1.63£2.15£2£2£2.50£1.89£1.89
(white, thick, 800g)£1.20£1.45£1.40£1.20£1.40£1.20£1.20
Kale (200g)80p99p75p83p£175p79p
Mangetout (200g)£1£1.43£1.04£1.07£1.2095p96p
Mashed potato (own label, 400g)£1.0199p79p79p£1.3579p79p
Melon (honeydew)£1.69£1.79£1.69£1.69£2.50£1.6999p
Milk (own label, semi-skimmed, four pints)£1.55£1.55£1.55£1.55£1.55£1.55£1.55
Mixed herbs (own label, 11g)70p99p95p93p£1.5862p62p
Natural yoghurt (own label, fat free, 500g)£199p95p£195p45p45p
Pitta (own label, wholemeal, six pack)55p59p55p55p70p55p55p
Rapeseed oil (own label, 500ml)£2£3.50£3.50£3.50£4.20£1.79£1.79
Refuse sacks (own label, tie top, 20 pack)£2.50£2.50£2.50£2.75£5.20£2.09£2.09
Sausage rolls (own label, 454g)£1.50£2£1.49£1.85£3.13£1.49£1.49
Shortbread fingers (own label, 200g)85p95p79p80p84p65p65p
Smoothie (own label, strawberry and banana, 750ml)£1.50£1.60£1.60£1.60£1.90£1.29£1.29
Soup (own label, cream of chicken, 400g)55p85p55p60p60p45p45p
Sticky toffee pudding (own label, 2x110g)£2.10£2.09£2.60£2.06£2.20£1.59£1.59
Sure Men deodorant (Ice Fresh, 250ml)£1.75£2£1.75£1.75£2£1.75£1.75
Toilet tissue (own label, quilted, nine pack)£4£4.60£4£3.75£5£3.19£3.19
Tomato purée (own label, 200g)60p49p50p50p75p43p39p
Total cost£56.38£62.02£57.79£58.33£74.46£47.44£46.58

However, Which? conducts its own research and has determined that Aldi was the cheapest supermarket for October 2022, with Lidl a close second. Which? checked the price of 48 popular grocery items including Heinz baked beans, milk and teabags, and found that Aldi was the cheapest at £75.79, compared to the Lidl basket of the same items which cost £77.68, £1.89 more.  

In contrast, Which? found Waitrose to be the most expensive in October 2022, costing £25.38 more than the equivalent basket from Aldi. Of the ‘big four’ supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons), Asda was cheapest at £84.98.

Here's how the basket prices from Which? research compare:

  •  Aldi - £75.79  
  •  Lidl - £77.68 
  •  Asda - £84.98  
  •  Tesco - £86.21 
  •   Sainsbury's - £86.36 
  •  Morrisons - £92.72 
  •  Ocado - £93.99  
  •  Waitrose - £101.17  

mother in supermarket looking at fresh vegetables with young son

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is Lidl cheaper than Aldi?

Lidl isn't always cheaper than Aldi, but sometimes it is – the rivalry between the two discounters is pretty fierce. According to Which?’s annual survey (opens in new tab), Aldi narrowly beat Lidl to be named cheapest supermarket of the year for 2021. However, Lidl won the cheapest supermarket accolade in 2020 and was also the cheapest supermarket in May 2022, at £23.55 for a basket of 18 groceries. In comparison, Aldi’s basket was £24.60.

Which?’s annual survey tracks hundreds of thousands of grocery prices across the UK’s eight major supermarkets throughout the year to find out how much each retailer is charging for everyday items such as bread, milk and eggs. Last year (2021), Aldi was found to be cheapest for six of the 12 months, while Lidl was the cheapest for five. For one month, January 2021, Aldi and Lidl were tied with a basket of 19 items costing £18.45 at both stores.

Discount retailers Lidl and Aldi have soared in popularity in recent years, thanks to their ability to offer a wide range of products at low prices due to low operating costs.

Which was the cheapest supermarket each month of 2022?

The table below outlines the cheapest supermarkets for each month of 2022, and the most expensive, according to research by Which?. Note that a greater range of products has been included from June onwards.  

Swipe to scroll horizontally
MonthCheapest supermarketMost expensive supermarket
JanLidl (£24.78)Waitrose (£33.94)
FebLidl (£24.21)Waitrose (£33.71)
MarLidl (£26.83)Waitrose (£36.04)
AprLidl (£25.92)Waitrose (£35.06)
MayLidl (£23.55)Waitrose (£31.85)
JunAldi (£75.61)Waitrose (£101.14)
JulAldi (£74.34)Waitrose (£99.46)
AugAldi (£76.24)Waitrose (£102.20)
SepAldi (£75.61)Waitrose (£99.40)
OctAldi (£75.79)Waitrose (£101.17)

 As you can see in the table above, Lidl and Aldi regularly battle it out each month to see which supermarket comes out as the cheapest. Asda is consistently the third cheapest option while Tesco and Sainsbury's tend to consistently be priced in the middle of the range.  

Which is the most expensive supermarket?

Research from both The Grocer and Which? has highlighted Waitrose as being the most expensive supermarket. According to Which’s annual survey, Waitrose was consistently the most expensive across the 12 months of 2021. In fact, a basket of everyday items at Waitrose cost from £6 to over £10 more per month than the cheapest supermarket. 

As you can see in the table above, for each month of 2022 so far, Waitrose has consistently been the most expensive supermarket. 

The research from Which? also revealed that while food prices rose at all supermarkets over 2021, prices increased the most at Waitrose. Prices rose by a massive 9%, compared to the average 3% rise across all eight supermarkets. That said, prices at Aldi and Lidl also increased by more than the average over the 12-month period. In comparison, Sainsbury’s managed to keep its prices relatively steady over the year, with the smallest price rise of 0.59%.

mother pushing supermarket trolley with two young children

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How do online delivery costs compare?

If you want to get your food shop delivered straight to your door, you’ll need to factor in delivery fees. These will vary depending on the supermarket and the time and date of your delivery. Midweek slots tend to be cheaper than weekends, for instance.

You can usually pay as you go or opt for a delivery pass which covers you for up to a year and means you can get free delivery any time. 

Asda

  •  Minimum spend: £40 
  •  Cost: Between £1 and £5. An additional fee of £3 applies to orders under £40. 
  •  Delivery pass: The Anytime Delivery Pass is available for 12 months at a cost of £6.50 a month or a £65 one-off payment. The Midweek 12-month pass for deliveries on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays costs £35.  

Morrisons

  •  Minimum spend: £40
  •  Cost: Between £1.50 and £6. 
  •  Delivery pass: The Anytime Delivery Pass costs £70 for a year, £45 for six months or £8 monthly. The Midweek Delivery Pass for deliveries on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays costs £40 a year, £25 for six months or £5 monthly.  

Sainsbury's

  •  Minimum spend: £25 
  •  Cost: Between £1 and £4.50 for orders over £40. Orders under £40 will be charged a £7 delivery charge. 
  •  Delivery pass: The Anytime Delivery Pass costs £80 for a year, £40 for six months or £7.50 monthly. The Midweek Delivery Pass for deliveries on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays costs £40 a year or £4 monthly.  

Tesco

  •  Minimum spend: £40 
  •  Cost: Between £3 and £7 if you want a fixed one-hour slot, or between £2.50 and £4 if you are happy with a flexible slot. An additional £4 is charged if you order less than £40. 
  •  Delivery pass: The Anytime Delivery 12-month plan costs £6.99 a month or £83.88 upfront, while the 6-month plan costs £7.99 a month or £47.94 upfront. The Off Peak Delivery 12-month plan costs £3.99 a month or £47.88 upfront, while the 6-month plan costs £4.99 a month or £29.94 upfront. 

Ocado

  •  Minimum spend: £40 
  •  Cost: Between £0 and £6.99 depending on slot availability. If your order is less than £75, there is a minimum charge of £2.99 and a maximum of £6.99.
  •  Delivery pass: The Ocado Anytime Smart Pass costs £89.99 for 12 months or £49.99 for six months. The Midweek pass costs £39.99 for 12 months or £22.49 for six months.    

Waitrose

  •  Minimum spend: £40 
  •  Cost: £3 
  •  Delivery pass: n/a 

How to find the cheapest supermarket

Monitoring surveys and research from publications such as The Grocer and Which? is one way to keep track of the latest supermarket trends. But there are also a number of apps and tools that can help you. 

Scott Dixon (opens in new tab), consumer rights expert at The Complaints Resolver, told us: “The Trolley.co.uk (opens in new tab) app helps you compare grocery prices at all of the major supermarkets and tells you at a glance where the cheapest items can be found. Latest Deals (opens in new tab) also shares the best deals for various retailers as well as vouchers and freebies.

Too Good To Go (opens in new tab) is an app which connects retailers and consumers to reduce food waste. Retailers list food that would usually be thrown away towards the end of each day for consumers to pick up at reduced prices.”

There’s also Superizon (opens in new tab) and My Supermarket Compare (opens in new tab) which can help you compare products and prices more easily.  

Is the cheapest supermarket the best?

At a time when the cost of living is soaring, hunting out the cheapest supermarket and finding the biggest savings will be a top priority. 

However, cost isn’t the only factor that should be considered when looking for the best supermarket for your circumstances. 

Customer service can be particularly important if you might need additional support buying groceries in-store or online. Keep in mind that while budget stores such as Lidl and Aldi are often cheapest, their in-store shopping experience tends to be more minimalist.  

Budget stores don’t always offer the widest range of products either, although this has improved over time. Some, such as Lidl, also do not offer home delivery for food, unlike most traditional supermarkets. 

Founder of A Happy Lifestyle Club, Jessica Barclay (opens in new tab), told us: “I don’t think there is one outright ‘cheapest’ supermarket. It depends on how you eat. Some have better value vegan ranges and others may have better kids options. We also find it easier to make better choices in calmer environments. So choosing a supermarket that we find less stressful will also be beneficial. 

“Consider driving distance and parking too. Ask yourself, ‘do you lose in fuel cost what you save at the till?’” 

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Rachel is a freelance personal finance journalist who has been writing about everything from mortgages to car insurance for over a decade. Having previously worked at Shares Magazine, where she specialised in small-cap stocks, Rachel developed a passion for consumer finance and saving money when she moved to lovemoney.com (opens in new tab). She later spent more than 8 years as an editor at price comparison site MoneySuperMarket where she helped support the CRM programme, as well as the SEO and PR teams, often acting as spokesperson. Rachel went freelance in 2020, just as the pandemic hit, and has since written for numerous websites and national newspapers, including The Mail on Sunday, The Observer, The Sun and Forbes. She is passionate about helping consumers become more confident with their finances, giving them the tools they need to take control of their money and make savings. In her spare time, Rachel is a keen traveller and baker.