Mum shares the 4 times M&S Food was actually cheaper than Aldi, and it'll challenge everything you think you know

One mum has gone viral thanks to her eye-opening price comparison between Aldi and M&S Food

Happy parents with three children, pushing a trolley in a supermarket
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With the cost of living still high, many families will have made changes over the last couple of years to accommodate price rises. And one key place families have made savings is the weekly food shop. 

Some families might have already swapped to the cheapest supermarket (if you're not sure if Aldi or Lidl is actually cheaper, we've done an experiment to find out), but others might have tried some other ways to save money on food. 

While it might seem like a relatively safe bet when it comes to which supermarkets are the cheapest and which are the most expensive (we've also done an experiment to see if Waitrose is more expensive than M&S Food), one mum has highlighted the real price difference between budget supermarket Aldi, and premium alternative M&S Food, with eye-opening results. 

Under the Instagram name This.Mum.Cooks, mum Jo shares loads of tips for families cooking on a budget. But there's one video of Jo's that has amassed almost two million views since it was posted, and that's her Aldi vs Marks and Spencer price comparison. In the video, Jo says: "People tell me to shop at Aldi because it's half the price of Marks and Spencer - let's take a look."

Jo then goes on to compare the prices of various family food shop staples, including fruit, vegetables and meat - with surprising results.

How to Aldi and M&S Food costs compare?

First up, mum Jo looks at the price of a cucumber, 79p in Aldi, and just a penny more in M&S Food. When it came to bananas, these were 18p each in Aldi, and 99p per kilogram in M&S Food, which Jo estimates works out as 12 or 13p each in M&S. 

When it comes to poultry and meat, chicken leg portions were £2.25 per kilogram in Aldi, and for the M&S 'higher welfare' option, the price was £2.50 per kilogram, which is a price difference of just 25p. The prices were very similar when it came to a 500g pack of beef mince, £2.49 in Aldi, and just a penny more in M&S where the same size pack of beef mince was £2.50.

When it came to a six pack of tomatoes, and a four-pint bottle of milk, the prices were exactly the same in Aldi and M&S, with the tomatoes coming in at 85p a pack and the milk costing £1.45 in both supermarkets. 

Cashier ringing up shopping at a supermarket checkout

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But there were four instances where M&S actually worked out cheaper than Aldi in the comparison. In Aldi, a three pack of large onions was £1.49, which means a cost of about 50p per onion. But a similar looking onion in M&S was half the price at just 25p. Similarly, when it came to a pack of white potatoes, these were 52p per kilogram in Aldi, and just 50p per kilogram in M&S, while half a dozen eggs were £1.35 in Aldi and £1.25 in M&S.

So, based on Jo's comparison, there is very little in it in terms of price. 

So is M&S really as cheap as Aldi?

While the comparison showed that the selected products were very similar in price between Aldi and M&S, on the whole, there is still a significant price difference between the two retailers. Aldi is definitely at the budget end of the supermarket spectrum, and M&S is definitely a more premium option. 

It's worthwhile pointing out that the M&S products mentioned in the video were largely part of the M&S Remarksable range, which promises everyday low prices on the things you buy most. But if you compare the products outside of that range with the equivalent products at Aldi, you will likely notice the price difference more. 

Moreover, while some prices may be similar, you will likely notice more of a difference when it comes to the type, variety and quality of products on offer between the two supermarkets. 

How to save money on food wherever you shop

Wherever you do your food shop, there will be ways to keep costs under control. 

  • Always take a shopping list and stick to it (as well as saving money, this also reduces food waste)
  • You might have to look around for the best prices - supermarkets regularly change up displays, and tend to put more expensive options at eye level
  • Cook from scratch where you can
  • Avoid pre-packaged vegetables, fruit and sandwiches 
  • Make use of your freezer where you can
  • Take advantage of bulk buying opportunities, but bear in mind use-by dates and the available storage space you have.

If you're looking to reduce your food costs, check out our money expert's top trick to save money on food, our family-friendly tips on how to get free food, or this mum's super-simple hack to save money on cheese.

Sarah Handley
Consumer Writer & Money Editor, GoodtoKnow

Sarah is GoodtoKnow’s Consumer Writer & Money Editor and is passionate about helping mums save money wherever they can - whether that's spending wisely on toys and kidswear or keeping on top of the latest news around childcare costs, child benefit, the motherhood penalty. A writer, journalist and editor with more than 15 years' experience, Sarah is all about the latest toy trends and is always on the look out for toys for her nephew or Goddaughters so that she remains one of their favourite grown ups. When not writing about money or best buys, Sarah can be found hanging out with her rockstar dog Pepsi, getting opinionated about a movie or learning British Sign Language.