Asda v Aldi: I did my weekly shop at both supermarkets and one was much cheaper

By Alice Suffield

When you think of a low priced supermarket, you would perhaps consider Lidl, Aldi or maybe even Tesco.

So you might be surprised to hear that Asda was named as the UK's cheapest supermarket at the Grocer Gold Awards award ceremony held by retail industry magazine, The Grocer.

Aldi is notorious for its low prices, discount dupes and speedy checkout staff, all of which enables the discount retailer to keep its prices as low as possible.

Asda on the other hand, has its famous RollBack events where it 'rolls back' the prices of branded and unbranded items, as well as having multi-item discounts.

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Reporter Alice Suffield checking out at Asda (Alice Suffield)

In an attempt to compete with the discount stores, Asda, as well as the other 'big four' has its own brand range, which is significantly cheaper than the brands.

In theory then, as the title holder of UK's cheapest supermarket, buying a basket of Asda's own branded goods should come out cheaper than buying the same basket at Aldi.

So that's exactly what I've done.

No review of a trip to the supermarket during a pandemic is complete without a rundown of the Covid-safe measures the supermarkets had in place.

Most of us by now will be familiar with the traffic lights controlling the capacity of the stores as well as the mandatory mask wearing.

Both stores were enforcing social distancing and all employees and customers I saw had masks on.

It was reassuring, however, to see a member of staff positioned at the front of Asda with disposable masks on offer for those who had forgotten them.

I went into both supermarkets armed with a shopping list consisting of of: milk, bread, pittas, crisps, orange juice, boil in the bag rice, spaghetti, chicken, onions, peppers, grapes, custard creams and diet coke.

Receipts from Aldi and Asda (Alice Suffield)

The receipts show:

Asda: milk at 89p, bread at 58p, pittas at 45p, crisps at £1, orange juice at 79p, boil in a bag rice at £1, spaghetti at 65p, chicken at £3.76, onions at 58p, peppers at £1.34, grapes at £1.20, custard creams at 41p and diet coke at £2.10.

Total: £19.15

Aldi: milk at 80p, bread at 49p, pittas at 35p, crisps at 85p, orange juice at 69p, boil in a bag rice at 45p, spaghetti at 20p, chicken at £3.35, onions at 55p, peppers at £1.29, grapes at £1.39, custard creams at 31p and diet coke at £1.79.

Total: £16.40

This is where it gets interesting; Aldi was cheaper on every item but one.

Asda and Aldi grapes (Alice Suffield)
Asda and Aldi orange juice (Alice Suffield)

The grapes at Asda came in at a whole 11p cheaper (I know one is red and one is black but they're essentially the same - I Googled it) .

Every other item, however, was cheaper at Aldi.

For some items, such as the onions or the orange juice, it only differed by a few pence.

But some, such as the pizzas, which were the most expensive items I bought, had a wider price gap of 49p.

An interesting difference was between the price of the Diet Coke, the only branded item on my list (I'm a snob when it comes to Coca-Cola).

At Asda, I was able to buy a 1.75L bottle for £2.10, whereas at Aldi, I was able to buy the larger 2.25L bottle for a significantly cheaper £1.79.

Diet coke from Asda and Aldi (Alice Suffield)
Alice Suffield and an Asda Pizza at Morriston Asda (Alice Suffield)

An anomaly in my experiment came in the shape of pasta.

I was only able to get my hands on tagliatelle (at a cost of 65p) in Asda, but when I came to Aldi there was no tagliatelle in sight so I had to make do with plain spaghetti (at a very cheap 20p) .

I spent 40p on reusable bags in both stores, and with that taken into account, there was difference of £2.75 in Aldi's favour.

Two bags of Asda shopping taken at Morriston Asda (Alice Suffield)
(Alice Suffield)

Despite winning the title of UK's cheapest supermarket, Asda lost the battle on this occasion.

Whilst Aldi's prices were cheaper, a difference of under three pounds does show that Asda is a viable option for those on a budget (like me).

I'll definitely be heading back to both in the future.

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