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Cheapest online supermarket named as price of basket goes up by up to £5.79

An online price-tracking website that is constantly monitoring price increases and decreases across six major UK online supermarkets says Asda has retained its title as the least expensive option for British consumers looking to keep their grocery costs down right now. The latest research found that Asda is the most affordable supermarket right now, while Morrisons came second with a current average basket cost of £123.40 (£6.06 more expensive than Asda).

After analysing prices across all of the six supermarkets, Asda was revealed as £19.79 cheaper than Waitrose – the most expensive supermarket currently being tracked. Morrisons battled with Tesco for second place throughout July.

Morrisons offered the second most affordable shop for three out of the four weeks of analysis, albeit by close margins – there was just an 87p average basket cost difference between them and Tesco. However, Morrisons’ costs increased towards the end of the month; their basket value went up by £5.79 from £123.66 in week three to £129.45 in week four, while Tesco offered the second cheapest basket shop for the last week of the month at £124.65. Although they were pipped to the post, Tesco moved up the leader board to third place from last month, while Sainsbury’s plummeted to fourth place.

Looking into price changes across the board, the price of alcohol, including gin, vodka and beer, fluctuated throughout the month across all six supermarkets. Gin and vodka at Morrisons and Asda started the month at £13 and then, for the last two weeks of the month – when England reached the finals – increased by almost 20% to £16 at both supermarkets. Furthermore, a pack of four beers at Asda cost just £4 for the first week of July, and then went up to £4.60 during the week of the Women’s Euros final.

Moreover, the price of chocolate also varied throughout the month for all supermarkets, as parents shopped for teacher’s gifts ahead of the kid’s summer holidays commencing. Morrisons and Sainsbury’s both slashed the price of a 360g Cadbury chocolate bar by £1 at the end of the month, dropping from £4 to £3, while Asda and Ocado increased theirs by 50p and £1 respectively.

Andy Barr, co-founder of www.alertr.co.uk, said: “For the weekly shop, as it currently stands, there’s still a stark difference between the top and bottom spots on the leader board of almost £20, which has increased substantially from last month. Throughout the year so far, we’ve seen much less disparity across the rest of the board, and this is still the case, especially between those supermarkets placing second, third and fourth on a regular basis – Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s. However, Asda remains at the top of the leader board with a respectable price difference of £6.06 between them and runners-up, Morrisons. While the 86p price difference between Morrisons and Tesco, and the 64p difference between Tesco and Sainsbury’s, shows that the top four supermarkets are once again competing much more closely.

“It’ll be interesting to see how the battle of the supermarkets will play out over the next few months – whether Asda will continue to reign supreme and if the other spots on the leader board alternate again. With the cost-of-living crisis squeezing household incomes more than ever, and as the prices of everyday staples such as milk and bread continue to climb, who knows how the supermarket sector will cope in the latter stages of the year. On top of this, the October price cap increase will inevitably cause many families to make the most difficult choices in their lives, such as having to choose between heating and eating – so it’ll certainly be telling how supermarkets react to this and if product prices increase further.”

The online price-tracking website has been tracking the prices of 42 everyday items from the shopping basket on the Office for National Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) since 2019. Included within the list are items such as eggs, milk and bread, as well as non-perishables such as pasta, rice and cereal. The prices across six of the largest supermarkets are analysed, with discount retailers Lidl and Aldi not included due to the inability for customers to shop full ranges online and not having the same like-for-like branded products that other supermarkets stock.

Own-brand items (or their equivalent) were monitored in the research to give the most unbiased comparison of goods and their prices, with the exception of branded items that all six supermarkets stocked (e.g., Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s Cornflakes, etc.).

The full breakdown of each supermarket’s current basket costs are as follows:

1. ASDA – £117.34 (+28p compared to last month’s findings)

2. Morrisons – £123.40 (+£1.20)

3. Tesco – £124.26 (+£1.85)

4. Sainsbury’s – £124.90 (+£4.03)

5. Ocado – £135.99 (+£5.79)

6. Waitrose – £137.13 (+£4.28)

To ensure the results across the stores are fair, if an item is unavailable or out of stock in one of the six online stores then the product is dismissed entirely and not analysed within the final costs of all stores. Items can also be replaced with another like-for-like item, as long as it is in stock across all six retailers. However, for this current basket, no products that were being tracked had to be swapped or were out of stock.

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