The UK’s cheapest supermarketBy TheStudentGuide
OK, so when we think supermarkets, we aren't necessarily filled with excitement.
We think trailing round and grabbing in blind panic the things off the shelves that look the most appealing; and we don’t generally take into account the cost. If it looks good, it tastes good, right? But this costs serious dolla. To get you a little more supermarket savvy, we’ve compiled a price comparison guide across seven everyday items found in supermarkets, so that we can see exactly where the good stuff is and you know where best to part with that precious loan of yours.
A loaf of own brand bread
Believe it or not, bread can be incredibly pricey, and it's these sorts of essentials (which you have to buy multiple times a week) which eat into your money. We've compared bread across seven supermarkets so you know where to go. A loaf of own brand at Sainsbury's will set you back a pricey 75p, whilst Tesco, Marks and Spencer and Aldi fare only slightly better at 69p. Walking away with it however are Morrisons and Asda, both of which charge just 47p for a loaf of bread. Tasty.
Washing up liquid
Washing up liquid retails at a very similar price across the board. You can pick up bottles in Tesco and LIDL for 89p a pop and Asda’s Supersaver brand comes in just below at 88p. In Sainsbury’s you can pick up a bottle of own brand for 80p (though only in the lemon scented, other smells will cost you a little more) and. However Aldi runs away with it, charging just 59p a bottle which is a pretty big saving. Wowza.
Diced chicken breast
Chicken is difficult to compare due to the discrepancies in weight, and diced chicken provides even more of a problem. However here’s a general guideline. A 375g pack of diced chicken at Aldi will cost you £2.69, which is definitely better than Sainsbury’s 251g for £2.50 and Asda’s 220g for £1.78. This time round however, you’re probably best going to Tesco to stock up on 410g for £2.94 – chicken is easily freezable and totally versatile so you can use it in a variety of meals and snacks. Heck you could eat for every meal in your week if it took your fancy.
Milk is much better value if you buy it in a larger carton, however only if you make sure to use it all. Buying everyday essentials like milk, bread and loo roll together with your flatmates is the sensible thing to do because it cuts the cost dramatically and you don’t end up throwing things away. Milk is fairly regularly priced in all supermarkets with a 4 pint carton costing you £1.18 at Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda. However Aldi proves to be the cheaper option once again as you can pick up a carton for just £1 in store.
12 pack of toilet roll
Not everywhere does a 12 pack of loo roll, but we thought it best to include it anyway as buying in bulk always proves more pocket friendly. Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s 9 packs come in at £3.99 each. However you can purchase 12 packs at Asda (£4.98) and Aldi which costs just £1.79 for the pleasure. Sure it’s a little rough and ready, but at over £3 cheaper than its nearest competitor, frankly we don’t care.
12 pack of sausages
Again, sausages have a tendency of going off and from our experiences they don’t freeze well...the less said about that the better. Buy between a few of you and make sausage and mash, casseroles, toad in the hole and a myriad of other delicacies for a low low price. Sainsbury’s 12 pack is rather high brow at £2.99 and Asda’s isn’t much more appetising at £2.50. Tesco doesn’t do a 12 pack so you’ll have to content yourself with 8, however at 56p you could stock up on two. Again though, Aldi really does come out on top selling a delicious 12 pack for just 84p – they ain’t half bad either.
4 pack of cider
Cider is a staple ok. It’s common knowledge that the best way to buy alcohol is to shop around and then to buy lots of it – you can pick up some fantastic reductions on 24 packs, or if you do buy 2 get 1 free deals etc. Not that we’re encouraging it. For a sensible 4 pack though, Strongbow tends to be the cheapest, retailing at £3.98 in Asda, £3.99 in Tesco and £4.19 in Sainsbury’s. If you’re willing to part ways with branded though (and you should be because this alternative really is good), Aldi’s Taurus retails at £2.09 for a 4 pack. And that’s a heck of a lot cheaper – you could probably use those savings to buy more!
So that's your lot. It's pretty clear that the best place to shop overall is Aldi. However Aldi won't be better on every single product and you should bear in mind that when you do ditch the brand, sometimes quality suffers. Not all the time of course, but it happens inevitable. Which makes it hard – you can’t be running here there and everywhere to pick up individual products at the lowest prices. The best advice is to buy branded originals of things you really enjoy (such as crisps and coca cola) and then down brand on other essentials such as the above. Maybe do your big shop at Aldi or LIDL and save treat times for the other supermarkets.
5 more top shopping tips:
- Never shop when you’re hungry, you’ll end up buying all manner of delicious but unnecessary items which will burn a hole n your pocket.
- Hang fire until the end of the day and then demolish the reduced section. Sandwiches at 10p? Yogurts for 7p? It can prove quite a highlight...Look for those beautiful yellow stickers and then run at the goods.
- Aldi super 6 - every week Aldi has 6 fruit and veg items priced at 39p. Fruit can be otherwise expensive so wait to see what these offers are before you splash out elsewhere.
- Markets also save you money - check out our feature on the best markets in UK cities for hints and tips on reducing your food spending.
- Do one big shop every couple of weeks and top up on essentials. If you plan the meals you’ll make in advance you can buy exactly what you need and avoid unnecessary expenditure. Sure, you’ll need to get more bread and milk every few days, but this way is far cheaper.
Top meal deals:
- Co-op’s dine in for £10. Buy a main (Paella, Moussaka or Lasagne) + side (Salad leaves, Cheese & Thyme Tear & Share Bread or Red Onion Flatbread) + dessert (Millionaires Shortbread or Strawberry & Champagne Melted Middle Cheesecakes) + a bottle of wine (South African Rose – red or white) for a fiver each. Magic.
- Sainsbury’s two pizzas and two sides for a fiver. Choose from Hot and Spicy, Margarita or Pepperoni (all 12”) + two sides (Coleslaw, Garlic Baguette, Garlic Pizza Bread or Side Salad) for a mere £2.50 each, or less if you want to split it more ways. That is amazing value.
- With Sainsbury’s Italian mean deal for two, you get one main (Beef Lasagne, Macaroni Cheese, Meat Feast Pasta Bake or Spaghetti Carbonara), one side (Garlic Ciabatta or Side Salad) and one dessert (GU Chocolate Ganache pots or Passion Fruit Cheesecakes, or Sainsbury’s Cheesecake Slices) for £5. Another great option from Sainsbury’s.
- Tesco’s Chicken Tikka and Korma Meal for two which comes with Naan Bread, Pilau Rice and Onion Bhajis to share – £6.95 or two for £12.
- Asda's main course, side and a dessert for £6.50. The choice here is extensive -lots of pastas and garlic breads - check the website for details as it changes regularly.
So there you go - a nice and handy list of tips. Use it wisely and don't be tempted to splurge!