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Which supermarket was cheapest in October 2017?

Morrisons retained its position as the cheapest supermarket for a basket of groceries in October. The average price for a basket of 65 branded items at Morrisons was ?116.41, making it the cheapest of all the supermarkets we compared during the month. Waitrose was the most expensive place to buy the same grocery basket of branded products, with an average cost of ?129.93 – that’s ?13.52 more.

It is the fifth time this year that Morrisons has come out on top in our monthly grocery price comparison. Asda has won the top spot three times in 2017, while Tesco has been cheapest twice. To see the full price comparison results, including Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, head to our supermarket prices compared[1] page.

Supermarkets in the news in October

This month, Sainsbury’s announced it was cutting 2,000 payroll and human resources jobs amid food inflation and rising wage bills.

The move follows Tesco and Asda both making cuts to office staff earlier this year. It’s not all bad news for supermarkets, though. Tesco recorded soaring half-year profits after seven consecutive quarters of sales growth in its core UK business.

The supermarket giant said statutory pre-tax profit rose 691.5% to ?562m in the six months to 26 August 2017. Meanwhile, Aldi unveiled plans to build a ?75m distribution centre in Bedford to employ more than 400 people. It would be its twelfth warehouse in the UK.

Plus, Aldi, Iceland and Tesco defied the Royal Mint by accepting the old ?1 coin after the deadline of 15 October 2017. You can’t spend your round pounds there any longer, though, as all have since stopped accepting the old coins.

How we compare supermarket prices

Each month, we start with a list of more than 100 popular branded products that are likely to be sold in the six supermarkets we cover (Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose). The products range from PG Tips tea to Warburtons bread and John West sardines.

Using data from the independent shopping website MySupermarket[2], we calculate the average price (including discounts, but not multibuys) for each item across a whole month. We add up those average prices to get the cost of the basket. If a product hasn’t been sold in one or more of the six supermarkets during the month, then it’s removed from that month’s basket altogether to ensure a fair comparison.

This month, we included 65 items in the basket.

Supermarket price comparison schemes

Many supermarkets have a price-matching scheme, where they compare their prices against other supermarkets and give you a voucher for the difference if your shopping would have been cheaper elsewhere. We’ve rounded up the differences between each scheme below. Click the links to find out how each supermarket compared in our customer satisfaction survey:

  • Asda[3] will give you a voucher for the difference if your ‘comparable grocery shopping’ isn’t 10% cheaper than at Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
  • Morrisons [4]no longer has a price-match scheme.
  • Ocado[5] price matches against Tesco and will give you a voucher for the difference.
  • Sainsbury’s[6] no longer has a price-match scheme.
  • Tesco[7] checks prices on branded products against Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.

    Tesco will deduct the difference from the price of your shop before you pay at the till or online, so should charge the same as Morrisons for our basket.

    But you need to buy at least 10 items to qualify for the scheme.

  • Waitrose[8] price matches Tesco on branded items.

    There aren’t any vouchers – it claims to sell these items at the same price.

References

  1. ^ supermarket prices compared (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ MySupermarket (www.mysupermarket.co.uk)
  3. ^ Asda (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Morrisons (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ Ocado (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ Sainsbury’s (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ Tesco (www.which.co.uk)
  8. ^ Waitrose (www.which.co.uk)

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