Asda is cheapest supermarket for Government Consumer Price Index ‘Shopping Basket’, followed by Sainsbury’s – and Tesco more expensive than Waitrose


A price-tracking website in the UK has been monitoring the cost of various like-for-like items in the government-based Consumer Price Index ‘shopping basket’ from seven of the main supermarkets, in order to determine which offers the cheapest prices overall for everyday necessities and items.

The prices for a total of 43 items from the shopping basket on the Office for National Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) were tracked over a six-week period, including: home-brand loaf of white bread, cereals, rice, chicken, beef mince, eggs, cheese, milk, potatoes, fruit juice, sugar, wine and beer. used its price-tracking technology in order to monitor any change in pricing for the 43 items over the course of the six weeks; focusing on Morrison’s, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Waitrose and Iceland. Other supermarkets, such as Aldi and Lidl, were not included in the research due to the inability to shop the full range of items online from those stores.

Own-brand items (or equivalent) were used in the research to give the most unbiased comparison of goods and their prices, unless it was a brand that all seven supermarkets stocked (e.g. Coca-Cola).

ASDA was consistently the cheapest supermarket from which to buy the 43 CPI shopping basket items, apart from one week where Sainsbury’s was cheaper, with ASDA coming in at £127.70 on average. The stores from highest to lowest expense for the items were:

  1. Ocado – £148.81
  2. Tesco – £145.03
  3. Waitrose – £142.25
  4. Morrison’s – £138.39
  5. Iceland – £135.46
  6. Sainsbury’s – £133.49
  7. Asda – £127.69

The Alertr research also found that Morrisons was the cheapest supermarket to purchase a bottle of red wine (Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo), costing just £6.50 compared to Ocado’s £8.00 (the priciest). It was also one of the cheapest place for a pack of 4 Alaskan Salmon Fillets, coming in at £3.30, compared to £4.04 at Ocado and £4.50 at Iceland.

What’s more, Asda was the cheapest supermarket from which to purchase vodka (£13.00), beef (£2.97) chicken (£3.60), teabags (£4.50), jam (£1.00), potatoes (£1.20) and gin (£13.00), which overall helped to drive the total basket price down; even with it having a more expensive price tag for butter (£1.80) and coffee (£6.99) than any other store.

Andy Barr, co-founder of, said: “When we started monitoring the items that we’d selected from the government CPI shopping basket, we didn’t expect ASDA to be the cheapest for five out of six weeks running, or even for Sainsbury’s to come in as the second cheapest supermarket, especially when you consider brands such as Iceland, that are more known for their ‘budget’ price tags, were also included. Perhaps shoppers need to set aside their preconceptions of supermarkets now, because they may well be missing out on bargains by going to stores that they assume would be cheapest!”