If you’re a fan of having your grocery shopping delivered straight to your doorstep, then there are plenty of options available. But which is the cheapest online supermarket and which one will cost you the most? The answer might surprise you…
I fancy myself as a bit of an online expert when it comes to having my weekly shop delivered, with almost 15 years of experience. Not because I embrace change and technology, but because it means that I don’t have to wander around a supermarket looking lost.
Anyhow, we all seem to have an inkling of which supermarkets provides the best value and which charge the most. But how accurate are we?
Well, I’ve taken a list of 17 household essentials and checked the price across 8 of the biggest supermarkets in the UK.
- Hovis white loaf
- 6 eggs
- Medium cheddar 400g
- Margarine 500g
- Beef mince 5% fat 500g
- Chicago Town pizza
- Coca-Cola Zero
- Unsmoked bacon
- Prawn cocktail crisps
- Maris Piper potatos
- Gala apples
- Semi skimmed milk 4 pints
- Chicken thighs 1kg
- Stella Artois cans
- Toilet rolls x 9
- Washing up liquid 1 litre
Which is the cheapest online supermarket?
- Aldi – £40.89
- Sainsbury’s – £41.05
- Asda – £41.51
- Tesco – £41.79
- Morrisons – £43.03
- Waitrose – £50.10
- Co-op – £51.10
- Iceland – £51.69
As you can see, before delivery, Aldi comes out on top. I’m sure that doesn’t come as a shock to most of us. But what is surprising is the fact there is very little difference between Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco.
This may have something to do with the fact that both Sainsbury’s and Tesco offer an Aldi price match scheme, which has seen quite a few of their items reduced in price.
But the biggest shock has to be the fact that Iceland came in more expensive than Waitrose. Iceland is a supermarket that you tend to associate with good value. However, this is partly due to Iceland not offering their own brand products in some departments (such as washing up liquid), which means you have to pay more for branded alternatives. Even Waitrose has its own budget range.
So, Aldi it is then?
Not quite. Yes, Aldi is the cheapest when it comes to item comparison, but there is another important cost we need to take into account … delivery and collection. The charge for picking and packing can be free or cost as much as £7, depending on your supermarket of choice.
Please note that prices can vary depending on where you live.
Aldi is still quite new when it comes to delivering groceries, so they only operate in limited areas at the moment. But the standard cost for click and collect or delivery is £4.99.
Delivery cost £2 – £4.50 depending on the day of the week and time of day. Deliveries under £40 also attract a minimum basket charge of £3.
Click and collect orders usually cost 50 pence. There is a minimum basket charge of £3 on orders under £25
A delivery pass is available. For a one-off payment or monthly fee, you can qualify for free delivery or click and collect.
Collection is free. Delivery will usually cost between 99 pence and £1.99.
Free next-day delivery if you spend over £35.
There is a minimum spend of £40 for delivery or collection.
Delivery slots cost £3, whilst click and collect is free.
You must spend at least £25 for delivery. If your spend comes to under £40, you’ll be charged a £7 delivery charge. Otherwise, slots cost between £1 and £4.50.
There’s no minimum basket for click and collect, although you will be charged £4 if you spend under £25. Anything over his amount, the cost is 50 pence.
There is a delivery pas available which will qualify you for free delivery if you pay a one-off fee.
There is a minimum basket charge of £4 if your delivery comes to under £40. Delivery slots cost between £2 and £7.
For click and collect, a minimum basket charge of £4 applies if your order is under £25. Slots cost between 25 pence and £2.
Again, a delivery pass with Tesco could mean free delivery after you pay a set fee.
There is a £40 minimum spend for delivery and click and collect.
Having your shopping delivered will cost £3, whilst collection is free.
So, which is the cheapest online supermarket in the UK?
This is a close one to call. But Sainsbury’s actually wins.
With the £4.99 added to the Aldi basket, it brings the total cost of this shop to £45.88.
And although shopping from Sainsbury’s costs more, their extra charges are better. 50 pence for click and collect means you can pick up your shopping for £41.55. And with an average delivery slot costing £3, even having your groceries delivered to your home will cost £44.05.
Don’t ignore loyalty points and a delivery saver
There’s another reason to consider the likes of Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Their rewards cards. I would never recommend shopping there just because of loyalty points, but if prices are similar to its rivals, why not get a bit extra for your money?
Especially when you think that Tesco allows you to swap your Clubcard points for 3 x their value at certain partners, and Sainsbury’s is now offering a 1.5 x boost on Nectar points at certain times of the year.
Plus, the delivery saver schemes also offer some great value if you’re going to be a regular customer. And if you end up not using the scheme that often, you will even get a partial refund.
Save more with receipts
Another tip for saving more with your online shopping. Several apps will reward you with cash or Amazon vouchers when you send in a photo of your receipt. You can make around £100 per year from this with little effort.
Some apps will help you find big discounts on certain grocery items. Just buy the product from your chosen supermarket, submit a photo of your receipt, and you’ll receive a refund. Sometimes, as much as 100%. Take a look at the best receipt scanning apps.
If you fancy saving even more at the supermarket, check out the latest wine deals where you can save 25%.
Cheap online food shopping away from supermarkets
Don’t think that you just have to stick to shopping at an online supermarket to get the best deals. There are sites out there that will give you some big discounts, far more than you’ll ever find at mainstream shops.
This is because they sell food that has passed, or is close to passing, its Best Before End date. Remember, just because a BBE date is passed, it doesn’t make food or drink unsafe to consume. That means you can get yourself a really big bargain.
Some cheap food shopping sites include
And don’t forget, not only will you be saving money, you’ll also be helping to stop a load of items from ending up being wasted.