CHEAPEST SUPERMARKET JANUARY 2021 BLOG Friday 19th February 2021


 Which was the cheapest supermarket in January 2021?

Find out which supermarkets were cheapest for a small basket and a big trolley.

 By Hannah Walsh of Which

There was a tie-break situation in the race to be named cheapest supermarket of January 2021, with Aldi and Lidl charging exactly the same price for a basket of 19 items. On average, shoppers last month would have paid £18.45 at both discounters for our shopping list, which included semi-skimmed milk, free-range eggs and Hovis wholemeal bread.

But when we compared the mainstream supermarkets based on a bigger trolley of 87 items, there was a massive £22 difference between the most expensive grocer and the cheapest one.

Supermarkets compared: where can you buy the cheapest groceries? Every day in January we checked the prices of 19 food, drink and household items at every major UK supermarket. Our basket consisted of a combination of own-label and branded products.

 Aldi and Lidl were joint-cheapest, at £18.45, while the same or equivalent items at Waitrose cost £24.79.


1              Aldi                         £18.45

1              Lidl                         £18.45

3              ASDA                     £20.03

4              Tesco                     £21.77

5              Sainsbury              £22.10

6              Morrisons            £22.45 

7              Ocado                    £24.15

8              Waitrose                £24.79

We also compared a fuller trolley of 87 items, comprising the original 19 and 68 more. This included a greater selection of branded items, such as Branston baked beans and Andrex toilet tissue, which aren’t typically available at all times from the discounters – hence Aldi and Lidl not appearing in this chart.

Asda, at £160.08, was the cheapest of the month for our trolley of groceries – charging £9 less than its nearest rival Sainsbury’s (£169.40). In fact Asda has now been the cheapest mainstream (non-discounter) supermarket for over a year, having claimed the title every month since January 2020 according to our analysis.

Ocado was the most expensive of the bunch in January, costing a hefty £22.19 more than Asda for the same items. High-end Waitrose was also a pricey prospect at £181.66 on average.

Our trolley of groceries changes slightly each month, as items have to be available at every retailer for us to include them. For January, we tracked the prices of 19 items at the UK’s biggest supermarkets including the discounters. For our larger trolley analysis, which includes all supermarkets apart from Aldi and Lidl, we added a further 68. Our shopping lists combined branded items, such as Nutella hazelnut chocolate spread and Yorkshire Tea, with own-label products, including lettuce, pasta and milk. Of course, own-brand items aren’t exactly the same at different supermarkets, but we’ve used experts to ensure that the products are as comparable as possible, based on a range of factors, including weight, quality and other industry data. Using an independent price comparison website, we calculated the average price (including special offers but not multibuys) for each item throughout the month. We added those individual averages together to give an overall price for the trolley at each shop for the month.


The Top 10: Sentences That Begin and End With the Same Word

A sentence that begins and ends with the same word – such as “Nice to see you; to see you nice!”– is called an epanadiplosis, according to Haggard Hawks, one of Twitter’s best word-mavens.


  1. “Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 1:2. From James of Nazareth, who also nominated “Hope that is seen is not hope” (Romans 8:24).


  1. “Nation shall speak peace unto nation.” Motto of the BBC, dating from its founding in 1927. Thanks to John Peters.


  1. “The king is dead: long live the king.” Steven Fogel.


  1. “Yes because he never did a thing like that before … and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.” The final sentence of Ulysses, James Joyce, 121 pages long. Nominated by Jim.


  1. “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy.” Kenneth Williams as Julius Caesar in Carry On Cleo, 1964. Thanks to Phil Riley and Stewart Lambie.


  1. “One for all, and all for one.” The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas, 1844. Often inverted as “All for one and one for all”, which also works. Nominated by Craig Nicholson, Darren Sugg and Lynda Bearne.


  1. “Events, dear boy, events.” Attributed to Harold Macmillan. Thanks to Dickon Fethers.


  1. “Mankind must put an end to war – or war will put an end to mankind.” John F Kennedy, 1961. From Chris Jones.


  1. “Brexit means Brexit.” Theresa May. Nominated by Jack Blanchard.


  1. “Nothing? Nothing comes of nothing.” King Lear; another nomination from Jim. There are a few in Shakespeare. Nicole Galvin also nominated “Fair is foul and foul is fair” (Macbeth).


I love it when the national daily Front Pages are as one. As it is today with the Mars probe landing and sending photos. Sadly it’s only the intelectual broadsheets that are in unison. It is seen as too boring for the tabloids.


It’s not what we have in life but who we have in our life that matters. – Margaret Laurence


Happiness is…Aldi or is it Lidl?


I was in the chemist and I asked an assistant, “What gets rid of Coronavirus?”

She said, “Ammonia cleaner.”

I said, “Oh sorry, I thought you worked here!”


Love is… patient.


A time to shop at Lidl…A time to shop at Waitrose or even Ocado.


19th February 1878 Thomas Edison is granted a patent for his gramophone (phonograph).

19th February 1914 Four-year old Charlotte May Pierstorff mailed by train from Grangeville, Idaho to her grandparents’ house 73 miles away in most famous ‘child in the post’ instance.

Children “mailed” by their parents because it was cheaper to mail them – if a child came in under the 50 pound parcel weight limit, than other ways to travel

19th February 1971 British TV chat show “Parkinson” debuts on BBC1 presented by Michael Parkinson


You come here to be cheered up. Over the last few weeks, we have avoided showing Covid-19 statistics for the UK as they have been depressing. But we seem to have turned the corner and the figures are looking far better and improving daily to give us so much hope. So, as an important part of cheering us all up we will show the daily improving figures.


Total Cases                         4,083,242                             Latest Daily New Cases                  12,057

People in Hospital            20,156                                   Change on Day                                  -795

Total deaths                       119,387                                 New Deaths 24 Hr Period             454

Total 1st Vaccine Dose   16,423,082                           Latest Daily Figure                           482,110




©2021 Phil M Robinson