An online price tracking website has, for the third year in a row, monitored 19 of the most popular Christmas dinner staples currently on sale at six of the major UK supermarkets to determine the most budget-friendly food retailer this festive season.
British families are facing a festive season with grocery bills at near-record highs amidst the wider cost-of-living crisis. Despite grocery inflation easing for the first time in November by 0.1%, UK inflation hit a 41-year high the month before, and many shoppers will be feeling the financial strain more than ever before – especially with Christmas just around the corner.
In order to provide some guidance on how to spread the cost of Christmas, the team at online price tracking website www.Alertr.co.uk have analysed the online offerings of six UK supermarkets in order to determine which is the cheapest for standard Christmas dinner items for a family of six. 19 staple foods likely to be found on the Christmas dinner table were tracked, including turkey, pigs in blankets, potatoes, parsnips, sprouts, cranberry sauce and stuffing.
The same like-for-like items across six of the major supermarkets, including some own-brand products (or their equivalents), were tracked for the research to give the most unbiased comparison of goods and their prices, unless it was a brand that all six supermarkets stocked (e.g. Bisto Gravy).
Discount retailers, such as Lidl and Aldi, were not included in the research due to the inability for customers to shop full ranges online and not having the same like-for-like branded products the other supermarkets stock.
On average, a traditional Christmas dinner this year for a family of six will cost £63.52, compared to £59.71 last year – £4.02 more expensive (an increase of almost 6.5%).
Asda has retained its title as the cheapest retailer from which to buy the 19 products for the third year running, with the cheapest to most expensive Christmas dinner baskets revealed as flilows:
The pricing research found that Asda was again the cheapest supermarket to purchase festive meats from. A frozen turkey crown is £16.50 at the retailer, which has increased 17.8% from last year’s price at £14, compared to Sainsburys who are currently selling the meat for £26.25.
Likewise, Beef is the cheapest to buy at Asda this year; £11.23, up 34.9% from their retailed price in 2021. However, Waitrose was found to be the most expensive seller for a joint of roast beef this time around at £14.28.
Morrisons emerged the cheapest for its pigs in blankets for the second year running, coming in at £2.49 for 12, just 29p more expensive than last year’s price, with Tesco and Sainsburys falling into joint second place this year, selling theirs at £3.
As for Bisto Gravy, Morrisons and Waitrose came out on top as the cheapest sellers (£1.50). The prices for this product ranged between £1 and £2 across all six supermarkets.
Andy Barr, co-founder of www.Alertr.co.uk, commented:
“While there’s no denying that British families deserve to make the most of Christmas after a rough year financially, these pressures aren’t going to ease during the festive period and many will be forced to cut back on their spending. It’s important that people shop around for the traditional Christmas dinner items that we all know and love this year and keep an eye out for seasonal savings to help spread the cost.
“Although it’s encouraging to see that for a family of six the average price of a Christmas dinner shop has gone up just short of £5 from last year, half of the supermarkets basket totals have increased by more than £10 – reflecting the effects of rising grocery inflation which we’ve seen over the past few months.”
*Research conducted w/c 06.12.22Editors Notes
An online price-tracking website that’s constantly monitoring price increases and decreases across six major UK online supermarkets can now reveal that Asda has again retained its title as the least expensive option for British consumers looking to keep their grocery costs down right now.
The latest research by www.Alertr.co.uk found that Asda is still the reigning champion – found to be the most affordable supermarket right now – while Morrisons came second with a current average basket cost of £125.06 (just £1.21 more expensive than Asda’s £123.85 basket).
After analysing prices across all of the six supermarkets, Asda was revealed as the least expensive once again for the consumer weekly shop, and by a fair amount still; £12.70 cheaper than Waitrose – the most expensive supermarket currently being tracked.
Morrisons moved up the leader board from third place in October, offering the second most affordable shop for all four weeks of November – bridging a £4.03 price gap between them and third-placed Sainsburys this time around. Interestingly though, the average basket value at both supermarkets decreased in the second half of the month, as Tesco’s costs went down by 24p to £122.79 and Sainsburys’ dropped £2.24 to £127.61 in week four.
Ocado and Waitrose continued to compete to not be named the least affordable of the largest supermarkets being tracked. However, Waitrose retained the title, albeit by close margins – just 76p more expensive than Ocado, who came out as the second most expensive supermarket. The cost difference decreased dramatically from last month’s findings of £11.48 though, which was a record-high between the two supermarkets in the past six months of analysis, showing they are now competing more closely.
What’s more, like last month’s findings, half of the supermarket basket prices increased (Tesco, Asda and Ocado), while the rest decreased (Sainsburys, Morrisons and Waitrose). This helped Morrisons and Sainsburys in the grand scheme of things, as they both moved up the leader board one place from last month, whereas Tesco – whose total basket cost increased by just 79p – plummeted down to fourth from second place.
Looking into price changes across the board, the price of alcohol, including gin, vodka and prosecco, fluctuated throughout the month across Morrisons, Sainsburys and Ocado. Gin and vodka at Sainsburys started the month at £16.50 and then, for the last week of the month (just after the World Cup kicked off), decreased to £14 respectively. Likewise, prosecco at Morrisons cost £8.75 during the first week of November and then dropped down to £8 for the final week, while both Sainsburys and Ocado increased theirs by £2 and 50p respectively.
Moreover, the price of eggs and milk also increased towards the end of the month across most supermarkets, in line with UK food price inflation hitting a new high of 12.4% in November. The price of a 6 Pack of Large Free-Range Eggs at Morrisons went up by 6p in the final week of November, while Sainsburys and Ocado both increased the price of theirs from £1.65 to £1.75.
Additionally, the price of a 2 Pint bottle of Whole Milk and Semi Skimmed Milk at Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsburys and Waitrose all increased by 5p from £1.25 to £1.30 during the last week of the month too.
Andy Barr, co-founder of www.alertr.co.uk, said:
“For the weekly shop, as it currently stands, there’s still a considerable cost difference between the top and bottom spots on the leader board of almost £13 this time around. However, this has decreased significantly from last month’s figure of £25.40 – in fact halved, and the price gap between first and second place has reduced massively too, with Morrisons just £1.21 more expensive than Asda. This is the same for the rest of the supermarkets as well, showing they’re all competing much more closely; with £7.46 separating third-placed Sainsbury’s and the most expensive supermarket for the second month in a row, Waitrose.
“It’ll certainly be interesting to see what happens when it comes to consumer spending in December – traditionally the most expensive time of the year, especially amidst a cost-of-living crisis. Some supermarkets are offering seasonal savings, but will this go far enough to convince Britons to splash their cash and spend frivolously this festive season? Only time will tell.”
The online price-tracking website has been tracking the prices of 42 everyday items from the shopping basket on the Office for National Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) since 2019. Included within the list are items such as eggs, milk and bread, as well as non-perishables such as pasta, rice and cereal. The prices across six of the largest supermarkets are analysed, with discount retailers Lidl and Aldi not included due to the inability for customers to shop full ranges online and not having the same like-for-like branded products that other supermarkets stock.
Own-brand items (or their equivalent) were monitored in the research to give the most unbiased comparison of goods and their prices, with the exception of branded items that all six supermarkets stocked (e.g., Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s Cornflakes, etc.).
The full breakdown of each supermarket’s current basket costs are as follows:
To ensure the results across the stores are fair, if an item is unavailable or out of stock in one of the six online stores then the product is dismissed entirely and not analysed within the final costs of all stores. Items can also be replaced with another like-for-like item, as long as it is in stock across all six retailers. However, for this current basket, no products that were being tracked had to be swapped or were out of stock.
Alertr was founded in 2019 and is an online price tracking website where consumers can track as many products as they wish across as many online retailers as they like.
Users of Alertr simply need to input the URL of the product they have their eye on from a retailer’s website, and then they will be notified via email once the price has dropped, either to a cost they have stated they are happy to pay, or by any amount.
Alertr is able to track more than 250 high-street and online retailers, with new stores and websites added to the site daily. With plans to expand its offering significantly throughout the coming months, the team at Alertr are determined to help UK consumers ensure they are spending as little as possible when it comes to the items they need and want.