Which Supermarket Brand Is The Cheapest?

We examine which of the big supermarkets has the cheapest store brand products.

a shopping basket filled with groceries and a calculator
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Maintaining a balanced budget when shopping for essentials such as groceries is essential. One effective way to cut expenses is to choose the supermarket's brand products. Own brand items, or store or value brand products, are items produced or sourced by the supermarket, usually at a lower price than named brands. The packaging is often very simple to cut down on the costs and show the products as purely essential instead of flashy, pretty marketing.

Many own-brand products are of similar or even identical quality to named brands. Frequently, they even come from the same manufacturer but are labelled differently. Buying store-brand medicines, in particular, can lead to huge savings compared to named since medicines are highly regulated and contain practically the same ingredients. For example, ASDA 200mg ibuprofen tablets are priced at just 40p for 16 while a pack of 8 Nurofen 200mg ibuprofen tablets is £1.15, almost triple the cost for half the tablets at a similar dosage, so remember, always read the packet!

Before we start, it’s good to know that some brands, such as Tesco’s Stockwell & Co. or Hearty Food Co, aren't always straightforward and listed under the supermarket name. But rest assured, they are value brands and are usually some of the cheapest brands but with more attractive packaging. Aldi, in particular, rarely uses their brand called Everyday Essentials, instead opting to sell 'branded' products owned by themselves.

Full shopping cart in supermarket aisle

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Brands To Look For

Tesco - Tesco has its essentials range, usually styled in plain packaging with the Tesco logo on it. However, they also have several brands made under the Tesco name, which are effectively own-brand items, such as Stockwell & Co. and Hearty Food Company.

Sainsbury's - Sainsbury's, like Tesco, has also moved many of their brand items under 'named' brands owned by themselves. So you'll find most of their value items under Stamford Street, Hubbard or Sainsbury's.

Morrisons - Morrisons has some of the most noticeable, albeit sad-looking, value ranges. It's called the Savers Range and is packaged in plain white boxes or tins with yellow writing. The packaging leaves much to be desired, but what's in the tin counts, and what's in the tin is cheaper due to the low-cost packaging.

ASDA - Shockingly, ASDA has moved away from its famously named Smartprice brand and replaced it with the Just Essentials range. They also own the brands Hero and Tiger for pet food and Shades for toilet rolls.

ALDI - ALDI are a weird one. They are famous for selling products that taste and look incredibly similar to popular name brands., but ALDI themselves own the majority of these products. Each category has several different 'ALDI brands', so it's difficult to list them here. Generally, go for the cheapest option as ALDI is one of the most affordable supermarkets. Some brands under the ALDI umbrella include Harvest Morn, Alcafé, Just Essentials, Lacura and Belmont.

Ocado/M&S - You may be like me, from a working-class background and have only shopped at an M&S a handful of times, thinking it is still a bastion of middle-class groceries. However, you'd be presently surprised to know that M&S have a value brand called M&S, which is very competitively priced and frequently cheaper than its 'Big Four' competitors. Plus. M&S food is generally better quality and fair trade, so I recommend looking if you find yourself close to one. M&S also work with Ocado, so if you're a regular shopper there, you may be able to slip in a handful of M&S branded essentials and save some money. However, the downside is that neither has a large range of own-brand toiletries, so it's better suited for quick food top-ups.

Price Comparison

Below, we list several commonly bought day-to-day store brand goods with prices to determine which supermarket's brand is the cheapest option for your shop. The list below is also vegetarian-safe, but if you’re looking for a more veggie-tailored list, check out our guide to which supermarket has the cheapest vegan shop

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Header Cell - Column 0 TescoSainsbury'sMorrisonsASDAALDIM&S/OcadoWaitrose
Baked BeansTesco beans: 0.50pSainsbury’s baked beans: 0.43pMorrisons Savers baked beans: 0.27pASDA baked beans: 0.50pEveryday Essentials Beans 0.28pM&S Baked Beans 0.50pEssential Baked Beans 0.55p
Tea BagsTesco Stockwell & Co 80 tea bags: 0.79pSainsbury’s Red Label 40 tea bags: 0.75pMorrisons Savers 80 tea bags 0.79pASDA Just Essentials 40 tea bags: 0.40pSpecially Selected English Breakfast Tea 50 bags £1.09M&S Fairtrade everyday 80 teabags £1.20Essential Original Blend 80 Tea Bags £1.10
CoffeeTesco Stockwell & Co instant coffee 100g: 0.99pSainsbury’s Costa Rican Freeze Dried Instant coffee: £2.09Morrisons Savers instant coffee 100g: 0.99pASDA Just Essentials instant coffee 100g: 0.99pAldi Alcafé dry roast instant coffee 200g £1.99M&S Rich Fairtrade Instant Coffee 100g £1.30Essential Rich Roast Coffee 100g £1.60
PastaTesco Hearty Food Co. penne pasta: 0.41pSainsbury’s Penne Rigate 500g: 0.75pMorrisons penne: 0.75pASDA Just Essentials pasta shapes: 0.41pAldi Cucina Penne 500g 0.75pM&S Penne Pasta 0.75pEssential Penne 500g 0.75p
CornflakesTesco Cornflakes: 0.75pSainsbury’s Cornflakes: 0.75pMorrison’s Cornflakes: 0.70pASDA Cornflakes: 0.85pHarvest Morn Corn Flakes 0.75pM&S Cornflakes 0.75pEssential Corn Flakes £1
BreadTesco H W Nevill's White Bread: 0.45pSainsbury’s Stamford Street Co. White Bread: 0.45pMorrisons Medium White Bread: 0.75pASDA Just Essentials White Bread: 0.45pEveryday Essentials Medium Sliced White Bread 0.45pM&S Super Soft White Sliced Bread 0.75pEssential White Medium Sliced Bread 0.75p
BiscuitsTesco Digestives: 0.70pSainsbury's Sweetmeal Digestives: 0.65pMorrisons Digestives: 0.71pASDA Digestive Biscuits: 0.70pBelmont Digestive Biscuits 0.55pM&S Digestive Biscuits 0.80pEssential Ginger Nuts 0.90p
LemonadeTesco Sparkling Lemonade 2L: 0.60pSainsbury's Lemonade 2L: 0.70pMorrisons Lemonade 2L: 0.70pASDA Lemonade 2L: 0.60pEveryday Essentials Diet Lemonade 2L 0.35pM&S 1L lemonade 0.95p x2 £1.90Essential Sugar Free Lemonade 0.70p
ParacetamolTesco Paracetamol: 0.39pSainsbury’s Paracetamol: 0.39pMorrisons Paracetamol: 0.39pASDA Paracetamol: 0.39pGalphram Paracetamol 0.39pGalpharm Paracetamol 500mg Caplets 0.65pEssential Round Paracetamol Tablets 0.60p
ShampooTesco Extracts coconut shampoo 0.85pSainsbury’s coconut shampoo 0.85pMorrisons 3 In 1 Shampoo, Conditioner & Shower Gel £1ASDA Just Essentials coconut shampoo 0.75pLacura Coconut Shampoo 500ml 0.79pHerbal Essences Dazzling Shine Shampoo £2Essential Daily Care Shampoo £1.75
ToothpasteTesco Essentials cavity protect toothpaste 0.50pSainsbury’s toothpaste 0.50pMorrisons Essentials Freshmint Toothpaste 0.50pJust Essentials fresh mint toothpaste 0.50pDentitex Fresh Breath Toothpaste 0.62Oral-B Toothpaste 1-2-3 , £1n/a
Toilet RollsTesco Luxury Soft Quilted Toilet Tissue 4 Rolls £1.79Sainsbury's Super Soft Toilet Tissue, Quilted x4 Rolls £2Morrisons Savers 6 Double Toilet Rolls £2.39Just Essentials 6 toilet rolls £2.39Saxon Softer Luxury Toilet Tissue 4 Pack £1.79Ocado Luxury Quilted Toilet Tissue £2.30Essential White Ultra Soft 4 Bathroom Tissues £2.50
Washing Up LiquidTesco Original Washing Up Liquid 0.69pSainsbury's Washing Up Liquid, Original, 0.60pMorrisons Savers Washing Up Liquid 0.55pJust Essentials washing up liquid 0.55pMagnum Original Washing Up Liquid 0.69pM&S Washing Up Liquid £1.50Essential Waitrose Washing Up Liquid 0.70p
Washing CapsulesTesco Non Biological Detergent Capsules 25 washes, £4.10Sainsbury's 3 In 1 Colour Laundry Capsules 16 Washes £2.75Morrisons Non-Bio Pods Laundry Washing Capsules 21 washes £3.70ASDA Tropical Capsules 20 Washes £3.25Almat Premium 4 In 1 Action Non Bio Laundry Capsules 20 Washes £3.49M&S 3 in 1 Non-Bio Laundry Capsules £6.50Essential Non-Bio Laundry Capsules 24 washes £4.10
Total Price£13.42£13.66£14.19£12.73£13.98£21£19.95

The Verdict

Close-up on a woman looking at a receipt after shopping at the supermarket

(Image credit: Getty Images)

So there we have it, folks. ASDA is first for the cheapest selection of own-brand products. However, ALDI's brand products have bigger portions and amounts, which makes them the winner when factored in, but the savings can only be achieved by going into a store rather than online. M&S are very competitively priced for groceries, but washing tablets are far more expensive than competitors, but they're still worth a visit. It also shows how much you can get for around £15 if you stick to supermarket brands instead of named brands.

So, if you’re a budget-conscious shopper, and colourful packaging and names don’t mean much to you, I wholeheartedly recommend shopping for value products. Your wallet will thank you for it, and if you’re interested in maximising your savings, check out our guide to supermarket reward schemes. And for our cost-conscious parents, why not visit our guide to kids’ lunchboxes on a budget?

Nathan Walters
Editor

I joined MyVoucherCodes as a Deal Expert, searching the web and sourcing the best deals, discount codes and sales to benefit our readers. I decided to combine these money-saving skills with my love of writing and become an Editor, sharing what I have learned to help you get the most out of your money. Having been a student for four years, I understand the need to budget and get more for less.

In my spare time, I love playing video games and later writing reviews at GameReport. I also enjoy anything to do with technology and cool gadgets, and I'm constantly adding extras and components to my home gaming computer. Additionally, I love DIY, having worked in a tool store as a student, I have grown to enjoy fixing things, whether it’s my car or home.