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Asda: Saving you money every day?

ASDA

Given that we have a brand new family and, like a lot of you, are keen to save money, when Asda gave us a call to see if we’d like to try out their new Price Guarantee offer, we couldn’t say no.

This new offer promises the cheapest supermarket shopping, and if they’re wrong, they will refund you the difference. All you have to do is enter your receipt details on their website www.asdapriceguarantee.co.uk after 9am the day after you go shopping and it will compare what you bought with items from four other major supermarkets and calculate if you’re due a refund. So we stocked up a basket with barbecue essentials and took the new initiative for a spin.

WHAT WE BOUGHT

  • 2 pints of semi-skimmed milk
  • 250g pack of Twinings everyday tea
  • 500g Silver Spoon granulated sugar
  • 100g medium roast Douwie Egberts instant coffee
  • A massive bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup (1170ml)
  • 4 Asda butternut squash veggie burgers
  • 6 Linda McCartney sausages
  • 16 finger buns for sausages from Asda bakery
  • 8 Asda extra special beef burgers
  • 16 Burger baps from Asda bakery
  • 225g Halloumi cheese
  • 50 Napkins
  • 2 200g packets of marshmallows
  • 100 Huggies nappies, size 2*

Total price: £36.98

*Nobody goes supermarket shopping just for food anymore – we wanted to compare toiletry prices too. Oh and we do have a newborn baby – did we mention that?!

PRICE CHECK

The price check was easier to use than we’d thought – you type in the reference numbers on your receipt and it automatically calculates the prices using independent price checker www.mysupermarket.co.uk against Tescos, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose. But – oops – it’s not working when we tried it. Apparently you have to buy eight items that can be compared across the board and we haven’t done that. Oh. Shame you can’t compare something standard like a two-pint bottle of milk.

I’m pretty sure we got a bargain deal here anyway – we picked up a bumper pack of Huggies that you can’t buy anywhere else but Asda, and the massive tomato ketchup bottle looked like an Asda exclusive too. But this time around we couldn’t tell.

So we then tested it out on our most recent standard fortnightly shop (we’d itemise it but it is a really long list) and found we’d saved money against Morrisons (£4.54), Tesco (£3.08) and Sainsbury’s (£2.27), and the price checker couldn’t compare against Waitrose this time round. We’re really surprised that of all three, Morrison’s would be the most expensive for what we buy and Sainsbury’s the closest in price – it just goes to show that you should try this price checker for yourself rather than just going by reputation! Wonder why it couldn’t compare against Waitrose though?

We should mention why we didn’t buy any fruit or vegetables – we really like The Banana Boat, our local greengrocers, so can’t say whether Asda is best for them or not. And the comparison is only valid for four of the major supermarkets so if you typically shop at Somerfield, Co-op, Aldi or Lidl, you might still be getting a better deal.

TASTE TEST

Of course, price isn’t the only thing that determines which supermarket you use. Convenience, location and quality are all key drivers, although increasingly with home delivery options, it doesn’t matter if you live close to a supermarket anymore, you can still benefit from low prices. We get Asda deliveries at home (they typically cost £3.50-4.50) and are a total godsend if you don’t want to spend your Saturday afternoons trawling the superstore. Quality, though, is important. So to make sure that we were investigating Asda not just as a cheap option but a really good one, we made sure we’d bought some items from Asda’s own range – beef burgers, veggie burgers and bakery items – and asked our friends for their opinions round the campfire. Becky loved the cheesy burger baps and Chris thought the sausages were really tasty. And we both loved the Asda Extra Special burgers – exceptionally good and we’ll get them again. That’s a result, price-wise and money-wise.

UPDATE AT 26/09/2011

This review was written over a year ago and we’d like to report that, now it’s available in our area, we’ve switched to Ocado. Personally, we’re finding the quality of Waitrose cheaper goods is always as good as the ASDA medium range. Also, unlike our ASDA deliveries, they have never missed anything from our list and are always on time. They even call and will pop round early, if they’re in the area!

If there’s demand, we’ll do an Ocado review soon. Let us know in the comments?!

Asda gave us a contribution to try out their price promise promotion and we thought you should know, for reasons of clarity and impartiality. But as always, our opinions are impartial, honest and independent.

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7 Comments

  1. I have always found ASDA to be really good value for money. Their own brands are always of good quality yet affordable. I think that being part of the wal-mart group they may get exclusives on some items as they have such large buying power.

  2. The thing about Asda is that they are one of the least ethical supermarkets in the country. You can check this for yourself on ethicalconsumer.org.

    If you add to that the fact that most of us throw away a lot of food, it’s actually not all that difficult to make savings even while shopping with a pricier but more ethical supermarket. Nowadays I tend to plan meals, buy less (to avoid waste) and use everything I buy. I’ve switched from Sainsbury’s to Waitrose but our family shopping bill these days is actually lower because of careful planning.

    • I can’t comment on how ethical they are, but I do agree that by planning meals and throwing away less you can save a lot of money – we have also started getting deliveries from Waitrose!

      It does take the fun out creating a meal in your head by what looks best on the day, but money is tight for most at the moment…

  3. Actually, ASDA price guarantee has you all fooled. Their system obviously loads more expensive items from other stores if it cannot find same brands or if the other stores don’t have own brands of same items. It claims it checks via the site MYSupermarket. So I went to the site and clicked on Asda and entered all the items I had bought on my receipt (on a £30 shop apx), and sure enough ASDA came out the cheapest by about £3.

    So, I then did the check again, this time clicking on the Tesco tab. I checked in the same items and alternative store brand items when appropriate. This time Tesco came out the cheapest by about £5.00.

    That was weird, so I did it again on my next shop and the same thing happenned. Enter all your items using the ASDA tab and it works out cheaper, enter them using the Tesco tab and Tesco comes outs much cheaper. The problems is when ASDA has items that the other stores don’t you have to get the alternative from the other store, which can be more expensive and some times less expensive, so it isn’t an accurate comparison at all.

    When you use the ASDA Price Guarantee site, it is fixed to find more expensive items if the stores do not have the same brands. It’s simple, and it’s a clever con by ASDA. I checked all the items individually and most prices are the same or withing a penny or two difference. So my conclusion? Shop carefully wherever you shop, and the price will really come out about the same – sometimes even cheaper than ASDA.Don’t be fooled by their clever marketing ploy.

    • That is some good detective work! I would be interested to know of any other people who find the same thing with their shopping at ASDA – we only use them for nappies, wipes and baby food, where they are cheaper. Otherwise it’s Ocado all the way! :D

  4. Hi, it’s been a while since you posted this but I felt compelled to comment!
    I went to Asda today, spent £46, and came home and done the online price comparison (you only have to wait 3 hours from checkout now).
    It said Asda was variously £6-£9 cheaper than the other supermarkets, out of interest I clicked on the ‘more info’ button next to the price differences.
    I bought a 9 pack of toilet paper for £4, but it had the Asda price at £3.33. Weird I thought, so looked further. Some razor blades I’d paid £9.60 for said I’d paid £8! Various other products were recorded as being a few pence cheaper than I’d paid.
    I didn’t work it out exactly but I think Asda would have still been marginally cheaper, however – it’s a bit cheeky that they don’t have the actual prices you paid and seem to make theirs lower and the rival supermarkets higher, in their favour.
    I still got a £5 voucher for my next shop so I’m not too worried!

    • Hi Jo, we still read all the comments and like to hear how people find the ASDA Price Comparison. Very interesting what you’ve spotted there – we’ll check it out next time we shop. Thanks for the scoop! :D

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