Convenience store costs: how much more are you paying at Sainsbury's, Tesco and Aldi?

You'd no doubt expect a 'local' or 'express' supermarket to cost more – convenience comes at a price, after all – but we've revealed exactly how much more you're paying.

You could be paying almost 10p more per £1 spent when you shop at convenience stores instead of superstores, according to our independent investigation.

We compared the price of seven everyday household items at Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local and, now that they've entered the market, Aldi Local, then compared them to prices at their superstore counterparts.

Specifically, we looked at prices for:

  • White farmhouse bread (800g);
  • Semi-skimmed milk (four pints);
  • Butter (500g);
  • Medium free range eggs (six);
  • Fusilli (500g);
  • Toilet roll (four pack, two ply);
  • Orange juice (1l).

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We compared like-for-like products, which means the same size eggs, butter with a similar vegetable fat content and even toilet roll with the same layers.

This means the products can be compared across all stores – with the exception of Aldi’s juice.

We could only find concentrated orange juice in Aldi Local and this has been compared to the same type in the Aldi superstore.

In some cases, prices for the same item are the same between a convenience store and superstore, so any potential price premium depends on the product. 

Before you read on, we should clarify the findings aren't definitive as our investigation is based on a limited basket of items.

That said, we focused on staples as these are the items you're most likely to pick up in a local store you're hardly likely to do your monthly shop there, after all.

So how did Aldi, Tesco and Sainsbury’s fare, and which was the worst offender?

Sainsbury's toilet roll. (Image: Lisa-Marie Janes/Sainsbury's)

Biggest price difference

If you’re a loyal Sainsbury’s shopper and love to nip into your local for a quick top-up shop, it’s not good news.

Our investigation revealed you’ll end up paying 8.8% more when shopping at a Sainsbury’s Local instead of a superstore.

With the exception of milk (same price as a superstore), you’ll be pretty much paying more for everything else.

For example, you’ll pay 12% more for orange juice and nearly 10% more stocking up on loo roll.

Check our table below to see the price difference of each item at Sainsbury’s and Sainsbury’s Local.

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Sainsbury's Local  
   
Item Price 
Sainsbury's semi-skimmed milk (4 pints) £1.10
Warburtons soft white farmhouse bread (800g) £1.45
Flora Light (500g) £2.20
Sainsbury's super soft toilet tissue (4 pack, 2 ply) £2
Sainsbury's 6 medium free range British eggs £1.10
Sainsbury's fusilli (500g)            60p
Sainsbury's orange juice with bits not from concentrate (1l) £1.40
Total: £9.85   
   
Sainsbury's superstore  
   
Item Price
Sainsbury's semi-skimmed milk (4 pints) £1.10
Warburtons soft white farmhouse bread (800g) £1.35
Flora Light (500g) £2
Sainsbury's super soft toilet tissue (4 pack, 2 ply) £1.80
Sainsbury's 6 medium free range British eggs £1
Sainsbury's fusilli (500g)            55p
Sainsbury's orange juice with bits not from concentrate (1l) £1.25
Total: £9.05  
(8.8% price difference)  

How did Tesco fare?

At Tesco Express, even milk was more expensive (at an extra penny) and the overall basket was marginally cheaper than its closest rival Sainsbury’s.

One of the biggest price gaps between Tesco Metro and a superstore was for orange juice, which was 19p (17.2%) more expensive.

The price of Warburtons farmhouse bread also stood out as it will cost you approximately 15% (20p) more at a Tesco Express.

Look at our table below to see the price different of each item at Tesco and Tesco Metro.

Tesco Metro  
   
Item Price
Warburtons soft white farmhouse bread (800g) £1.55
Tesco orange juice with bits, not from concentrate (1l) £1.29
Clover original spread (500g) £1.90
Tesco wholewheat fusilli (500g)            59p
Tesco semi-skimmed milk (4 pints) £1.10
Andrex toilet roll (4 pack, 2 ply) £2.65
Tesco 6 British medium free range eggs           90p 
Total: £9.98   
   
Tesco superstore  
   
Warburtons soft white farmhouse bread (800g) £1.35
Tesco orange juice with bits, not from concentrate (1l) £1.10
Clover original spread (500g) £1.85
Tesco wholewheat fusilli (500g)            55p
Tesco semi-skimmed milk (4 pints) £1.09
Andrex toilet roll (4 pack, 2 ply) £2.50
Tesco 6 British medium free range eggs            85p
Total: £9.29   
(7.4% price difference)  

Is Aldi Local good value?

Aldi is on an expansion spree this year, which also involves the opening of several Aldi Locals – a smaller, convenient version of its bigger stores to take on Sainsbury’s Local and Tesco Metro.

Famed for its bargain prices, is Aldi also charging more at its local stores?

Unfortunately, yes but the price difference is the least stark at 5.1%.

The Juice Company orange juice with bits from concentrate. (Image: Lisa-Marie Janes/Aldi)

While this is disappointing, it’s still significantly less than the 8.8% price difference between Sainsbury’s and Sainsbury’s Local.

At Aldi Local, the price of semi-skimmed milk and toilet tissue were the same and everything else was more expensive by up to 10%.

Look at our table below to see the price different of each item at Aldi and Aldi Local.

Aldi Local   
   
Item Price
The Village Bakery soft white farmhouse bread (800g)            72p
Cowbelle semi-skimmed milk (4 pints) £1.09
Greenvale Beautifully Buttery Butter (500g)            76p
Merevale 6 British free-range eggs             79p
Saxon luxury toilet tissue (4 pack, 2 ply) £1.59
Cucina fusilli (500g)            47p
The Juice Company orange juice with bits from concentrate (1l)            76p
Total: £6.18   
   
Aldi superstore  
   
Item Price
The Village Bakery soft white farmhouse bread (800g)            65p
Cowbelle semi-skimmed milk (4 pints) £1.09
Greenvale Beautifully Buttery Butter (500g)            69p
Merevale 6 British free range eggs            75p
Saxon luxury toilet tissue (4 pack, 2 ply)         £1.59
Cucina fusilli (500g)            42p
The Juice Company orange juice with bits from concentrate (1l)            69p
Total: £5.88  
(5.1% price difference)  

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You can find more relevant articles below:

The best UK supermarket loyalty schemes: Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and more

Cheapest supermarket home deliveries: costs at Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Iceland compared

*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.

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