How much will Christmas food cost you this year? The biggest, most complicated, and most expensive meal of the year is something we all look forward to; but the turkey, roast potatoes and Christmas pudding don't come cheap.
Each year we are caught by surprise at the sheer cost of a trolley full of Christmas favourites. So this year we are exploring how much they will set you back at each of the major supermarkets. Up next is Sainsbury's. For the sake of a fair comparison, we include a well-known brand name for each (where it's available), and a mid-range own-brand too.
Overall Sainsbury's comes out at £66.90 for a trolley of own-brand festive treats and £67.45 for the branded ones. The fact that there is so little difference comes down to the fact that the own brand Cava was actually more expensive than the branded one used for comparison. Interestingly this makes Sainsbury's more expensive for the own-brand food than Tesco and Asda, but the cheapest for the branded items (thanks in no small part to the deal on gravy).
The fresh turkeys are not on sale yet. A frozen large whole basted British turkey (around 6.1kg and serves 8-12) is priced at £22, which is significantly cheaper than the Tesco fresh bird at £37.50 - but isn't such a useful comparison because frozen birds are always so much cheaper. So for the sake of the calculations we will use a typical price of £37.50.
500g of fresh sprouts (bagged) £1
This is the typical cost across the supermarkets, as they aim to be able to compare themselves on all the basics for the Christmas meal. They seem to have come to the conclusion that no one selects their Christmas supermarket on the basis of the price of sprouts.
White potatoes (2.5 kg) £1.25
Sainsbury's matches Tesco on the full price at £1.69, but at the moment is running a special offer that makes it the cheapest of the big supermarkets (and cheaper than Aldi too).
1kg carrots (bagged) 60p
This is a fairly competitive price for carrots - significantly below the price at Tesco and Morrisons, but more costly than Asda - which is just 3p cheaper.
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Sainsbury's Garden Peas (910g) £1.60
Birds Eye Field Fresh Garden Peas (800g) £2.30
Annoyingly Sainsbury's sells peas in slightly different quantities to the other supermarkets, which makes comparisons more difficult. But the 910g own-brand bag costs the same as a 1kg bag at Tesco, so clearly offers fewer peas for your money. The branded peas similarly are more expensive at Sainsbury's than all of the other major supermarkets - and are 30p pricier than Tesco and Aldi.
Bisto for Chicken Gravy Granules (300g) £1.50
Sainsbury's is hard to compare on own brands because it isn't currently selling gravy granules for chicken. It has been part of the range in the past, so it's reasonable to assume it will be back in time for Christmas. The Bisto gravy, meanwhile, costs £1.50 - which is a striking saving compared to its competitors, where it tends to be priced at around the £2.10 or £2.20 mark.
Sainsbury's Light and Fruity Christmas Pudding (100g) £1.25
At the smaller size, Sainsbury's doesn't do a classic pudding, but the nearest alternative is the light and fruity option at £1.25 each or three for £2.50. This makes it pricier than the Tesco and Asda alternatives - but cheaper of you take advantage of the deal. It has also chosen not to sell any other brands - Sainsbury's presumably thinks that the 16 own-brand offerings should meet most people's needs.
Sainsbury's Brandy Butter with Courvoisier VS Cognac 200g £1.60
At full price this is the cheapest of the own-brand brandy butters sold by the major supermarkets at the moment. However, Tesco and Morrisons are both offering a deal at the moment on two pots - so if you're after larger quantities it's cheaper elsewhere.
Sainsbury's Deep Mince Pies £1.30
My Kipling Mince Pies with Brandy Flavour Sauce £1.80
At full price Sainsbury's is more expensive for its own brand mince pies, as most of the other stores have gone for a round pound. However, it is offering two for £2 at the moment, putting it on a par. It's the kind of discount that tends to catch us out when we're rushing round the store. It seems like a great bargain and without checking elsewhere we're not to know that the reduced price is similar to the going rate.
The brand is slightly different to the ones used for comparison available elsewhere. However, there's a deal on at the moment for two boxes for £2.50, which is very competitive for Mr Kipling mince pies.
Tin of Quality Streets
Nestle Quality Street Tin (780g) £5
This cost is the same across all the supermarkets - although Tesco is currently running a £4 promotion on tins, which we also tend to see across all the major supermarkets in the run-up to Christmas.
Sainsbury's Crackers Family Gold & Red x12 £4
Like Tesco and Asda there's an option for every budget, starting at £4 and going up to £10.
Sainsbury's Burgundy & Cream Foliage Wrapping Paper x4m £2
Across the supermarkets the price of wrapping paper depends on the quality and the length. At Sainsbury's the range starts at £2, and at the moment there is a deal for three for the price of two - which is similar to the offer at Tesco.
Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Vintage Cava (750ml) £9
This is pricey for an own-brand vintage Cava, but clearly when it comes to wine, own-brands will vary dramatically in quality too. If you just want to show up with any old vintage Cava you can save £1.50 elsewhere, but if you're interested in flavour, the price isn't going to tell you everything. Sainsbury's doesn't sell the Codorniu Brut Vintage Cava we are using for comparisons, so we'll add a typical price of £7.65 for the sake of the calculations.
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