As World Cup fever kicks in and the supermarkets blow the starter whistle on a summer of deep cut promotional activity, the first week of our revised 33-item list shows that pricing strategies at our four cheapest supermarkets are becoming very close.
Thirteen more products have been swapped into our shopping list and there is only £1.02 dividing the cheapest supermarket from the one ranked fourth. All six are already running subsubstantial promotions on many of their alcohol lines, including Stella Artois 4x 440ml, new on our list this week.
With a basket price of £38.89, Asda is once again the keeper of the cheapest shopping basket. However, Tesco is only 10p more expensive for an identical 33-item basket of goods.
Asda and Tesco are matching each other for price on 30 of the items on our list. Asda&'s promotion on Weetabix 24-packs is keeping that price low at £1.00 compared with Tesco&'s £1.47.
Meanwhile, the cost of class one iceberg lettuce is 34p cheaper at Tesco than at Asda. The only other point of difference is with the retailers&' own label Brussels pâté - Asda is sporting a price of 68p while Tesco&'s is 65p.
Tesco is this week&'s second-cheapest supermarket, closely followed by Sainsbury. The basket at Sainsbury was £39.75, 16p cheaper than Morrisons, which rang in a shopping basket costing £39.91.
The per kg price of Morrisons own label braising steak was slightly higher than at some of the other retailers this week. However with a price of 39p, Morrisons is the place to nab the cheapest 2-litre bottle of own label diet cola.
Somerfield was in fifth place this week with £43.01. It appears to have cranked its promotional activity up another gear this week. Our mystery shopper at the Canvey Island store in Essex spotted a number of deals, and Somerfield had the cheapest price of all six retailers for Mr Kipling&'s deep filled apple pies and six-packs of ready salted Walkers crisps. In sixth place this week was Waitrose coming in at £44.12.
Gaelle Walker

Top-Up shop
Availability out of 33
This week The Grocer's mystery shoppers have visited a number of neighbourhood stores to check out the price of ten commonly bought fast-moving food items across all grocery categoriesWho we visitedkwik save Hyde, Cheshiremace Rosetta, BelfastBP CONNECT DaventryNorth east CO-OP Throckley, NewcastleALDI TrowbridgeHow they performedThe Grocer 33's new Top Up Shopping exercise this week decided to throw discounters into the usual c-store mix - an Aldi along with a Kwik Save, Mace, BP Connect forecourt and a Co-op. Of the five, only the BP Connect in Daventry provided our shopper with all ten of the commonly bought grocery items on our list.Aldi does not stock a comprehensive range of branded products so we asked our mystery shopper in Trowbridge to find as many close alternatives as possible. She was able to substitute Stella Artois 4 x440ml with Galahad lager 4x500ml, Tetley teabags with Diplomat red label and Fairy washing up liquid for Magnum washing up liquid at 55p. The store does not sell chocolate bars individually, so she was unable to purchase a Mars Bar. In addition, our shopper was told that this Aldi only sells food for dogs and so had nothing on display for our feline friends.North East Co-op's Throckley store provided our shopper with nine items as it does not stock a six-rasher pack of unsmoked back bacon. Our shopper had a pleasing overall shopping experience, which included a great deal on Stella Artois 4x440ml. The shopper who visited Mace's Belfast store was unable to purchase Stella as it was not licensed to sell alcohol. The store did not stock Whiskas catfood, although other brands were available. The store was clean and tidy and he had his bags packed at the till. Last but not least was Kwik Save in Hyde. The store impressed with its layout and deals but our shopper could only collect seven products. Whiskas catfood was only sold in multipacks, and teabags and Fairy liquid were not sold. However, other brands were available.
This week The Grocer's mystery shoppers have visited a number of neighbourhood stores to check out the price of ten commonly bought fast-moving food items across all grocery categoriesspecial offers including a two-for-£1 deal on Ambrosia creamed rice, a three-for-£2 on Mr Kipling's deep filled apple pies and two-for-£5 on Nescafé Original Coffee 200g.We visited on 19 May 2006 at 10.25. Our shop lasted 40 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was 4 minutes 30 seconds.tesco Gateshead, Tyne and Wear
Tesco's Gateshead store provided perfect availability this week, with all 33 items on our shopper's list in stock. He also spotted a two-for-£1 deal on Tesco's cheapest toilet cleaner and special offers on Stella Artois 4 X440ml, Bounty Kitchen towel and own label vanilla ice cream 2-litre.We visited on 19 May 2006 at 09.30. Our shop lasted 75 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was 2 minutes 30 seconds.sainsbury Denton, Tameside, Lancashire
Sainsbury's Denton store in Lancashire provided a full shopping basket, but only just. Our mystery shopper said that he took the last four-pack of baking potatoes on display. Many of the fresh produce items on our list were on promotion, as were Walker's ready salted six-pack of crisps, Cadbury milk chocolate fingers and Stella Artois.We visited on 19 May 2006 at 14.50. Our shop lasted 54 minutes.Time spent at the checkout was 6 minutes 20 seconds.morrisons Wimbledon, Surrey
Morrisons' Wimbledon store in Surrey also provided our mystery shopper with a full basket of items, despite the later than normal hour of her visit. Our shopper noted a 50% extra free deal on Weetabix 24-packs and another special offer on Mr Muscle bathroom cleaner in a trigger format.We visited on 19 May 2006 at 19.50. Our shop lasted 45 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was 6 minutes.somerfield Canvey Island, Essex31 Somerfield's Canvey Island store provided our shopper with 31 items this week. The store was out of stock of Cathedral City mature Cheddar and does not stock white grapefruit. Our shopper spotted a number of deals, including one on Imperial Leather soap and another on Stella Artois 4x440ml.We visited on 19 May 2006 at 9.02. Our shop lasted 28 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was 1 minute.waitrose Bowen Square, Daventry
Waitrose's Bowen Square store in Daventry provided a full 33-item shopping basket, and was a close contender for this week's Top Store Award. The store had deals running on its own label diet cola and Mr Muscle bathroom cleanerWe visited on 19 May 2006 at 19.54. Our shop lasted 37 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was 4 minutes.