In Spain it is possible to save an average of €1,073 per year by shopping in the cheapest supermarkets, according to a survey by the Spanish Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU). Besides price differences between chains of shops, there are also large differences within and between cities.
The OCU compared the prices of food, hygiene and drugstore products in more than 1,000 hypermarkets, supermarkets and discount shops to find the cheapest ones. And that can result in considerable savings! For example, it is possible to save up to €3,532 in supermarkets in Madrid, where the differences are greatest.
Higher spending on groceries
The percentage of income Spanish families spend on groceries has increased since the pandemic. In contrast, other items, such as leisure and travel, showed a decline. According to OCU, ‘families need to spend a minimum of €4,409 and that is if they are lucky enough to live in one of the cheapest areas’.
OCU also noted an acceleration in the rise of food prices linked to the increase in energy prices. Milk, eggs and meat from poultry and rabbits are now more expensive.
Cheap supermarkets in Spain
The Alcampo hypermarket in Murcia is the cheapest of the supermarkets in Spain. Following are four other supermarkets from the same chain: Sant Adrià de Besòs, Barcelona, Vigo and Esplugues de Llobregat. Alcampo remains the cheapest chain nationally, but last year its first place was even more convincing. At that time 9 of the 10 cheapest supermarkets were branches of this chain. This year there is much more variation in the top 10, with Family Cash (Valencia), Tifer (Burgos), Eurospar (Badajoz) and Dani de Granada.
In the province of Granada, Dani is the cheapest. Also notable is Family Cash, a chain of Valencian origin that takes over Eroski and E. Leclerc shops. According to the survey, prices are rising at the E. Leclerc, Más y Más, La Plaza de Día and Día Maxi chains, while prices are falling at the rest of the supermarkets.
Battle between Alcampo and Mercadona
In 23 of the towns visited, Alcampo is the cheapest national chain, a third of the total. Last year there were still 30 branches. Mercadona, present in all cities is the cheapest shop in 17 of them. Carrefour lags far behind these two chains and has the lowest prices in only 2 towns. According to the national final score, Alcampo is the cheapest with an index of 103, followed by Supeco (104), Consum (105), Mercadona (106), Lidl (107), Carrefour (110) and Aldi (111).
The most expensive supermarkets in Spain
The Sánchez Romero supermarket in Alcobendas (La Moraleja) is the most expensive of those visited by OCU. Sánchez Romero is also the most expensive chain, followed by Sorli Discau, Supermercados Plaza, Suma, Amazon, Altoaragón and Jespac.
Of the large national chains, Suma is the most expensive, followed by Amazon, Supercor, Carrefour Express, Unide, Covirán and El Corte Inglés.
Read: Cost of living rises in Spain
The cheapest Spanish city to do your shopping
OCU’s research also shows that there is ‘a big difference in the cost of the shopping basket between cities and autonomous communities’.
Jerez de la Frontera is the cheapest city in the survey with an index of 100, followed by Almería, Castellón, Puertollano, Ciudad Real and Zamora (101). Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Getxo are the most expensive cities with an index of 111.
Of the autonomous communities, Valencia and Murcia are the cheapest, while the Balearic Islands are the most expensive, followed by the Canary Islands, the Basque Country and Catalonia.
Those shopping in the north of Madrid spend an average of around €8,600 on groceries, but with a good supermarket choice, savings can reach €3,530. In Ciudad Real or Puertollano, on the other hand, the saving is less than €400.