Winter is always a difficult time, but this year the colder months will be even tougher for many families across the country.

From rocketing energy bills to the removal of the £20-a-week uplift of universal credit, a perfect storm of problems is hitting the UK right now.

At the same time, shortages continue to engulf the UK due to a variety of factors including the lack of HGV drivers - also caused by a combination of things such as coronavirus and Brexit.

Pictured of depleted supermarket shelves have become a regular feature in the news among reports that up to a third of lorries on the roads are completely empty.

And earlier this month news came out that millions of Brits had been unable to buy essential food in the past fortnight, with one in three already having started stockpiling for Christmas.

WalesOnline reporter John Jones did his weekly food shop at both Lidl and Waitrose to find out exactly what the price difference was.

This is what he found:

John Jones did his weekly food shop at Lidl and Waitrose (

Image:

John Jones)

" Lidl and Waitrose are at opposite ends of the supermarket spectrum. One is known for its low prices and discount copycat products , while the other has a reputation as the supermarket of choice for the posh.

"In a recent study, Lidl was crowned the UK's cheapest supermarket - knocking fellow German discount retailer Aldi off top spot - while Waitrose was named the most expensive.

"Carried out by consumer group Which?, the price comparison of a typical shopping basket revealed that there was a staggering £9 difference between the 23 items bought at Lidl and those at Waitrose - meaning items at the latter supermarket were, on average, 39p more expensive than the former.

"While prices have changed in recent weeks - with the cost of some items at Lidl increasing by up to 84p - it's difficult to overlook the huge price difference between the two retail giants.

The food he bought from Lidl (

Image:

John Jones)

"However, I wasn't totally convinced. Surely when it comes to buying solely own-brand budget items, there can't be THAT much difference between Lidl and Waitrose?

"Wanting to ensure a fair comparison, I went into both supermarkets with two near identical shopping lists of 15 items , which included: two pints of semi-skimmed milk, a loaf of sliced white bread, apples, a tin of baked beans, sliced ham, spaghetti (500g), beef mince (500g), carrots, onions, mature cheddar, rice (1kg), custard cream biscuits, muesli, teabags and orange juice (1L).

"While both stores have a number of premium range products, I was shopping for budget, own-brand items wherever possible, meaning most of my basket was made up of the 'Everyday' and 'Simply' ranges. Both stores had well-stocked shelves and were easy to navigate, meaning I was in and out of both in around 15 minutes.

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His Waitrose shop (

Image:

John Jones)

"Despite knowing that Waitrose would markedly different reputations, I wasn't expecting a huge difference in price, given the relatively small number of everyday items that I'd bought and the fact that they were all own brand products.

"However, when I compared the receipts at the end of my shopping trips, this is what they showed:

Lidl: Milk (£0.80), bread (£0.47), apples (£1.29), baked beans (£0.22), sliced ham (£1.42), spaghetti (£0.20), beef mince (£2.29), carrots (£0.40), onions (£0.62), mature cheddar (£1.79), rice (£0.65), custard creams (£0.41), muesli (£1.69), teabags (£0.99), orange juice (£0.69)

Total: £13.93

Waitrose: Milk (£0.90), bread (£0.60), apples (£1.40 - 20% off with myWaitrose card), baked beans (£0.40), sliced ham (£3), spaghetti (£0.75), beef mince (£3.25), carrots (£0.65), onions (£0.95), mature cheddar (£2), rice (£1.20), custard creams (£0.30), muesli (£2.50), teabags (£1.10), orange juice (£0.95)

Total: £19.95

The Lidl receipt (

Image:

John Jones)
The Waitrose receipt (

Image:

John Jones)

"Despite buying the cheapest items at both stores, the difference in price between the two stores was an astonishing £6.02 across 15 items - with Waitrose almost 50% more expensive than Lidl.

"Waitrose only had one item - the pack of custard creams - that was cheaper than its Lidl counterpart, and that was only because it was far smaller and the only size available in the essential range.

"In fact, many of the items at Lidl - such as the cheese, biscuits and teabags - were larger than those at Waitrose, despite being cheaper.

"Although paying under £20 may not be deemed as too outrageous for a shopping basket of 15 items, when you consider that these are the some of the cheapest products available at Waitrose, and that my basket worked out at roughly £1.33 an item (compared to £0.93 an item at Lidl), it's hard not to feel a bit ripped off."

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