Tesco shoppers without a Clubcard pay around a third more for the same goods

TESCO shoppers without a Clubcard are paying around a third more for the same goods in their weekly shop, a Sun Money investigation found.

Customers who don’t have a Clubcard or who forget to swipe theirs at the till are being stung by high prices if they buy items in the supermarket’s Clubcard Prices deals.

The Sun compared the price of 20 products on sale at Tesco with equivalent prices offered by Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

We found half of the items cost more at Tesco for shoppers without a Clubcard than at any of the other Big Four supermarkets.

In total, Tesco customers without a Clubcard paid either the highest or joint-highest prices for two thirds of the products, compared to other supermarkets.

Buying the same basket of 20 everyday items costs £47.16 with a Clubcard but £62.23 without one – a price increase of more than £15.

Shoppers have complained on social media about being hit by the high prices if they don’t have a card.

One customer tweeted: “Bought items at Clubcard prices but didn't swipe my Tesco Clubcard. #fail”.

And shopper Lynda Phelan said: “@Tesco Clubcard price reductions are ridiculous. What if you’ve forgotten your Clubcard.

"I abandoned Tesco some years ago as I was fed up with being ripped off. Went back a couple of years ago as they were forced by competition to lower prices.

"I’m voting with my feet again. Bye!”

Another customer asked Tesco why it was “forcing” people to use its Clubcard, adding: “I never liked using Clubcards and now if I don’t scan it I’ll have to pay full price.

"My solution is just changing supermarkets where offers are for everybody under no conditions.”

When the store brought back its Clubcard Prices system last year, it claimed shoppers with a Clubcard would be “rewarded” with “exclusive deals”.

But our investigation has also revealed many of the products sold at special Clubcard Prices actually cost the same or less at other major supermarkets.

Just one in four of Tesco’s Clubcard Prices deals we looked at were cheaper than the prices offered at other supermarkets.

Three quarters of the items could be bought for the same price or cheaper elsewhere.

We compared the cost of buying the full basket of 20 goods at Tesco with the same basket at Asda, the only other store to sell all the same items.

How to cut the cost of your grocery shop

SAVING on your shop can make a big difference to your wallet. Here are some tips from comparison site Money.co.uk about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:

  • Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
  • Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
  • Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
  • Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
  • Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
  • Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
  • Check the small print –  It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
  • Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards

The basket cost £54.56 at Asda, meaning Tesco shoppers using a Clubcard save around 14% on Asda’s prices – but Tesco shoppers without a card will pay 14% more.

For the comparison, we recorded the cheapest price of 20 everyday groceries, toiletries and household goods on sale at the Big Four supermarkets, including where they were part of multi-buy deals.

We checked the cost of all the items on June 14, but as retailers are often changing prices, they may be higher – or lower – now.

Tesco said 20 million customers had a Clubcard and it was easy to sign up for one instore or online.

Clubcards are used in more than 80% of transactions in its large stores.

A spokesman added: “Clubcard Prices are available on over 4,500 items across Tesco.

"They’re a great way for customers to make huge savings on their shopping and we’re pleased to see that our basket is 14% – over £7 – cheaper than our nearest competitor.”

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