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Rising Food Prices: The Cheapest UK Cities for Essential Groceries

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According to recent ONS data, the increased price of food shopping is the number one reason behind higher living costs, with 95% of households feeling the strain regarding groceries. 

With this in mind, CIA Landlord Insurance has looked into which cities across the UK offer the cheapest grocery shop when buying essentials such as bread, milk, cheese, wine, and eggs. This has also been compared with rental prices in each city to give a broader perspective on the outgoings of renters. The team has also looked into food prices in international cities to help inform holiday-makers looking to eat on a budget. 


Stoke-on-Trent offers the cheapest food shop of all cities analysed, with a basic supermarket trip totalling £17.06. Residents benefit from some of the most affordable essential items in the UK, with a loaf of bread costing £0.81 and eggs averaging £1.69. Rent in the city is also relatively cheap, with monthly fees for a one-bed apartment in the city centre costing £662.50.

Swansea has become the second cheapest city for essential items, with residents spending just 1p more than Stoke-on-Trent on food shopping.  Rent in the city is even cheaper than Stoke-on-Trent, with monthly fees on a one-bed in the city averaging £630. Leicester (£17.49), Kingston-upon-Hull (£17.82) and Birmingham (£18.12) round off the top five cheapest cities for grocery shopping.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, London is the most expensive place to shop for essential items, with a total grocery shop costing around £22.50. Rent is also very expensive compared with other cities, with monthly fees for a one-bed in the city centre around £2,081.

Bristol is the second most expensive city for food shopping, with the cost of essentials coming in at £20.31. Rent is also very high in the city at £1,137 per month. Rounding off, the top five most expensive cities for groceries are Glasgow (£19.96), Manchester (£19.94), and Newport (£19.88). 

Bogota, Colombia 

Travellers looking to eat on a budget will save the most in Colombia’s capital, Bogota, with essentials costing just £14.69. The average price for one week in an Airbnb is also just £203.05 – the cheapest price of all cities analysed. 

Ankara, Turkey, comes second, with a food shop totalling £15.60. An Airbnb is also pretty affordable in Ankara, with a one-week stay costing £214.33. Lisbon, Portugal (£17.08), Warsaw, Poland (£17.75), and Madrid, Spain (£18.42), round off the top five cheapest international cities for grocery shopping.

Bern, Switzerland, is the most expensive place to shop for supermarkets across international and UK cities. A typical shop for essential items will set you back £41.88, almost three times the price of a shop in Bogata. Accommodation in Bern is also relatively expensive, with an Airbnb priced at £862.95 for one week. 

Richard Wayman, finance director at CIA Landlord Insurance, says: “Landlords looking to buy-to-let need to be aware of the various expenses that renters may face in different cities, as this could inform where they choose to move. 

“Generally speaking, the cheaper the cost of living, the more desirable the place may be for potential tenants. Alongside grocery expenses, you could consider the price of public transport, meals out, childcare, and leisure activities in the area to help inform your decision on where to buy.  

“Doing the research ahead of time should help future-proof your property, ensuring your house or flat stays profitable for years to come.”

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