person holding a sandwich
person holding a sandwich

Best Supermarket Meal Deals In The UK 2023

The ultimate guide to the best meal deals in the UK to help you decide what to get for lunch today.

Want some guidance on the best meal deals in the UK? You’ve come to the right place. When it comes to meal deals, we’re fully aware that they’re a British national treasure and a staple of student diets across the country.

Whether you’re looking for a quick snack before a lecture or like to treat yourself to a meal deal as a regular lunchtime treat, it can be hard to decide just what makes it into a meal deal and what’s actually good value for money –– especially during the cost of living crisis where every pound counts.

However, in this high-stakes decision, the supermarket that has the best meal deal is a question that remains to be answered. Sometimes, you won’t have a huge choice as you’ll have to pop into whatever local supermarket you have, but if you’re lucky enough to be in a city centre or a high street with a few options you may be wondering whether Asda, Tesco or Sainsbury’s come out on top.

To make your decision easier we’ve broken down the best meal deals in the UK from all the big supermarkets to help you decide what to get, based on affordability, value for money and choice.

Best lunchtime meal deals

Tesco meal deals

Meal deal price: £3.90 or £3.10 with a Clubcard

Premium meal deal price: £5.50 or £5 with a Clubcard

Tesco actually offers the cheapest meal deal in the UK –– as long as you have a Clubcard. However, regular Tesco shoppers will know that a Clubcard is the only way to shop in Tesco to get the cheapest prices and it’s easy to sign up for one.

You can choose from a main, drink and snack to make up your meal deal and there’s an extensive selection. The regular meal deal includes classic sandwiches such as a BLT or cheese and onion as well as wraps, or pasta pots for those who don’t fancy a sandwich.

For vegans, you can grab the plant hoisin wrap or the houmous and harissa sandwich and they have gluten-free options too. For snacks, you can opt for the more traditional option of crisps or chocolate bars, or something savoury like a Peperami or cocktail sausages. Drink offerings include soft drinks as well as Red Bull or smoothies which are normally on the more expensive end to buy individually, so worth getting as part of your meal deal.

As of February 2023, Tesco launched a new premium meal deal which costs £5.50 or £5 with a Clubcard. Although many people weren’t keen on the price hike, the standard meal deals are still an option, but the premium one does offer a bit more choice. There are more than 33 Tesco Finest options to choose from for your main such as the Tesco Finest Thai King Prawn and Mango Salad or the Tesco Finest Continental Grazing Board for One. For vegans, you can take advantage of the Wicked Kitchen range as part of this meal deal. The snacks and drinks are the same that accompany the regular meal deal.

While the premium meal deal is a bit more on the expensive side than your standard meal deal, you will get a more premium option if you’re looking for something a bit different. However, for students on a budget the classic Tesco meal deal remains the cheapest meal deal on the high street right now, so it should probably be at the top of your list.

meal deals

Co-op meal deals

Meal deal price: £4 or £3.50 with a Co-op membership

To get the best value out of a Co-op meal deal, you’ll need to have a Co-op membership which will give you a 50p discount. All you need to do is sign up for a Co-op loyalty card to take advantage of the meal deal discount as well as other in-store offers, so if you’re a regular Co-op shopper it’s definitely worth it.

Mains include classic sandwiches, pasta pots, salads or even sushi and Co-op’s vegan GRO range also has five options included –– although whether or not you’ll find all the options in the store is a gamble, especially at lunchtime.

Snacks include crisps, chocolate bars and even cornish pasties! While drinks range from your standard soft drinks, energy drinks such as Lucozade, smoothies or water.

In terms of general price, the Co-op meal deal is pretty average in line with other supermarkets but it does have a solid range of choices.

Morrisons meal deals

Meal deal price: £4 or £3.50 with a My Morrisons membership

Similarly to Tesco and Co-op, Morrisons also offers a cheaper meal deal when you sign up for a membership and download the My Morrisons app. The Morrisons meal deal is the same price as Co-op so if you frequently shop in both, you’ll want to be signed up to both loyalty schemes in order to get the cheaper option.

Morrisons offer a pretty standard range of options including classics like the chicken salad sandwich or the BLT. There are also pasta pots and two gluten-free mains and two vegan mains. In terms of sides, some of the more out-there options include samosas, malt loaf, fruit pots, yoghurt, cake bars or sushi –– this is definitely a pretty wide selection.

The drinks include smoothies, juices, soft drinks and even protein shakes. With smoothies costing upwards of £2, it’s definitely a wise choice to opt for a smoothie as part of your lunch for a solid deal.

morrisons meal deals

Sainsbury’s meal deals

Meal deal price: £3.50

Premium meal deal price: £5

Unlike other supermarkets, Sainsbury’s only offers one price for its meal deals regardless of whether you’re a Nectar Card holder or not.

The good news is that Sainsbury’s meal deal is super varied with more than 500 products available to mix and match. Unlike other supermarkets you can choose options from the bakery to make up your meal deal, so you’ll get fresh and in some cases hot options for your lunch. Of course, you can choose from your standard classic sandwiches, pastas and salads too. Sainsbury’s Plant Pioneers vegan range is also available in the meal deal.

Sainsbury’s also offers an exciting range of drinks too, with Frijj and Yazoo milkshakes and Starbucks ready-made coffee drinks all available as options.

Similarly to Tesco, Sainsbury’s also offers a premium £5 meal deal too. For £5 you can still get a main, snack and drink with the drinks and snacks being the same that comes with the standard meal deal –– but you’ll get more choice for your main.

The premium mains come from the Taste The Difference range, which can cost upwards of £4.50 individually so it’s actually quite good value for money to grab one as part of your £5 meal deal. Some of the Taste The Difference options include the Hot Smoked Salmon and Lemon Sandwich (which costs £4.25 individually!) and the Jerk Chicken Wrap.

ASDA meal deals

Meal deal price: pick 3 items and the cheapest is free

ASDA are switching it up a little bit, as the ASDA meal deal doesn’t have a set price like other supermarkets. Instead, you can choose 3 eligible items and the cheapest will be free, so you can expect to pay around £3-5 for your lunch.

Unlike other supermarkets, you don’t have to get a main, snack and a drink. In fact, there’s nothing stopping you from getting a main and two snacks, or a drink and two mains if this is what you prefer–– just be prepared that this could cost you slightly more. You could even get 3 sandwiches, and get 1 free which could work out nicely if you’re with friends and want to split the cost.

While this may not be the cheapest deal compared to the other supermarkets, it’s still pretty good to be able to get an item for free and it offers a lot more freedom of choice. There are 96 fresh options such as sandwiches and pasta, 97 snacking options and 140 drinks to choose from so the combinations really are endless.

The ASDA OMV! vegan range has several options that are included in this deal such as the Vegan No Chicken Caesar wrap and rustlers burgers are also an option that can count in the 3 for 2 deal.

While the ASDA meal deal differs from the traditional setup that other supermarkets offer, it’s still a great way to save some money on your lunch.

best meal deals

Boots meal deals

Meal deal price: £3.99 or £3.60 with an Advantage Card

Regional differences: £4.99 in London stores and airports or £4.50 in London with an Advantage Card

Boots has the advantage of having stores in train stations and airports across the country, meaning many travellers have no choice but to opt for a Boots meal deal for their lunch, however, these stores do bump up the price of a standard meal deal. It’s also bad luck if you live in London, as the Boots meal deal is more expensive there by default.

However, with an Advantage card, you can get a discount on your meal deal across the UK and in London (but airport stores will not benefit from this). So, if you are a regular Boots shopper, especially if you’re in London an Advantage card is a must.

The meal deal itself is pretty standard, with over 450 items eligible for the meal deal. The meal deal is dietary-requirement friendly with a large majority of the snacks being suitable for vegans, vegetarians or those who are gluten-free.

Healthier options include rice bowls, a falafel veggie box, salads, lentil chips, fruit, and sparkling water so if you’re trying to eat healthier you don’t have to miss out –– but don’t worry, you can still get crisps, chocolate and sugary drinks as part of your Boots meal deal too.

Hopefully now you can make an informed decision on where to head for lunch — just remember you might need to sign up for a few loyalty cards to get the cheapest meal deal price!

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