HEALTHY MUMMY AT IT AGAIN! What happened when we bought the same 10 items from 6 different supermarkets, for a third time round!

The Healthy Mummy is all about budget so repeated an experiment from 6 months ago and bought the same 10 items from 6 big supermarkets.
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In October 2021, The Healthy Mummy carried out a shopping experiment to see how buying the same 10 items from the 6 leading supermarket chains compared in price and availability.

Since then, there has been other events that have impacted both price and availability so we ran the same experiment again 6 months later in March 2022 to see how it compared.

Now we have purchased the same products a whole 18 months later in November 2023 to see how prices have changed yet again.

Check out the results below!

weight loss meal plan

Why Supermarket Shortages?

Australia has experienced plenty of supermarket shortages since the Covid pandemic began. The emerging crisis now is a bit different. Now the shortages are due to supply-side problems and occurring (almost) nationally.

The major problem now is in transport and distribution with many going broke due to covid and a recent cyber attack at one warehouse.

Sadly the world could be facing a food crisis with prices soaring and crops at risk due to the war in Gaza and Ukraine, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has said.

Food prices were already high due to unpredictable weather, in part because of climate change, and the Covid pandemic. Now with the invasion of Gaza and Ukraine, the world’s food systems could be tipped into disaster.

Let’s not even get started on the soaring fuel prices. The need to save where we can is even greater.

The Healthy Mummy Shopping Experiment

At The Healthy Mummy,  we’re all about budget and getting the most bang for our buck, so we bought the same 10 staple items from 6 big supermarket chains, again, to try and find out exactly what the price differences are.

What did we buy?

We opted for those staple pantry and fridge items most families buy every week.

Shopping List

  • Beef Mince 500g – 5 star or premium
  • White sliced bread
  • Tasty cheese 500g block
  • 5 bananas
  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • 1 packet of spaghetti
  • 1 tin Australian diced tomatoes
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 1 Garlic head
  • 1 litre full fat milk

So that we were comparing apples for apples we went for lean or premium mince, we opted for own brands where available and noted that cheaper brands were limited when buying just 1 litre of milk. Supply issues have meant forcing a purchase of more expensive brands in some cases. It should also be noted that IGA don’t stock own brand bread and this affects price quite considerably.

Where did we shop?

We shopped at a mix of independently owned and popular supermarket chains in Australia.

  • Aldi
  • Woolworths
  • Coles
  • Harris Farm
  • IGA
  • Foodworks

November 2023 results

 AldiWooliesColesHarris FarmIGAFoodworks
Beef mince 500gm$8.99$10.00$10.00$10.99$8.99 (on sale) $11.50
White sliced bread$2.29$2.40$2.40$3.19$4.99$2.90
Tasty Cheese Block 500gm$6.99$7.70$7.70$10.00$10.50$10.00
1kg bananas$3.99$5.04$5.67$6.44
$5.99$4.99
Iceberg Lettuce$1.49$2.90$2.00$2.50$3.99$2.99
Packet Spaghetti$0.89$0.90$0.90$2.50$1.85$1.46
Diced tin Australian tomatoes$0.95$0.97$0.95$1.59$1.90$1.80
Large brown onion$0.60$0.59$0.67$1.00$0.41$0.36
Garlic head$0.82$1.65$1.20$2.80$1.03$0.93
I ltr full cream milk$1.59$1.60$1.70$3.30$3.05$2.59
TOTAL$28.60$33.75$33.19$44.31$42.70$39.52

What were the results in March 2022?

 AldiWooliesColesHarris FarmIGAFoodworks
Premium Beef mince 500gm$9.49$10.50$10.50$9.99$11.77$11.65
White sliced bread$1.39$1.40$1.40$3.99$4.00$2.00
Tasty Cheese Block 500gm$4.79$8.50 (home brand NA)$6.00$7.99$7.80 (only had 750gm)$9.82
1kg bananas$2.99$3.50$3.00$2.99$4.49$3.99
Iceberg Lettuce$3.99$3.90$4.50$4.49$3.99$5.49
Packet Spaghetti$0.79$1.25$0.80$1.49$1.40$1.95
Diced tin Australian tomatoes$0.99$1.40$1.40$1.49$1.55$1.49
1 lg brown onion$0.66$0.71$0.93$0.69$0.88$0.51
Garlic head$1.57$1.55$1.15$2.68$1.40$2.70
I ltr full cream milk$1.35$2.10$1.35$2.39$2.60$2.39
TOTAL$28.01$34.81$31.03$38.19$39.88$41.99

And the results last time October 2021……

 AldiWooliesColesHarris FarmIGAFoodworks
Beef mince 500gm$7.99$7.50$7.50$8.99$10.45$9.72
White sliced bread$1.29$1.60$1.40$2.69$3.60$4.15
Tasty Cheese Block 500gm$4.79$5.30$5.30$7.50$8.00$8.49
1kg bananas$1.20$2.59$3.53$1.55$3.24$3.55
Iceberg Lettuce$1.99$2.00$1.90$2.99$2.50$1.99
Packet Spaghetti$0.79$1.00$0.80$1.49$2.60$3.49
Diced tin Australian tomatoes$0.99$1.00$1.00$1.49$1.65$1.49
Large brown onion$0.49$0.55$0.80$0.62$0.63$0.73
Garlic head$1.22$1.55$1.03$2.05$1.49$1.50
I ltr full cream milk$1.29$1.29$1.29$2.39$2.40$2.59
TOTAL$21.96$24.38$24.55$31.76$36.56$37.70

So you can see an increase across the board with the biggest hike in bread, bananas and tasty cheese, being the big ticket items in the shop.

Most surprising is the fact that the larger commercial chains have been least affected, whilst independently owned Harris Farm, Foodworks and IGA see the most price increases! Good old Aldi once again comes in with the best prices out of all the major supermarkets!

8 quick ways to cut your grocery bill this week

Also worthy of a mention is stock availability and the time you shop. For example, shopping at Foodworks in the evening may see fresh stock like bread limited. If you shop in the evening you can only get our hands on the local bakery white sliced, with own brand Best Buys shelf empty. While nice to support local and arguably a better quality loaf it is an eye watering $4.15, compared to Aldi’s loaf at just $2.29 and that works out at nearly 300% higher cost.

So sometimes it’s working out what items stand out as increasing your overall spend in a particular shop and avoiding these things until your next ALDI visit!

Harris Farm and independent stores boast less packaging, which may be a consideration for some but you are looking at paying at least 30% more for your shop, vs a more modest difference of 10% to shop at Coles or Woolies. Harris Farm arguably boasts the best fresh seasonal food offers. But ALDI will never be beaten for the best budget shop!

More Budget Tips!

BUDGET MAKING INGREDIENTS: How this mum makes her mince meals go further!

How these mums are cooking healthy family meals on a BUDGET

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