Lifestyle

WOW! Here’s what happened when we bought the same 10 items from 6 different supermarkets!

We all have our tried and tested shopping routines, whether we stick to the big chains or support local or float between the two we all know how drastically our grocery bills can fluctuate. It’s often when we’re in a rush and need to grab just a few essentials for dinner that we tend to opt for convenience over savings.

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

You may be pretty surprised by the results!

grocery shopping

So 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 and Australian diced tomatoes. We opted for own brands where available and noted that cheaper brands were limited when buying just 1lt of milk. But the majority of items purchased were like for like.

Where did we shop?

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

  • IGA
  • ALDI
  • Harris Farm
  • Foodworks
  • Coles
  • Woolworths

What were the results?

Over 40% difference!

It will come as no surprise that the independently owned IGA and  Foodworks came in most expensive at $36.56 and $37.70 with Aldi offering a saving of over 40% at just $21.96. That’s a whopping $15.74 difference over just 10 items!

Coles and Woolworths were neck and neck at $24.55 and $24.38 and just 10% increase on Aldi.

While Aldi is hard to beat on dried goods and dairy it was encouraging to see Harris Farm and Foodworks price match on some fresh produce.

Aldi and Harris Farm were $1.99 a kg for bananas, and Foodworks offered iceberg lettuce at just $1.99 in line with Aldi.

Harris Farm and independent stored also boast less packaging, which may be a consideration for some but you are looking at paying at least 30% more for your shop. Plus, Harris Farm arguably boasts the best fresh seasonal food offers.

There was a limited offering of own brands at the independent stores as well as a BIG difference in the price of mince – $7.99 at Aldi compared to $10.45 at IGA. Aldi shone with the tasty cheese too, $4.79 at Aldi compare to $8.49 at Foodworks.

When is the best time to shop?

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. When we shopped we could only get our hands on the local bakery Barrington 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 $1.29 and that works out at over 300% higher cost.

Here’s how it breaks down, from cheapest

ALDI – TOTAL $21.96

Beef Mince 500 G – $7.99
White Sliced Bread – $1.29
Tasty Cheese 500 G block – $4.79
5 Bananas – $1.20
Iceberg Lettuce – $1.99
Packet Spaghetti – $0.79
Diced Tin Tomatos $0.99
Large Brown Onion – $0.49
Garlic Head – $1.22
1 Litre Full Fat Milk $1.29
TOTAL: $21.96

WOOLIES – TOTAL $24.38

Beef Mince 500 G – $7.50
White Sliced Bread – $1.60
Tasty Cheese 500 G block – $5.30
5 Bananas – $2.59
Iceberg Lettuce – $2.00
Packet Spaghetti – $1.00
Diced Tin Tomatos $1.00
Large Brown Onion – $0.55
Garlic Head – $1.55
1 Litre Full Fat Milk $1.29
TOTAL: $24.38

COLES – TOTAL $24.55

Beef Mince 500 G – $7.50
White Sliced Bread – $1.40
Tasty Cheese 500 G block – $5.30
5 Bananas – $3.53
Iceberg Lettuce – $1.90
Packet Spaghetti – $0.80
Diced Tin Tomatos $1.00
Large Brown Onion – $0.80
Garlic Head – $1.03
1 Litre Full Fat Milk $1.29
TOTAL – $24.55

HARRIS FARM – TOTAL $31.76

Beef Mince 500 G – $8.99
White Sliced Bread – $2.69
Tasty Cheese 500 G block – $7.50
5 Bananas – $1.55
Iceberg Lettuce – $2.99
Packet Spaghetti – $1.49
Diced Tin Tomatos $1.49
Large Brown Onion – $0.62
Garlic Head – $2.05
1 Litre Full Fat Milk $2.39
TOTAL – $31.76

IGA – TOTAL $36.56

Beef Mince 500 G – $10.45
White Sliced Bread – $3.60
Tasty Cheese 500 G block – $8.00
5 Bananas – $3.24
Iceberg Lettuce – $2.50
Packet Spaghetti – $2.60
Diced Tin Tomatos $1.65
Large Brown Onion – $0.63
Garlic Head – $1.49
1 Litre Full Fat Milk $2.40
TOTAL – $36.56

FOODWORKS – TOTAL $37.70

Beef Mince 500 G – $9.72
White Sliced Bread – $4.15
Tasty Cheese 500 G block – $8.49
5 Bananas – $3.55
Iceberg Lettuce – $1.99
Packet Spaghetti – $3.49
Diced Tin Tomatos $1.49
Large Brown Onion – $0.73
Garlic Head – $1.50
1 Litre Full Fat Milk $2.59
TOTAL – $37.70

The Upshot!

It’s only when you scrutinise products in this way that you see the slight differences to products really add up and can hit us all in the back pocket without us even realising. So if you’re budget conscious, it pays to be shopping savvy!

Aldi regulars would  know that there are best times to buy and times to avoid when hitting the aisles for freshest produce and stock availability, with supply issues becoming more of a problem in the current climate.

If your shopping list or your time isn’t limiting, shop around for the best buys or even look online. There are always good offers to be had if you have the luxury of being able to shop around.

Want more budget tips?

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