Which Supermarket offers the best value for veggies in the current climate?

The Healthy Mummy is all about budget shopping so repeated an experiment and bought the same veggie staples from 6 big supermarkets.
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Back by popular demand is our big supermarket chain shop comparison. Recently, we did a comparison of different types of grocery staples across the 6 leading supermarket chains to see how much prices varied.

You can see the results from our previous shopping trip here.

Today we ran the same comparison to see if the current climate is affecting our fresh produce and by how much. 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 that are occurring (almost) nationally.

Supply chains are being crippled by the sheer number of transport, distribution and shop workers now sick or required to isolate. Shoppers entering some supermarkets and grocery stores in NSW and Queensland, in particular, may face empty shelves and higher prices, as the severe recent floods spark a fresh food supply crisis.

Check out the results below!

Why Supermarket Shortages?

Woolworths’ fresh market update shows shortages for several items because of poor weather conditions in the growing regions – and predicts those shortages will continue for several weeks. The world could be facing a food crisis with prices soaring and crops at risk due to the war in 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-19 pandemic.

The Healthy Mummy Shopping Experiment

We stuck to a standard veggie shop for 8 items in 6 stores. Fresh veggies are often a staple in the weekly shop so we wanted to see how much the basics can vary. For this shop, we compared a kg of truss tomatoes rather than 6 single tomatoes to remove the size variant for a better comparison but this will affect the two shop comparisons slightly. The garlic bulbs also varied in size fractionally but we stuck to comparing the per-unit price. We did not calculate bag costs but at just 0.15 this doesn’t affect our percentages.

What did we buy?

We opted for some veggie staples this time around with the ever-changing prices of fresh fruit and veggies we wanted to see how you may be able to find some savings on the items most families buy every week.

Shopping List

  • 1 kg pack of carrots
  • 1 kg small white-washed potatoes
  • 1 x telegraph or continental cucumber
  • 1 kg brown onions
  • 1 x iceberg lettuce
  • 500 g white cup mushrooms
  • 6 x truss tomatoes
  • 1 x head garlic

Where did we buy it?

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

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

What were the results for March 2022?

Aldi Coles Woolies Harris Farm IGA Foodworks
1kg pack of carrots $1.79 $1.50 $2.00 $2.49 $2.50 $2.40
1kg small white-washed potatoes $2.99 $3.50 $3.50 $3.99 $3.99 $2.89
1 continental cucumber $3.49 $3.90 $3.90 $4.00 $3.99 $4.99
1kg brown onions $2.49 $2.90 $2.90 $2.90 $2.99 $2.99
1 iceberg lettuce $3.99 $4.50 $3.90 $4.49 $3.99 $5.50
500gm cup mushrooms $5.99 $6.50 $6.50 $7.99 $6.99 $8.99
1kg truss tomatoes $4.99 $6.50 $6.90 $6.90 $6.99 $8.99
1 garlic bulb $1.57 $1.15 $1.55 $2.68 $1.40 $1.40
TOTAL $27.30 $30.45 $31.15 $35.44 $32.84 $38.15

And last time October 2021…

Below we can see the differences in the comparison table

Percentage increase between two shops

Percentage increase between two shops
ALDI 22.8%
IGA 16.5%

$10.85 difference across 8 items – a difference of 33%!

Once again it will come as no surprise that independently owned Foodworks came in most expensive at $38.15 with Aldi offering a saving over Foodworks of 33%, at just $27.30.

What is interesting to note is that Harris Farm was more expensive than IGA this time around. We can see increases in cost for all items across the board except carrots and potatoes. The biggest discrepancy in prices can still be found with the truss tomatoes and mushrooms. But what should be noted is the increase in price for the lettuce and cucumber. These prices have increased on our first shop by up to 100% and 300% depending on where you shop.

Even Aldi has been subjected to an increase of 22.8% and what’s most interesting is that IGA increased the least over the two shops at just 16.5%.

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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