Can your choice of supermarket really save you money? The answer is YES! The CHOICE team compared common household items from the three major chains and have revealed the cheapest supermarket in Australia.
Out of all our weekly expenses, grocery shopping always eats the most out of our budget. So I’m all for reducing our spending on household necessities, without compromising on quality.
Pick House Brands
A really great way to slash the grocery bill is to opt for the supermarket or house brands. In a recent house brand comparison, CHOICE shared that Aldi’s house brand products came tops for quality. And when it comes to cost, CHOICE also discovered that a basket of supermarket house brands was up to 40% cheaper than the equivalent branded products.
Cheapest Branded Products
While I generally can’t really tell the difference between the supermarket house item and the often more expensive branded product, some shoppers just prefer to get the ‘real thing’. So if you’re this kind of shopper, you’ll be really interested to find out the identity of the cheapest supermarket in Australia.
CHOICE conducted a price comparison survey of more than 150 brand name products at Aldi, Coles and Woolworths to find out where to get the best deal on well-known brands such as Cadbury, Kleenex, and Uncle Tobys.
The Cheapest Supermarket…
And the winner is (drumroll, please)…..
“Our price comparison found that across the range of 152 products we priced, brand name products were, on average, cheaper by 20% at Aldi compared to Coles and Woolworths,” says CHOICE Food Editor, Rachel Clemons.
“Some products did cost the same at Aldi as they did at Coles and Woolworths, and some were more expensive, but the majority of brand name products we surveyed were cheaper at Aldi. Savings went up to as much as 57%,” says Clemons.
15 Best Value Products
The CHOICE team identified 15 products which would give you the biggest savings – at least 35% – if you opt to buy them at Aldi.
The list of the best value products at the cheapest supermarket:
– Haribo Sweet & Sour Bears: 48% – Coles 57% – Woolworths
– Morning Fresh Lemon Dishwashing Liquid: 52%
– McVitie’s Go Ahead! Crispy Slices Apple Flavoured: 50%
– Kleenex Complete Clean Toilet Tissue: 47%
– Nescafe Blend 43: 47%
– Colgate Optic White: 44%
– Coca Cola Coke/Coke No Sugar: 43%
– Nestle Milo: 40%
– Cadbury Favourites: 40%
– Dove Nourishing Body Wash Restoring with Coconut & Almond Oil: 38%
– Always Fresh Sundried Tomatoes: 38%
– Haribo Goldbears: 25% – Coles 38% – Woolworths
– V Energy Drink (4-pack cans): 36%
– Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate: 35%
– Mars/Snickers Share Pack: 35%
Importance Of Pack Sizes & Unit Prices
Pay attention to pack sizes and unit prices. When you’re sleuthing for bargains, you need to compare apples with apples, and that means taking a closer look at the unit costs.
Be aware that the pack sizes of national brands at Aldi are often different. Of the 152 products the CHOICE team priced, 36 were smaller and 19 larger at Aldi than at Coles and Woolworths – that’s 36% of packs that are different sizes.
A jar of Bega Peanut Butter is 755g at Aldi, but weighs in at 780g at Coles and Woolies, for example. And a box of Arnott’s Barbecue Shapes is 250g at Aldi, but has a significantly smaller pack size of only 175g at Coles and Woolies.
There can even be differences between pack sizes stocked in Coles and Woolies. There’s the 280g Vegemite that’s “only at Woolworths”. Or Kellogg’s Corn Flakes that come in 220g or 725g packs at Coles but 220g, 450g and 920g packs at Woolworths. A bit confusing isn’t it.
CHOICE did a bit of detective work and discovered that these varying pack sizes were driven based on differing consumer needs or popularity. But whatever the real reason is, it makes it really tricky for shoppers to compare products to find the cheapest supermarket.
“Essentially, you can’t assume a lower price tag for a national brand at one retailer means you’re getting better value – you could just be getting less product,” says CHOICE’s Clemons.
The examples below demonstrate how important it is to have access to unit pricing when you’re shopping, so you can compare value at a glance.
The Queensland Consumers Association (QCA), along with CHOICE, has long campaigned for effective unit pricing (pricing per unit of measure) that allows people to make more informed choices and get the best value when shopping for groceries – regardless of retailer, product or pack size.
“It’s important to look at unit prices, not just selling prices, when choosing what to buy,” says The Queensland Consumers Association (QCA) spokesperson Ian Jarratt, who has been campaigning for effective unit pricing to help shoppers make more informed choices and to get the best value.
Do you agree that Aldi is the cheapest supermarket in Australia? Tell us in the comments below.