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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)…..

ALDI!

“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.

price pack comparison

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.

  • I am glad to have this information. However I do prefer to buy Aussie brands and Aussie suppliers so will still do my shopping from more than one store.

    Reply

  • Not a big fan of house brands as the quality is almost always worse, especially in things like pasta sauces etc

    Reply

  • The different pack sizes get me every time! But just like the coffee, only a 4cent difference in unit price

    Reply

  • I have found that when I do a descent shop at Aldi I get a lot more for my money. The fresh fruit and veggies is uaully good condition and I do buy most of my fruit and veg there.

    Reply

  • House brands not always the best quality or taste and often not made in Australia. Will stick to better brands and Aussie made.

    Reply

  • Sorry Choice I will stick to known brands rather than the house or store brands. Have been caught too often with terrible tasting goods and often the kids wouldn’t come at them either. I try to buy on special when things are half price – buy up big then and wait till the next special. Reckon I save more that way and still get to enjoy the best.

    Reply

  • We tend to do the bulk of shopping at Aldi and top up on things we can’t get at other supermarkets

    Reply

  • House brands are so yuck. They’re cheap but they’re also nasty. Aldi for the win

    Reply

  • I do my shopping with Aldi and Coles once a week. I do like Aldi’s weekly specials.

    Reply

  • I try and buy regularly used products when they are on special and stock up. That helps a lot.

    Reply

  • Yes of course.

    Reply

  • I find it depends what store you shop at. If I shop at a coles near housing commission the prices are a lot cheaper than in the city or near the Big mansions even though its the same shop. I did find it interesting that the stores all sell different sizes, no wonder people get confused. I do like Aldi for the special buys though.

    Reply

  • Personally I don’t find Aldi that much cheaper apart from not being able to do a whole shop the meat , chicken is disgusting maybe cheaper but chicken is full of gasses and the thighs are a lot smaller proportion than what you would get from Woolworths
    I have brought snack foods from them in date and have opened them and they are stale this has happened on many occasions
    The only thing about Aldi is the nappies and baby wipes

    Reply

  • I don’t have a choice where I shop. I won’t use our local supermarket for certain reasons but have been told products are either out of date or they have run out. I drive 2 hours to a Woolworths or 3 hours to choose between Coles or Woolworths. I’m happy with my Woolworths store so this information doesn’t affect me in any way.

    Reply

  • My local Aldi is quite small and usually doesn’t have everything want, so I always end up at Coles anyway, so, for me, it’s not worth going and having to visit two different stores. I do keep an eye on prices and only get what I need and/or what’s on special.

    Reply

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