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Woolworths, Coles, Aldi: Save $760 at Australia’s cheapest supermarket

Aussies can save serious cash by swapping their supermarket. Plus, a cheat sheet to hack shopping around.

Coles, Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets.
Coles, Woolworths or Aldi? Here's which supermarket will stretch your dollar further. (Source: Getty)

If you’re looking for ways to keep your grocery bill down, you could keep another $760 a year in your pocket simply by choosing a different supermarket.

Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths vie for Australian shoppers' loyalty, but we’ve all heard the cost-of-living advice to “just shop at Aldi”.

A comparison of 46 grocery staples - including eggs, milk, bread, meat, fresh fruits, vegetables, and snacks - found there is a 7 per cent difference in what you pay at the till from the most and least expensive supermarkets.


Coles was found to be the most expensive at $214.32, while Woolworths placed second at $208.85.

The best value for shoppers was found to be at Aldi, with the average basket coming in at $199.69.

That’s a difference of $14.63 per week, according to the deep dive by comparison website Finder.

However, different items were found to be cheaper at certain supermarkets. Another sign that shopping around is the best option to get value for money.

Do you have any clever hacks to save on your groceries? Contact reporter at

Which groceries should I buy from which supermarket?

Let's take it a step further for the frugal shopper. Here’s a cheat sheet for where you should buy which grocery staples to capitalise on the trends found in the analysis.

  • Aldi: eggs, shaved ham, pork sausages, fillet steaks, high protein yoghurt, mineral water, lemon lime and bitters, broccoli, coleslaw, Tim Tams, buttermilk, cheese, almond milk, maple syrup, cling wrap, moisturiser, Vegemite, flour and chicken nuggets.

  • Woolworths: Oranges, carrots, onions, asparagus, chicken drumsticks and wholemeal bread.

  • Coles: Wasn’t cheaper for any individual item. However, it tied for some: canned tomatoes, bananas, Arnott’s variety creams, bacon and Rexona roll-on deodorant.

Hidden traps of ‘cheap groceries’

Coles and Woolies didn't do so well when comparing the average shopping basket, but they do offer something Aldi doesn’t, which consumer expert Graham Cooke said shoppers should take notice of.

“Coles and Woolies offer loyalty points and don’t surcharge you to pay by card, so it’s worth keeping in mind if the prices are nearly the same,” the head of consumer research at Finder said.

Aldi shoppers will be hit with a 0.5 per cent surcharge at the till if they opt for using a credit card. On the average basket, that equals 99 cents.

The German-supermarket giant does not have a loyalty program and has previously said its priority is to "focus on supplying consistent great value to all customers" rather than rewards.

Quality is also something to keep in mind.

“Larger supermarkets also offer a much wider range of brands, and not all the products are going to be the exact same quality,” Cooke said.

“The no frills version of your favourite products could take a bit of getting used to.”

Tips to save

The average Aussie household is now spending $185 on their weekly grocery shop, up $15 a week compared to August last year.

Here’s four ways you can save:

  1. Shop at night - supermarkets often discount food nearing its use-by date in the evenings, including pre-packaged vegetables, meat and ready-made meals.

  2. Use unit pricing - looking at the cost per unit is an easy way to compare prices between different brands and sizes.

  3. Meal plan and stick to it - if you can use the same ingredients multiple times, this could help your money go further. It’ll also help avoid impulse buys.

  4. Buy in season - buying in-season fruit and vegetables is also cheaper because they don’t have to be sourced from overseas. Coles and Woolworths have information about what’s in season on their websites, or you can check out this Seasonal Product Guide.

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