From Best to Worse – What Are the Cheapest Supermarkets in Australia?

cheapest Supermarket in Australia

Ever wonder what the cheapest supermarket is in Australia?

If you’re like me, then it’s easy to walk past any ALDI, Woolies or Coles and get sucked into picking up a few items. It’s just so convenient, right? It makes life really easy when you need to pick up a snack or some extra supplies for dinner. But are we really getting the most bang for our buck? With cheap grocery shopping now available online – at any time – are traditional supermarkets still the cheapest place to buy groceries?

Leading consumer advocacy group, Choice, recently conducted a supermarket survey on almost 3000 Aussies across the country about their grocery shopping experiences. So, let’s find out which are the cheapest grocery shops!

Which supermarkets are in Australia?

Firstly, who are our contenders for the cheapest supermarket? The Australian grocery duopoly made up of Woolworths and Coles tends to be the most prevalent, with both stores situating themselves in the busiest areas. Although the list of contenders extends further than these two major players.

Ultimately, Queensland misses out on Foodlands and Harris Farmer Markets, who are leading the race for the most supermarket satisfaction in the country according to Choice’s survey in Feb/March 2019.

In 2001, ALDI also arrived in Australia armed with everything it needed to rattle the pre-existing market. By 2004, they had 54 stores across the Eastern states. Last year, in 2018, they announced that they had opened their 500th store in Australia claiming roughly 13% of the supermarket industry.

How does Australia compare to the rest of the world?

Cheap can mean different things to different people, but if we looking at the stats things are a bit clearer. The average Australian household spends $254.96 per week on their groceries. Seems like a lot don’t you think? Well it is. According to numbeo, food in the US is 24.85% cheaper, with the UK coming in at 12.25%.

Even Singapore, the most expensive country in the world is 18.52% cheaper than ours! But why is that?

Well, one of the downsides to living in this sunny little country of ours is just how far it is from the rest of the world. Importing the food we like is generally more costly, given the greater distances it has to travel.

As a result, even Australia’s cheapest supermarket can be pricier than most. So, in the end, it’s down to us to find the best value on offer.

So, which is the cheapest supermarket?

When it comes to grocery shopping, everyone has their preferences. Yet, according to Choice, the cheapest grocery store Australia has to offer is the European favourite – ALDI.

That’s right, ALDI is the top of the rankings with the lowest average prices for you to fill up your shopping trolley. Just remember to bring your $2 coin or one of ALDI’s own imitating coins when taking out one their trolleys or you’ll have to carry all of your items by hand.

I can’t get no – supermarket satisfaction

In 2018, Choice ranked Australia’s supermarkets in terms of overall customer satisfaction. So, in addition to telling you which is the cheapest supermarket, we’ve broken down where you can find the best value and service!

Produce

We all want the freshest and most delicious produce from our local supermarket, but apparently, Foodland wins out when it comes to quality!

Best supermarket for:1st2nd3rd
Overall RatingFarm Markets HarrisCostco
Range of products & brands availableFoodlandFarm Markets HarrisWoolworths
Availability of locally produced foodsFoodlandFarm Markets HarrisCostco
Quality of fresh produceHarris Farm MarketsFoodlandALDI

Price

ALDI may be the cheapest supermarket but what other stores offer the most bang for buck?

Best supermarket for:1st2nd3rd
Value for moneyAldiCostcoFoodland
Amount & availability of specials & discountsCostcoFoodlandAldi
Availability of locally produced foodsFoodlandFarm Markets HarrisCostco
Stock turnoverHarris Farm MarketsFoodlandCostco
Product availabilityFoodlandHarris Farm MarketCostco

Accessibility

When it comes to convenience, we tend to think of cheap online groceries as the way to go. Yet if convenience is paramount to you, here’s where you should head when you need to just quickly pick up a few things from the shops:

Best supermarket for:1st2nd3rd
Opening hoursWoolworthsColesFoodland
Ease of parkingFoodlandCostcoIGA/Supa IGA
Ease of locating items you wantFoodlandHarris Farm MarketsFoodWorks

Shopper experience

Having a good or bad experience in a supermarket can be the deciding factor for where you choose to do your groceries. So here’s how our supermarkets rate on service:

Best supermarket for:1st2nd3rd
Availability of staff when you need assistanceFoodlandFoodWorksIGA/Supa IGA
Helpfulness of staffFoodlandFoodWorksWoolworths
Ease of use of shopping trolley/basketsFoodlandFoodWorksCostco
Speed of checkoutFoodlandFoodWorksIGA/Supa IGA
Ease of checkoutFoodlandFoodWorksIGA/Supa IGA
Stock appearance & layoutFoodlandHarris Farm MarketsWoolworths
Clarity of signage showing unit pricingFoodlandALDIIGA/Supa IGA
% would recommendHarris Farm MarketsFoodlandCostco

Other ways to save money on groceries

There’s more you can do to save money on your grocery bill than just shopping at the cheapest supermarket. Here are some things you should consider before your next trip to the grocery store.

Become self-sustainable

If you’ve got some extra space in your garden, why not try growing some fruits and vegetables yourself? Becoming self-sustainable can have a host of benefits, and it’ll all help cut back on the costs of buying your groceries.

Here are the best vegetables you can grow all year round:

  • Broad beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Or you can try growing some fruit. Though the young trees will take time to fruit, in the long run, if your tree is healthy, you can expect to have more than enough fruit to feed your family and possibly even enough to share with friends! Try growing your favourite fruit from the list below:

  • Pears
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries and Raspberries

Try the farmer’s markets

Don’t forget the weekend farmers markets to support local traders and grab some great bargains. Head down just before closing time for the best deals as suppliers want to get rid of as much as possible!

Visit your local butcher

Need a bag of snags for a barbie this weekend? Your local butcher will usually have the best deals when buying meat. Plus, the quality is likely to be better than your cheapest supermarket! Buying in bulk can help cut back the costs, so consider buying extra and just freeze whatever you don’t eat. Then you can just grab it from your freezer whenever you’re in need!

Wait for more competition

ALDI may soon have some competition for the cheapest supermarket title! German supermarket, Kaufland (ALDI’s arch-rival), are planning their big move to Australia which is set to cause a huge upset to the industry. So, prepare for some bargains! In 2017, they bought a large plot of land in an Adelaide suburb to allow for their first Australian distribution factory, despite objections from their existing competitors.

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