Grocery bills hit families hard
Customers are still said to be the losers despite the well-publicised price wars between Coles and Woolworths, with the average grocery bill jumping 16 per cent since 2009.
According to Commsec, the average Australian household spends $185 a week on food.
Increasing electricity, labour and commodities costs have been blamed for the increased costs at the cash register.
There seems to be no stability in sight, with electricity prices forecast to rise a further 17% in 12 months.
But for those who aren't fussy about brand names, there are ways to save on the weekly grocery bill.
Booval mother of two Richelle Salvation said she was saving at least 30% on her docket by buying generic brands at low-cost supermarket Aldi.
“Pita pocket bread that cost $4 at Coles and Woolworths is $2 at Aldi,” Mrs Salvation said.
“Crumpets are 99 cents here where they would be about $1.40 at Woolworths, and the other day I saw a packet of 28 nappies for $4.99 which is amazing.
“The trade off for saving a bit of money is that you don't get the recognised brands – if I want something particular I still go to Woolworths or Coles.”
Mrs Salvation, who moved to the Ipswich area from across the Tasman four years ago, said although our grocery bills were climbing, she still believed Australia was lucky compared to New Zealand.
“Grocery and fuel prices are still way cheaper here than in New Zealand,” she said.
Speaking of lucky, Woolworths customers walked out with half-price food following a computer glitch which affected stores nationwide last Friday.
More than a third of every packaged product was marked down as much as 50% for a period of one hour after a promotion for a specific range of products was mistakenly applied across the board.
Analysis conducted by the Daily Telegraph found the same basket of groceries which cost $136 in Choice’s 2009 survey would now cost $158.
According to the analysis, that equates to a $1300 a year jump in grocery prices over the last two years.