It pays to shop around for the cheapest groceries, Finder data reveals

New data shows food prices are cheapest at Aldi.

New data shows food prices are cheapest at Aldi. Photo: TND

German supermarket giant Aldi is Australia’s cheapest supermarket, according to new analysis, but families looking to save the most on their weekly shop will want to visit more than one store.

Figures published by comparison site Finder show Aldi edges out Coles and Woolworths on prices for a range of grocery staples, including dairy products, meat and a range of snacks.

A basket of 46 commonly bought goods at Aldi would set a shopper back $199.69, the data shows, whereas a comparable shop at Woolworths costs $208.85 and $214.32 at Coles.

Aldi was found to have the cheapest meat – including shaved ham, pork sausages and fillet steak – and also the least expensive broccoli, coleslaw, cheese, flour and even Tim Tams.

But it wasn’t the cheapest for every product, showing that if families shop across more than one supermarket chain they stand to save the most on groceries.

Woolworths sells the cheapest oranges, carrots, onions, asparagus, chicken drumsticks and wholemeal bread, according to the Finder analysis.

What’s interesting is that Coles wasn’t found to be cheapest in any single category, though it shared equal lowest on some products.

Finder’s head of consumer research Graham Cooke said “a little awareness goes a long way” for families trying to save money on their weekly grocery shop.

“You don’t need to drive all around town to save $2 on your onions,” he said.

“Make a habit of checking out the weekly half-price deals at the major supermarkets so you can stock up on any of your regular purchases when they’re on sale.”

Aldi tops big two on price

Aldi has long been Australia’s cheapest supermarket, though it has a far smaller footprint than Coles and Woolworths, meaning it’s not always as accessible to shoppers.

But for those Australians who can and do shop there, the savings can add up – Aldi is $2 cheaper than its competitors for 1kg bags of coleslaw, and more than $4 cheaper for high-protein yoghurt packs.

That is not the case for every product, however, with Woolworths being $2.50 cheaper than Aldi for bags of oranges.

Finder said price is not the only factor for shoppers to consider, but it has become an increasingly important driver as the cost-of-living crisis squeezes family budgets.

Coles and Woolworths have angered shoppers for raising prices while remaining profitable over the past two years.

Viral online campaigns by activists show stores being tagged with slogans like “the price gouge people”.

Ironically though, those abandoning the major supermarkets aren’t saving the most money at the supermarket, at least not according to Finder.

A mixed basket

Onions are 75 per cent cheaper at Woolworths than Aldi for a 1kg bag, while carrots were 50 per cent less at Woolworths than Coles, an 80 cent difference on a 1kg bag.

But the savings on meat at Aldi are clear. Eye fillet steaks were cheaper than Coles and Woolworths (who are tied), while a 500g pack of pork sausages is almost a dollar cheaper.

On other staples like beef mince and chicken breast, Aldi’s claim to being cheapest is far thinner, with only a cent between their prices and Woolworths or Coles, as the above table shows.

Cooke said that grocery prices aren't always what they seem.

“Coles and Woolies also 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," he said.

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

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

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