The Cost of Living in Australia Update: Groceries

cakeJust over two years ago I did what I referred to as “a meaningless grocery price comparison chart” comparing Australian food prices with those in the UK.

If you want to know why I thought it was meaningless, read my original post called, rather imaginatively, The Cost of Living in Australia: Groceries.

As you can see, that stunning title also inspired today’s header.

Anyway, with all the talk recently of how expensive Australia has become, especially for food, I decided to go shopping again for exactly the same mindless and random shopping list.

Here’s a repeat of the prices shown two years ago, only this time they are crossed out and have had today’s prices added next to them in red:

Australian Grocery Prices

Australian Grocery Prices
English Grocery Prices

English Grocery Prices

Prices for the Australian groceries can now be found online directly from the supermarkets online stores. You will find links to those stores on my page called The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything.

Minor update: However, at the time of writing this article initially I used two independent price comparison websites and I printed the prices of the second of those websites below, just as a double check…

  • Masterfoods Mustard English Mild 175g – $2.82
  • Burgen Bread Wholegrain & Oats 700g – $4.79
  • Pura Milk Whole Carton 1L – $2.09
  • Nescafe Coffee Green Blend 100g – $9.91
  • McCain Family Margherita Pizza 500g – $5.00
  • Homebrand Oil Olive Extra Virgin 500ml – $5.15
  • Tassal Supreme Salmon Smoked Sliced 100g – $6.87
  • Coles Beef Sirloin Steak Moist & Tender approx. 1kg – $23.00
  • Woolworths Select Wow Select Eggs Barn Laid 12pk 700g – $4.73
  • Uncle Bens Rice Express Mushrooms 250g – $2.99
  • Woolworths Select Cookies Double Chocolate 200g – $3.19
  • Kelloggs Cereal All Bran 655g – $6.44

At $76.98 all in, their total was 51 cents cheaper, so it seems the prices are okay.

As with last time, I got my UK grocery prices from the online Tesco store. Many of the items I bought then are not available today, so I sought the nearest similar product.

Here are the notes for that:

  • Brennans bread no longer on sale, price is for Warburtons Grained Farmhouse 800G
  • 12″ (493G) Pizza no longer available, but a 245G of same was £4.00, with a special offer of two for £5.00. So £5.00 seemed a more than fair UK price.
  • OL (Own Label, Tesco) Italian olive oil no longer sold, so price is for the only other Italian oil, Napolina Extra Virgin Olive Oil 500ML.
  • Willow Farm eggs are off, so I used Cage Free Barn Eggs Box Of 10 and adjusted the price for 12.
  • No Tesco OL again, so used Maryland Double Chocolate Cookies 250G adjusted for 200G.

Last time I did this comparison, one English pound bought AU$2.05. Today it buys just $1.56. That is a huge difference!

But what does it all mean?

Conclusion Part 1.

Two years ago I concluded that “…..shopping in Cole’s and Woolworths instead of Tesco, we have saved $5.05.” I did that by converting English pounds into Australian dollars, but now that the English pound is worth much less, today we would have saved $8.35 if we could have got our Australian shopping in Tesco’s.

So shopping here in Australia, according to this shopping list, is 12% more expensive than in the UK.

Conclusion Part 2.

But today I also use the hard yakka. If you don’t know what that is, you can find out by reading my post about the hard yakka. But I can tell you this…

According to hard yakka theory, it would take the average Australian two hours, 21 minutes and 45 seconds to earn enough money to buy the above shopping basket.

But in England, the average Englishman would have to work two hours, 56 minutes and 57 seconds to buy the same.

So now, it’s cheaper for those living and working here in Australia to buy their groceries than it is for those living and working in England.

Conclusion Part 3.

In two years the price of shopping in Australia (for the above shopping list) has gone up just 1.45%; the same basket in the UK appears to have gone up 11.58%.

So, if we are whingeing about rising prices here, what must they be doing back in England?

Summary.

Last time I did this, I suggested there really was nothing between our two countries for the price of food. I felt the 1 kg of beef in the basket worked in Australia’s favour. The big kerfuffle here at the moment is that the price of fresh fruit and vegetables have gone through the roof, my basket contains none of either.

So maybe this comparison is even more meaningless the last, but hopefully it means something. It still seems to me that there really is not much between the two countries for the cost of buying groceries.

So my advice, if you’re worried about Australia being too expensive compared to the UK, is don’t worry about it. It will only give you a headache trying to work it out.

How about that? I did it all without mentioning the price of bananas!

Updated food prices:

I now have four new posts detailing costs of fruit, veg, meat, fish and some supermarket shelf items. All updated for 2016. You can access all four posts by visiting:

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{ 57 comments… add one }
  • Lindy September 28, 2013, 9:54 am | Link

    In response to Jim’s comments above, my husband and I emigrated to Oz 30 years ago, and holiday back in the Uk every couple of years as 2 sons now live there. Not because they prefer UK, but both married English women, who are uncertain about moving so far away from their families. It seemed to me that most of Jim’s complaints actually reflected what you see and hear about things in the UK at present. Yes modern homes here are now being built too close together, but surely no worse than the semi’s or terraced houses in the UK. My husband is in the building trade and when in the UK, he is horrified at the standard of building there, and constantly comments on the shoddiness and many things that would never be allowed in oz!
    Both my sons are teachers, and so we get a good picture of the education system in both countries, and certainly Australia is not that different to the UK. Both have faults, both battle with the problem of a percentage of children leaving school with poor literacy. Perhaps Jim is remembering a UK 25 years ago.

    • BobinOz September 30, 2013, 2:29 pm | Link

      I would imagine Jim is now happily resettled back in the UK…… and still moaning. He’s probably moaning about everything he moaned about here in Australia, except he can add one more moan, he can now moan about the weather as well.

  • BobinOz August 13, 2013, 12:53 am | Link

    Some comments are just too funny; thanks Jim, I haven’t laughed this much since Fred.

  • alexandra August 12, 2013, 7:46 pm | Link

    Paper thin houses? I am yet to find a newly built house in the UK that is not paper thin or cheaply built! Concerning the education system, I think its hard nowadays to find a child in the uk who can distinguish between a carrot and a cucumber. Its no surprise that more than 25% of students attending uk universities are non uk citizens. Jim you have been away from the uk many years and a lot of things have changed….

  • Aussie August 12, 2013, 1:10 pm | Link

    Reading his own rants that is not based on facts but emotions, I can understand why social life is nil for someonre like Jim.

  • Aussie August 12, 2013, 1:08 pm | Link

    Much to say Jim but little in the way of evidence, as sorry your claims in a forum or The Media is not evidence.

    But then again there must have something you liked about Australia, as it took you Jim a whinging pom, 25 years to decided to move back to The UK?

    PS Can you claim about how poor The Education System is in Australia, when reading your own rants it is full of poor spelling and grammar.

  • Jim Lamb August 12, 2013, 10:53 am | Link

    Hi, we are returning to the UK after 25 years,there’s much much more to Australia than the cost of food.Which in fact is much dearer than just the few items that have been chosen.Two of us we spend arround $400 p/w on the big shop at woolworths,them we buy bits dureing the week.The big costs are Houue prices and they are at rock bottom ,rates,electricity/gas.home repairs,and car repairs are rediculous.To get a tradesmen that knows what he’s doing.is pot luck.Noise Aussie’s seem to relish on being heard whatever they do.The houses are paper thin and badly built,Lots of 3mm thin windows ,one layer of brick,that let the heat and cold in.And your heating and cooling $ out.You’d swear if a bird outside is squarking it’s sat at the bottom of your bed.Houses on new estates are built so close you can,hear all the foul language from next door.Aussie’s swear ALOT.People immigrating talk about the life style you may soon get fed up getting cooked on the beach.Better life for the kids,Not so.Poor education system,40% of Aussie kids that attend state schools can’t read or write well enough to get a job.When they leave school.Schools, lots of bulling and drugs. lots of There Pommy kids realy get bullied.There is lots of anti pom arround ,even in the work place,everywhere.Even on TV .We have had enough, our kids have left home and now live in New Zealand.Depending where you live outside of cities, social life is nil. The cities,and towns, in Australia have a massive social problem of anti violent drunken anti social behaviour killings shooting stabbings @Beatings are at a all time high .People can’t be trusted everyone is out to rip each other off.Time for us to return.There’s a old saying there’s no place like home.It’s True.Warts and all.But then some love it, only 7000 poms returned home last year.Ror4 one reason or the other.To us we feel that what we had to give up in the UK for realy just better weather.Just wasn’t worth it.

  • Oz March 13, 2013, 9:04 pm | Link

    What you need to do in both The UK and Australia, it is best to shop around for best prices and of course rental in different locations would be different.

    For example I can buy a loaf of bread in Australia for a $1 (0.60 UK) or a meal at Hungry Jacks for $5 (3.81UK) (eggs for around $3 (2.07 UK) which is why the following is very wrong.

    http://callumandalex.com/guides/18/06/2012/cost-of-living-uk-vs-australia

    http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=United+Kingdom&country2=Australia

    But hey, if you don’t want to shop around the best prices who fault is that?

    • BobinOz March 15, 2013, 12:53 pm | Link

      I don’t much trust those country price comparison websites either, they don’t seem to be very accurate do they? Better off doing your own research I say.

  • alexandra September 17, 2012, 7:38 pm | Link

    auu bob trust me, you dont wanna be eating sausages anyway! My mums a food technician she’s warned me about the horrid facts of the sausage! 🙂

  • alexandra September 14, 2012, 3:14 am | Link

    You have to consider the other side also…personally I don’t find the quality of fruit and veg (and meat…esp beef) to be of ANY value in the uk, unless of course if you shop solely from Waitrose which is by far much more expensive than Tesco’s. On the other hand the fruit veg and meat in woolworths and coles from what I remember is quite good!

    • BobinOz September 17, 2012, 1:44 pm | Link

      Yes, that’s a good point, I think the meat, fruit and veg here is significantly better, although the sausages here have room for improvement.

  • Rob July 6, 2012, 5:24 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    That’s great news, I haven’t considered my credit card or begging funds from the parents yet…haha.

    The recruiter I spoke to said it shouldn’t be a problem finding me work so hopefully I’ll have a bit of funds to party with initially.

    Interesting to note it was warmer in Sydney yesterday (winter) than Cornwall (summer). One of the main reasons I’m leaving the UK!

    Cheers,

  • Rob July 6, 2012, 12:32 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Been reading through this thread. I’m coming over in a couple of months on a working holiday visa and then will be attempting to get the 457 visa sponsorship by a host company.

    I spoke to a recruiter this morning (who is actually from the UK) and he told me he would be able to get me a job easily enough within 1-3 months. I’m coming with £6-7k, will this be enough to see me through 3 months do you think?

    I’ll be looking to rent a room in a house share initially. The industry I will be working on will give me a starting wage of A$55k – 65k which is condiserably more than my wage in the UK currently, so your comparison of food prices has been really helpful,

    Many thanks,

    Rob

    • BobinOz July 6, 2012, 2:32 pm | Link

      Hi Rob

      Just you, in a shared house, living modestly, then yes, I think it would just about the enough. But you won’t be living it up like the tourists 🙂 But do remember also, there are lots of really enjoyable things you can do for free while you wait to start work. Lots of parks, rivers, maybe mountains and scenic sights to see that don’t drain your cash. Good luck!

    • Jules December 6, 2012, 2:41 am | Link

      Hi Rob,

      Could you let me know who the recruiter was in the UK that you used please?

      Many thanks, Jules.

  • Andrew April 19, 2012, 8:30 am | Link

    Hi. I’m thinking of the move to Oz. I have properties in the UK achieving rental income of £1500. If I move I will rent my main house out in the uk and will then move with a uk rental income of approx £3000 per month net.
    My wife is. Hairdresser and I was a telecoms engineer before becoming a house husband. We have 3 children.
    Our London lifestyle somewhat restricts the children to indoor activities and I know there is more to life that being locked up witthin 4 walls.
    Will we be eligible to gain residency.
    Will we have a better lifestyle.
    Will I have any regrets.
    Can we survive on £3000 per month.
    Initially we will be looking to live off rent from the uk and then maybe establish a hair salon for my wife.

    • BobinOz April 20, 2012, 12:30 am | Link

      In the good old days, when one great British pound would get you 2.5 Aussie dollars, yes, you would have survived on £3000 a month. These days, with just 1.6 AUD to the pound, you will seriously struggle.

      As for your other questions, I have no regrets, but I have no idea whether you would or wouldn’t. But I do believe you would have a much better lifestyle.

      Would you qualify for permanent residency? I couldn’t possibly tell, I know nothing about you. You can get a good idea for yourself by following the instructions on my page called Visas or if you would prefer to have a professional assessment, check out my Visa Assessment Service.

      Good luck!

    • Catherine of Anglesey July 21, 2012, 7:24 pm | Link

      If only Brits weren’t so London-centric, they’d discover there are some pretty good places to live in the UK and give your children space to breathe and run around freely. It makes me cross that Brits (and the southern English in particular) think they have to move abroad -Australia, France, Spain – to give their families a better standard of living, when they can find it in Britain and not have to change culture or cope with more expensive living costs. While I would like better and more consistent summer weather, especially after this summer, moving to Oz to give yourchildrwn space to run around, is madness

      • BobinOz July 22, 2012, 9:20 pm | Link

        Great pigeonholing of the Brits and, in particular, the “southern English”.

        There is definitely more space here in Australia, it is a better place to bring up children as far as I’m concerned and the weather is undeniably better. And you think moving here is madness?

        Personally, I think living in the same country your whole life is quite mad, it’s a big world, why not enjoy as much of it as you can?

  • Max April 3, 2012, 4:33 pm | Link

    I just returned to OZ after visiting family in the UK and while its good to go back I never regret choosing to live in Australia.
    You cannot put a price on the lifestyle and climate.

    The best advice I could give anyone who is considering the move is that If you have skills which make you employable, (teacher, nurse, police etc) anywhere, look further afield than the major cities where housing is very expensive.

    • BobinOz April 4, 2012, 3:17 pm | Link

      “You cannot put a price on the lifestyle and climate.” – So true!

      I’ve often wondered what it would be like to live in a large town, rather than one of the major cities. Maybe one day I will find out.

  • Chris Bache March 29, 2012, 5:03 am | Link

    Hi to all of the above. All of this debate has been really helpful. I and my girlfriend 24 and 23 have just had our working holiday visa’s approved and intend on flying to Oz early August and intend on arriving with £5,000 each. We are aware of the drastic exchange rate and that is one of the reasons for fleeing our failing county… if only for a short while (fingers crossed it could be a lot longer)
    I just wondered if any of you guys had any words of advice or tips for making our money go that extra yard.
    Look forward to your reply’s and thanks in advance!

    Chris

    • BobinOz March 30, 2012, 1:53 pm | Link

      Sounds like you’ll be backpacking then, not something I have any experience of. Do we have any backpackers who can help? Anybody?

  • Joanne Smith February 29, 2012, 6:53 pm | Link

    Hi Sean,
    I think I replied to you not realising on one of your earlier comments……! I wish buying here was so simple……..and the word ‘rock and a hard place’ sums up our situation. Only Canberra has the highest median wages in the country primarily due to a 60% government and very educated workforce, defence and diplomatic postings and a shortage of rental properties. We live in a modest 4 bedroomed house in the outer suburbs which costs a shocking $720 (500 UK pounds a week) and everytime we look for a cheaper 3 bed rental there are another half a dozen families interested. Our home is a lovely 4 – bed house in oxfordshire 50 mins from Marylebone on the train) where we received 935 UK pounds per calender month subject to unearned income tax in Australia. There we have to find at least $1000 Australian dollars a month to cover our rent here in Canberra. To buy without selling the UK we need at least $100,000 (70,000 UK pound)deposit and stamp duty based on a $650,000 home (which would be a modest 3 bedroomed property) Without selling in the UK its very hard for us to find that kind of money and a mortage of $600,000 would be around $3,500-$4,000 per month obviously higher than our rental, however Canberra has the highest property prices second only to Sydney in Australia, so slightly abstract from other states of Australia. Interesting times ahead of us I am sure! Good Luck with the move!

    • BobinOz March 1, 2012, 10:08 pm | Link

      Joanne

      I do feel for you, the exchange rate today between Australian and UK currencies does seem totally out of whack. You asked if we would have thought twice about the move if we would only getting $1.50 to the pound, well yes, we surely would have.

      When we were granted our visa, you could have got $2.50 to the pound. About a week later, Northern Rock went pop. Two weeks later, we were down to $2.25. In two weeks we ‘lost’ 10% of all our money. We bought some over at $2.25, but not all of it. We wanted to see $2.50 again.

      We didn’t, it just kept falling & falling until that frightening day when it hit $1.98.

      Nine months later the global financial crisis smacked the world, and we had a bit of luck. In that crazy couple of days, currency exchange rates were all over the place. We were ready to pounce, and we did at $2.45. I can assure you that was an extraordinary happy day in our family, and one that we are forever grateful for.

      Since then of course, the pound has crashed horribly against the Aussie dollar, where it stands now is really unthinkable.

      So I know where you are coming from, I’ve lived the emotions. And I know how lucky we have been with our timing.

      Maybe there will be another blip and maybe you can take advantage of that. But you have to be ready to trade, account all setup so all you have to do is say “buy!”

      Sean, I like your maths, and that’s exactly what I would do. Rent out my house in England, rent here and wait. Wait for house prices to rise in the UK and wait for the pound to rally against the Aussie dollar. Although, of course, neither are guaranteed.

      Which, actually, answers your original question Joanne, about us thinking twice. We would have still come to Australia, otherwise it’s a cut off your nose to spite your face job, but we would have left most of our assets in the UK until, hopefully, things will have improved.

      Cheers

      Bob

  • Sean February 29, 2012, 6:22 pm | Link

    Joanne,
    I can see where you’re coming from, I’m still living in the UK with property and my 175 visa is about to be submitted.
    As you will appreciate, making a move to Oz is not like moving down the road, and there are lots of factors to take into account, the main one being exchange rates.
    I have been monitoring them over the last two or so years from when I first started thinking about making the move, and it was clear even then that I would lose a lot of money selling my property and buying something in Oz.

    The way I see it, I don’t really know what the future holds for me in Oz (although from what I have found out, it is much likely to be a better one there than in the UK), I can rent out my property which pays for the mortgage and a bit to spare, the property value will gradually increase in the UK and if I after 5 or so years I think that I have made teh right move I can then think about selling it (depending on exchange rates). It also gives me the flexibility to return to the UK if I need to.

    Looking at buying a property in Oz, do you really need to?
    Looking at the interest rates, a $450K mortgage will have interest alone would be nearly $2500 per month based on a 6.5% rate, so if you found a rental property for somewhere near that you wouldn’t be ‘wasting’ money as a lot of people consider when renting.

    My point is, before moving you need to meticuously go through everything and do your research, look at the options and plan on a long term basis.
    In a lot of ways it is starting your life again, which had its advantages and disadvantages, and I’m sure it’s one reason why a lot of people make the move.

  • Joanne Smith February 28, 2012, 8:26 pm | Link

    If moving to Australia and selling your UK property especially if you have little or no mortgage I would advise you to think long and hard! We have been living in Canberra for nearly 4 years, residents for 1 year and with the current exchange rate we would only beable to afford a shed ‘crap box’ of a house. Selling property and buying here at present would put another 10 years on our working life………if it wasn’t for our children settled and happy in schools we would definitely go back to the UK mortgage paid and enjoy our summers in our holiday home in Pissouri Cyprus……when transferring pounds Australia is far too expensive………..!!!

    • BobinOz February 29, 2012, 12:12 am | Link

      Well, the pound against the Aussie dollar is at its lowest for about 27 years I think. You should have done your deal four years ago when you first came here, the pound was much stronger then.

      But it doesn’t mean houses are expensive here, just that the pound is weak. Nothing more.

      • Joanne Smith February 29, 2012, 5:39 pm | Link

        I agree its all relative to earning Australian dollars but if you are in your twenties and have no property or equity to sell and bring over from the UK then that applies, but if you’ve spent half your working life paying off a mortgage then the scenerio is completely different. We arrived here on a 457 long stay temporary visa for 2 years prior to 2008 all our friends who had migrated to Oz had wished they’d kept their UK property…….and anyway unlike PR status if you lose your job or the company you work for goes bust you have 28 days to leave Oz, not the best foundation to buy property. You can apply for PR in most cases after 2 years but even onshore can take up to a year. I ask you Bob if you were transferring your money from the UK presently would you have thought twice about emigrating??

  • BobinOz January 17, 2012, 4:22 pm | Link

    What a kerfuffle! Proof, if ever it were needed, that the FA should bring back the Home International Championship.

    My terminology is purely an SEO thing. Love that ‘Colemans British Mustard’ though, very good 🙂

  • Dave January 16, 2012, 11:59 am | Link

    Better get a price comparison to Colmans British mustard then, just to have a fair an even comparison.

  • Sean January 15, 2012, 11:13 pm | Link

    I’m guessing ‘A Stuart’ refers to the House of Stuart who ruled the Kingdom of Scotland from 1371.
    I’m hoping this is a tongue in cheek jibe against the English!

  • emsquared January 15, 2012, 10:33 pm | Link

    I get the feeling that A Stuart (Alf?) is making a pseudo socio-political point (steady now) over the use of the word English instead of British and perhaps making certain assumptions with regard to its usage. Apologies if that’s not the case.

  • Chris January 15, 2012, 9:58 pm | Link

    what other type of English money is there? The GBP is accepted all over the UK (ok maybe not deepest darkest Wales, they still trade in sheeps) even Scotish money is compatable!

  • A Stuart January 15, 2012, 7:46 pm | Link

    Thanks for the article.
    It seem strange to me though that only ‘English’ money is compared to the Australian. What about the rest of the UK??
    Might have been fairer to talk about the British Pound instead 🙂
    cheers

  • Dave August 25, 2011, 1:54 pm | Link

    THey charge five pounds but for 12000 miles I think that’s reasonable, even for a pom. You need to factor in the WA (wait awhile) factor though so it could be a day or two late if you live in Perth.

    • BobinOz August 26, 2011, 6:39 pm | Link

      Don’t buy bananas then, they’ll get seized at customs. Actually, I think all your fresh fruit would, and possibly the vegetables. Maybe you will have to go to Cole’s and Woolworths like the rest of us.

  • BobinOz August 24, 2011, 9:20 pm | Link

    Don’t they charge £5.00 for delivery though? I thought about doing it myself, but I refuse to pay the delivery!

    Sarah, maybe you are crazy, but you’re not alone!

  • Sarah August 23, 2011, 10:06 pm | Link

    I must be crazy loving here in Sweden!!!

  • Chris August 23, 2011, 7:51 am | Link

    eer hello, i don’t eat cream cakes! do i look stupid? dont!

  • Sean August 23, 2011, 6:02 am | Link

    Fantastic idea!
    Except your cream cakes will have gone off by the time the van gets to your house!

  • Chris August 23, 2011, 5:32 am | Link

    I have a 2 part stratergy planned out for when i arrive to combat this situation, this is how its going to work….
    Part 1 I work in Australia and earn AUD
    Part 2 (the clever bit) I do my online shopping in Tesco!

    A flawless plan i think you will agree.

  • Dave August 14, 2011, 8:42 am | Link

    At last, a fellow pom who is a realist. We came to Perth over a year ago and love it. There is a tendency for UK vistors here (and anywhere else Brits travel to) to spend most of their time saying ‘its not cheap here is it?’ What do you expect?!!! Its not cheap in Britain either and you spent a months wages getting here and are staying in free accommodation (family and friends). Its cheap comparitively to the UK in India and parts of the far east and yet you still have spent a months wages geting there plus your accommodation costs!
    Petrol is half the price, the exchange rate is unfavourable for vistors at the moment and spirits and UK beer have to be imported. Everything else is much the same and most of it comes from Australia, brilliant. The sun shines, its an easy place to live, people are friendly, speak English and drive on the same side of the road and buying alcohol in the pub is slightly more, give up the comparisons and enjoy the ride! if you truly want a comparison go to Italy or Monaco.

    • BobinOz August 15, 2011, 12:41 pm | Link

      Well, yes, with the poor exchange rate (from the point of view of someone coming from the UK) some visitors probably would accuse this country of being expensive. But it’s not expensive when you live and work here.

      I think Iraq is cheap, but you wouldn’t want to go there for your holidays, would you?

      Maybe you should pay for your guests food and drink as well as giving them free accommodation hehe! Glad you’re loving Perth, I intend to visit one day.

      Cheers

      Bob

  • Sean August 13, 2011, 4:55 am | Link

    I’m keeping an eye on the cost of living quite closely as I hopefully will be in Oz in the not too distant future.

    A friend of mine who is over here (Derby, UK) but also lives in Melbourne (not at the same time obviously) was saying she couldn’t work out what the fuss was, the cost of living is near enough the same, and when you take into account the cost of fuel in Oz, it really does make the difference negligable.

    I looked on Coles’ and Woolworths websites and downloaded their special offers magazine type thing. Comparing the prices directly with similar products from Asda’s online shop, they were pretty much in the same ballpark (Although booze, especially spirits, seem very pricey).

    I really think it’s not much of an idea to continually keep comparing Oz prices with the UK bearing in mind the exchange rate. I’m sure Australians don’t need to do this, so if you’re living in Oz, earning Oz dollars and spending them in Oz shops, does it matter if the £1 is worth $1.57 or $2.50?

    • BobinOz August 15, 2011, 12:34 pm | Link

      All correct Shaun, really not much in it between the two countries. It’s swings and roundabouts. And no, the value of the pound against the Aussie dollar makes no difference to people living and working here in terms of the cost of living. That’s why I invented the hard yakka, that’s the one that matters.

      Booze is quite expensive, although some wines can be very cheap, as little as three dollars a bottle. Not sure what it’s like though, we go crazy and pay $7. As for beer, I’ve built my own microbrewery, yes, seriously. So I make beer for between one dollar and $1.40 a pint. Lovely!

    • Joanne Smith February 29, 2012, 6:38 pm | Link

      Hi Sean
      The exchange rate has now dropped to $1.43 against the UK pound and in answer to your question it does matter when you are bringing UK pounds over to purchase property as the bigger the mortgage you have to borrow here in Australia hence less money for groceries……….!

  • Cath Taylor August 12, 2011, 8:10 pm | Link

    Wow, over $2 for 1l of milk? Coles own brand milk is $2 for 2l – less than half the prices above, if you actually need that much milk. I plan to go own-label wherever possible, browsing Coles & Woolies online reveals huge savings to be made against the big brands! Here in the UK I mainly buy Morrisons own stuff, never been a brand-junkie :o)

    • BobinOz August 12, 2011, 10:52 pm | Link

      Did you know that, apparently, or should I say allegedly (in case lawyers are reading this) some own label milk could actually come from anywhere in the world? There is a process of freezing, drying, and then rehydrating milk and putting it back into bottles. So there’s a possibility your milk isn’t fresh, your own brand milk may have come from a cow in China three months ago.

      You can avoid this by buying a brand name locally farmed bottle of milk, which will probably cost a little more.

  • Hector August 11, 2011, 2:21 pm | Link

    Let me see if I understood properly…

    In conclusion, Australia is still cheaper than UK, isn’t it?

    I think the most appropriate conclusion is No. 2, I mean the yakka.

    • BobinOz August 12, 2011, 10:42 pm | Link

      The real conclusion is, not much in it. But yes, under yakka theory, which assumes you get a better salary here than you are used to, Australia probably is cheaper.

  • emsquared August 10, 2011, 11:16 pm | Link

    Good conclusion. It can do your head in working out the variables. Swings and roundabouts etc.

    • BobinOz August 12, 2011, 10:40 pm | Link

      Exactly right, swings and roundabouts.

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