Just 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
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?
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: