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Cost of living crunch continues to take a bite out of the shopping trolley

Reviewed by expert, Phillip Portman
4 min read
26 Mar 2024
woman shopping for cheap groceries in Australia

Inflation numbers are slowing, but many households are still in the financial pressure cooker. The latest Compare the Market research has found that the average household is spending $193.00 on their weekly grocery shop.*

This number is sitting relative to numbers from 2023, where Compare the Market found that people were spending $194.87 on their shop.* This is despite the ABS showing that there has been a 4.5% increase from the December 2023 quarter CPI results for food and non-alcoholic beverages, lamenting just how tough people are doing it across the country.

Commenting on the findings, Compare the Market’s spokesperson, Phillip Portman, said that this is just another indicator of the financial pressures so many people are feeling at the moment.

“The inflation rollercoaster seems to be coming to an end, however, many households are still feeling the financial pinch,” Mr Portman said. “And while at first glance, spending $193 at the shops seems like a lot, breaking that down to three square meals a day for even for one person for a week comes out to $9.19 a meal. In most instances, that wouldn’t even cover a lunch out if people go into the office.

“Clearly, people are doing all they can to claw back cash and make ends meet. From giving up takeaway or dining out, buying generic branded foods, or even skipping meals, it shouldn’t have to come down to this to make rent or pay off their loan.”

According to Mr Portman, aside from cutting costs at the supermarket, some other ways people could find savings are to:

  • Compare energy plans and ensure they’re on the most competitive offer
  • Never accept an auto-renewal for insurance and compare options to pay as little as possible
  • Use fuel comparison apps to look for cheaper fuel
  • Utilising rewards that may be available to you through your energy retailers, insurance companies and more.

“There may be hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars that people could be saving, just by taking some time to review a few things,” Mr Portman said.

“The number one thing people forget is their electricity bill. While you may have been on a competitive offer, these lower rates typically expire after a set period and you may be rolled onto a more expensive offer without realising. Similarly, we’ve seen some retailers offering extremely competitive deals in some regions recently, so if you haven’t switched plans in the past year or so, there may be cheaper deals out on the market for you!

“Another trap that people often fall into is auto-renewing. It always pays to compare before the end of your renewal period, whether that be car, pet, health or home and contents insurance. A year is a long time, and your circumstances may have changed, not to mention what’s currently being offered in the industry.

“We’ve had a customer, who was able to save over $400 on their car insurance alone, while another was able to save over $1,200 on their home and contents insurance policy.

“Last but not least, people shouldn’t discount the possible savings shopping around for fuel could bring. It may be convenient to just head over to your local service station and fill up the car, but doing a little bit of digging around could save you as much as 40 cents a litre.

“Groceries are obviously at the front of mind for many people, but people should be waking up to waste in all other areas of their household budget and looking at other ways to save.”

*Compare the Market surveyed 1,005 Australians aged 18 and over in January 2024

*Compare the Market surveyed 1,005 Australians aged 18 and over in January 2023



For interviews and more information, please contact:

Noémi Hadnagy | m: 0433 377 252 | e: [email protected]    

Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We make it Simples for Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy insurance, energy, and home loans products from a range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool helps you look for a range of products that may suit your needs and benefit your back pocket.

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avatar of author: Noémi Hadnagy

Written by Noémi Hadnagy

As a Media and Comms Advisor, Noémi works closely with a variety of expert teams at Compare the Market to create compelling and informative pieces to help Australians make better financial decisions. Noémi holds a Bachelor of Business - International majoring in Public Relations from Queensland University of Technology as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration specialising in International Business from BI Norwegian Business School. In her spare time, you can find her reading a book or planning her next international holiday.

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