Aussie woman vents about price difference between Coles and fruit market

The Brisbane woman was shocked after spending $45 for a few items at Coles.

As most Aussies scramble to hold onto their hard-earned cash during the surge in cost of living, one Brisbane woman has highlighted how changing your approach to one weekly task could help you save.

"I used to think that going to the farmer's market or going to the fruit and vegetable little shops that they were going to be expensive ... It's insanely cheap," she said online.

The two grocery shops from the respective retailers can be seen side by side before the TikToker shared the price difference.
The TikToker shared the price difference between the small supermarket shop compared to the larger and allegedly cheaper shop from the fruit and veg shop. Source: TikTok/ellyvickere

In her video the TikToker claimed her small grocery shop from Coles (consisting of two boxes of tea bags, two loaves of bread, a box of chicken kievs and lactose free milk) cost her "around 45 bucks", yet a visibly larger stack of fresh produce from her local fruit and veg shop she says cost $26.36.

"Half of the amount of money that I spent on those couple of items [from the supermarket] ... They may not be the prettiest and most symmetrical [produce] but it's going in your belly anyway."

The items being compared from the respective retailers were not the same, however, the significant difference in quantity and alleged price instigated a 'money saving' conversation online, with over 42,000 people engaging with the video.

"Farmers markets for the win! Always," one woman wrote, while many others shared they now completely avoid supermarket due to price hikes.

Why is there a price discrepancy?

Many Aussies have noticed the stark difference in buying fresh produce at an independent retailer compared to the large supermarkets and there are several reasons why this is the case, according to consumer expert Gary Mortimer.

"Ultimately it's about the supply chain. The cost goes up as the food moves from farm gains through to your supermarket," he told Yahoo News Australia. Costs associated with harvesting and transporting the produce as well as operating large-scale retail stores all contribute to the price of a shopper's singular piece of food or veg — which all adds up at the check out.

Buying directly from a farmer and "cutting out the middle man" can be cost effective for the consumer, with these independent retailers also benefiting from "opportunistic buying".

"If you're a local grocer, you might be able to just buy two cases [of a produce] ... If you're a big supermarket you need to buy 40 pallets of citrus fruit, or 40 pallets of bananas," Mr Mortimer explained.

How can you save money on your weekly groceries?

Mr Mortimer recommends some "simple" ways to cut down on the price of your food bill:

  • Create a list and plan your shop

  • Do an inventory of your pantry and fridge before you leave home

  • Consider farmers markets and street vendors

  • Use shopping apps, such as Frugal Grocery, which highlight the cheapest price of brand favourites. This will help to inform where to get your items and saves time in store

"Shop across multiple brands or supermarket and independents every week," Gary said.

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