Where we shop

Hello Dear Reader,

I would love to say that we grow a lot of our Fruit and Veggies or that we buy all our Fruit and Vegetables from the grower or a farmers market, alas this is not the case. We simply do not have the time to do this. One day, when I am retired, our dream is to be self sufficient, off grid, growing all our own fruits and vegetables. Our dream for our future is to buy an old crumbly home on some good land in the original part of Scarborough where the soil is red and fertile. We would then remove the old home and build a eco friendly, easy care, small home that would be big enough for our needs but small enough that I am no longer a slave to my home. We would have a big shed and large enough land to be self sufficient. Well that's the dream anyway. A lotto win would also be handy!

But for the moment I have to be content with supplementing our needs with some home grown fruits (lemons and limes and hopefully in the future Red Paw Paw) and vegetables and herbs (Silverbeet, Bok Choy, Bellino Tomatoes, Mint, Parsley, Basil, Coriander, Thyme, Oregano, Sorrell, Marjoram, Rocket, Sage, Watercress, Rosemary and Spring Onions) It does sound like a lot when I write it down but it is not enough quantity and variety to live on. I look at what I am doing now as a stage rehearsal for the next chapter of my life. Learning by mistakes (and there has been a lot of those) and seeing what works in my garden at different times of the year.

As I simply can't get to the local Sunday markets as often as we would like, we rely on the Supermarkets. We live in Redcliffe, which is about 40 minutes north of Brisbane. It still has a seaside village feel to it and we just love it here. There are all the Supermarkets we need in easy reach and shopping is a breeze (says she who doesn't do the shopping) We love ALDI and often go to Coles and Woolworths for their weekly specials as well. We get the grocery catalogues weekly and pour over them for any good specials. As we try and eat healthily it is getting harder to spot good specials that are a healthy choice. It all seems to be pre packaged, additive loaded, quick meals and snacks that we simply do not eat.

Just out of interest I went for a walk through ALDI and Coles on Saturday morning and compared 7 different grocery items that we buy frequently from ALDI. I must admit, with hubby doing the shopping, I don't know exactly how much each item costs, I just know how much we spend on groceries each week. So, below are the 7 items I chose to compare and next to them are what each item costs at 1) ALDI and 2) Coles.

Peppermint Tea 50 pack 1) $2.09 2) $7.50

Dark Chocolate with sea salt flakes 100 grams 1) $2.49 2) $4.00

Spaghetti 500 gram 1) 0.89 C 2) $2.45

Extra Tasty Cheese 500 gram block 1) $5.49 2) $6.30

Red Paw Paw 1) 3.99 each, not per KG, average of 740 grams 2) $4.90 per KG = $3.62 each

Macadamia kernels 1) $32.68 per KG 2) $42.50 per KG

Lady Finger Bananas 1) $5.99 per KG 2) $7.50 per KG

So, as you see, except for the Red Paw Paw pricing there is a lot of difference between the cost of groceries at ALDI and Coles. It pays to shop around and to be keenly aware of how much each item is and where to purchase it for the best price. I know this is nothing new but it does take time however once you know where the bargains are to be had, your grocery dollar will go further.

So, tell me, where do you shop for the best value for money? Do you buy in bulk? or like we do and just buy enough for the week?


  1. Aren't the differences in price truly amazing, Fiona?? I shop mostly at Coles but buy most basics at Aldi. The fruit and veg at both the Aldi and Coles I use are not brilliant quality. We don't have a green grocer nearby and to be honest, I'm not sure where the nearest farmer's market is!

    I started out always using Coles and was stunned at the difference when we got an Aldi in the area. I am also trying to get a veggie garden up and running and just noticed some flowers on my (self seeded) tomato! How happy am I? Congratulations, by the way, on your red paw paw.

    And now off to work after Kung Fu Panda 3 and a hair cut yesterday. Enjoy your day.


  2. We don`t have Aldi here, only Coles Woollies and IGA. Gosh, prices are cheap where you are- food prices are much higher here in Tassie. As I live in a little village and we only have IGA here, I don`t have much choice! However, we grow most of our own vegies, there is a local abbatoir from which we can buy our meat direct, and there is a local Sunday market where all manner of fruit and vegetables are sold. I make all my own preserves and bread so I only have to buy tea, sugar and catfood at the supermarket. In some ways, it`s good that there is not much choice- it becomes exhausting having to constantly check for cheaper prices and rushing from one shop to the other. The only choice I have to make is whether I can afford it or not!

  3. Dear Fiona, We tend to shop mainly at Coles but have started going to Aldi. Last week my tin of peaches from Aldi was half that of the equivalent at Coles. We have a small vegetable patch and are ready to plant out our winter crop. We are eating the last of our own tomatoes, which lasted from Christmas to Easter, our best year yet. I like your blog very much, Best wishes Lyn

  4. I cant wait to get an Aldi nearby. We live in the country and only have access to Coles, Woollies and Foodland/IGA.

    I have been to one store in Adelaide and could not believe the cheap prices. I will do some shopping there every time we go to the city from now on.

    I just found your blog and am enjoying going through your old posts. It seems we have quite a lot in common. I am loving all your recipes.


    1. Thanks Tania, thanks for commenting, I really makes my day to know that someone is reading my blog and that they can relate to the theme of living frugally. Have a wonderful weekend

  5. I've been reading through some of these older posts of yours, Fiona, and enjoying them very much. The way I shop is a lot like the way I garden. It's a hodge podge! I have our veggie patch here that supplies some of our freshest food. I sometimes go to the Northey St City Farmers Markets or the Mitchelton Farmers Markets, sometimes to wray organics (sometimes they have great specials and also bulk bins) and I will go to supermarkets where I tend to focus on specials like big block cheese, dish wash liquids, toothbrushes, toothpaste etc. I do buy some things in bulk for my stockpile and freezer. What I've found is that having some funds available to take advantage of specials saves me quite a lot. I like to get bread and milk at a little local bakery to support them too. As I said, a hodge podge! Meg:)


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