How Much Does Food Really Cost in Australia?

Australia is expensive. Full stop. But if you get a job, you earn more than you spend - I had a job in a cafe that paid AU$17 an hour, which there is considered very low, but in England that is nearly £10 an hour.

Now Australia has a few different supermarkets, we visited Aldi, Coles, Foodworks, IGA and Woolworths, but I'm told they had a few others. Coles and Woolworths are the big two, in England they would be Tesco and Sainsburys, you get them all around Australia -apart from in the sticks! Aldi is still great and cheap, but it's not found in every state. IGA and Foodworks are really expensive and tend to be found in annoying places where they are the only option.

We always opted for Aldi, but if it wasn't near enough we'd go for Coles over Woolworths, there's not much difference in the two, but for what we buy Coles tended to be a couple of dollars cheaper. Some Woolworths have the most amazing fresh sushi bars though, so you definitely check those out!

So let's do some shopping in Australia, how much is it going to cost? I'm going to compare it with English prices, and converted the Australian dollars to pounds, but feel free to compare it to your own country/ currency ;)

I've written a mini chart of basic food products, I've chosen the cheapest brand (Value for the UK, Smart Buy for Australia). I've compared Coles to Tesco.

Both milks are full fat (full cream in Oz, whole milk in the UK - both have a blue lid).

Australia, Coles: 2L = $2 => $1/L = £0.55/L

England, Tesco: 2.72L = £1 => £0.44/L

Conclusion: Australia £0.11 higher per Litre

Cheapest pre cut white bread (NB they call thick bread toast bread and thinner bread sandwich bread in Australia)

Australian, Coles: 650g = $1.00 => $1.50/1kg = £0.80/1kg

England, Tesco: 800g = £4.70 => £0.60/1kg

Conclusion: Australia £0.20 higher per 1kg


Cheapest pasta you can buy, which for some reason is spirals in Australia and Penne in England.

Australian, Coles: 500g = $0.65 => $1.30/1kg = £0.70/1kg

England, Tesco: 500g = £0.29 => £0.58/1kg

Conclusion: Australia £0.12 higher per 1kg


Long grain white rice

Australian, Coles: 2kg = $3.73 => $1.90/1kg = £1.00/1kg

England, Tesco: 1kg = £0.40 => £0.40/1kg

Conclusion: Australia £0.60 higher per 1kg


Cheapest porridge you can get, [Value (Tesco) Smart Buy (Coles)]

Australian, Coles: 900g = $1.57 => $1.70/1kg = £0.90/1kg

England, Tesco: 1kg = £0.75 => £0.75/1kg

Conclusion: Australia £0.15 higher per 1kg

Baked Beans
Australian, Coles:

420g = $0.92 => $2.20/1kg = £1.20/1kg

England, Tesco: 420g = £0.24 => £0.57/1kg

Conclusion: Australia £0.63 higher per 1kg

Australian, Coles: 1.7kg = $8.50 => $5.00/kg = £2.76/kg

England, Tesco: 1kg = £1.50 => £1.50/kg

Conclusion: Australia £1.26 higher per kg


Australian, Coles: $2.50/kg = £1.38/kg

England, Tesco: £0.68/kg

Conclusion: Australia £0.70 higher per kg

Okay, so £0.1 per 1kg doesn't sound like a lot, but if you bought just Milk, Bread, Pasta, Rice, Porridge, Baked Beans, Sausages and 1kg Bananas in Australia it would cost you $19.75=£10.9 which would only be £6.5 in England, and that's hardly going to feed you all week. So consider how much it would be per week, and then per month etc.

Funnily enough, eating out isn't much different, and at times I think it's cheaper than in England. At Hungry Jacks in Australia (Burger King to everyone else) you can get fries, a burger, a coke and a small sundae for $5 = £2.76 !

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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