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Grocery bills

78 posts in this topic

I shudder to think what will happen when petrol prices go back up.

Conditioning works. The petrol prices are already awefully close to where they were when oil was at USD147. Two cents up, one cent down, two cents up, one cent down, ... Shhh, the people will never notice.

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Well, I've been keeping my grocery reciepts for the last 2-3 months now because of this thread, so I suppose I should go through them to give myself a more accurate idea of what I'm spending each week, and it'll also allow me to check on any price rises that have happened.

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Someone elses view on rising food costs - from the Adelaide Sunday Mail

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/food-price-rises-cut-deep/story-e6frea83-1225884732393

THE traditional Aussie dinner of meat and three veg is under siege from high grocery prices, with the cost of meat more than doubling over the past 10 years.

Since 2000 the price of that family favourite, the lamb chop, has risen by more than 100 per cent, now costing around $19.90/kg compared with $9.30 in 2000.

And as for a steak dinner - rump prices have gone up 57 per cent from $13.03/kg in 2000 to more than $20/kg this year.

Even humble beef mince has risen by about 50 per cent, to $13.99/kg from under $10 in 2000.

Meat isn't the only item to record a rise, with grocery prices increasing across the board, from breakfast cereal, up almost 70 per cent, to laundry powder, up a whopping 117 per cent.

At the same time, the average income of South Australians has risen only 55 per cent, from $760 to $1175 a week.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle says the price increases have resulted in Australians eating more vegetables and less meat.

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"We did studies on grocery buying and family nutrition and we found that the most common meal in Australia is actually now meat and four vegies, not meat and three veg," Mr McCrindle said.

"Because meat is the staple of the Australian nutritional approach, this high price is a challenge for families."

Mr McCrindle said many people were now considering a meatless Monday, a movement that originated in America.

He said the move was being driven by people with environmental concerns, some with budgetary problems, as well as nutritionists.

"Meatless meal options have nutritional benefits as well as, importantly, the cost advantage," he said.

Supermarkets, meanwhile, can do nothing but throw away unsold meat.

"We mark it down and give it a couple of days, then if it still doesn't sell we just have to waste it, we throw it out," a Coles worker, who did not wish to be identified, told the Sunday Mail this week.

However, a Coles spokeswoman said: "Very little meat is thrown away, less than half a percent of our total sales."

A spokesman for Woolworths denied wasting any meat. "It's a complete furphy to suggest Woolworths throws away large amounts of meat," he said.

"We supply our stores, to the best of our abilities, to meet customer demand and if a product is nearing the end of its shelf life we will often discount it for a quick sale."

Meat and Livestock Australia market analyst Sylvia Athas said meat prices were affected by a number of factors, including supply and demand, production costs and "seasonal conditions". She said the price of lamb had risen to particularly high levels because of the declining sheep stock.

"Stock numbers are now at the lowest since the early 1900s, so that has affected the number of lambs available. At the same time we've had really strong consumer demand," Ms Athas said.

MasterChef finalist and owner of SA company Feast! Fine Foods, Richard Gunner, said huge overseas demand had contributed to pushing up the price of lamb.

"Our little secret has got out and other countries have discovered how good lamb is," Mr Gunner said. "The drought has also reduced the supply and made it more difficult and expensive for farmers to grow the product."

And while Australians might think they're paying top dollar for lamb, Mr Gunner said: "We've got it pretty good compared with other countries.

"I've heard of trimmed lamb racks costing up to $140 per kilogram in the United States."

THE PRICE IS RIGHT?

2000 2010

ITEM PRICE PRICE

Milk (1 litre) $1.43 $1.74

Cheese (500g) $3.23 $5.77

White bread (650g) $2.15 $3.70

Breakfast cereal (550g) $2.65 $4.50

Biscuits (dry 250g pkt) $1.62 $2.48

Rice (1kg) $1.48 $2.69

Rump steak (1kg) $13.03 $20.53

Lamb chops (1kg) $9.30 $19.90

Pork chops (1kg) $9.03 $15.42

Chicken (whole - 1kg) $3.38 $5.80

Sausages (1kg) $4.59 $6.82

Bananas (1kg) $1.79 $3.05

Potatoes (1kg) $0.81 $2.78

Carrots (1kg) $1.68 $2.07

Peaches (825g can) $2.15 $3.52

Block of chocolate (250g) $2.87 $4.55

Eggs (1 dozen) $2.54 $4.19

Strawberry jam (500g jar) $2.40 $3.20

Teabags (180g pkt) $3.19 $4.00

2000 2010

ITEM PRICE PRICE

Coffee, instant (150g jar) $5.21 $8.01

Margarine (500g) $1.63 $3.20

Baked beans (420g) $1.01 $1.57

Baby food (120g can) $0.64 $1.23

Laundry powder (1kg) $5.05 $11.00

Toilet paper (4 pack) $3.17 $3.68

500g San Remo Pasta $1.59 $2.25

Extra trim beef mince (per kg) $9.49 $13.99

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...

50% over ten years is about 4% inflation right? Bit less maybe?

To channel Wulfie, if you live in a fiat world why should you be surprised when you experience inflation at around about the target rate?

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THE traditional Aussie dinner of meat and three veg is under siege from high grocery prices, with the cost of meat more than doubling over the past 10 years.

Since 2000 the price of that family favourite, the lamb chop, has risen by more than 100 per cent, now costing around $19.90/kg compared with $9.30 in 2000.

And as for a steak dinner - rump prices have gone up 57 per cent from $13.03/kg in 2000 to more than $20/kg this year.

Even humble beef mince has risen by about 50 per cent, to $13.99/kg from under $10 in 2000.

Thats just inane really. Just dumb.

I see people at woolies/coles paying $3 a lettuce and $2 an avocado, yet go a block in to the farmers market ( http://www.rustysmarkets.com.au/ ) and 2 lettuces for $3 and 5 avocado's for $3.

Meat? Go to the the right meatshops, there are three in my small town. I pay $4/K for mince and $18/K for Tableland Eye Fillet whole. Rump? $10/K. http://www.wholesalemeats.com.au/aboutus.html

I know of similar outlets south.

Wilebeeste are just wildebeeste.

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Most of us live in a vacuum of information, if the stats came out saying the average australian spent $300 a week or $3000 a week on groceries we would mostly be none the wiser because none of us (or in fact anyone) is the average australian.

So we don't know if we are lady penelope feeling good about saving $30 on caviar or steptoe saving 1p on rags.

So what does it cost to live in a manner you find comfortable? I assume here most of us are happy with what we are doing and may have separate goals or savings dreams but obviously no one is going absolutely screaming balls to the wall saving because we are paying for internet access.

I am not a great example because I live a sybaritic life paying for a million and a half different animals that want food (have you seen how much a couple kookaburras and butcher birds eat? it is like $20 of mince a week! through in a possum and a few wallabies and the fruit bill again gets silly).

Plus I only eat once a day or so but consume stupid amounts of alcohol however most booze is home consumed.

I spend about $350 a week on groceries, fruit and veges and about the same on alcohol for two adults plus assorted animals (they get no booze).

i missed this thread for the last umm 6 months...

i live in a share house with two brothers (they own it). we all put in 90 bucks a week each for the housekeeping money, sometimes the balance is a bit negative and sometimes a bit positive, in the long term 90 does the job. it covers electricity, internet, food and household consumables etc. two of us do the shopping while the other one wouldn't know what a coles is and whether rump is a meat or a football team. we eat well and use power without thought for that.

now booze ciggies and hooker costs are a different matter...

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Oh this has been on my mind for the past few days. Standing rib roast is about $19 a kilo and scotch fillet is $30.

I have been buying the standing rib recently for barbecue, it is pretty good. In my mind I have been buying an expensive cut of meat because I guess I remember it being expensive.

Turns out I am being cheap :)

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Thats just inane really. Just dumb.

I see people at woolies/coles paying $3 a lettuce and $2 an avocado, yet go a block in to the farmers market ( http://www.rustysmarkets.com.au/ ) and 2 lettuces for $3 and 5 avocado's for $3.

Meat? Go to the the right meatshops, there are three in my small town. I pay $4/K for mince and $18/K for Tableland Eye Fillet whole. Rump? $10/K. http://www.wholesale...au/aboutus.html

I know of similar outlets south.

Wilebeeste are just wildebeeste.

i've tried to go to cheap butchers but the quality has been absolute crap. the good butcher is more expensive than coles but better quality. i just need to find a good and cheap butcher i guess.

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Our grocery bills yo-yo depending on how frugal we are. Anything from $100-200pw.

I redid our budget as our income just recently changed. We now have loosely $1000 out a fortnight, $2500 in, and I'm seriously rounding those numbers.

This thread is quite old. Looking back, we managed to throw away close to $8000 on our subdivision and associated expenses in the first half of 2010, as well as a deposit to the builder. No wonder we never saved anything :rolleyes:

I have their second deposit just sitting here now gathering dust, and then we need the bank deposit. Deposits, deposits, deposits ... and I have another 6 months of frugality to go, if not more ...

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One of the oldest tricks in the book! Expect for Woolworths to follow.

Coles pushing up petrol prices to pay for cheap milk

DRIVERS at Coles Express outlets are paying more for petrol so the retail giant can subsidise the controversial "Down Down" campaign, it has been claimed.

Data obtained by The Daily Telegraph reveals the increased gap in petrol prices at the bowser between Coles Express and Woolworths' Caltex petrol retailers since last June, when the "Down Down" discounting campaign began, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The data collected from independent agency Informed Sources shows the gap between the two retailers widening at crucial points of the campaign, including when it slashed milk to $1 per litre.

"Coles has consistently claimed they are not using one part of their business to prop up other parts," independent Senator Nick Xenophon said yesterday.

"But these figures clearly show Coles petrol is consistently dearer than its competitors. It is legitimate to ask if that extra profit Coles is making on petrol is being funnelled into other parts of the business to prop up its discounts."

Petrol retailer Coles Express yesterday rejected the claim, saying the data was not realistic. "Coles Express petrol prices do not subsidise lower grocery prices at Coles," a spokeswoman said.

"Our supermarket and fuel businesses are stand-alone businesses, and discounts in both brands are genuine stand-alone offers. The chart does not reflect the realities of Coles Express's fuel pricing as it relies on average point-in-time weekly price data and doesn't account for factors such as like-for-like site level comparisons and localised price movements."

Data shows the gap widening when Coles began heavily discounting products midway through last year, including Sanitarium Weet Bix, Handee Ultra Paper Towel 4 pack and Moro Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The latest round of discounts have included milk and nappies.

Mr Xenophon said drivers had little choice when it comes to fuel.

"Petrol is one of the products people have to buy - so it makes sense that Coles would target it," he said.

"This is what happens when the supermarket chains also own petrol stations and bottle shops. Coles and Woolies have too much market power and that means they can use this discounting to squeeze out other competitors."

A Woolworths spokeswoman said the data contradicted Coles' claims it was discounting to help families.

"We are not surprised to hear that Woolworths provides consistently cheaper petrol prices than Coles," she said.

"We have always endeavoured to provide the best value possible for motorists, as we do for customers in all our stores."

Coles told a Senate inquiry the price cuts would continue and that it was possible to keep milk at $1 a litre without crippling farmers as more people were drinking milk since the price war began.

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One of the oldest tricks in the book! Expect for Woolworths to follow.

Coles pushing up petrol prices to pay for cheap milk

Sorry, I don't buy it. If they have some sort of systemic widening in the margins they make on fuel, others will undercut them and they will sell less fuel.

Xenophons logic is that they can magically and arbitrarily raise petrol prices and the punters will keep paying them, rather than driving 2 mins down the road to their competitors. Bollocks.

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Sorry, I don't buy it. If they have some sort of systemic widening in the margins they make on fuel, others will undercut them and they will sell less fuel.

Xenophons logic is that they can magically and arbitrarily raise petrol prices and the punters will keep paying them, rather than driving 2 mins down the road to their competitors. Bollocks.

They can. They are price setters, most of their competitors are price takers.

We are entering a perfect storm for price setters right now - milk, meat, eggs, and now apparently petrol.

I don't have time to explain but Xenephon is mostly right, prices will be cheap for a short time and horrific thereafter, once the small and the troublesome have been driven from the market.

I am constantly astounded that more don't see how vulnerable we are right now, and how insanely rapacious the 'big two' supermarkets are.

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Sorry, I don't buy it. If they have some sort of systemic widening in the margins they make on fuel, others will undercut them and they will sell less fuel.

Xenophons logic is that they can magically and arbitrarily raise petrol prices and the punters will keep paying them, rather than driving 2 mins down the road to their competitors. Bollocks.

You would need to know the volumes involved. I would hazard a guess that people buy at least 20 times the volume of petrol per week compared to milk.

Lets say a person buys 2L milk and 40L petrol. Drop milk by 80c a litre and you need to raise petrol by 4c a litre. If you are doing those 5c a litre off petrol voucher things then people won't leave for another petrol station as it will still be more expensive.

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Most people are not aware of the market share these two duopolists have. People complain about Walmart in the US. Walmart's management must turn green with envy when they look at the market share of Coles & Woolworths. As Tor metioned, they're playing with petrol vouchers and prices to make customers pay more but not raise prices so high that customers will go elsewhere. This is similar to where banks charged lower interest rates on loans, but hit you with fees instead.

There are no free financial lunches!

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They can. They are price setters, most of their competitors are price takers.

We are entering a perfect storm for price setters right now - milk, meat, eggs, and now apparently petrol.

I don't have time to explain but Xenephon is mostly right, prices will be cheap for a short time and horrific thereafter, once the small and the troublesome have been driven from the market.

I am constantly astounded that more don't see how vulnerable we are right now, and how insanely rapacious the 'big two' supermarkets are.

Agree that in theory monopolies are price setters, but we don't have a monopolist in the petrol market. It is still sufficiently fragmented - companies other than ShellColesCaltexWoolwortjs   import and distribute their own petrol (eg United).  

If independents are driven completely out of business, I will accept that the supermarkets have enough market power to screw us on petrol to a greater extent than they are subsidizing eggs/milk. 

That said, I do wonder how the current petrol price is explainable given the AUD:USD and crude price... There seems to have been some margin widening somewhere in the supply chain. 

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You would need to know the volumes involved. I would hazard a guess that people buy at least 20 times the volume of petrol per week compared to milk.

Lets say a person buys 2L milk and 40L petrol. Drop milk by 80c a litre and you need to raise petrol by 4c a litre. If you are doing those 5c a litre off petrol voucher things then people won't leave for another petrol station as it will still be more expensive.

Dockets give you 4c/litre. But that doesnt give the supermarkets money to burn on discounting milk - quite the opposite - it's the groceries that are used to cross subsidize the fuel. [remember how the fuel independents whined when this was first rolled out?]

In your example where they hike their pre-coupon price to 4c above competitors, all they are doing is reversing the cross-subsidy.

If everything worked the way it is being hyped up in the media, they could increase their fuel coupon to 90c/litre, give away free chicken, eggs and milk and still (somehow

magically) increase their profits.

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Dockets give you 4c/litre. But that doesnt give the supermarkets money to burn on discounting milk - quite the opposite - it's the groceries that are used to cross subsidize the fuel. [remember how the fuel independents whined when this was first rolled out?]

In your example where they hike their pre-coupon price to 4c above competitors, all they are doing is reversing the cross-subsidy.

If everything worked the way it is being hyped up in the media, they could increase their fuel coupon to 90c/litre, give away free chicken, eggs and milk and still (somehow

magically) increase their profits.

Holding hands with black gold?

The high dollar is saving our arse (if you drive alot or buy groceries that are delivered a long way)

post-103-000358800 1301469307_thumb.gif

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Most people are not aware of the market share these two duopolists have. People complain about Walmart in the US. Walmart's management must turn green with envy when they look at the market share of Coles & Woolworths. As Tor metioned, they're playing with petrol vouchers and prices to make customers pay more but not raise prices so high that customers will go elsewhere. This is similar to where banks charged lower interest rates on loans, but hit you with fees instead.

There are no free financial lunches!

The vouchers are worth stuff all - to the average Joe who does 10,000km per year and buys 1,000 litres of fuel, it's $40.

That is so trivial that it shouldn't affect anyone's behavior at all, but perhaps the average Joe is so maths-challenged that, in practice, it does???

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Holding hands with black gold?

The high dollar is saving our arse (if you drive alot or buy groceries that are delivered a long way)

Very interesting. Can you do one of those charts on a common y axis, with a starting point in mid 2007? And also add a line for aus petrol prices?

Or does that involve hard work?

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Very interesting. Can you do one of those charts on a common y axis, with a starting point in mid 2007? And also add a line for aus petrol prices?

Or does that involve hard work?

There is no index for Aus petrol prices (is there?) that I can plug in to a chart thingy.

If Crude catches his 'friend' ($150 a barrel) ala 2007?.

If you are asking that Australian petrol sellers are gouging and didn't pass on the falls in crude to $40 and AUD to 0.60?

Yes (as a V6 owner and graph analyst).

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Dockets give you 4c/litre. But that doesnt give the supermarkets money to burn on discounting milk - quite the opposite - it's the groceries that are used to cross subsidize the fuel. [remember how the fuel independents whined when this was first rolled out?]

In your example where they hike their pre-coupon price to 4c above competitors, all they are doing is reversing the cross-subsidy.

If everything worked the way it is being hyped up in the media, they could increase their fuel coupon to 90c/litre, give away free chicken, eggs and milk and still (somehow

magically) increase their profits.

I would hazard a guess that Coles are trying to get back market share. I doubt they are subsidising if it is illegal for them to do so. I was simply showing how easy it would be to do it.

If I was a cunning rat bastard I would certainly have the petrol vouchers in the back of my mind as a backup plan.

But I think the real point is to get market share back from Woolworths and maybe destroy the competition in the process.

And yes of course the media will hype it, only so long you can run stories about the disaster du jour before viewers start changing channel apparently.

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Agree that in theory monopolies are price setters, but we don't have a monopolist in the petrol market. It is still sufficiently fragmented - companies other than ShellColesCaltexWoolwortjs import and distribute their own petrol (eg United).

If independents are driven completely out of business, I will accept that the supermarkets have enough market power to screw us on petrol to a greater extent than they are subsidizing eggs/milk.

That said, I do wonder how the current petrol price is explainable given the AUD:USD and crude price... There seems to have been some margin widening somewhere in the supply chain.

there are six stations on my drive to work (only 20km), one is an independent and i never see anyone there. they don't have high octane fuel i need for my car so i don't really notice their prices. they don't have a minimart attached either. they don't accept vouchers either. never underestimate marketing. people will pay more for something they think they are getting cheap even if they pay more.

now onto crushing pharmacists

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I have one service station (caltex/woolworths) 2 minutes drive away. It is like post soviet russia at most times. No independents. If I choose to drive the 10 minutes to another service station it will be coles or woolworths. The extra drive would cost more than the drive and the fuel costs the same. Weston creek is a captive market. 1.44 per litre after the discount.

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I have one service station (caltex/woolworths) 2 minutes drive away. It is like post soviet russia at most times. No independents. If I choose to drive the 10 minutes to another service station it will be coles or woolworths. The extra drive would cost more than the drive and the fuel costs the same. Weston creek is a captive market. 1.44 per litre after the discount.

You are living the future, just a little ahead of the rest of us.

Now, ditto for eggs, dairy, meat...

Don't kid yourselves, they (coles/woollies) have seen an opportunity and are going for it. Whether Xenaphon and co will be able to put the brakes on it is highly debatable. Certainly neither major party cares at this stage.

BTW, the 4-cents-off fuel dockets are very very effective, the maths doesn't stack up but the punters love the idea of something for nothing... or less, anyway.

The milk situation is very analogous - the milk is cheap but the average grocery docket is not lower than it was previously, other prices are going up and cross-subsidising the whole process. The markups on fresh food are truly horrendous, and precious little goes to the producer.

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The milk / chickens / TP / etc noise hides the fact there is less on discount in any given week than there was in the past. There are fewer items in the catalogues and though some are at higher discounts on balance people are paying more though saving "more" on a few staples. This part is inflation by stealth...fewer deals vs YP, full stop.

I'm told some research outfit discovered that Coles, in particular, has an untrusted Brand. Incredible when you consider their degree of market penetration. This current program is all part of them addressing that issue as they go head to head with a (larger) competitor who has lower costs. It will be interesting to see how far Woolworths is willing to push the imports calling the shots in Toorak.

Costco is opening shops in Sydney and Canberra this winter.

Currently the high AUD is shielding us from the food inflation that is being picked up in other markets. That said coffee, corn, sugar are way up. Petrol (freight) up as well. Wheat and rice are not as bad as a few years ago but they're going up rapidly again. It will be interesting to see how much food inflation gets stripped out of the reported core inflation numbers. People will notice in their bank balances, no matter what the bankers say.

Buy a freezer!

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