The $33 photo that might make you reconsider Coles or Woolworths

While Tuesday night's Federal Budget attempted to alleviate the stress of rising living costs, there's no denying millions of Australians are fearing financial frailty in the coming months.

Aside from the highly-publicised spike in petrol prices, Australia's leading supermarkets have been steadily rising the prices of everyday items, including fresh produce, due to widespread shortages.

But a photo shared to Reddit from across the Tasman Sea may be the evidence shoppers needed to start being savvier with their weekly grocery shops.

One shopper was over the moon to score this crate of veggies for under $40. Source: Reddit
One shopper was over the moon to score this crate of veggies for under $40. Source: Reddit

Pictured was a crate full of fresh produce which the poster said cost them just $35.93 (A$33.27).

It was in stark contrast to a raft of other posts on the site from customers bemoaning price hikes in Coles and Woolworths, including one that lambasted the former's $5.50 cost for a single iceberg lettuce.

The poster of the fresh food haul boasted their win was the result of shopping locally at an independent store, garnering praise from others. "[This is a] genuine gold tier idea," one person responded.

How Aussie shoppers can save on produce

And while the photo is from New Zealand – which has experienced worse inflation than Australia, hitting 5.9 per cent, Sydney businessman John Chedid says Australian shoppers can save if they're wise over their spending.

Mr Chedid is the owner of the popular family-run grocer Mayfair Fresh in Petersham and says he could not bring himself to burden his beloved locals with hiked prices despite seeing internal costs rise.

"I'm struggling big time to get stock but I've managed to get some because of my contacts and I've tried to keep it as low as I can," he told Yahoo News Australia, noting his iceberg lettuce was 50 cents cheaper than Coles.

Mr Chedid has been in business for over 30 years and says he cares for the community at such times of need. Source: Supplied
Mr Chedid has been in business for over 30 years and says he cares for the community at such times of need. Source: Supplied

Mr Chedid said he has been forced to sell some stock at the price he purchased it for to make sure people are coming in through the door.

"When you treat the people like you want to be treated, you can't go wrong in life. I've been receiving emails [from suppliers] with ridiculous prices but I don't want to kill my customers."

Shoppers can save money shopping online

Research shared this month from ING shows cost-conscious shoppers are also heading online for their groceries more regularly, saving money either through shopping around or signing up for meal kit services such as HelloFresh.

Amy Cunningham, Head of Digital at ING Australia, said shoppers are saving more than $1,000 annually by going online. She said their data suggested one in five Australians now have a meal kit subscription.

“Buying your groceries online could be one of the easiest ways to save money, Ms Cunningham said.

Coles and Woolworths respond to price rises

A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo the supermarket was also committed to providing value to its customers however multiple factors meant prices have unfortunately risen.

"We appreciate that there are a number of factors driving inflation for all retailers, including increases in the cost of raw materials, energy price rises, freight costs, extreme weather events and ongoing COVID impacts," they said.

The spokesperson said Coles was working to reduce prices of other items and "key items" needed to feed families such as pasta and tuna have remained the same price.

A Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo the supermarket is working to "sensitively manage the industry-wide inflationary pressure on food and groceries".

"We’re always working to strike the right balance to offer our customers high quality and affordable fresh produce, while paying a fair market price to our suppliers," they said.

The spokesperson also pointed to their Odd Bunch range, which offers imperfect fruit and vegetables at a discount price.

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