Woolworths shopper's shock over $46 bill for a single meal

The frustrated shopper said it's cheaper to eat out than to cook at home.

The rising cost of groceries has once again been laid bare, as struggling Aussies continue in their fight for affordable food.

In a bid to "save some money," one Aussie shopper Nat opted for a home-cooked meal and popped into Woolworths to pick up ingredients. But she was outraged when a handful of items set her back almost $50.

"I just spent $46 on lasagne ingredients, and I already had half the ingredients at home," she raged in a video on TikTok.

A Woolworths customer complaining about her grocery bill, pictured right.
A Woolworths customer was shocked at the cost of ingredients for one meal.

"I should just eat Maccas every day," she added, implying, that despite it too falling victim to price hikes, fast food is a cheaper option for cash-strapped Aussies.

"$46 f***ing for lasange. Are you f***ing joking?" she continued in her rant. She later claimed it's likely cheaper to buy the same meal at a restaurant than at the supermarket.

What the shopper bought for $46

The woman said the only items she bought were for dinner and did not buy anything extra. She later shared a snapshot of her receipt in a follow-up clip.

Cost of ingredients at Woolworths:

Cost of the same, or similar, items at Coles:

  • Carrot $0.32

  • Garlic $1.22

  • Brown onion $0.75

  • Shopping bag $0.25

  • Latina lasagne sheets $6

  • Mutti Polpa chopped tomato tin x 2 $4.60

  • Weight Watchers shredded mozzarella $5.50

  • Perfect Italiano grated parmesan $4.50

  • Leggos tomato paste $$3.50

  • Devondale butter $ $4.20

  • 1kg lean beef mince $15.50

Total: $46.34

  • Carrot $0.42

  • Garlic $1.74

  • Brown onion $0.67

  • Shopping bag $0.25

  • Latina lasagne sheets $6

  • Mutti Polpa chopped tomato tin x 2 $4.60

  • Coles shredded mozzarella $5.50

  • Perfect Italiano grated parmesan $4.50

  • Leggos tomato paste $$3.50

  • Devondale butter $5.30

  • 1kg lean beef mince $18

Total: $50.68

Both supermarket and fast food prices up on last year

Groceries are one of the biggest money worries for Aussies right now, with the average household now spending $199 on groceries each week, up from $184 per week in June last year. To combat rising prices, two-thirds (62 per cent) of Aussies said they were now planning cheaper meals, 55 per cent were looking harder for discounts, and 42 per cent had switched to generic brands. While some are ditching some essentials altogether.

Recently, a NSW mum compared an online order from late 2022 to current prices at Coles, listing 52 products that have all increased in price — some items as much as 194 per cent. Last year, the same shop cost her $192.80 compared to $226.24 now, she claims — an increase of $33.34 or 17 per cent.

But the cost of fast food has also increased, and in June, UBS analysis found McDonald’s Australian store prices were up 8 per cent since last August. This was still less than fast-food competitor KFC, whose prices were up 14.7 per cent over the past year.

Simple supermarket switches to save

One way to save on costs is to switch to no-name brands, as many suggested in response to Nat's video. Some pointed out that she'd purchased some branded items, which is a surefire way to spend more at the checkout.

But the shopper claimed "it’s not that much cheaper" estimating a saving of just $1-$2. Swapping lean mince to regular mince could have also helped her save a little, some suggested — or simply opting for a ready-made lasagne instead. "People need to stop comparing a frozen lasagne to a homemade one," she retorted. But many concluded the price is still "ridiculous".

"This is wild. I tried to get ingredients for lunch at Coles the other day and realised it was cheaper to get $15 meal at food court," one other shared.

"It is actually very true. Some restaurants are much cheaper than doing it yourself," said a second.

Coles and Woolworths deny price gouging claims

The rising prices at Australian supermarkets have led to accusations of "price gouging" — which Coles and Woolworths have previously shut down.

A Coles spokesperson said the supermarket only made $2.60 for every $100 a customer spent. They also noted Coles was "not immune to the increased cost of doing business — construction costs, energy prices, the cost of logistics and packaging have all risen".

Meanwhile, a Woolworths spokesperson said it offered the fairest possible deals for customers, staff and suppliers and noted it was "acutely aware" of the pressure being placed on Aussies by cost-of-living increases.

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