Leaked Coles data shows the crushing cuts Australian families are making

Cleaning products

Are spiralling supermarket prices finally taking a hit?

According to a report in The Australian, a leaked Coles document lists the products Aussies are cutting back on and the main category is not surprising.

The Coles data reports that in some categories, sales have fallen by a third, including bath soap and body wash, down 33.3 per cent for the 12 months to May.

Usually dependable categories in the cleaning aisle such as scourers, sponges, cleaning sprays and carpet cleaners were experiencing similar falls.

Coles attributed some of the falling volumes to our post-pandemic lifestyle as we are becoming less focused on cleaning – hand sanitiser sales are down 30 per cent – but agreed the data could also be a result of frugality.

Changing behaviour

“Coles is responding to these changes through bigger value packs, promotions and through our own-brand range. Last week, we launched our latest Big Pack Value range with more than 80 bulk items, which can save customers up to 70 per cent, including laundry and cleaning items, bathroom staples and other household products,” a Coles spokesperson said.

“We know some customers are changing their purchasing behaviour in response to cost of living.”

The Australian claims Coles has identified that younger and lower-income households have been changing their behaviour for some time in response to cost-of-living pressures.

My tip: switch to Aldi for your cleaning products. I did more than 12 months ago and did not see one drop in quality while savings soared. 

In fact, I can’t recommend the Di-San pre-wash laundry spray enough. It comes in two versions and the purple one has almost cult status with Aldi fans as it can be used as a multi-purpose spray for many cleaning solutions.

However, it’s a victim of its own success and very rarely on the shelves so snap it up when you see it.

This week’s best deals


Sensible: Black Rice and Wild Rice Blend, $4.49. If you haven’t tried these rice varieties you are missing out. Their nutty texture adds depth to any dish. My favourite: stir-fry mushrooms, add the cooked rice and heat through for a gutsy side dish. Sprinkle with feta cheese for a bit more oomph.

Indulgence: Winter cooking range: Aldi fans are salivating about this offering and I don’t blame them, they are beautiful. With a sea-blue colour theme, the standout is the cast iron range at a fraction of the price of more famous brands. Prices range between $4.99 for utensils up to $32.99 for the cast iron French pan.

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Birds Eye Oven Bake Fish Fillets, half price $5.25. This range is really just giant fish fingers but I’m okay with that. It’s the frozen antidote to can’t-be-bothered days.

Indulgence: Cadbury Dairy Milk range, half price, $2.75. Who’s sick of winter? I’m sick of winter. I need a treat and they don’t come much more comforting than a block of chocolate. Thankfully, the range covers all tastes these days. If you need a bit of a zing, why not try the jelly-popping candy variety? It’s as much fun as it sounds.

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Uncle Toby’s Traditional or Quick Oats 500g, $2.25. Excellent savings for a winter favourite. I’d like to say I had standards and only used the traditional, but the quick cook ones are also damned handy for a rushed breakfast.

Indulgence: Earth Choice Dishwasher Liquid, 1L, $2.30. I’ve been trying this range as it is soooo much cheaper than the more well-known brands and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. My other recommendation in the range is the wool wash.

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Blueberries, $4.50 a punnet. Who remembers when blueberries were a standard $8 a punnet? I’ll put my hand up. I’m delighted supply has caught up with demand and prices have fallen across the board. And apart from how delicious they are, blueberries are also ridiculously good for you.

Indulgence: Tony & Guy range, half price $13. I’m one of those genetic weirdos in their 50s still yet to go grey apart from a few rogue hairs. But plenty of my family went grey in their 20s and they swear by the purple shampoo and conditioner in this range.

See the catalogue here.

Have you been cutting back on your supermarket shop? In which categories have you been making the deepest cuts? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: How long can you keep fresh food?

Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

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