Supermarkets wage price war, consumers the winners

Supermarket aisle

The two big supermarket chains are getting into a price war, so ‘yay’ for us because consumers are going to be the winners.

Woolworths announced earlier in the week that it was dropping the prices on more than 400 lines in an effort to counter some of the bad press – and prices – doled out to consumers.

Woolies has promised the price drops will remain until at least the end of spring.

Well, Coles has countered that with a promise to ‘lock in’ the price of 1168 products until 31 January 2023, and has also begun lowering the price of an additional 500 products.

We’d like to give them some credit for this but considering Woolworths’ year-on-year revenue rose almost 8 per cent to $15.95 billion to January 2022, and this week Coles announced a billion-dollar profit, it’s hard to feel any gratitude.

Read: One in three Australians experiences food insecurity

Has ‘best before’ had its day?
British retailers Marks and Spencer and Waitrose are removing ‘best before’ dates on hundreds of fresh food items to reduce waste. Should we go the same way in Australia?

‘Best before’ is a guide that denotes that food is still edible but may have lost some of its quality, while ‘use by’ is a legal requirement that the food not be sold after the designated date.

The UK groups are asking people to ‘use their own judgement’, and the move is expected to cut food waste by encouraging people not to throw food away unnecessarily.

‘Best before’ on items such as soft drink and dry goods does seem unnecessary but, then again, I was cleaning out the pantry and found some allspice from 2017 and it smelt like dust. Maybe a rough guide to when items were packaged is a better option.

This week’s best deals


Sensible: Old El Paso selected dinner kits, half price $3.75. Look, it’s never going to be the best Mexican you have ever eaten, but having one of these kits can be a lifesaver when you have run out of ideas for dinner. It’s easy to prepare and I have never met anyone who didn’t like tacos.

Indulgence: Scotch fillet $35.99/kg. The price of beef and lamb isn’t coming down anytime soon, so why not treat yourself anyway. Is there a better meal than a steak cooked to your liking with chips and salad?

See the catalogue here.

Read: Seven tips to help Aussies feeling the cost of rising inflation


Sensible: Bonne Maman Conserve, all varieties, $4.60, save $1.15. Sure, there are cheaper jams out there, but with this brand you have to play the long game. Once you have emptied the jar, the jar’s wide mouth means it’s ideal for your own jams or sauces next time you feel the urge to bottle something. 

Indulgence: L’Oreal Revitalift Filler and Hyaluronic Acid serum, half price $27.50. Supermarket brand skincare has taken a quantum leap in the past decade and L’Oreal is probably top of the tree in terms of price and branding. This product rates about four out of five stars on most beauty product review sites, and at half price is probably worth a try. 

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: The Tudor shiraz, $11.99, save $2. The thing I like about Aldi’s wines is that you cannot buy an expensive bottle, there is literally nothing over $20. This shiraz is from Australia, so you are also supporting an industry crippled by import bands. Drinking this is practically an act of charity

Indulgence: KR Castlemaine Cantonese-style pork shoulder, $12.99. Aldi’s marinated meats can be a bit hit and miss. Some are delicious but others taste mostly of salt. This one, thankfully, falls into the former category. The shoulder cut’s high fat content means it’s great for the barbecue.

Visit the catalogue here.

Read: Call for prescription meds to be sold at supermarkets


Sensible: Sukin range, up to half price off. It’s rare to see a whole range on special, but the buyers must have gone into overtime to secure this deal. Sukin is a good value, mid-price supermarket line with a huge range from skincare to shampoo. Truly something for everyone.  

Indulgence: Connoisseur Ice Cream 1L varieties, half price, $6. This line comes on special a lot, but not usually half price. Living up to the adage that the simple things are often the best, the vanilla is the finest supermarket vanilla ice cream going around and it’s great to see a dairy-free hazelnut-chocolate variety has been added to the range.

See the catalogue here.

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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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