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The average cost of groceries per month

The average Australian spends $526.86 per month on groceries, but it varies by household size, location and economic factors like inflation and supply chain disruptions.

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If it seems like your money isn't stretching as far as it used to at the supermarket, you're right. Data from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows prices rose for everything except fruit between March 2021 and 2022.

This means you're paying around 11% more for lettuce, 17% more for tomatoes and 12% for beef or veal. Food shortages and transport costs are also putting pressure on suppliers and supermarkets, pushing prices up more. Here's what we're paying now.

Average grocery bill per month for an Australian household

Australians spent $10.6 billion on groceries in February 2022, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Finder analysis shows that worked out to about $485 per person over the 28 days in February. If we spent the same amount through the year it would average out to around $526.86 per month.

How much has the cost of groceries changed?

In Australia, the cost of living is rising across the board – with an overall inflation level of 5.1% as at March 2022. The Covid-19 pandemic, the major floods we've experienced and the war in Ukraine have had an impact on almost everything, including food.

If we look at just groceries, price increases between March 2021 and 2022 range from 2.6% for bread to 12.7% for vegetables. Fruit as a category has got slightly cheaper (-0.5%) but you'll still find some fruits are more expensive than they used to be.

This is a change from past trends, when staples actually got more affordable compared to inflation.

Grocery categoryInflation rate (12 months to Mar '22)
Beef & veal12.1%
Oils & fats8.6%
Coffee, tea & cocoa8.2%
Snacks & confectionery3.2%

Source: Consumer Price Index, ABS, March 2022

Average cost of groceries by state

People in NSW spend the most on groceries, with an average cost of $161 each week based on data from Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker. People in Tasmania have the lowest average weekly cost of $148.


The difference in urban and regional areas

The cost of groceries is typically higher in regional and remote areas of Australia, where fewer supermarkets mean there is less competition. Transport to these areas also adds to the cost.

For example, groceries are on average 40% to 56% more expensive in remote and regional areas of the NT compared to district centres like Darwin or Alice Springs.

As another example, the price of lettuce is 4.29% more in Ballina compared to Sydney according to data from Numbeo.

Hot tip: Shop local to save
Sometimes, groceries will be cheaper in a rural area if they're produced there. For example, bananas are 5.45% cheaper in Coffs Harbour than they are in Sydney – and 13.09% cheaper compared to prices in Adelaide.

Average cost of groceries by lifestage

The Finder Consumer Sentiment Tracker shows that the millennial generation (aged 25-39) spend the most on groceries, with an average weekly bill of $170. This is followed by gen x (aged 40-54) at $166 per week, suggesting that working adults and/or people with growing families typically have the highest grocery costs.

What kind of groceries are we buying?

Dry, packaged foods like pantry staples make up the biggest portion of our shopping baskets (24%). This is followed by meat (18%) and fresh fruit and vegetables (16%). Finder analysis shows meat and fresh fruit and vegetables have both risen over 10% in 2022, which makes cost increases more noticeable for the average shopping basket.

What does this mean

As the cost of living rises further, what you spend at the supermarket will also increase – but there are still plenty of ways to save money on groceries. Creating a good budget is another important step to take to help ease your bill shock at the checkout.

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