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Grocery gloom: Consumers to spend an extra $18 billion in 2023

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Australian households are paying thousands of dollars more for groceries per year, according to new research by Finder.

The average Aussie household spent $185 on their weekly grocery in February 2023 – up $37 a week compared to February 2022, according to Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker.

That's a whopping $1,924 increase per household over 12 months – or $18.8 billion more nationwide.

The research shows one-third of Australians (33%) are at the shops every few days while more than half (53%) shop once a week.

Almost 1 in 10 (9%) food shop once a fortnight while just 1% can stretch supplies all month. The research found 2% of Australians purchase groceries daily.

Sarah Megginson, money expert at Finder, said the cost of living crisis is putting a lot of pressure on food budgets.

"Households are facing some very tough times and escalating grocery costs are an extra burden.

"Aussies are having to change how and where they shop just to keep food on the table."

Grocery bill stress reached a record high in March, with 43% of Australians ranking groceries as 1 of their top 3 most stressful expenses – the highest level since Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker started in April 2019.

Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed shop primarily at Woolworths while Coles is in second place (39%).

1 in 10 consumers (10%) get their household essentials primarily from Aldi while 2% visit their local IGA.

Megginson said there are ways to bring your grocery spend down.

"Stick to a shopping list so you aren't wasting money on unplanned purchases. If you can, go shopping later at night, an hour or 2 before the supermarket closes, when meat and poultry is discounted by up to 80%.

"Stock up on staples when they're on sale and compare prices of big-ticket items like washing detergent and pet food online.

"Now is also a great time to sign up to supermarket reward programs. If you're buying groceries anyway, you might as well earn points on your spend. You can then use these points to get cashback off your shop or convert them into frequent flyer points," Megginson said.

Previous Finder research found 9% of Aussies have stolen items from the supermarket at the self-checkout while 10% have cheated at the self-serve checkouts by deliberately lying about what they have scanned.

Make your money stretch further with 50 easy and practical money-savings tips that will help you budget and save money quickly.

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