An unemployed Australian woman’s shopping list has emphasised the severity of the country’s cost of living crisis, with her small haul of 39 basic items setting her back $100.
The frugal woman took to Twitter to share screenshots of her fortnightly grocery list to show the small amount of food she’s able to afford using her Centrelink payments.
Pantry staples like bread, tuna, coffee, beans and lentils were all homebrand while thin beef sausages was the only meat product in her online trolley.
Most of her veggies were fresh while the rest of her products were fridge and freezer items.
She spent no more than $13 on sanitary and cleaning products with all items to be purchased from Coles.
“I thought I’d share what my shopping looks like. This is for a fortnight. People who believe jobseekers are out here living the life are wrong,” the woman tweeted.
The photo of her shopping list resonated online, with dozens of followers revealing they were facing the same grim reality as they struggled to pay for basic groceries.
“(I) can remember when $100 used to feed my family of five, it would fill a trolley, now (it) hardly covers the counter,” one mum shared in response.
“What I’m finding absolutely insane at the moment (is) it’s cheaper for my mum and I to get pizza – (which) lasts three nights of dinner – than to buy ingredients to make a healthy dinner,” another said.
A third added: “I’ve resorted to Woolies Prep Set Go frozen veggies like chopped onion, tricolour capsicum and stir fry veggies because fresh veg (is) poor quality or goes off too fast.”
The woman’s post comes amid a spate of consumers sharing their weekly shop online in recent weeks, leaving many frustrated at the significant price people pay for a small portion of items.
Earlier this week, an image of a Woolworths shopper’s almost $80 grocery haul went viral.
In another tweet, one man shared how $100 scored him just 18 items from Coles
Quick sale chicken schnitzel and red meat appeared to be the most costly products, while two V8 juice bottles were purchased for the price of one.
The Coles customer noted he was forced to swap his usual Weetbix for the Coles homebrand due to a price increase, while the rest of his shop consisted of pantry and fridge staples.
Unfortunately for consumers, these three shoppers aren’t the only ones making sacrifices at the register, with one in three Australians finding shopping stressful according to data from comparison site Finder.
It also comes as no surprise following an 8.4 per cent Consumer Price Index indicator rise in the 12 months to December, with the categories housing and food and non-alcoholic beverages seeing the most significant increases.
Furthermore, dairy products incurred the greatest rise followed by bread and cereal products, while fruit and vegetables saw the fourth largest increase, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
And with Coles’ extended “drop and lock” price freeze coming to an end mid-April, shoppers can expect to see their grocery bills climb.
While the grocery shopping price sting will be felt for some time, there is some good news for shoppers searching for some relief.
Woolworths Group managing director and chief executive Brad Banducci said while the price of red meat and dairy products are still inflated, other alternatives like chicken are beginning to stabilise in price.
“Prices are coming down overall but there is still a long way to go,” Mr Banducci told reporters last week.
“It’s crucial that we support customers as they start to spend less.”
In the meantime, Finder recommends shopping at night, going to Aldi for staple items and buying in bulk as some of its top tips for saving hard earned cash.
Other recommendations include meal planning, making enough food to have leftovers, purchasing frozen or tinned products and taking advantage of supermarket reward schemes.
“With almost everything in the supermarket going up in price … buying groceries is causing a lot of stress,” the comparison site said.
“(But as) the cost of living goes up, you can still find deals and use these hacks to save on your groceries.”