Australia is among the countries hit hard by inflation, so the country’s cost of living has risen. Whether you live or plan to move to Australia, you should know about the food prices and whether they are expensive.
On average, a person living in Australia spends $166 – $232 weekly on groceries and food. The cost of food in Australia is cheaper or more expensive, depending on your preferences. Compared to other places, food here is costly. Vegetable prices can go up to $6.65 per kg, which is very high for countries.
Australia’s food prices are pretty high than most countries. Food prices should help you indicate the cost of living when visiting any country. Ride along as we dive deeper into the food prices in Australia.
Read more about cost of living in Australia.
Food prices in Australia in 2023: what to expect?
Australian Bureau of Statistics, reports an increase in food prices mainly caused by inflation. Prices of food rose by 4.3% in the first quarter of 2022.
From September 2021 to September 2022, fruit and vegetable prices increased by 16.2% and dairy products by 12.1%.
Here is the breakdown of how food prices in Australia have changed from 2021 to the end of 2022:
|Food||September 2021 vs September 2022|
|Bread and cereal||10%|
|Meat and seafoods||7,3%|
|Fruit and vegetables||16,2%|
That fact makes Australia an even more expensive place to live in. Low food prices have not been an Australian trend for the longest time. The country holds the 9th place in the world for the highest food index.
That said, Australia is a food-producing country making it an exporter to other countries. This also has increased Australian food prices over the years because of its status as a major food exporter to Asian countries.
How much do people spend on food in Australia?
Generally, monthly expenses on food and groceries depend on your family’s eating habits and size. Urban and city centers are more costly than less populated areas.
An average Australian consumes $608 per month. A family of two in Australia averages $395 monthly. A family of four uses around $203 weekly. A couple with children aged 5 – 14 spends an average of $336 per week.
Here are average weekly spending on groceries for each family size:
- One-person household – $102
- Two-person household – $146
- Three-person household – $169
- Four-person household – $181
- Five or more person household – $215
The prices vary by state, like New South Wales and Canberra, which have the most expensive food prices in Australia. Yocket estimates that international students in Australia use $140 – $281 on food and groceries.
- Bread prices average $4.95 in Northern Territory and $7.67 in Canberra
- Meat costs $24 in Tasmania and $31.01 in Northern Territory
- Australian dairy products range from $14.16 in New South Wales and $16.63 in Northern Territory
Eggs cost $1.66 in Tasmania and $2.33 in Western Australia, while fruits could cost up to $13.50 in New South Wales. According to insurance company Budget Direct, vegetables and condiments could cost you from $14.28 to $18.96 and $22.89 to $27.27, respectively.
According to the source, the average weekly spending in New South Wales is $275.41, and $257.16 in Victoria. Queensland households spend $239.53.
In Western Australian homes, weekly spendings come to $239.53, and in South Australia, $221.10. Canberra households spend $270.89 weekly, and Tasmania households spend $223.01. Houses in the Northern Territory use $256.28 weekly.
Food prices in Australia cost more than one of the world’s superpowers, the USA, slightly. In the US, food is 24.85% cheaper in the global price index. Because of industry regulations, some countries have more affordable rates than others. Australia, on the other hand, consumer goods regulation is a rare action.
Here is a table showing price differences for several foods and grocery items in US dollars:
|Item||Average price in Australia||Average price in the US|
|Milk 1 l||$1.17||$0.96|
|Bread 0.5 kg||$1.96||$2.79|
|Rice 1 kg||$1.86||$3.85|
|Bananas 1 kg||$2.5||$1.73|
|Apples 1 kg||$3.06||$4.48|
|Beer 0.5 L||$6.18||$5.32|
|Fast food meal||$9.06||$8.48|
|Dinner for 2 (restaurant)||$56.4||$61.4|
The cost of eating out in Australia is different for all states and the amount of food and drinks you’d wish to consume. For example, a full breakfast consisting of juice, food, or coffee in Sydney could cost you $20. There is also a range of restaurants that offer different pricing.
Main meals in a mid-range restaurant are about $25 – $35. Going to upper mid-range restaurants raises the average to $45. A dinner for two could cost you $40 – $50 or more.
Supermarket prices in Australia
Supermarket prices vary depending on how much it costs a specific supermarket to get its goods from a distributor, supply and demand, and location. Supermarkets charge different prices for similar items.
The Australian supermarket world has two main dominators, Woolworths and Coles. Other notable supermarkets in the area include Aldi and Foodworks. Woolworths and Coles have more than 60% of the Australian grocery market share.
Although all these stores are competing for the market, grocery prices range around the same price in all stores.
In November 2022, according to Woolworths online store, the food and grocery prices were as follows:
|Mini-Roma tomatoes||$12 per kg|
|Washed white potatoes||$0.81 each|
|Spring onion||$2.80 for a bunch|
|Green zucchini||$1.58 each|
|Woolworths baby leaf spinach(120 g)||$3.00|
|Shallot French onion||$0.70 each|
|Schweppes tonic water four pack||$5.00|
|Classic Coca-cola 1.25l||$1.77|
|Pepsi Max 2l||$3.00|
|Woolworths beef sausages (8 pieces)||$7.00|
|Woolworths beef rump steak(300g)||$12.00|
|Soy milk||$4.50 per liter|
In a recent article by The Sydney Morning Herald, they stated that Australian residents have started to reduce their supermarket spendings. Furthermore, the piece indicated that many households reduced supermarket spending by 29% in September 2022.
Here is Canstar Blue’s research on the weekly grocery bill in Australian supermarkets:
|Supermarket||Average weekly bill|
Restaurant prices in Australia
Australians spend an average of $230 monthly on restaurant dining and fast food. Here are some examples of typical prices for eating out:
- Pizza: $7
- Dinner for two: $90
- Meat pie: $5
- Lunch menu: $15
- Coffee: $5
- Drink at the bar: $14
- Glass of wine: $7
- Bottle of water: $4,41
- Tea: $4
Some sources predict that coffee prices will rise to $7 per cup by the end of 2022.
Australian restaurants have varying prices for different cuisines. For example, in Asian restaurants, food averages $37; in Chinese restaurants, food costs average $35. Other international cuisines cost the following:
- French – $42
- Italian – $41
- Japanese – $35
- Mexican – $37
McDonald’s, KFC, and Hungry Jack’s are some of Australia’s cheapest fast food chains. McDonald’s and Burger King charge $8.40 for a regular meal and $2.50 for a cheeseburger.
Ginger Beer, one of the best local drinks in Australia, costs $6-9 in most restaurants and pubs. Jagerbombs, a great cocktail, costs $16.57 in Melbourne. Archie Rose gin is a nice Australian alcohol costing $46.28 for a bottle in Sydney.
Bundaberg has a brewed non-alcoholic drink that costs $6.58 in Australia. 666 Vodka is an excellent local spirit with a small range of options costing $25.43 – $40.49 in Melbourne. Bundaberg Rum costs $24.32 per 700 ml bottle in Bundaberg.
Having a night out in Australia for a few drinks isn’t very budget-friendly. Residents and tourists in Australia pay a lot for a good night out in bars and restaurants.
HomeToGo estimates that a night out in Sydney can cost you $54.52 and $52.12 in Melbourne. Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth cost $42.78, $42.23, and $39.55, respectively.
If you want just to have few drinks at the bar, expect to spend about $25 for the evening.
How expensive food is in Australia depends on nutrition needs and region. You can save on food costs using the following tips:
- Have a shopping list to avoid spending on things you don’t need.
- Use reward programs offered by supermarkets like Woolworths’ Everyday Rewards card or Coles’ Flybuys.
- Go for supermarket brands, especially for non-perishable products like cereals.
- Bulk buying: buying in bulk help you save a few bucks.
- Save food: you should store uneaten food in safe environments instead of throwing it.
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