Updated: Sep 27
Supermarket prices are increasing – something we are all well aware of by now. But which items are increasing the most? And what can we do to reduce our supermarket spending? To find out more read on…
Supermarket price increases
We looked at a basket of well-known branded goods roughly in line with a Consumer Association of Ireland survey that has been taken place since 2000. Some of the key findings are:
Branded groceries prices have increased by over 12% in the past year.
Compared to a similar survey that we did just over 12 months ago, Supervalu (up 12%), Dunnes (up 12%) and Tesco (up 14%) all increased their prices.
For our small basket of goods it meant increases of roughly €5 to bring the total to around €39.
Applying this rate of increase to the average Irish household shop, it means Irish households will on average be spending nearly €800 more on groceries over the next year. That is unless behavioral changes are made.
Similar to the CAI study, we only included non-promotional prices per item. See chart for a run-down of increases per item:
Own-brand prices are increasing at a faster rate than branded
The basket of own-brand goods that we were able to review contained less items than the branded study. However for those included, there were some significant price increases:
The big 3 all increased their own-brand butter by 55% in just over one year – this compares to an 11% increase in Kerrygold over the same period. Lidl also increased their own-brand butter by the same amount.
The big three all increased the price of 1 litre of low fat milk by 40%, whereas Avonmore Supermilk 1 litre increased by 10% to €1.65 at each of them.
Across the whole basket, the big three plus Lidl all had increases of 30 – 40%. Aldi weren’t included in the study.
When we compared branded vs own-brand items for the big 3 supermarkets, own-brands are still about half the price of branded. This can vary per product.
Charts showing own-brand price changes over the past year
Tips to help cut back on supermarket spend
If you're an impulse buyer (many of us are!) use click and collect or home delivery. Most supermarkets offer click and collect for free or a small fee - find out more here. We like online grocery shopping for a few reasons:
We stick to our shopping list and are less likely to make impulse buys when there is no middle aisle or tempting treats at the counter. The money-saved usually more than offsets the fees involved with click & collect or delivery.
We can compare items on a cost per kilo basis to make sure we get the best deal. Sometimes multi-buy offers are misleading, by looking at cost per kg we can make sure we get the best deal.
We find it easier to not go over-our budget too as it's easy to see how much has been added to a basket.
If we're using spend and save vouchers, we can make sure to spend just enough qualify for money. If we're below the threshold needed to get money off, we try to only buy long-lasting items like tea or coffee to get over the threshold.
2. Shop for cleaning products in Aldi & Lidl. The big 3 have good own-brand food items which compete with Aldi and Lidl on price, however they don’t have as extensive a range of cleaning product e.g. Dunnes don’t currently have own-branded dishwasher tablets or cleaning spray. From our experience, own-brand cleaning and household products are about half the price of branded ones that are on promotion. Over the course of the year, using own-brand cleaning products leads to hundreds in savings.
3. Try to eat more chicken and less beef. If you usually do a roast beef on a Sunday, changing to a roast chicken could save you €650+ over the next year. It could also lower your carbon footprint too!
4. If you do decide to stick with beef you can try and get it when it’s on special or reduced. We find that Tuesday evening is best for getting 30% reduction in the price of meat that is still in date. We then freeze it until it is needed.
5. If you shop at Supervalu, have a separate Real Rewards account to your partner. Supervalu shoppers shop their nearly twice a week on average. As their spend and save vouchers are issued once per week, if you and your partner both have a Real Rewards account you can both avail of a weekly money off voucher. At a minimum this should be a €5 per week voucher that would equate to around €250 of savings over a year.