Aldi or Coles, Independant or Big 4?

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I had an epiphany recently, on how I can save some extra money (no I’m not spamming you, I’m serious).

I haven’t shopped at Aldi for a while, primarily because I can’t get Sanitarium products there, and I’m a big fan of Sanitarium. I also figure, I get a bonus shopping at Coles or Woolworths since I get fuel vouchers, and at Coles I also get Fly Buys points.

However, I went back to Aldi recently to get some things since it is closer than any of the other supermarkets and I was just grabbing a few things.

While I was there, I noted that the only fresh milk they have is cheaper than any of the fresh milk at Coles, even the Coles brand milk.

I can’t remember the exact price now, but it was cheaper. The problem with the Coles brand milk though is that it tastes rather watered down, so when I buy fresh milk, I get Pauls full cream milk as it is much nicer, it’s about $3 for 2L though. I was a little worried about what the Aldi milk would be like given this. However I was pleasently surprised to find out that the Aldi milk tastes as good as Pauls milk, and for over $1 cheaper.

Doesn’t sound like a huge difference I know, but I ended up getting most of the general things I need to get, milk, bread, eggs, a few other things and it totalled about $10 less than it usually does at Coles. I don’t know about Woolworths as I haven’t shopped there in a while, previously though they have been fairly comparable to Coles.

So there is roughly a $10 savings there. I do lose the fuel voucher though. Thats interesting to note though as a 4c/L fuel voucher only saves me at the absolute most, $2 on a tank of fuel. So, even if I lose the fuel voucher, on a small grocery purchase as the one I did the other week, I still came out $8 ahead. I would expect that bigger purchases would work out even better.

Now, something else I’ve been noticing. Coles Express (Shell), Woolworths, BP, Caltex and 7-11 service stations are on average 4-10c/L more expensive than the Choice and Neumann service stations for fuel. Matilda varies between the same price as Shell etc and similar prices to Choice and Neumann’s.

Choice on average seems to be 1 or 2 cents cheaper than Neumanns. Tonight for example, I filled up at Shell/Coles Express, got E10 unleaded fuel for 122c/L with a fuel voucher, then on the way home drove past the Choice servo. Their E10 fuel was…would you believe, 116c/L with no voucher discounts or anything like that.

So, I would save more on fuel by purchasing it from Choice, Neumann’s, Matilda, or just about any other independant service station than by using a fuel voucher at one of the others. Besides that though, even if I just shopped at Aldi and still bought fuel from the more expensive service stations, I would still wind up saving money.

In saying that, Aldi don’t have any of the Sanitarium products I regularly consume, so I will still need to buy them at Coles/Woolworths, but I think from now on, I will be shopping at Aldi for everything else and buying my fuel from my local independant servo.

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