• 2024.06.13
  • Grocery shopping in Downunder style
There are those who love it, those who see it as a huge waste of time but grocery shopping is an essential part of life.
Some people loathe the busy aisles full of trolleys and other shoppers, confusing layouts and long queues that are definitely not their idea of a good time.
However, since you can't avoid it, here are some tips to make the experience a little easier, at least if you ever come down to Australia.

First a list of supermarket shopping options in Australia:
Downunder we have large supermarket chains such as Woolworths, Coles and Aldi which are staples in the Australian market and most people buy some, or all, of their groceries here.
Large chains have the advantage of long opening hours, supermarkets are open seven days a week, with most Woolworths and Coles stores open until at least 9pm on weekdays and some stores open until midnight.
There are many of them spread across the country: it is almost guaranteed that if you live near the city or on the outskirts there will be at least one nearby.
Large supermarket chains offer a wide variety of products: here you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, chilled products, frozen meals, non-perishable foods, snacks, toiletries and pretty much anything you want.
Larger stores also offer a small variety of specialty products and international brands.
Furthermore, stores like Aldi and Costco are renowned for their cheap specials for bulk purchasing.
Shopping here is a great way to save a few dollars if you have some friends you can split the shopping with, or to stock up on non-perishables that will last a long time in your pantry.
The best time to shop in Australia (unlike Italy) is in the evening, generally after 6pm because people have dinner very early.
At this time it is generally much quieter: you will have less competition for space in the aisles and there will be fewer people queuing at the checkout.
Nighttime shopping is also the best time to score deals on baked goods, as freshly baked goods coming in during the day are discounted. On the other hand, the busiest time to shop is generally Saturday morning, so avoid shopping at this time if possible.
Always remember the shopping list! Shopping with a list has a couple of advantages: if you know what you need you can go in, get what you need and leave, making the shopping experience easier and faster. A list is also a helpful tip for saving money: making and sticking to a list means you only buy what you really need.
Another helpful tip for saving money is to shop through special offers. Before you go, check the supermarket brochure so you know what's on offer and stock up on non-perishable items if you have space to store them.
Shopping the special offers is particularly useful if you live in an area with more than one supermarket - many shopping centers will have more than one option so it’s best to look at each store's discount brochures and pop in to pick up the special offers in each could end up saving a lot in the long run.
Save time and get a supermarket guide: finding what you need the first couple of times you go shopping can seem like an impossible task. To help you find items quickly, most supermarkets have printed product guides that direct you to the correct aisle. Look for the guides near the store entrance. Most stores also have laminated rails attached to the ends of the aisles.
Ask a staff member if you can't find something: If you've been wandering the aisles for hours desperately searching for your favorite cereal, save yourself time and irritation by asking an employee! In most cases they will know exactly where to find what you are looking for and will be happy to help you.
If you only need a few things, get a basket, not a trolley: while the trolley is larger and therefore easier to fill, the small size of the basket and the fact that you have to carry it around the shop means you will be less likely to impulse purchases and spend less time shopping.
Maybe these tips are obvious for you but, in my case, shopping in Italy was quite different as we still mostly buy in small local shops for food back home.


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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