Unit price is right to save
SAVVY shoppers can slash their weekly grocery bills in half by using unit pricing and choosing home brands, a new study shows.
Research by the Queensland Consumers Association found clever comparisons in the supermarket cut the cost of a basket of 32 common packaged goods from $140.60 to $70.55.
QCA spokesman Ian Jar- ratt, whose lobbying led to the introduction of unit pricing in 2009, said even he was surprised and impressed by the size of the savings.
“The big message is that there is this potential to save really significant amounts of money regularly on things that we all buy,” he said.
Unit pricing looks at the amount per kilogram or litre, rather than the package cost.
The study compared the cost of medium-sized packs of everyday items, such as breakfast cereal, pasta, baked beans, frozen peas, instant coffee, toothpaste and dog food.
The consumer body looked at what you would spend by choosing well-known national brands and then compared the cost using the lowest unit price, which was usually for homebrand products.
The result was a 49.8 per cent saving for the basket of packaged goods. Comparing another 11 goods available packaged or loose – including cheese, chicken, fish and fruit and vegetables – unit pricing produced a 24 per cent saving.
For the 43 grocery items combined, the total saving was $84 or 42.4 per cent.
“With very little effort, people can reduce their expenditure, or they can spend the same amount and get a lot more for their money,” Mr
“We know many people are struggling with power bills, rates and other household costs so here is a simple way to keep some extra money in your wallet to help with that.
“It is particularly relevant now, coming up to Christmas, when people are under pressure to spend more than they normally would.”
Mr Jarratt said there were some key points for consumers to be aware of.
“Special offers might not be CHANNEL 9’s Eva Milic and Alison Ariotti have been sitting on their ‘‘scoop’’ for months and can finally reveal it now.
The Brisbane newsreaders are shaking up their on-air duties, working as a team to present the weekday afternoon news bulletins from next year.
The job-share arrangement means Milic will read the news from Monday to Wednesday, with Ariotti sliding into the chair on Thursdays and Fridays and hitting the road to report on Wednesdays. Darren Curtis, who now reads Channel 9’s weekend news with Ariotti, will go solo from January. the best buy when you look at unit pricing,” he said.
Laws requiring unit pricing to be displayed cover large supermarkets and some online retailers.
The legislation must be reviewed by the end of next year and the Consumers Association wants to see the rules extended to cover supermarkets that are under 1000 square metres and expanded to other shops, such as pharmacies and hardware stores.
The duo hatched the job-share plan months ago in an effort to strike a better work-life balance.
“We honestly can’t believe that it’s happening, and we’re so excited that we can talk about it publicly,” Ariotti said. “We’ve just been sending each other secret messages until now, counting down.”
Milic is cutting back from four days to three to spend more time with Lucia, 7, and Gabriella, 4. Ariotti ends three years of weekend work to see more of her daughters, Mila, 4, and Luisa, 22 months.
“We love our jobs. We both love working but we want to be there for our girls as well. I think it’s the perfect balance,” Milic said.
JOB SHARE: Alison Ariotti (left) with children Luisa and Mila; and Eva Milic with Gabriella and Lucia. Picture: Nigel Hallett