I often grizzle when people post recipes because some of the ingredients aren't available in Australia. Never heard of Crisco before the internet exploded. I have to rely on the generosity of people who take pity on my practically Oreo-less state since we have two kinds of them here , one of which I wouldn't touch with a barge pole. Butterscotch chips - forget it. No such thing.
Shopping in other countries seems so exotic to me. You can get cheese in a pressure can, milk duds , and apple jacks. You can buy Walkers crisps and Twiglets which are unheard of in Australia.
Mrs. Seams Inspired and I were emailing back and forth a couple of weeks ago when we got the brilliant idea to compare a weekly grocery shop. And then we got the even brilliant-er idea to share it with all of you.
So today you're all invited to an international grocery shop. One post here about my shopping trip and another at Seams Inspired about shopping in her corner of the world.
By the way, I looked like some weirdo stalker walking round furtively taking pictures of my shopping trip. These are the lengths I will go to in order to bring you hard hitting grocery information. Other random facts about Australian shopping include our 10% goods and services tax. With groceries this is built into the price of items. It doesn't apply to fresh foods or basics like eggs, sugar, flour, or coffee. It does apply to things like soft drink , personal care items, and cleaning goods.
Welcome to my local grocery store. This is where I drag myself when the Pyjamas household is in serious danger of starving. I worked out for this post that approximately $120,000 of my hard earned dollars has ended up in their coffers over the last 10 years.
First stop toilet paper. I paid $4.99 on special for a dozen rolls. That was a middle of the road brand.
Shampoo and Conditioner. I usually buy mine somewhere other than the supermarket . I think it's well documented in my blog that I am a shampoo snob.
Toothpaste - In the olden days before toothpaste was invented people used to rub their teeth with sticks. Toothpaste costs anywhere from a dollar on special for the generic up to about 4.00 for a 170 gram tube of Colgate. You can get Colgate at the discount grocery stores here for about half that price but it has foreign writing on it. Is it the same toothpaste? Probably not but it's hard to make an informed opinion when you don't read Vietnamese.
Aussies love tomato sauce. That's about half the selection we have available.
This is the pitiful selection of Oreo's. The wafer sticks are dis-gus-ting. Thank you to everyone who has taken pity on me and sent me Oreo's. Now you know why this is necessary. By the way Tee Vee snacks are awesome and if you don't get them - you're really missing out. Ditto Tim Tams. A box of Oreo's is about $3.11 I think. (I never look - I just buy them )
The meat section. I think I've mentioned we aren't that big on turkey here and to completely make me look like a liar they have a whole section of it . I'd just like to point out this shopping trip was less than two weeks after Christmas which is one of the few times turkey even gets a look in.
This is what Americans call ground meat . In Australia it's known as mince, and it costs anywhere from $7.00 a kilo to $13.00 a kilo for beef mince.($3.20 to $5.90 a pound) Pork, lamb and chicken mince start at around 10.00 a kilo.
Cereal anyone? I am rather partial to the occasional bowl of coco pops. A 17 oz box of cereal here will cost between 5 and 8 dollars. Weetbix is a lot cheaper than the sugar laden variety. I bought a kilo box a couple of weeks ago for about $4.00.
In my part of Australia this stuff is called bung fritz. Everyone else calls it Devon. I'm led to believe this is similar to baloney . It costs $10.99 a kilo. (for manufactured meat ) Only God knows what's in it.
Australia has awesome cheeses. This is the mass manufactured stuff. The better the cheese the higher you pay. You're looking at around $10.99 for a kilo (2.2 pound) block of middle of the road type/popular brand cheese. A 16 oz block of Kraft Cheese ( Australian Velveeta) is about $6.50.
Fruits and Vegies. Loose apples were $5.99 a kilo. Our prices fluctuate from week to week. 5 kilos (11 pounds ) of spuds cost me $5.99 which is about average.
Sometimes you'll get strawberries for $1.99 for a 250 gram punnet .Other weeks you'll pay $3.99. Mangoes were $2.99 each this day.
My fruit and vegie bill included watermelon at $3.59 , truss tomatoes at 5.99 bananas at 2.89 and peaches at $5.99. All prices per kilo.
That's an aussie trolley. Nothing exciting there.
That's my shopping bill being rung up. It ended up being $267.00. I'll probably spend another 50 bucks or so until my next big shop. I'm trying fortnightly shops at the moment since it's just the two of us.
See how green and ecologically aware I am? I bring my own reusable bags to the shops because if you don't, they make you pay for biodegradable bags because regular plastic bags are illegal in this state. If you don't bring your own bags people look at you like you're an environmental murderer. That's some serious peer pressure.
So here is some of my personal damage. Gyspy ham and silverside for sandwiches $13.99 and $7.99 a kilo respectively.
There is enough meat here for 9-10 meals (27 loin chops, 6 chicken boobies, a kilo of mince and a chicken rolled roast ) and it cost me $55.00. The lamb chops were about 7.99 a kilo and the chicken breasts were 10.99 a kilo. I noticed lamb roasts were on special today for about $9.59 a kilo. You can buy a 2 kilo fresh chicken here for around $11.00-$12.00, or $9.99 on special.
Milk - the biggest container you can get here is 3 litres which is 780 mls short of a US gallon. As far as I'm concerned milk is milk. It's not like some farmer is out there milking a snake to sell you the cheap stuff. It's all from cows. Butter 2.99 for 500 grams, milk 3.74 for three litres, philly cream cheese 3.77 for 250 grams. The yoghurt was $5.02 for a kilo tub.
Eggs vary hugely in price here . Free range. cage eggs, grain fed, different sizes. You can pay anywhere from about $1.99 to almost $5.00 a dozen. These were on special for $1.99. I usually won't pay more than about $3.50 a dozen.
Washing powder- 500grams 1.84 (huge special )
Panadol 24 capsules $3.48
Spray and Wipe- $2.99
The cheapest bread is about $2.29 for 680 grams ( a normal sized loaf ) up to $4.50 for a high end loaf that has actual seeds and taste. I pretty much go the cheaper version for toast and the good stuff if I'm making sandwiches. Bakery breads are a better option most of the time in my opinion.
I cant believe I didn't take tea and coffee pictures! 100 tea bags will cost around $4.00. 200 grams of decent instant coffee (Moccona or Nescafe Gold ) is around $14.00. I got Nescafe for just under 10.00 on special with this trip.
I have shopping down to a fine art. Shopping with me is a bit like ram raiding without smashed glass and all the illegal behaviour. I know what I want. I know where everything is. I get in, get what I want and I'm outta there. I can do my fortnightly grocery shop and be home unloading the car in about 45 minutes flat.
However when I take Miss P this little junket extends to a two hour shop-fest. Because she still has to touch and play with everything....
Don't forget to pay Larri a visit to see what she got up to with her groceries. I bet she didn't have to wrangle an unruly 20 year old.