The average cost of groceries has increased by around €10 in the past six months, according to a leading food writer.
Irish Examiner journalist Catriona Redmond has been tracking food prices in Ireland’s five main supermarkets - Aldi, Lidl, Dunnes, Supervalu and Tesco - since late March.
By comparing a sample basket of staple purchases, she has tracked how prices have changed during the ongoing inflaiotn crisis – and which supermarkets offer the best value.
The sample basket includes:
- Half a pound of butter
- Litre of full-fat milk
- Cheddar cheese
- Sliced pan
- Beef mince
- Bag of potatoes
- Half dozen eggs
- Bag of carrots
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Ms Redmond said the average price of the basket has increased by €2 since she started tracking prices on March 23rd.
With the cheapest basket this week costing just over €18, that amounts to a 12.5% increase.
“Most families are going to be spending more than €100 a week on their grocery shop so, if this is a small sample and it’s a €2 increase on a basket that costs somewhere between €17 and €19, you’re talking at least a €10 for families in the last six months,” she said.
Ms Redmond said Lidl was the cheapest of he five this week – with Tesco coming in most expensive.
“Aldi and Lidl would be the ones that would be more in the budget range compared to the other supermarkets,” she said.
“Their costs seem to be much lower on these staple items. That’s not to say there isn’t vaue to be found elsewhere but they are cheaper than the others.
“Dunnes performs particularly well but that’s down to some very cheap pricing on their beef mince. It’s €2 for a pound of beef mince, which is remarkable value.
“That’s extremely cheap. The quality of that, I would be putting a slight question mark over because the fat content of that beef mince would be on average 20%.
“So it’s not the best quality food to be buying for your family but when you’re on a budget, needs must.”
— Caitríona Redmond (@wholesomeIE) August 24, 2022
Ms Redmond said there was nearly a €4 difference between Lidl and Tesco.
She said the best advice for shoppers is to be loyal to your wallet, not your supermarket.
“Take a look and see what the best special offers are each week and then match them to what you’ve got,” she said.
“Bear in mind, this is sample across the shopping baskets and what I might be buying for my family this week will be different to what another family will be buying.
“The other thing I would suggest is to go shopping more than once a week because it will help you benefit from more special offers.”
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