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The Cost of Living in Australia Rises

Tuesday 13th December 2011

According to a new report, the cost of living in Australia has increased dramatically - so how many Aussie dollars will you need on your working holiday?

We have conducted a simple and completely non-scientific experiment to compare the cost of some basics in Australia to those in the UK. So, imagine you are a working holiday maker in Sydney, and you need to do some shopping for food essentials in your shared house or flat. You might make a list that includes - 

  • Bread
  • Cornflakes
  • Instant coffee
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen pizza 
  • Teabags
  • Bottled water
  • Spaghetti
  • Chocolate
  • A crate of Becks
  • A bottle of Aussie Merlot
Obviously healthy eating is not a priority. So how much would this lot cost you in your local Sydney supermarket? In our price comparison, we compared prices on woolworthsonline.com.au with those on Sainsbury's in the UK, and we found the following revelation...

The shopping list ordered online at Woolworths came to AUD$82.20. The equivalent on the Sainsbury's site came to £48.75. If you convert those Aussie dollars into British pounds at today's rate, the shopping in Oz came out at £53.61p. So we can conclude fellow price-comparison fans, that it is indeed more expensive to buy basics in Australia than it is in the UK. These prices are based on buying branded goods, so the Pizza is McCains, the beer is Becks, the coffee is Nescafe, the chocolate is Cadbury's etc, and you can certainly save money by buying cheaper, non-branded items, but it's something to bear in mind when you are planning your budget for your working holiday - Australia is not cheaper to buy food and drink in than the UK. 

In the interests of science and consumer information, here are the prices for each item in more detail:

  • Bread - $3.29/£1.39
  • Cornflakes - $2.68/£1.99
  • Instant coffee - $4.39/£3.48
  • Frozen peas - $3.73/£1.70
  • Frozen pizza - $6.72/£2.79
  • Teabags - $2.49/£4.25
  • Bottled water - $4.29/84p
  • Spaghetti - $2.47/£1.35
  • Chocolate - $4.07/£1.98
  • A crate of Becks - $40.00/£17.99
  • A bottle of Aussie Merlot - $8.27/£10.99
The big difference now in Australia is that the interest rates have changed unfavourably against sterling, so back in December 2005, £1 was worth $2.34. Now £1 is worth just $1.53. So back in 2005, you would have been quids in. Keep these things in mind when you are working out how much money you will need to live on on your trip downunder, and make sure you have plenty of ideas for findingo work in Australia.