One of the easiest dishes to prepare has reached a depressing total cost, but a supermarket is cheaper than others.
When it comes to cooking, it’s easy to whip up a quick stir-fry.
One of my friends is so bad at cooking that he can only cook this dish.
This meant that when he first moved out on his own, he ate stir fries every night for at least three months.
He’s understandably become a bit of a wok master, but in reality it’s a dish that’s hard to go wrong with even if you have very limited cooking ability.
Apart from being easy to craft, it should also be quite cheap to craft but, as you might have noticed, everything is a bit more expensive these days.
We tend to shop big once a week, so it’s hard to figure out the cost of a specific dish. So we were interested to know what this basic daily meal cost in a world of rising inflation.
So we decided to run a specific test to see how much a standard bog stir-fry – without toppings like fresh chilli or five spice – would cost the average bettor in Australia’s three big supermarkets.
We had 10 things on our list, and I wrote them down as a recipe for you because I’m a nice guy:
– Snow peas
– Red bell pepper
– Soya sauce
– And some chicken thigh fillets
Closed to the shops we went, starting at Coles where we encountered moderately expensive vegetables.
We have all become accustomed to higher prices, but I still find it disturbing that broccoli cost 11.50/kg or $2.30 for what we needed in our stir fry.
It’s only a small part of the meal after all, and we still had nine ingredients to go. Something told me it was going to be an expensive dinner.
Mushies Also seemed quite steep at $5.50 for a small punnet. I chose to have them pre-sliced because why would you want to slice them yourself if you have the option not to?
Chicken was the biggest expense in the store, but it didn’t seem unreasonably expensive at $14/kg or $9.27 for what we needed.
Everything in place, it came to $36.23.
Conveniently located in the same shopping complex as us was a store of the eclectic German supermarket chain ALDI, which sang and danced about being cheaper than its competitors.
I don’t normally buy there so I was interested to see if the marketing was right.
There was a fairly limited selection in the store we visited and a lot was missing from the shelves, but it turned out to be a lot cheaper than Coles for a few of the items on our list.
One of the cheapest items was Red bell pepper which sold for the exorbitant price of $10.90/kg at Coles. At ALDI, those same peppers cost you $6.99/kg – quite a staggering cost difference.
The chicken was also cheaper at $10.99 per kilo, compared to $14/kg at Coles.
Total wallet damage for an ALDI skip? $30 on the dot, not including the “2-in-1 Paper Cutter”, you’ll be tempted to buy from the random assortment of items in the center aisle.
There was nothing revolutionary about reporting Woolies on the road, as prices were about on par with Coles in a few respects.
Broccoli was even more expensive at $11.90/kg, but chicken was cheaper at $11.50/kg.
In fact, the prices at the two largest supermarkets were so similar that there was only a six cent difference between the two totals. Woolies was slightly more expensive at $36.29.
how to cook
If you don’t know how to cook a stir-fry, you should at least seek the help of a cooking expert, but you’re basically throwing them in a pot and turning on the heat. Serve, wait for it to cool to optimum temperature and enjoy.
So it turns out that ALDI was the cheapest of the three big supermarkets when it came to the ingredients for our specific dish, but I wouldn’t say it was exactly cheap and the selection was rather poor.
Paying $36 at the other two supermarkets to cook a single supposedly cheap dish was also quite depressing.
On the bright side, the stir fry was delicious and adequately fed my family of three, with a bowl of leftovers to spare. Several ingredients like the mushies and soy sauce were more than we needed for one dish, so they would help keep the cost of another meal down from an average store.
Here’s a breakdown of what my shopping trip cost at each store.
Broccoli $11.50/kg (200g) – $2.30
Sugar snap peas $32/kg (200g) $6.40
Carrot – $1.50 1 kg bag
Zucchini – $4.90/kg (200g) $0.98
Mushrooms – box $5.50
Red pepper – $10.90/kg (200g) – $2.18
Onion – $1.50 bag
Garlic -$25kg (80g)
Soy Sauce – $2.60
Chicken leg – $14/kg (500g) – $9.27
Noodles – $2
Total passes: $36.23
Broccoli $9.99/kg (200g) – $1.99
Snow peas $27.96/kg (200g) – $5.59
Carrot – $1.79 bag
Zucchini – $8.99/kg (200g) – $1.79
Mushrooms – $3.40 a box
Bell pepper $6.99/kg (200g) $1.39
Onion $2.49 bag
Garlic $24.99/kg – $2.49
Soy Sauce – $1.79
Chicken $10.99/kg (500g) / $5.40
Noodles – $1.79
Total Aldi: $30.00
Broccoli – $11.90/kg (200g) – $2.38
Snow peas $35.60.kg (200g) – $7.12
Carrot $2.40 bag
Zucchini – $4.90/kg (200g) – $0.98
Mushrooms – $4.15 can
Pepper – $10.90/kg (200g) $21.8
Onion – $1.50 bag
Garlic – $1.25
Soy sauce 2.50
Chicken – $11.50/kg (500g) $5.75
Noodles – $1.85
Total yarn: $36.29