Saving at the shops is my forte. I check specials, redeem coupons and compare costs on a regular basis.

I’ve always been a super savvy shopper but I’ve never actually tracked just how much I could be saving. Until this year.

As part of my massive to-do-in-2018 list, I vowed to track my savings from doing a few simple swaps at the supermarket.

We are Woolworths shoppers so I make a real effort to buy the Woolworths and Woolworths Essentials brands as often as possible – swapping out those big brand names I usually buy and trying the new generic brands to see what I could uncover.

The results were brilliant. Pretty much most of the products I’d try I liked and most often the kids didn’t even notice.

If you’re unfamiliar, Woolworths stocks two main supermarket brands:

  • the Woolworths Essentials brand with the red woolies icon are your everyday staples at a really affordable price
  • the Woolworths Brand sporting a green strip with green woolies icon features over 2,000 everyday products at a great price
woolworths-brands
Cheaper doesn’t always mean lower quality. Here’s the two Woolworths brands to look out for that have saved me thousands of dollars in a year!

Both ranges are noticeably less expensive than big name brands and you will most likely not even notice the difference in taste or quality.

I certainly don’t and neither do my two boys, who are both incredibly fussy with their foods. I’m talking “Mum, there’s a tiny speck of black pepper in my spaghetti” fussy.

woolworths-generic-essentials-brandWhere to make the Woolworths Essentials swap

Of course, we all have our fave brands that we never stray from. Nestle, for example, is always gonna be my brand choice for chocolate, even if it’s dearer than other chocolate bars. And mums know that at the end of the day, chocolate matters!

But for everyday essentials, you may be surprised how much making the swap can save you in the long run. Just have a look at the video below to see a few of my favourite weekly shop finds.


Cheaper doesn’t always mean lesser quality

It’s easy to think that buying a cheaper product means you’re going to end up with less flavour, lower quality or a lower nutritional quality, right? WRONG!

I used to think that too, until I started swapping different products and working out what I liked.  Don’t get me wrong, some things I still prefer the brand name of but others … well I am so thankful for making the switch (and so is my pocket!)

But it’s important to note that just because we buy the supermarket brand, doesn’t mean we’re buying lower quality. What really impressed me was that Woolies have really put a concerted effort into the salt, sugar, preservative and artificial colours and flavours

Increased Health Star Rating – Woolies now has 99% of its own brand products with Health Star Ratings, making it easier for customers to make a healthier decision.

Improving the nutrition profile of Woolworths food range ​- In the last 6 years, Woolworths has improved the nutrition of 280 products, resulting in 405 tonnes less salt, 130 tonnes less saturated fat, 220 tonnes less sugar and 13,300 tonnes more whole grains.

Constant Reformulation – Woolies are pretty much on the ball when it comes to ensuring they are constantly reviewing the quality of their products. Here’s a few major changes which mean healthier and happier kids (and adults)

  • Woolworths Original Popcorn 10 Pack – 30% less salt
  • Woolworths Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce 420g – 35% less sugar and 40% less salt
  • Woolworths Crumbed Fish Fish Fillets 425g and 1kg – 50% less saturated fat and 25% less salt
  • Woolworths Summer Fruit Muesli 750g – 40% less sugar and 40% less salt


Get Your Woolies Worth

Although your grocery list is probably going to vary from ours, here are 26 standard items where I swapped big brand names for Woolworths or Woolworths Essentials brands.

Lunch box and survival snacks

Let’s start with lunch boxes. I made the swap with just four standard items and noticed a crazy difference of almost $16!

  • Wraps – $2.00 compared to $5.00
  • Sandwich Bread – $2.00 compared to $3.20
  • 10 pack popcorn – $2.75 compared to $4.50 (the Woolies brand now has 30% less salt too!)
  • Muesli bars – $2.30 compared to $4.00
  • Fruit bars – $3.70 compared to $10.00

woolworths-generic-lunchbox

Pantry staples

You can find Woolworths Essentials for all your pantry needs including sugar, salt, cereals, spreads, sauces, bread crumbs, vinegar, stock, frozen veggies, tinned goods and so much more! 

We swapped the following:

  • Penne Pasta and Spaghetti – $1.00 compared to $1.95
  • Tomato Paste – $1.25 compared to $3.70
  • Lasagne sheets – $1.80 compared to $3.70
  • Flour – $0.75 compared to $2.80
  • Sugar – $1.00 compared to $1.75
  • Long life milk – $1.00 compared to $1.30
  • Olive oil  – $7 compared to $12
  • Chick Peas -$0.80 compared to $1.50
  • Diced Tomatoes –  $0.80 compared to $1.50
  • Lentils – $0.80 compared to $1.50
  • Long Grain Rice – $1.40 compared to $2.00
  • Chicken stock – $1.90 compared to $3
  • Cereal – $2.50 compared to $5.20
  • Tomato sauce – $1.50 compared to $2.95
  • Soda water – $0.75 compared to $2.10
  • Family Assorted biscuits – $2.32 compared to $4.50
  • Microwave popcorn – $0.95 compared to $1.75
  • Chicken Chips – $1.80 compared to $3.29
  • Toilet Paper – $3.50 compared to $7.00
  • Grated Cheese – $4.50 compared to $8.20

woolworths-generic-pantry-staplesFruit and Veg

Although technically not part of the Woolworths Essentials range, consider swapping to the Odd Bunch when picking out your produce. Sure, they look a little different sometimes, but they are so much cheaper and also help reduce farmers’ waste. After all, ugly carrots deserve to be eaten too.

Lines include carrots, cucumbers, apples, pears and more! Look out for them at your next visit and save a bunch with the odd bunch!  For example, I saved:

  • Carrots: $1.40 compared to $2.00
  • Apples:  $1.90 compared to $4.90

woolworths-odd-bunchEven more swaps

On the cold front, Woolworths have heaps of products in their range including frozen veg, chips, chicken nuggets, butter, garlic bread and lemon juice. Plus they have heaps of products in their home range too, including cleaning products, toilet paper (awesome double rolls!), mouth wash, tissues and paper towel.

But how much can you really save? Are you ready for this?

By swapping these 26 brand name items to Woolworths Essentials,
Woolworths Brand and Odd Bunch product, we saved:

an average of $43 per WEEKwhich turned into:

an average of $173 per MONTH AND THEN ADDED UP TO

Over $2,000 in a YEAR

This is the honest-to-goodness truth. 

And all it took was a few simple swaps! You can familiarise yourself with the Woolworths and Essentials range online where you can also check the weekly specials, compare prices and find easy recipes to try.

Give it a go in your next weekly shop and see if you notice the difference in your weekly shopping bill.

Give it a go in your next weekly shop and see if you notice the difference in your weekly shopping bill.


This is a sponsored post for Woolworths but all shopping experiences, calculations and opinions are my own.  Try it for yourself, it really works!

Author

Belinda Jennings is a fun-loving mum who’s a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. When she’s not tap, tap, tapping at the keyboard Belinda can be found happily wrangling two small boys and loving on her superstar husband. Good conversation, close friends and fine chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. She believes life’s too short for bad coffee, folding fitted sheets and not wearing your favourite shoes.

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