Groceries on Amazon: how to save up to 30% vs Coles and Woolies

A full shopping cart in the middle of a supermarket aisle
(Image credit: Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd / Getty Images)

In a time when grocery costs are constantly on the rise, it's worth exploring alternative options to stretch your budget. One such option is purchasing household goods such as pantry essentials, snacks, drinks, cleaning supplies and other non-perishables from Amazon, rather than traditional Australian supermarkets like Coles or Woolworths.

Below, we’ve investigated whether opting for Amazon can indeed save you money on a variety of popular grocery items. We have dug out the prices on a range of everyday staples, snacks, drinks and household goods available on Amazon, ranging in price from $2.25 to $26, and compared them to the prices at Coles and Woolworths online. All prices were accurate as of late July 2023 – although these will obviously start to increase over time and vary depending on specials. 

Let's dive into each section to discover whether Amazon can beat the big two at the grocery game.

Everyday staples

Amazon offers a wide range of everyday staples, including items like rice, pasta, canned goods, oils and spices. These types of essentials are crucial to any pantry, and the convenience of purchasing them online can save you time and effort. The four random products we selected for this category were:

Here's how Amazon's prices compared to the big two supermarkets:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Amazon priceColes priceWoolworths price
Campbell's Chicken Stock 1L$2.25$4.50$4.50
Price increase vs AmazonRow 1 - Cell 1 100%100%
Kellogg's Crunchy Nut 380g$4.49$7.00$7.00
Price increase vs AmazonRow 3 - Cell 1 55.9%55.9%
Continental Pasta and Sauce 145g$3.50$3.50$3.50
Price increase vs AmazonRow 5 - Cell 1 0%0%
Heinz Big n Chunky Soup 535g$2.60$4.40$4.40
Price increase vs AmazonRow 7 - Cell 1 69.2%69.2%


From chips and cookies to healthy snacks like granola bars and dried fruit, Amazon offers a vast selection of snack options. Whether you're looking for a treat for yourself or snacks for the whole family, exploring Amazon's snack selection might yield surprising savings. We compared the prices on these four popular snack items on Amazon:

And here's how costs stacked up vs Coles and Woolies:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Amazon priceColes priceWoolworths price
Smith's Snack Mix 20pk$7.49$8.90$8.90
Price increase vs AmazonRow 1 - Cell 1 18.8%18.8%
Sunbites Snack Crackers 110g$2.30$3.30$3.30
Price increase vs AmazonRow 3 - Cell 1 43.5%43.5%
Carman's Brownie Oat Bars 180g$4.00$5.90$5.90
Price increase vs AmazonRow 5 - Cell 1 47.5%47.5%
Kinder Happy Hippo Biscuits$4.00$5.00$5.00
Price increase vs AmazonRow 7 - Cell 1 25%25%


Whether you're in need of beverages like coffee, tea, soft drink, or even juices and sports drinks, Amazon has a diverse range of drink options to suit all tastes. By comparing the prices of various name-brand drinks (or drink-making products) on Amazon with those at Coles and Woolworths online, we aimed to find out if you could save money without compromising on your preferred drink choices. Here's what we selected:

Here's what those cost at the various stores:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Amazon priceColes priceWoolworths price
Pepsi Max 375ml 30pk$26.00$29.00$26.00
Price increase vs AmazonRow 1 - Cell 1 11.5%0%
Cocobella Coconut Water 1L$3.50 (6 for $21)$5.50$5.50
Price increase vs AmazonRow 3 - Cell 1 57.1%57.1%
Bundaberg Lemon Lime & Bitters 375ml$1.58 (12 for $18.90)$1.61 (4 for $6.45)$1.75 (4 for $7.00)
Price increase vs AmazonRow 5 - Cell 1 1.9%10.8%
Moccona Classic Medium 400g$16.20$28.00$28.00
Price increase vs AmazonRow 7 - Cell 1 72.8%72.8%

Household goods

Amazon is not limited to just food and beverages; it also offers a wide array of household goods such as cleaning supplies, toiletries, and laundry products. These essential items can quickly add up, impacting your overall grocery budget. This category revealed some of the biggest savings, with differences of up to $10.50 on one specific item. Here's what we compared:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Amazon priceColes priceWoolworths price
Cold Power Sensitive 2L$10.50$21.00$21.00
Price increase vs AmazonRow 2 - Cell 1 100%100%
Glad Wavetop Bags 72pk$6.80$9.00$9.15
Price increase vs AmazonRow 4 - Cell 1 32.3%34.6%
Palmolive Foaming Handwash 250ml$2.79$4.00$4.00
Price increase vs AmazonRow 6 - Cell 1 43.4%43.4%
Kleenex Large & Thick Facial Tissues (95 sheets)$2.49$3.15$3.50
Price increase vs AmazonRow 8 - Cell 1 26.5%40.6%

Big savings to be had

We further crunched the numbers on all the above to come up with some total savings figures – and were surprised by just how big the final difference in cost was.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 AmazonColesWoolworths
Total cost$100.49$143.76$141.40
Price increase vs AmazonRow 1 - Cell 1 30.1%28.9%

Based on those total figures, Aussies could save up to a whopping 30% off the cost of their total basket at Amazon. While on occasion the big supermarket chains offer better value when something is discounted in a weekly special, the ‘everyday’ price on the products we compared were almost always cheaper to buy online at Amazon. In our example shop, you'd be at least $40 better off compared to the same shop at Coles or Woolworths.

Factoring in delivery costs

The one cost that a simple item-to-item comparison doesn't factor in is delivery costs – and when it comes to online shopping these can quickly add up. Both Coles and Woolworths, offer home delivery services with a per-delivery fee. Amazon also charges per delivery, but its Prime subscription option presents an intriguing alternative, as in many cases it will eliminate all delivery fees in return for a flat monthly or yearly subscription cost.

Meanwhile, Coles' and Woolworths' delivery fees vary depending on your location, desired time slot and the total value of your order. They typically range from $8 for standard delivery to $20 or more for express delivery. For frequent online shoppers, these per-delivery rates could quickly become a significant expense and might deter you from placing multiple or smaller orders. Both Coles and Woolworths do offer free delivery if you spend over $250 on your order, but this is also subject to the time you would like your order.

The big two supermarkets do now offer subscription programs that can reduce or eliminate delivery costs. Woolworths offer unlimited free delivery with their subscription to Delivery Now for $10 per month with a minimum spend of $75 per order as well as other perks like double rewards points and more. Coles on the other hand offer the same on orders over $50 for their Coles Plus subscription of $19 per month with also double FlyBuys points and ‘Rapid Click & Collect’

On the other hand, Amazon Prime offers a relatively painless delivery experience. For either a single monthly cost of $9.99 or a yearly fee of $79, members can enjoy unlimited free delivery on eligible items, which includes all the groceries we've mentioned above. This can provide substantial savings for regular online shoppers, as there'll be no additional delivery charges with each order and no minimum order value that you'll need to hit.

The numbers don't lie

Almost any way you slice it then, purchasing groceries and household essentials from Amazon appears to be a great way to save on your weekly shop. While fresh produce and refrigerated goods are off the cards, and you do lose some delivery flexibility with Amazon (such as not being able to select the exact date and time window), with up to 30% in savings to be had, buying whatever household items you can from Amazon is one way to help beat the current cost of living crisis in Australia. 

If you're looking to save even more, Amazon's Subscribe & Save program could also add another layer of convenience and savings. With Subscribe & Save, you can set up regular deliveries for items you frequently purchase, such as pantry staples, snacks or cleaning supplies. By subscribing to these products, you can unlock extra savings, enjoy automatic deliveries, and avoid the hassle of manually reordering every time.

This article was first published in August 2023.