How To Not Get Ripped Off For Basic Grocery Items

prices grocery shopping rip offImage: Getty Images

While our shopping trolleys are always a creative blend of essential and non-essential products, there are a few items that make a regular appearance. For those items, you should make a note of how much it costs each time you pick it up to ensure the supermarket isn't overcharging you for your basics.

This comes off the back of a now-deleted Facebook post by a self-described regular shopper at Aldi, Sylvia Beacon. Beacon posted to the Aldi Fans Australia Facebook group about a "cheeky" pricing tactic the European grocery chain had deployed.

Image: Sylvia Beacon

Beacon alleged the pasta packet is usually $0.65 a bag but it had increased to $0.79 suddenly and was being promoted as a sale price. Other commenters suggested the price was raised to $0.89 a few weeks ago and then put on sale so it would be considered legal under Australian consumer law. Lifehacker Australia has contacted Aldi Australia for its explanation.

Still, if the reported events did happen, it serves as a good reminder to note down the regular price of your unusual suspects. Everyday items vary between households but the staples such as bread, milk, rice, pasta, tinned vegetables (tomatoes and beans), toiler paper and cleaning materials are worth jotting down for future reference. That way if they are suddenly increased and purported as a special, you'll be able to bring it up. Keeping a few receipts is a great way to prove that too.

The ACCC's site says businesses can mislead customers by promoting a 'sale' or 'special' price, which is not the temporary sale price. It's this false impression of price that the ACCC told Lifehacker Australia is prohibited.

"Businesses are prohibited from making claims about its goods or services, including claims about price, that are incorrect or likely to create a false impression," an ACCC spokesperson said to Lifehacker Australia.

"Businesses must tell the truth when advertising 'discounted' prices, and must not fabricate increased savings."

If something like this does happen to you, you can make a consumer complaint by heading to the ACCC's website and filling out their form.

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