The grocery mistake costing us $3800 a year


The grocery mistake costing us $3800 annually, how to score extra Flybuys, and popular dating app attracts hundreds of consumer complaints. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

Two-thirds of households dump food - at a cost of $3800 annually

Australians may be battling rising living costs but two-thirds of us are throwing money away by binning food on a weekly basis according to a Compare the Market survey.

the grocery shopping mistake costing aussies $3800 a year

A separate study by Foodbank shows the average household wastes $3800 worth of food every year.

Compare the Market's Natasha Innes says it is "shocking" to see so many people buying food items that end up in the trash.

"If you're getting to the end of your week and find you're throwing out food or have an abundance of fruit, salad or veggies that you'll never use, it could be time to rethink your approach to the weekly grocery shop," says Innes.

Compare the Market's research shows that vegetables are most likely to be binned, with leftover meals, white bread and milk not far behind.

"People appear to be overestimating how much food they'll eat in a week, and unfortunately, it's those healthier items that are going to waste," Innes said.

Food waste doesn't just hurt our hip pockets. It's a major eco-problem.

Federal government figures show around 2600 gigalitres of water - the equivalent of five Sydney Harbours - are used each year to grow food that is thrown out.

Nutrition Australia says food waste can be reduced by:

  • Planning meals
  • Showing leftovers some love, and
  • Storing food correctly to avoid spoilage.

Score five times regular Flybuys points

Wesfarmers, owner of some of Australia's biggest retail brands, has launched a new range of offers through its OnePass membership.

OnePass members with linked Flybuys accounts can collect five times the normal level of Flybuys points when they shop in-store at Kmart, Target, Bunnings and Officeworks.

On an average purchase of $50, that can mean scoring 250 Flybuys points.

OnePass members also gain access to free online delivery on eligible items from Kmart, Target, Catch, Bunnings and Officeworks, express Click and Collect, and 365-day change-of-mind returns.

Wesfarmers OneDigital managing director Nicole Sheffield says OnePass membership will make a big difference for shoppers as Australians head into the busy festive season.

"We know household budgets are tight at the moment and five times Flybuys points will provide our members with incredible value," Sheffield explains.

Shoppers can join OnePass for $4 a month or $40 a year to receive the new benefits from today.

Dating app sued for misleading pricing

Check the fine print if you sign up for a dating app.

Consumer watchdog, the ACCC, is taking dating site eHarmony to court, alleging it made misleading statements about the pricing, renewal, and duration of memberships.

ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb says, "The ACCC has received hundreds of complaints from consumers about eHarmony and its memberships."

The ACCC alleges that eHarmony engaged in misleading conduct when customers signed up to paid premium memberships under the impression the subscription period was only for an initial 6, 12 or 24 months.

In fact, the subscription automatically renewed, in some cases at prices hundreds of dollars higher than the initial subscription.

Cass-Gottlieb notes that as dating apps are personal services, consumers can bring a different mindset to these interactions, potentially leaving users more at risk from misleading or manipulative selling practices.

Budget airlines? It's not always smooth flying

With the school holidays fast approaching, millions of Aussies are likely to take to the skies for an international or domestic vacation.

A Finder survey found travellers are increasingly using budget airlines to cut the cost of holidays, with over one-third of us choosing a low-cost carrier in the last 12 months.

However, the fare savings can come with unwanted surprises.

Finder says three in five travellers who have flown with a budget airline ran into issues, including:

  • 30% had their flight delayed or cancelled
  • 16% were stung by hidden fees
  • 10% said their luggage was lost.

Finder's Angus Kidman, says, "Saving on flights puts more money back in your pocket to spend while you're away, but always check your fare covers everything you need.

"On low-cost carriers, basic inclusions such as luggage and seat selection will cost extra, and connections aren't guaranteed."

Pensioners pocket a pay rise

Good news for seniors, the Age Pension is set to rise from September 20, 2023.

An indexation boost will see the maximum rate of the single Age Pension increase by $32.70 per fortnight, taking it from $1064 to $1096.70.

Couples will gain an extra $49.40 per fortnight, taking their combined payment from $1604 to $1653.40.

Income limits for eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card are also increasing - rising by $5400 to $95,400 per annum for singles, and by $8640 to $152,640 for couples combined.

With deeming rates frozen for two years, more self-funded retirees could now be eligible for concessions.

Ian Henschke, Chief Advocate for National Seniors Australia, says the uptick in the Age Pension is welcome but adds that pensioners are still behind, especially when inflation is unusually high.

"More can be done to support older people doing it tough," says Henschke.

National Seniors research shows 39% of older renters are experiencing severe cost-of-living impacts compared to 11% of older homeowners.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.
Maurice O'Reilly
September 19, 2023 10.32pm

The increase to the pensioner fortnightly payment is ridiculous/ Does it strike any of the morons that decide the paltry increase, to walk into a supermarket, to see the drastic increase for basic food / Beyond food prices utility rates have shown meteoric rises/ Petrol prices have hit the roof ,and above all gap covers for specialist fees have to be borne by a pensioner. If you rent a property (pensioner) it becomes impossible to lead a fairly decent life/ In Australia it has become the Age of Greed and it seems neither of the major parties are remotely interested in tackling the difficulties faced by the pensioners/Labor fails to open its eyes and if pensioners leave in droves Labor has to blame itself for its ineptitude/ Are we still living in a LUCKY COUNTRY/ I am beginning to doubt

Eric Coyle
November 2, 2023 10.55pm

It is a great deal on Fly Buy's as you only have to spend one thousand six hundred dollars to get the $40 annual fee Back or just One thousand nine hundred and twenty dollars if you pay monthly where do I sign up.