Australia is about to enjoy its first Easter long weekend free from border restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic.
But seven out of 10 Australians are worried about skyrocketing costs, according to a Canstar survey of more than 2500 Australians.
The rising cost of living is clearly top of mind for many, with petrol costs topping the list of financial pain points that Australians expect to experience this Easter, followed by the high price of groceries and Easter chocolates.
Canstar editor-at-large Effie Zahos said it was “not ideal” that Australia’s first restriction-free public holiday during COVID was coinciding with surging inflation.
Consumer prices are rising faster than wages and that is squeezing household budgets heading into the long weekend.
“When you think about what Easter is all about, it’s celebrating with your loved ones, it is getting together with friends and family, it’s about eating a lot and drinking a lot,” Zahos said.
“All those things have been impacted by inflation.”
With all that in mind, here are four tips to save some cash this Easter.
1. Fill up with cheaper fuel
Zahos said Australians are finally seeing some relief at the bowser, after the fuel excise cut and lower global oil prices pushed average petrol costs below $2 a litre across most of Australia.
But she said there are ways to save even more.
The key is to shop around. Downloading a fuel comparison app such as MotorMouth, Petrol Spy or GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest station in your area to fill up, while apps such as Frugl and Trolley Saver can help you find cheaper groceries.
It’s also worth keeping an eye out for special discounts.
Coles has hiked its fuel discount from 10 cents to 14 cents per litre when customers spend $20 or more on other products at participating Coles Express stations.
The offer lasts until May 25 and can be used in conjunction with Coles’ usual 4 cents per litre docket discounts, bringing your potential fuel discount to 18 cents per litre in total.
But make sure to check the apps before rushing to a Coles servo.
Even with the discounts, other stations may still offer a lower price.
2. Share the load
Inflation – and shrinkflation – means hosting Easter lunch could cost a pretty penny if you go it alone, so Zahos suggests asking your loved ones to help ease the burden.
“There’s nothing wrong in asking someone to bring a plate,” she said.
“If everyone brought a plate, that does bring some relief to the overall kind of food bill.”
3. Be smart with your groceries
Choosing what you buy with care will help keep down costs.
For example, in-season fruits are delicious and typically cheaper than out-of-season fruits. And buying home-brand chocolates is also a good way to save.
“Most kids won’t notice the difference between premium-brand chocolate and home brand. There can be a considerable price difference between the two,” Zahos said.
Shopping online can also help you find the best deals by allowing you to filter items from the lowest to highest price.
And then there’s the option of not shopping at all.
For example, Zahos said making chocolate at home is not only cheaper than buying it from a shop, but could become a fun pastime for your children.
4. Make the most of government vouchers
Finally, Zahos recommends using state or territory discount vouchers if you’re planning a family day out over the weekend.
New South Wales residents have until June 30 to access the state’s Dine and Discover vouchers, which are worth $150 in total.
And plenty of other states are running similar schemes – although you’ll have to be quick.
Each batch of vouchers tend to be snapped up soon after they’re released.