Smart Shopping in Australia

by Louise | June 14th, 2011 | Money Saving Hints, Travel Shopping

Planning a trip to Australia? You’ll be happy to hear that Australia has plenty of opportunities for shopping; the country has more to offer than wild kangaroos and koalas, boomerangs, and didgeridoos (not that I have anything against any of them).

Useful conversions: Right now, one Australia dollar (AUD) converts to about $1.06 USD. One kilogram is about 2.2 lbs. Regarding sizing for women, an 8 is typically the smallest size found in shirts or dresses, and it is equivalent to a small or a US 4, where as a 20 is a US 16. Shoe sizing is generally the same, but taking the time to try items on will be worth your time.

You might be surprised by the high cost of food in Australia. I was reluctant to dine anywhere at all, until I realized all the prices were the same – expensive. Australia might be a good place to start going on a diet. It’s easier to skip the soda that you usually order with your dinner if they’re charging $3 for a small glass. Bananas can currently be found at a frighteningly high $17.00 per kilogram. At a farmer’s market, the prices were cheaper, but my sister was still unsuccessful in an attempt to buy banana with 2 AUD in hand. Granted, the recent flood in Queensland might have something to do with those high prices.

Do you have a Costco membership card? My family was surprised to find out that there was a Costco warehouse not far from the center of Melbourne. It offers a wonderful view of the Southern Star, an observation Ferris wheel currently under reconstruction (pictured to the right).  By July, there will also be warehouses open in Auburn, NSW, and Canberra, ACT. We saved money by buying some produce and breakfast items there, so we would eat in a few times.

Another way to save money in Australia is by asking locals about the cheaper malls in the area. One family in Perth advised us to check out the Garden City Shopping Centre and the Hay and Murray street malls, but to only buy items when in the Harbour Town Shopping Centre. It was fun to experience all three, but Harbour Town was by far the cheapest for the same quality.

Getting souvenirs? We regretted buying a few boomerangs at a market in Perth when we saw how cheap they were at the Queen Victoria’s Market, the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere, in Melbourne. Buy your souvenirs there in Melbourne if you get the chance.

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