Being a food snob can cost you dearly
Shoppers are on to the many tricks supermarkets use to get us to spend more - lollies and drinks at the checkout, specials at the end of each aisle and milk at the back of the store so we have to walk down at least one aisle to get to it.
They are literally banking on weak-willed customers to throw a few extra items in the trolley on their way to the fridge or at the checkout.
And they also know when it comes down to it we don't want to be seen by our friends with a trolley full of supermarket brand groceries.
But, if we could just get over the snob factor - buying these supermarket labels of pantry and freezer staples pays off at the checkout.
For example in Coles and Woolworths a 1kg pack of branded frozen peas is more than a dollar cheaper than the national brands.
But how low will you go. In some cases, the same supermarket offers a choice between a cheap and an even cheaper option.
If you are after some dried spaghetti, for example Woolworths, has two choices. Its Essentials and its Woolworths 500g packs are both made from 100 per cent Australian durum wheat and both have a 4.5 health star rating. The only difference is more sugar but less sodium in the Essentials pack. The Essentials version is 35 cents cheaper - and tastes the same . But that isn't always the case. We put supermarket choc chip biscuits to the taste test abd kids turned their noses up at the cheapest biccies.
Mum Naomi Lynn said it's just the way the cookies crumbled - not price that won mattered. "Both Hunter and Izzy loved the bigger Coles Ultimate cookies. They came packaged in a box so were very intact, generally bigger and looked tastier."
Gary Mortimer from QUT's School of Business says there's a stigma attached to the supermarkets' private labels. "When you walk into a supermarket you look at brands and associate global brands with good quality and you associate private labels with poorer quality," he says.
"That's despite the millions of dollars spent to improve the quality of private labels; and for some products like hair shampoo, baby food and pet food we are just less inclined to buy the private label product."
So supermarkets have "phantom" brand products like Baxters dog food, and Voeu skin care range.
Phantom brands are still supermarket home brands without the supermarket tag. They are usually priced just above the supermarket label but under the national brand but just as likely to come out of the same factory.
"With a phantom brand you see quality but you also see a lower price so you go 'that's excellent value'," Mr Mortimer says. But the supermarket brand will still be cheaper.
"Customers are missing out on savings because they are influenced by fancy packaging or a phantom brand," he said