Saving money on your grocery shop is no easy feat, with essentials like bread, milk and veggies adding up quickly.
But according to Cancer Council NSW there’s one easy way to slash money from your supermarket bill – by quitting smoking.
To mark World No Tobacco Day the charity has shared how for one $50 packet of cigarettes you could instead buy enough food to make three healthy meals for a family of six.
The average 25 packet of cigarettes costs $50 and for that same amount you could buy more than 20 different grocery items from Coles.
The food, which is in line with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, included Weet-Bix, milk, pasta, mince, hummus, tomatoes, apples, cheese and bananas.
Cancer Council NSW’s tobacco control unit manager Alecia Brooks said the experiment was designed to show “what smoking is really costing you”.
“We know that the cost of cigarettes can be a strong motivation for people to quit and quitting smoking can be the best thing you to do today for your health and your wallet,” she said.
While smoking rates have been on the decline since 2015, 2019 data shows 11.9 per cent of NSW adults still smoked daily.
Smoking causes a whopping 46,000 hospitalisations and 5300 deaths in NSW alone every year.
Ms Brooks said that while quitting can seem daunting for long-term smokers it was achievable, with support available from your local GP and NSW Quitline.
“While quitting smoking is one of the best things you can for yourself and your family, we also acknowledge that some people are doing it tough,” she said.
“We want to remind them that quitting is possible, no matter how difficult it may seem and no matter how long you have smoked.”
‘Smoking vs eating’ challenge goes viral
In January last year a Tasmanian grandmother went viral on Facebook after sharing how she had been able to buy a massive grocery haul for the same cost of a packet of cigarettes.
Launceston woman Judy Kerrison wrote on Facebook that her grandchildren had prompted her to come up with the challenge after they “commented on how much cigarettes are”.
“They were surprised at the amount of food you can buy for the same monetary value,” Ms Kerrison said.
She bought a popular brand of cigarettes for $56.95 and then spent $56.85 on food which included beef sausages and mince, apples, bananas, pasta, cheese, frozen beans, potatoes and bread.
“Must say, I hope this exercise has made them aware of life’s choices … and not to take up this habit,” the grandmother wrote.