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1 in 5 Aussies confess to stealing everyday items - featured image

1 in 5 Aussies confess to stealing everyday items

Did you know that 3.8 million people admit to thievery of everyday items?

In fact, according to a new research from Finder, almost 1 in 5 (19%) Australians admitted to stealing staples in the past 12 months.

1 Of 5 Aussies Stealing

Further, the research shows that 9% of Aussies have stolen items from the supermarket at the self-checkout, while 10% have cheated at the self-serve check-outs by deliberately lying about what they have scanned.

That’s actually two million people who scanned cheaper items such as an onion but bagged a more expensive one such as avocado in the past 12 months.

Why is this happening?

Mr Richard Whitten, Finder's money expert, said that some Australians struggle to afford basic necessities.

He further explained:

“A lot of people are doing it tough as the cost of essentials like petrol, rent and energy have risen sharply.

The result is a growing subset of Australians who are stealing consumables to survive.

Of course, most self-checkout machines can't tell brown onions from portobello mushrooms, and I suspect a lot of Australians don't regard scanning items incorrectly on purpose to be the same level of theft as running out of a shop with a loaf of bread."


The average Australian spends $526.86 monthly on groceries – with certain items spiking considerably in the past 12 months.

The research also showed that 6% of Aussies had driven away from the bowser without paying for filling up.

Some tips to save on costs

We all know that there would be further price increases.

Mr Whitten shared his insights on safer ways to cut back on costs:

“Loyalty doesn’t pay – shop around for the best deal on all your expenses.

Simple switches could save you hundreds of dollars a year.

If you’re really struggling to make ends meet, contact your bill providers and ask them about their hardship policies or payment plans.

They can work with you to alleviate some stress and get on the front foot."


Also, there are other ways that can help you save money:

  • Refinance your mortgage. With rates rising, refinancing your home loan could save you tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Compare your bills. Energy prices have risen dramatically already. Compare electricity plans to see how much you could save.
  • Increase your income. If you can't get a pay rise, consider a side hustle or rent out your car, spare room or garage.
  • Get a better return on your cash. Open a high-interest savings account, and invest in an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

About Brett Warren is National Director of Metropole Properties and uses his two decades of property investment experience to advise clients how to grow, protect and pass on their wealth through strategic property advice.
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