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Media Release

Christmas feast the most expensive meal of the year

Aussies spend big on Christmas feast

The Christmas Day feast is by far the nation’s most expensive meal of the year, with CommBank customers spending around $54 million on groceries last Christmas Eve, according to Commonwealth Bank data. 

This is almost 23 per cent higher than Australians spend on their Easter meal - Christmas’ closest competitor, with other key calendar events, such as Australia Day and New Year’s Eve, trailing further behind. 

Last year, Australia’s supermarkets saw more than 1.2 million transactions on Christmas Eve - the single biggest grocery spending day of the year. That’s around 14 shopping bags bursting with pudding, glazed hams, Christmas crackers, and more – purchased every second. 

However, Aussies are wising up to the Christmas crush and ditching the stress in favour of dining out – with restaurant spending on Christmas Day up 30 per cent in 2016, compared with 2015. 

Commonwealth Bank General Manager Everyday Banking and Payments, Michael Baumann, said: “CommBank spending data has shown that year on year our customers are spending more in the lead up to Christmas, with 17 per cent of Christmas Eve spending going on groceries. 

“Shoppers are leaving the Christmas Day grocery shop to the last minute, exposing themselves to the perils of congested carparks and supermarket aisles, long queues at the check-out, and bigger bills. 

“With Christmas Day fast approaching, planning ahead is key. Commonwealth Bank data shows that shoppers can give themselves a huge advantage by shopping for their groceries two days ahead of the Christmas Eve crowds, when there are 27 per cent fewer shoppers.

“It’s also easy to get carried away at the supermarket, especially if you’re preparing a large meal. It’s important to keep track of your spending to avoid the financial hangover, and there are a number of tools to help customers do that like the Spend Tracker feature in the CommBank app.”

CommBank’s top tips for a stress free festive feast:  

  • Shop early to avoid the crowds
  • Make a list and stick to it
  • Head online to save time

Christmas Eve grocery spending compared to other big holidays

Date Occasion Approx. spend ($) Approx.number of purchases
25 January 2016 Australia Day $29.4 million 714,700
24 March 2016 Easter* $43.9 million 954,500
24 December 2016 Christmas Eve $54 million 1.2 million

*Thursday prior to Easter 2016