10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries in New Zealand

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Grocery shopping is an essential part of our daily lives.

However, with the increasing cost of living, it can be challenging to stick to a budget while purchasing the necessary items.

The good news is that there are several ways to save money on groceries without compromising the quality of the food you buy.

In this article, we will discuss ten ways to save money on groceries in New Zealand.

These tips are practical and easy to implement, and they will help you reduce your grocery expenses significantly.

From creating a grocery budget to meal planning and taking advantage of sales, we will cover everything you need to know to save money on groceries in New Zealand.

By following these tips, you can reduce your grocery expenses, save money for other essential things, and still enjoy delicious and healthy meals.

So, let’s dive in and discover how you can save money on groceries in New Zealand.

Make a Shopping List

One of the most effective ways to save money on groceries is to make a shopping list before heading to the store.

This helps you avoid impulse purchases and ensures that you only buy what you need.

Here are some tips for creating a shopping list:

Plan Your Meals

Before you start making your shopping list, plan out your meals for the week. This will help you determine exactly what ingredients you need to buy.

Consider using a meal planning app or website to help you plan your meals and generate a shopping list automatically.

Check Your Pantry

Before you head to the store, take a quick inventory of your pantry and fridge to see what you already have on hand.

This can help you avoid buying duplicate items and ensure that you use up any perishable items before they go bad.

Stick to Your List

Once you’ve created your shopping list, be sure to stick to it when you’re at the store.

Avoid adding any extra items to your trolley, even if they’re on sale.

If you do come across an item that you hadn’t planned on buying, ask yourself if you really need it before adding it to your basket.

Shop Online

If you find it challenging to stick to your shopping list when you’re at the supermarket, consider doing your grocery shopping online.

This can help you avoid impulse purchases and ensure that you only buy what you need.

Many online grocery stores also offer free delivery or pickup, making it a convenient option for busy families.

Shop Seasonally

Fruits and vegetables market

When you buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, you can save a lot of money because they are abundant and don’t have to be shipped from far away places.

Here are some tips to help you shop seasonally:

Know what’s in season

Do some research and find out what fruits and vegetables are in season in New Zealand. You can check out the seasonal produce guide on the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries website.

This will help you plan your meals around what’s available and save money on out-of-season produce.

Shop at Farmer’s markets

Farmers markets are a great place to buy seasonal produce.

You can find fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown locally and are in season. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be supporting local farmers.

Buy in bulk

If you find a great deal on seasonal produce, buy in bulk and freeze what you can’t use right away.

This will help you save money in the long run because you won’t have to buy out-of-season produce at a higher price.

Buy frozen fruits and vegetables

If you can’t find fresh seasonal produce, consider buying frozen fruits and vegetables.

They are often less expensive than fresh produce and can be just as nutritious (I’m looking at you, Spinach!).

Avoid pre-cut produce

Pre-cut produce is convenient, but it’s also more expensive. Buy whole fruits and vegetables and cut them yourself to save money.

Buy in Bulk

Ways to Save Money on Groceries in New Zealand

Buying in bulk is a great way to save money on groceries in New Zealand. Here are some tips to help you make the most of bulk purchases:

Know what to buy in bulk

Some items are better to buy in bulk than others. Here are some examples of items that are usually cheaper in bulk:

  • Canned goods
  • Dried beans and legumes
  • Rice and pasta
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oats and cereal

Compare prices

Before you buy in bulk, compare the price per unit to the regular price. Sometimes the bulk price isn’t actually cheaper, so do your research.

Store properly

Buying in bulk won’t save you money if you end up wasting food.

Make sure you have enough storage space and that you’re storing food properly. Use airtight containers for dry goods and freeze perishable items if necessary.

Share with others

If you don’t think you’ll be able to use all of a bulk purchase before it goes bad, consider sharing with friends or family.

Splitting the cost and the food can be a great way to save money and reduce waste.

Don’t buy more than you need

Only buy in bulk if you know you’ll be able to use the food before it goes bad. 

Compare Prices

Comparing prices

One of the easiest ways to save money on groceries is to compare prices between different stores. Here are a few tips:

Check the Grocer App

Many grocers have their own app that allows you to check prices and deals before you go to the store.

This can save you time and money by helping you plan your shopping list and find the best deals.

Shop Around

Don’t just stick to one store. Shop around and compare prices between different supermarkets and speciality stores.

You may find that some stores have better prices on certain items than others.

It’s important to note that while comparing prices can save you money, it’s also essential to consider the quality of the products you’re buying.

Cheaper isn’t always better if the quality is poor and you end up having to replace the item sooner than expected.

Additionally, keep in mind that some stores may offer loyalty programs or discounts for specific items, so be sure to factor those into your price comparisons as well.

Use Coupons and Vouchers

Coupons and vouchers can help save money on groceries.

Here are a few tips on how to use them effectively:

Check for Coupons and Vouchers Online

Before heading out to do your grocery shopping, take some time to search online for coupons and vouchers.

Although couponing in New Zealand isn’t really a thing, you can have some luck with cashback sites like Kiwiwallet and Shopback.

You can occasionally find printable coupons on manufacturer websites or couponing websites.

Sign Up for Store Loyalty Programs

Most grocery stores in New Zealand offer loyalty programs that give you access to exclusive deals and discounts.

Sign up for these programs to receive coupons and vouchers in your email inbox or mailbox.

Use Discount Vouchers for Eating Out

If you plan to eat out, look for discount vouchers to help you save money.

Websites like First Table and GrabOne offer two-for-one deals, early specials, and other discounts at restaurants throughout New Zealand.

Earn Vouchers for Completing Surveys

Some survey sites offer the option to redeem your earnings in grocery vouchers.

They include:

Join a Loyalty Program

Ways to Save Money on Groceries in New Zealand_Loyalty Program

Joining a loyalty program can help you save money on groceries in New Zealand. These programs offer rewards and discounts on purchases, helping you stretch your budget further.

Here are some loyalty programs to consider:

New World Clubcard

New World offers a Clubcard loyalty program that allows you to earn points on every purchase. You can redeem these points for FlyBuys, fuel rewards or Airpoints dollars.

Plus, you’ll receive exclusive discounts and offers.

Countdown Onecard

Countdown Onecard is a loyalty program that offers discounts, exclusive deals, and rewards.

You can earn points on purchases and redeem them for discounts on future purchases. Plus, you’ll receive personalised offers based on your shopping habits.

AA Smartfuel

AA Smartfuel is a loyalty program that allows you to earn fuel discounts on purchases at participating retailers, including supermarkets.

You can save up to $1 per litre of fuel, adding to significant savings over time.

By joining these loyalty programs, you can save money on groceries and stretch your budget further.

Be sure to read the terms and conditions of each program to ensure that you understand how to earn and redeem rewards.

Avoid Convenience Stores

Convenience stores are notorious for having higher prices than supermarkets.

They make up for their smaller inventory and limited space by charging more for the items they do carry.

Buy Generic Brands

Ways to Save Money on Groceries in New Zealand 1

One of the easiest ways to save money on groceries in New Zealand is to buy generic or store brands.

These brands are often just as good as name-brand products, but they cost less.

Here are some reasons why buying generic brands can save you money:

Lower Cost

Generic brands are usually priced lower than their name-brand counterparts. This is because they don’t have to spend as much money on advertising or packaging.

Same Quality

Most generic brands are just as good as name-brand products. They often use the same ingredients and are made in the same factories.

No Frills

Generic brands often have simpler packaging and fewer frills than name-brand products. This means you’re not paying extra for fancy packaging or advertising.

Related: Is Walmart in New Zealand? What You Need to Know

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About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Stuff, NZHerald, Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.