How Much Is The Average Weekly Grocery Bill In New Zealand?

Date Aug 31, 2021
Blog category Power
By Sieg C
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The average grocery bill in New Zealand is one of the most expensive in the world. Among the OECD countries, we ranked the sixth most expensive. This can get even more expensive depending on the city or town you live in. 

That’s why setting a budget for food, personal care, and household products is very important. This way, you keep your grocery spending in check, so you won’t go over budget easily. Now it's to important to ask, just how much is the average grocery spending in New Zealand?

Note: All prices are indicated in NZD unless otherwise stated. Prices are only estimates.

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How much does the average NZ family spend on groceries?

The average grocery spending varies depending on how many people are in the household. It also depends on where you’re located. For urban areas like Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty, Wellington, as well as cities in North and South Island, expect pricier average spending on groceries compared to rural towns.

Generally, groceries in New Zealand include items such as:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry and fish
  • Grocery food like non-perishable goods
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Restaurant meals and takeaways
  • Household supplies such as cleaning products
  • Toiletries and personal care products

While alcohol, tobacco, and medicine can be considered groceries for some people, they’re not often categorised as food and grocery. Beverages, restaurant meals, and takeaways are sometimes not considered as grocery as well.

How much should a one-person household spend on groceries a week?

According to Stats NZ, a one-person household spends at least $66.20 per week on food, excluding beverages and restaurant meals. However, this is simply the bare minimum, without considering the nutritional value of the meal.

The Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago released an estimate that a single woman needs to spend at least $59 per week, while a single man needs an average of $69.25 per week.

For a food budget of $66.22 per week, you can buy:

Quantity

Item

Estimated price

1 pack

Bananas

$3.49

1 kg

Apples

$3.49

1 head

Broccoli

$1.49

1 kg

Carrots

$1.89

1 kg

Brown onions

$0.99

1 half

Green cabbage

$1.39

1.1 kg

Butterfly chicken

$9.99

300 grams

Minced beef

$5.10

300 grams

Beef scotch steak

$8.10

1 kg

Chicken drumsticks

$3.79

1 loaf

Soya bread

$3.30

1 x 6 pack

Medium-sized eggs

$2.49

1 litre

Dairy milk

$2.28

1 kg

Mixed vegetables

$2.69

1 x 375g box

Weet bix

$3.49

2 x 400g can

Diced tomatoes

$1.70

2 x 400g can

Red lentils

$1.98

1 x375g bag

Instant coffee

$1.99

1 kg

White rice

$1.79

Total

$66.22

 Source: PAK’nSAVE

How much should a two-person household spend on groceries a week?

Couples or single Kiwis with one dependent spend around $137.60 per week on groceries, excluding beverages and restaurant meals. While this is the general average, it’s a bit more complicated because it varies greatly if your dependent is an adult or a child.

To supply the right nutrition, two adults (one man and one woman) have to spend an average of $128.58 per week. For two adult women living together, this sums up to about $138.50 per week, while $118 per week for two adult men. On average, your weekly grocery spending should be lower if the dependent is a child as they generally eat less compared to adults.

A budget of $137.60 per week can buy you:

Quantity

Item

Estimated price

1 pack

Bananas

$3.49

2 pcs

Telegraph cucumbers

$3.00

1 kg

Apples

$3.49

1 head

Broccoli

$1.49

1 kg

Carrots

$1.89

1 x 120g bag

Mesclun salad

$3.29

1kg

Potatoes

$2.29

1 kg

Brown onions

$0.99

1 x 250 punnet

Cherry tomatoes

$2.99

1 half

Green cabbage

$1.39

1.1 kg

Butterfly chicken

$9.99

500 grams

Minced beef

$8.50

500 grams

Beef scotch steak

$13.50

1 kg

Chicken drumsticks

$3.79

2 loaves

Soya bread

$6.60

1 x 750 tub

Yogurt

$2.79

1 x 12 pack

Medium-sized eggs

$2.99

2 litres

Dairy milk

$3.37

1 kg

Mixed vegetables

$2.69

700 grams

Potato roasters

$3.89

1 kg

Frozen berries

$8.99

1 x 750g box

Weet bix

$4.69

2 x 400g can

Diced tomatoes

$1.70

2 x 400g can

Red kidney beans

$1.98

10 x 95g can

Canned tuna

$17.90

1 x 375g bag

Red lentils

$1.99

1 x 100g bag

Instant coffee

$4.79

1 kg

White rice

$1.79

500 grams

Spaghetti

$0.94

Total

$137.60

Source: PAK’nSAVE

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How much should a three-person household spend on groceries a week?

For a household of 3 people, estimates reveal that you need at least $182.40 per week on food, excluding beverages and restaurant meals. For more flexible grocery shopping, allocate around $200 per week for a more balanced diet.

However, a household of 3 needs at least $192.37 per week, based on the basic dietary and nutritional needs of adult men and women. This weekly budget should be more than enough if one or two of your dependents is a child.

For $182.40 per week, you can tick all the items on this shopping list:

Quantity

Item

Estimated price

1 pack

Bananas

$3.49

2 pcs

Telegraph cucumbers

$3.00

1 kg

Apples

$3.49

2 heads

Broccoli

$2.50

1 kg

Carrots

$1.89

2 x 120g bag

Mesclun salad

$6.58

1kg

Potatoes

$2.29

1 kg

Brown onions

$0.99

2 x 250 punnet

Cherry tomatoes

$5.98

1 half

Green cabbage

$1.39

800 grams

Red kumara

$3.19

1.1 kg

Butterfly chicken

$9.99

550 grams

Pork steak

$8.79

500 grams

Minced beef

$8.50

500 grams

Beef scotch steak

$13.50

1.5 kg

Chicken drumsticks

$5.69

2 loaves

Soya bread

$6.60

1 x 750 tub

Yogurt

$2.79

1 x 12 pack

Medium-sized eggs

$2.99

2 x 2 litres

Dairy milk

$6.74

1 kg block

Cheese

$10.79

2x 1 kg

Mixed vegetables

$5.38

700 grams

Potato roasters

$3.89

1 kg

Frozen berries

$8.99

1 pack

Chocolate chip biscuits

$2.00

1 pack

Hundred & thousands

$2.00

1 x 750g box

Weet bix

$4.69

500 grams

Nutri-grain

$5.00

3 x 400g can

Diced tomatoes

$2.55

3 x 400g can

Red kidney beans

$2.98

10 x 95g can

Canned tuna

$17.90

1 x 375g bag

Red lentils

$1.99

1x 250ml bottle

Vinaigrette

$2.00

1 x 100g bag

Instant coffee

$4.79

1 kg

White rice

$1.79

500 grams

Spaghetti

$0.94

1 x 450g jar

Butter chicken sauce

$4.19

Total

$182.24

Source: PAK’nSAVE

How much should a four-person household spend on groceries per week?

For a four-person household, $208.50 per week should be more than enough. This is far more affordable than what the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago recommends for getting the basic dietary and nutritional needs for a family of 4 that consist of children.

The department estimates an average grocery bill of $216 per week for two adults, one 10-year old, and one 4-year old. A more comfortable grocery spending averages at $275.50 - 330.50 per week, depending on the produce and seasonal products.

Quantity

Item

Estimated price

1 pack

Bananas

$3.49

2 pcs

Telegraph cucumbers

$3.00

1 kg

Apples

$3.49

2 heads

Broccoli

$2.50

1 kg

Carrots

$1.89

2 x 120g bag

Mesclun salad

$6.58

1kg

Potatoes

$2.29

1 kg

Brown onions

$0.99

2 x 250 punnet

Cherry tomatoes

$5.98

1 half

Green cabbage

$1.39

800 grams

Red kumara

$3.19

1.1 kg

Butterfly chicken

$9.99

550 grams

Pork steak

$8.79

500 grams

Minced beef

$8.50

500 grams

Beef scotch steak

$13.50

1.5 kg

Chicken drumsticks

$5.69

1 x 300g pack

Roast chicken

$8.59

2 loaves

Soya bread

$6.60

1 x 750 tub

Yogurt

$2.79

1 x 12 pack

Medium-sized eggs

$2.99

1 x 250g tub

Sour cream

$2.89

2 x 2 litres

Dairy milk

$6.74

1 kg block

Cheese

$10.79

2x 1 kg

Mixed vegetables

$5.38

700 grams

Potato roasters

$3.89

1 kg

Frozen berries

$8.99

1 pack

Chocolate chip biscuits

$2.00

1 pack

Hundred & thousands

$2.00

1 pack

Snaxx crackers

$2.99

1 x 750g box

Weet bix

$4.69

500 grams

Nutri-grain

$5.00

3 x 400g can

Diced tomatoes

$2.55

1 x 3 pack

Pizza bases

$4.49

3 x 400g can

Red kidney beans

$2.98

10 x 95g can

Canned tuna

$17.90

1 x 375g bag

Red lentils

$1.99

1x 250ml bottle

Vinaigrette

$2.00

1 x 100g bag

Instant coffee

$4.79

1 kg

White rice

$1.79

500 grams

Spaghetti

$0.94

1 x 400g bottle

Pizza sauce

$4.19

1 x 450g jar

Butter chicken sauce

$4.19

1 x 300g bag

Corn chips

$2.99

Total

$208.38

Source: PAK’nSAVE

How much is the average weekly grocery bill in major NZ regions?

As mentioned, you may have to spend more depending on where you live. Inland Revenue has released House Expenditure Guide in August 2020, showing the estimated grocery spending of households in major urban regions and rural areas. This is based on the Household Economic Survey 2019 by Stats NZ.

Single

Single with 1 dependent

Couple

Couple with 1 dependent

Couple with 2 dependents

Couple with 3 dependents

Urban Auckland

$135.10

$278.50

$263.50

$278.50

$395.80

$407.10

Urban Waikato and Bay of Plenty

$112.30

$131.80

$237.70

$357.20

$349.00

$294.10

Urban Wellington

$116.60

$222.70

$282.70

$317.70

$373.90

$435.20

Rest of Urban North Island*

$92.10

$146.20

$206.00

$330.80

$329.10

$323.30

Urban South Island

$105.70

$175.50

$249.20

$291.30

$335.30

$276.10

Rural towns**

$107.30

$155.90

$233.90

$257.30

$257.50

$358.40

*Includes regions such as Northland, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and Manawatu-Whanganui
**Includes all minor and major urban areas with less than 10,000 people

What can you do to save on your grocery bills?

Saving on your groceries is easier said than done, especially in rapidly rising prices in New Zealand. But, it’s not impossible! With simple tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can save big time and lower down your average grocery bill.

Complete a shopping list

Don’t simply come to the grocery store without a list. Otherwise, you may end up buying items that you don’t need. Sometimes, you even forget to check out the items that you originally intended to buy! That’s why before shopping, complete a grocery list.

Do a regular pantry raid

It’s a tendency to simply buy the items that you can’t easily find on your counter or cupboard. By raiding your pantry, you may discover that you actually have some of the stuff you need! Regularly organising your pantry prevents you from stocking expired items, too.

Buy in bulk

When you purchase non-perishable items, it’s better to buy them in bulk and simply stock them at your home. Most of the time, grocery stores charge more when you purchase in small portions compared to buying large quantities. Talk about long term savings.

Save on your other expenses too!

Now that you know how expensive the average grocery bill in New Zealand can be, it’s time to save more on your other expenses, too. Get the best deal on your utilities using our comparison tool, right here at glimp.

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