New Zealand Food Prices: Can You Stick To Your Budget?

Aug 6, 2021
By Staff writer

Do you know your average spend on food and groceries? Is food really that expensive in New Zealand?

According to Stats NZ, food prices in June 2021 compared to June 2020 have increased by 2.8%.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 9.6%
Meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 0.4%
Grocery food prices increased 0.5%
Non-alcoholic beverage prices increased 0.7%
Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 4.4%


How much does food in New Zealand cost?

It's no longer a surprise that food prices in New Zealand can be costly, mainly because of several factors, including population size, labor costs, and how often we export our goods to other countries.

New Zealand exports a lot of goods, and the economic growth in the country's growing markets in Asia and the East are partly to blame for rising food costs. New Zealand Food & Grocery Council spokesman Brent Webling said that as the standard of living increases in said countries, there's also a higher demand for food exports, which then puts pressure on prices. According to Stats NZ, prices for fruit and vegetables increased to almost 9% in 2020, which boosted food price inflation to 2.9%.

Because New Zealand is export-driven, it relies on its global markets to set the price in New Zealand. Unfortunately, domestic food prices will likely remain the same if New Zealand continues to get premium prices for in-demand goods in international markets.

How can I save on my food and grocery expenses?

Despite the continuous increase in food prices, there are many ways you can do to save money on your food and groceries! If you noticed that your grocery bills are always high, you might be overspending or overlooking things such as budgeting, the quality of food you eat, how often you eat, and more.

Make a meal plan weekly.

It's tempting to order food, especially during lazy days, but making your own meals is more affordable. Planning what you'll be eating for the week is a good strategy as this will help you plan for when you do your grocery shopping. List the necessary ingredients you'll need. Not only will this save you time, but it will also help you avoid buying things you don't need.

Do a quick inventory.

Buying groceries on a whim is never a good idea. You’ll most likely forget to get items you actually need. So, before heading to the supermarket or hitting the checkout button, make it a habit to check your pantry and fridge first to see which items are almost gone, what’s missing, etc.


Always have a grocery list with you.

Winging it is never a good idea. Having a list makes your grocery shopping experience easier and quicker since you already know what to get and how many of them you need. Make sure to have a list with you or add a note on your phone so you have no risk of losing it and you can access it easily.

Shop online.

There are times when you’re too busy that you end up neglecting our grocery duties. Good thing you can now shop for food and groceries in the comfort of your home. Aside from being convenient, you get to avail exclusive discounts from online supermarkets and avoid buying unnecessary things since you'll get to see everything in your cart at a glance before hitting the checkout button. Since there are many online supermarkets available out there, it’s a good practice to compare prices first!

Take advantage of seasonal products.

Match your meal plans to what’s in season! Produce tend to cost cheaper and is easier to find when they're in season! So, when planning your meals for the week, check what's in season first to save more on your grocery shopping.

Need more tips? Keep these in mind next time you shop:

  • Avoid shopping on an empty stomach.
  • Buy bulk as they tend to be cheaper.
  • Consider growing your own produce!
  • Always check what’s on sale.
  • Always check the expiry date.

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