I always find shopping in a new country is interesting. In New Zealand there’s a whole load of interesting foods from feijoa fruits to kumara, and there can be different names used than what you may use back home. For everyday shopping in New Zealand there are only a few large chains around, but there are many boutique delis, markets and asian supermarkets to get something a little bit different. Food allergies are well catered for compared to other countries, especially allergies such as coeliacs and gluten free eating.
Other articles will concentrate more on specialised food shopping but for now I’ll introduce you to the main places that you’ll encounter during a trip to New Zealand, focussing on everyday foodstuff and household wares.
Pak’n’Save is the place to shop for budget foods throughout New Zealand. If you drive past one you can’t miss the big, yellow warehouses. Pak’n’Save is the equivalent of Lidl and Aldi’s in Europe however it doesn’t have quite the same low cost feel and you’ll get big brands here as well. Look out for special deals and you can grab a bottle of wine from around $6 at weekends. Expect no frills in presentation but you’ll get most of the everyday stuff you need here, as well as some household goods.
Kiwis are often keen to buy local and help the local economy and New World makes a big thing about being 100% Kiwi Owned. New World has stores throughout the country and in bigger cities you may find smaller ‘metro’ stores to cater for the office workers lunching and on their way home. In the store they’ll offer a bit more of a quality selection and you’ll find some pretty decent deli counters in some of them.
Woolworths, Foodtown, Countdown
These shops have all been lumped together as they are all owned by the same company in New Zealand. They are all much the same (although I’m sure the owners wouldn’t say that) and offer a slightly more upmarket selection than Pak’n’Save.
Last but certainly not least is what could probably be classed as many Kiwi’s favourite all round shopping location : The Warehouse. Although it’s not mainly a place to shop for food, it does have some food products but mostly snacks. Outside of food, you can get pretty much everything else you want from households wares, bedding, car accessories, clothes, gardening and outdoor equipment, and sports equipment, all for pretty cut throat prices. You’ll bound to visit one of these when in New Zealand if you are a resident or independent traveller as it can help kit you out with everything from cheap t-shirts, to fitting out your camper van with stoves etc.
Although some of these large warehouse type outlets have no doubt impacted many a local shop when they’ve arrived in a location they don’t have help out providing kiwis and visitors cheaper everyday prices for a number of goods.
Most of the stores currently offer fuel discounts for petrol and diesel if you spend over a certain amount in one transaction. These can usually be used at a number of has stations however some Pak’n’Save stores that have on site gas stations will limit their use to that store only.
Look out for other articles on the site which will let you know about other shopping places like farmers markets where you can further save money, and buy local. Is there anywhere you shop in New Zealand that you’d like to highlight here? If so you should leave a comment below to let others know.