We and our bank accounts are all sorely aware that inflation is packing an almighty punch on prices across New Zealand: from pain at the petrol pump to the grating amount for a block of cheese, the cost of living crisis is taking a significant toll on many families and whānau.
According to Statistics New Zealand's food price index for May, prices had increased year-on-year by 6.8 percent, while the cost of groceries rose year-on-year by 7.4 percent. The cost of restaurant dining had risen by 6 percent, and fruit and vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages, and meat, poultry and fish were up 10 percent, 2.7 percent and 7 percent respectively.
With that being said, Sunday brunch is becoming more and more unattainable financially for many New Zealanders - and unfortunately, replicating your local's big brekkie with a pot of coffee at home is also proving costly, taking into account the skyrocketing prices of appliances.
According to the impartial price and product comparison service PriceSpy, the indexed price across the most popular coffee machines listed on its site has jumped markedly, with the appliances now costing 11 percent more compared to the beginning of 2020.
Meanwhile in February 2022, PriceSpy's insights found the indexed price for espresso machines was also at boiling point, hitting an all-time high following an increase of almost 22.5 percent.
And it's not just Kiwis swapping their daily grande mocha for a homemade long black who are being affected by the surges. PriceSpy's research also found that price indices across the most popular toasters are also more expensive now compared to the start of 2020 - up by a searing 10 percent.
"It wasn't so long ago people were investing in espresso machines and brushing up on their home-barista skills, making flat whites and latte art at home and also making bread," said Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy.
"With our data highlighting just how much price points have risen, shoppers may want to think twice before investing in these types of purchases at the moment.
"If Kiwis really need to buy breakfast appliances right now, we encourage people to keep a close eye on what prices are doing, and to not impulse buy,'' Matinvesi-Bassett suggested.
"Watching and tracking prices regularly will help shoppers assess when prices are elevated and when the right time is to purchase. So many factors are impacting the price of goods right now. Inflation, for instance, is still sitting at a 30-year high. Then there's the wider issues of COVID-19 affecting global manufacturing and supply chains, plus the rising cost of fuel prices and of course, the difficult times in Europe.
"During these uncertain times, shoppers really do need to pay close attention to how much they are paying for goods, as price points change on a daily basis. Carrying out quick, free and easy-to-do pricing research before purchasing will help make a difference so that people can save money, not over-pay and make a more-informed buying decision."
To avoid paying an arm and a leg, PriceSpy has offered its top tips to help Kiwis shop smartly amid these challenging times.
Shop around and compare prices
"Don't take a store's word for it that they are offering the best price on the market. Hop online and use a free price comparison service to compare price points across different shops, and be prepared to ask stores to price match if you see a better price elsewhere," Matinvesi-Bassett advised.
Don't let the discounts suck you in
A sale or discount sticker is a tactic that often stops shoppers in their tracks: but before getting sucked into supposed 'sales', make sure you compare the price offered to the lowest price on the market, said Matinvesi-Bassett.
"This is because many sale prices are often inflated first - and then lowered on the sale day to make the discount percentage appear higher. On PriceSpy, you can look at each product's price history to see the price fluctuations that take place. This handy tool will help highlight if a product is worth buying now, or waiting."
Consider an older model
If you really can't wait to buy a new toaster but the latest Smeg offering is a little too rich for your wallet, perhaps consider purchasing an older model. Often out-of-season or older varieties are priced much cheaper than brand-new appliances. Don't let your eye for a stunningly curated kitchen cost you an arm and a leg in the process.
"Essentially, if prices just feel too high at the moment, shoppers should try and sit tight until they start to see them fall," Matinvesi-Bassett said. "Another option could otherwise be to try buying the product on the second-hand market."
New Zealand's latest Consumer Price Index figures revealed that annual inflation had hit 6.9 percent in the March quarter - the largest year-on-year rise in nearly 32 years. It had also increased from the 5.9 percent recorded for the year to December 2021, itself the highest since 1990.
The rising cost of living has seen pain at the pump, with petrol prices in central Auckland hitting an all-time high last month. Inflated prices have also been observed at eateries and fast food chains, with Kiwis outraged over a recent price hike at Subway that saw a six-inch sandwich priced at almost $10.
PriceSpy's research compares the indexed price across the most popular goods listed within each shopping category between January 1, 2020 and May 31, 2022.