Cost of living: Aucklanders reveal their top tips for handling the inflation crisis

Unless you've been exploring the Amazon without access to Wi-Fi, you probably know that New Zealand is currently in the midst of a cost of living crisis - you know, the thing that's making even kitchen staples, like cheese, gratingly expensive. 

With inflation continuing to pack an almighty punch on our bank balances, it's no surprise that many New Zealanders are coming up with creative ways to scrimp and save where they can.

Taking to the Auckland subreddit on Wednesday, a person by the username of u/sward1990 asked Aucklanders how they are handling the cost of living - and no, the response wasn't "badly, thanks for asking".

It didn't take long for fellow users of the forum to chip in their helpful hacks for cutting their weekly costs, with many also offering general tips for reducing overall expenditure. Some were just pleased that their essentials have so far remained unaffected by the surge in prices, with one admitting: "The price of weed hasn't gone up, so I'm happy about that."

It's worth noting that even a dollar here and there can make a noticeable difference over time, so for those feeling the financial crunch, there's no point turning up your nose at tips and tricks that could save you a small fortune in the long run. 

With that being said, here are 23 tips from Aucklanders to help fatten up those woeful-looking wallets. 

  • "Work out what time they put the meat special stickers on at your local supermarket. For me it's just after 12… there's tons of reduced specials to be snapped up and put in the freezer for long-term storage." - u/Effective_Series5772
  • "I'm looking at the 'dollar per 100 grams/litre' labels more than I used to." - u/wont_deliver
  • "Established a vege garden - perfect time right now to start too - spring is here." - u/NZHodler
  • "Literally cut out all my monthly costs that aren't essential and don't buy anything other than essentials. Phone bill - moved my personal number onto my work's account. Entertainment - cancelled Netflix, Disney Plus and YouTube red - YouTube with ads or ad blocker is good enough entertainment. Cancelled my [gaming] memberships… I quite enjoy Battlefield 2042 which I own already and has no monthly costs. Going for runs, push-ups, etc instead of the gym. Don't buy any snacks or drinks. I'm trying to be healthier so this is a sacrifice I'm willing to make. I'm well above minimum wage and even after cancelling all that, I can barely afford to make ends meet. NZ living costs are crazy right now. However, I'm probably in the minority as I have to support my wife in uni who has no income." - u/tehcambam
  • "Bought my own coffee machine during the pandemic - it is paying itself off. Consuming less alcohol. Bought an EV (waiting for it to turn up). We don't cheap out during groceries though. I know it's expensive but we buy quality vegetables to ensure the body is looked after, which is a shame because I know people skip this due [to] price." - u/FishSawc
  • "Buy quality veg from the Chinese supermarkets and it still costs less than Pak'nSave." - u/hastybear
  • "Moved to a 1.3 hybrid, changed coffee pods to instant coffee, buy veggies from a veggie store now [and] use the washing machine/dishwasher and dryer from 9-12 (Contact's free hours)." - u/aaaanoon
  • "Stopped going out for coffees on the weekend completely. Saves me about $30 a week alone. Stopped weekend brunch and only takeaway [once] a week now. Started buying frozen/canned veggies instead of fresh produce. Use public transport to [get to] work." - u/OutlandishnessLow416
  • "Growing our own veg, buying meat in bulk and deboning/packing it ourselves, making the kids walk to school (I'm still taking them if it's raining), not using the dryer and heat pump unless absolutely necessary." - u/MandyTRH
  • "Biking to work is saving me $50/week." - u/Elrox
  • "I use an e-scooter, not a car - $2 towards the electricity bill each month or pay a fortune for petrol, WOF and rego? I'll take the cheaper option." - u/Youkilledpaula
  • "So far me and my partner have tried eating less meat and meal-prep larger dishes to keep groceries at the same price as previous years. It saves about $30-$50 a week, but overall we are going to be saving $10,000 less this year compared to previous." - u/Psychophoenixnx
  • "Work from home more to reduce petrol and food costs. Remember that life is still good and make sure I splash out on a nice bottle of wine (more than $15) for the weekend." - u/OneFunkieMonkie
  • "I bought a bicycle in lockdown so I have restricted my car use a lot; drinking a lot less alcohol; have stopped eating out and getting takeaways; buy seasonal groceries and go without some luxuries." - u/yorgs
  • "Forty percent off restaurants at, Why Knot [outlet]/reduced to clear bulk-buying, Countdown three for $20, swapping meat for beans in nachos, letting the sales determine what I'm eating, etc." - u/needausernameyo
  • "I have established multiple vegetable gardens, growing above-ground veggies due to the soil quality. The free lettuce seeds from New World grew from three plants to over 100 in two years. Installed low-flow dual flush toilets to save water. No home laundry. All clothing/soft home furnishings, go to a local laundromat one to two times per week. Reduced meat consumption and minimal, if any, dairy products. Washing cars and the house less, and driving less with planned trips." - u/CarLarchamelon 
  • "Frozen veggies, eating meatless meals where possible and a lot of tears due to money stress. Instead of just driving anywhere, I now think about whether I can actually afford to drive there because fuel is so expensive… so I stay at home a lot nowadays." - u/oligro97
  • "Moving back in with my mum, lol." - u/shaneo576
  • "My biggest issue is food prices as I live alone. Either Odd Bunch vegetables or from the Asian supermarkets; plenty of soups - bought a pumpkin three weeks ago and have my third batch of pumpkin soup in the slow cooker right now; using less meat in my big batch meals and replacing with chickpeas/lentils - stretches your curries much further; baking. much cheaper to do from home for sweet items; coffee sachets from home rather than buying - $4 for 10 or $9 for 26 on the right weeks." - u/wilhelm_in_english
  • "Buy only Quick Sale meat items from Countdown and plan my meals around them. Walk to work. Work from the office to reduce electricity costs at home. Attend networking events for a free dinner." - u/Jern92
  • "When 91 petrol was over $3, I noticed I probably spent about $40 a week more on petrol. Countered that by buying one less takeaway and cooked more at home." - u/richmuhlach
  • "Pretty well, applied and got a better position in the same company (about a 35 percent pay rise), have meat-free days and limited snacking. Moving closer to work so I can walk to work. I take lunch most days too." - u/murder3no
  • "Left Auckland." - u/S0CIOPATH

Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.